Ski-trips from Skorgedalen Skiing Centre in Rauma
As Anne was going to the 150-year anniversary of DNT (The Norwegian Trekking Association) in Oslo, I had the opportunity to get started on my 100 new tops in 2018 project. Unfortunately, I had to work on Saturday, leaving me only Sunday to do some good.
Finding a new top, which doesn’t require climbing or scrambling, and where the deep snow wouldn’t completely exhaust Karma – means a long drive. And on this Sunday, I had set my eyes on Breivikheia above the Skorgedalen Skiing Centre in Rauma. There is a slalom hill at the foothills, which means an easy start. And once on the ridge, probably not too much snow. Once back at the car, I would leave Karma in it and get Nyfjellsrørin as a bonus top. That was the plan.
I have been to Skorgedalen a couple of times before, and still remember the wonderful day in March 2017 when Anne and I skied to Kvasstinden and Smørbottinden.
Today, I left my home on Gurskøy island at 7am, took the 07:30am ferry from Hareid and arrived at the Skorgedalen parking at 09:45am.
The weather was superb, but it was a little cold. -7 deg C. I expected some wind on the mountain, which meant I would need to make sure that both Karma and myself was dressed accordingly.
I asked the guy operating the ski-lift where he recommended that I ascended (to avoid being in the way for other skiers) and he suggested I followed the leftmost slope. He asked where I was heading and when I told him, he said he had never heard of anyone going to Breivikheia. “Why?”, he asked. “I collect mountain tops”, I replied. He didn’t seem to care or understand but wished me a good trip.
When we got to the top of the slalom hill, I got really surprised to see the onwards route. There were prepared tracks on the relatively narrow ridge.
When we got to the point where the “cross-country” track went downhill, I assumed it was going back to the starting point. Hence, I decided to go this way upon returning from Breivikheia. But first, the job at hand!
I hadn’t skied very far outside the tracks before I got a bit nervous. The snow was hard as ice, except for the sastrugis. And by the looks of it, they seemed to barely get me to the top of the mountain. My skins were just wide enough to prevent the steel edges getting a firm grip, and without a firm grip on this ice – safetly is low and risk of sliding is high.
But we made it to the top, thanks to the sastrugis. How could I not have brought crampons? Because I assumed there was snow on the mountain, but still! Rookie stuff!
In any case, the views were stunning and the wind wasn’t all bad.
We returned to the prepared tracks and had a good run down 100 vertical meters before I saw that the track continued uphill in the direction of Ljøsåvatnet. Possibly, there was a fork that I didn’t see, and a route that would take me back to the starting point. But I didn’t know these routes and did not want to spend the day on a cross-county trail and headed back up.
It was fun to ski down to the top of the slalom hill. It was a bit surreal to see cross-country tracks in this type of terrain!
From the top of the ski-lift, we took the same way down as we came up. Which seemed quite steep now! We returned to the car 2h:13m after leaving it, after skiing 11,2km.
My “bonus top” was just 1,9km SW of the car, but I expected deep snow and decided to let Karma stay in the car. I wrapped her in a warm blanket, gave her water and headed out.
I was aiming for a forest road half a kilometer down the main road, but I couldn’t ski the main road because of gravel. Sliding down the forest worked OK and soon I was on the forest road. There were only snowshoe tracks and I was glad I hadn’t brought Karma. She would have struggled in this snow.
After a plod up the forest road, I saw the Vikasætra/Skorgen signpost and turned left. The ridge ahead looked a bit steep, given that the snow was no longer soft, but wind-packed.
This top doesn’t have a name on the map. The closest name is Skorgehaugen (Vikasætra) 0,5km east of the top. Peakbook.org has used the name Nyfjellrørin, as this is the name on Økonomisk Kartverk on the southwest part of the ridge. Hence, this is the name I have chosen to use.
The ascent went OK and soon I was on the summit ridge and could claim my 2nd top for the day, 40 minutes after leaving the car.
The view towards Åndalsnes and the surrounding mountains was just awesome.
But now it was time to call it a day. The descent down the forest road was pure fun. Full speed and a couple of hair-pin curves. It doesn’t get any better. When I returned to the car, I had only been away for an hour, but the water I had left for Karma had a frozen surface. Good thing I left her in that blanket.
A close-to-3-hour drive is so much more enjoyable when I have two new tops in the bag. 98 to go. It’s going to be tough this year. But it’s the last year. After 20 years with at least 100 new tops, it’s time to lower the bar. 50 seems like a good number for the future…