2018 Week 9

Afternoon hikes and ski-trips

WHAT a week it has been!

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Location WCP
Årvikveten 458m 205m Sande, Norway WCP
Vasstrandfjellet 531m 23m Ålesund, Norway WCP
Liafjellet 528m 380m Ørskog, Norway WCP
Melshornet 807m 564m Ørsta, Norway WCP
Veirahaldet 1206m 173m Ørsta, Norway WCP
Koppefjellet 940m 602m Volda, Norway WCP
Høgenipa 1097m 126m Vanylven/ Volda, Norway WCP



Breiteigsfjella (Syvdsalpane) seen from Årvikveten

Monday; I wasn’t in exploring mode today, so I settled for the usual route to Årvikveten from Drageskaret. But I decided to start close to Gursken fjord, to get some extra vertical meters.

The weather was brilliant, but the Siberian cold had come to Norway and brought some really low temperatures. Eastern Norway was down to -20 and lower. But this is the coastline, and it doesn’t get that cold here. We’re talking ~-5 deg. C.

But we do have winds, and when you add that to the equation, we’re talking a serious wind-chill. I had one woolen sweater and one solid Gore-Tex jacket, but I was freezing cold. Just before the top, I had to put one more woolen sweater on, in addition to mom’s woolen gloves and I was ALL good again.

I should probably have let Karma wear her suit and socks, but her only issue seemed to be frozen snow under the paws. Besides that, she seemed to have BIG FUN in the snow.

The trip: 10,8km, 670 vertical meters.


Very, very cold on Vasstrandfjellet…

Tuesday; I worked in the Ålesund office, and after work, the goal was Ursfjellet (561m) outside Ålesund. I drove to Vasstranda, wondering if I could ski from the car.

The answer was; barely. But after a few minutes, we got proper snow and the trip up the forest road was just nice. Halfway, the snow level turned from marginal to considerable. If there were no tracks up the mountain, I would have doubts if we would make it all the way to Ursfjellet. I had forgotten Karma’s suit, and she was only wearing a reflective vest.

Just before lake Langevatnet, we joined the prepared cross-country tracks, but only for a short while. There WERE some old tracks up the mountain, and they helped Karma in the forest. But when we got above the forest, I knew that Ursfjellet would be out of reach. It was freezing cold and very windy. With two sweaters and a Gore-Tex jacket, I was borderline comfortable. And the dog had (almost) nothing on.

I decided that we should ski up to the first top on the mountain plateau – Vasstrandfjellet (531m) and turn around there. The ascent went OK. The snow wasn’t that deep on the ridge, but when we reached the top, a stay of 1 minute seemed 1 minute too long. Still, I had to follow the procedure; pictures and panoramas, skins off, tighten the boots, GPS waypoint and treats for Karma. Both of us were quite happy when we left the top.

Skiing down the ridge and the forest was great, and on the forest road, Karma ran so fast that I was barely able to keep up with her. After a while, skiing got difficult, as the snow was rock hard, the road narrow and there were tracks everywhere. But all in all, a nice outing!

The trip: 6,5km, 500 vertical meters.


Don’t worry. It’s not dangerous…

Wednesday; another day in the Ålesund office, and having consulted my colleague Vidar, I decided to take my chances on Liafjellet – from Solnørdalvegen road.

It was –6 deg. C outside, but it felt like -15. But with my Caddy Maxi, I could do all preparations inside the load compartment, which included putting the skins on (this time, the Children safety mechanism was OFF).

I dressed myself and the dog properly, and in addition to suit and socks, I also put the reflective vest on Karma. If we were to face the same wind as the day before, anything would help.

As Vidar has predicted, there was a snowshoe path up the forest. This was of good help for Karma. In the upper forest, I felt the wind, but it wasn’t as strong as the day before. Moreover, parts of