2018 Week 5

Afternoon hikes and ski-trips

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Hurrungane peaks seen from Blåfjellet

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Location WCP
Løkeberget 579m 300m Hareid, Norway WCP
Rjåhornet 598m 105m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
Rambjøra 132m 109m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
Sukkeroppen 314m 314m Ålesund, Norway WCP
Aksla 188m 188m Ålesund, Norway WCP
Leirvågfjellet 254m 231m Sula, Norway WCP
Blåfjellet 1401m 151m Sogndal, Norway WCP
Geisdalshalsane 300m~ Luster, Norway

Jan 29 2018, Løkeberget

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Løkeberget ahead

This hike, from Snipsøyrvatnet, offered a moderatly rough experience on top of the mountain, where Karma and entered a snow storm and white-out.

But it started out nice and easy, where we followed the icy road up to Hammarstøylsvatnet, happy that it wasn’t raining. When we left the service road, the snow was much less deep than I had anticipated. Another bonus. And when we got on Løkeberget’s east ridge there wasn’t much snow at all.

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Up the Løkeberget ridge

As such, I thought that Karma and I would be in for a relatively easy hike. Until we passed 500m elevation. It started with some snow and wind, then fog, then much more snow and stronger wind. And all of the sudden, I had no idea where I was. The GPS told me that I was 180m from the top, so even if I wanted to turn around, I decided not reach my goal.

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Into the inferno

We found shelter behind the cairn and counted down to a quick escape. Our footprints were not seen anymore and I had to use the GPS again to get us on the quickest route off the summit.

Back on 500m, we were out of the inferno and it was a nice evening again. These changes in weather on the coastline, depending on the elevation , is something that will never stop amazing me. Total hiking: 8,2km, 610 vertical meters.

Jan 30 2018, Rjåhornet & Rambjøra

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Turnaround point…

Seeing Rjåhornet from the waterworks building in Stemmedalen, I figured I was in for an easy hike – nothing like the day before. It was a bit windy, but I didn’t see any snowdrift on top.

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Things looking good…

This is probably the mountain I know best, and I’m not really scared of going up in bad weather. But I have to consider what I should expose the dog to. But so far, things looked good.

Just like the day before, at 500m , and just when it started to get dark – a snow shower with a strong wind came along. I knew just too well what we were heading into, and I could see that Karma knew it too. We hung around for a few minutes, just to see if this was a minor shower passing. We even tried to gain some more elevation, but it was just a silly idea. It didn’t take me long to decide that we should turn around.

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Problems ahead…

Back at the car – now what? We didn’t get a top this evening. Thus, no summit goodies for Karma. Then I realized that we hadn’t been to Rambjøra this year. So we did a quick round across this 132m coastal top and Karma got her summit reward!

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Finally…

Jan 31 2018, Sukkertoppen

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Karma and me on Sukkertoppen

Working day in Ålesund, and I didn’t manage to get out of the office before 4:10pm (I go to work 6:00am) and as I wanted to get some Ålesund pictures before it got pitch dark, I decided to hike Sukkertoppen. It would be a short hike, but it’s always a nice hike, so … OK.

We took the normal route to the top and I managed to get the pictures I hoped for. As far as I am concerned, this is one of the most photogenic cities I know of…

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Ålesund, zoomed in from Sukkertoppen

Upon descent, I followed the forest ridge to its end. I haven’t done that route in at least 10 years, so it was big fun to revisit it.

Feb 1 2018, Aksla & Leirvågfjellet

Another day in Ålesund, and today I had promised buddy Terje Bergset to run his variation of my route across Aksla. His route – being a Strava route, and he was aiming for top 10. Not necessarily today. This is a 7,5km route – 250 vertical meters, and we would have to get below 40 minutes to stand a chance of top 10.

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Our route – along and across Aksla

Even with a partly icy route, we kept a good pace, and I don’t really see where I could have run any faster. Except when I waited for Terje on top of the Fjellstua stairs. I had enough time to tie my shoelaces and take 4-5 pictures of him. So let’s say 30-40 seconds there.

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C’mon!

The end result was 42m:40s, which bought him place #25 on Strava. Now, he’ll just have to catch up with me, and then we can focus on where to cut those 2 minutes short. On the other hand, he would have killed me in a bike race…

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At the trailhead – and my former car – which Terje bought

Afterwards, Karma and I went up to Leirvågfjellet on Sula. There wasn’t any good place to take pictures, but I managed to secure a couple of good moments to disc…

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Sula – Ålesund region, seen from Leirvågfjellet

Feb 2 2018, Transport day

Driving from Sunnmøre to Sogndal after work in utterly stunning weather. I should have stopped every 5 minutes for pictures, but then I would not have made it to Sogndal before midnight. Settled for a quick stop on Utvikfjellet so that Karma could stretch her legs…

Feb 3 2018, Blåfjellet

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Our little drama queen…

Another stunningly gorgeous day and I wanted to ski to higher ground, preferably with my small family.  With this much snow (2m of snow), I could not take Karma along. But we are clever in finding ways.

Anne and I skied together from Rindabotn (600m elev.) to Stilledalen, where we parted. Anne would take Karma to Høgehaug and along the track back to Rindabotn – via Fjærlandsete. This would be a good exercise for both of them.

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We’re parting, and Karma knows it…

I would ski up to Blåfjellet and descend along the normal route. I hadn’t expected that I would have to break my own trail, so the ascent took longer than expected. I also damaged my pole and had to mend it using sports tape.

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On top of Blåfjellet, watching skiers come and go…

The descent from Blåfjellet was of the epic kind. Snow just great!

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Any snow left for me?

Back at Rindabotn, it took me a few minutes to wipe the smile off my face and then I tried to get in contact with Anne. Her phone was out of battery, so I had no idea when they would get there. And she had the car keys! Fortunately, I only had to wait 10-15 minutes, and I was prepared to go and meet them when they suddenly arrived.

Feb 4 2018, Geisdalshalsane

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Towards Vetle Geisdalen (left)

On Saturday (Feb 3), Anne and I was invited to our friend Terje Kjørnes60th birthday at Jostedalen hotel. It was a nice evening and party, and as we also spent the night at the hotel, we could go up and check in on Karma every now and then.

Jostedalen was a cold, cold place. The temperature was -20 deg. C when we got up on Sunday morning. We had already agreed with our friends Gro and Harald to go on a ski-trip on Sunday, and I had suggested Kvitekoven (1657m) – a top that I hadn’t been to.

This would be too hard for Karma, and Anne and Harald suggested that that they could turn around after a while, take Karma with them and drive back to Sogndal. Then Gro and I could ski to the top and drive to Sogndal in my car.

This was a good plan until we realized that Gro and Harald’s car just didn’t want to start. We tried to bring it back to life using starter cables. But to no avail. Harald had to call the rescue service and Anne decided to wait at the hotel and drive with him to Sogndal. Meanwhile, Gro and I would give Kvitekoven a try.

We drove up to Myri and parked there. There were good tracks up Vetle Geisdalen valley and so far, things were looking good.

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Gro, ready to head out from Myri…

But after a while, it started snowing (lightly) and worse was that the light turned really flat. We just couldn’t see the ground ahead of us. And as there were no longer any tracks to follow, breaking the trail was hard work too.

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Hmm… weather NOT according to plan…

When we got to the ridge on Geisdalshalsane, we decided that we would not continue up to Kvitekoven and return via the ridge instead.

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We have decided to skip Kvitekoven – 3km in the background, somewhere…

Skiing down the ridge was difficult. There were cornices, humps and bumps all over the place and when we didn’t see them until we bumped into them – this was a very cumbersome descent.

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Descending into Vetle Geisdalen – nice and slow!

But when we finally made it down to the birch forest, we had visibility and skiing was fun again. When we returned to the car, after 9,9km and 815m vertical meters of skiing, we learned that Anne and Harald had JUST made it back to Sogndal.

Another good week with good outdoors activities had come to its end. I considered hiking Stedjeåsen once back in Sogndal, but decided it to hike that mountain before returning to Sunnmøre on Monday evening.

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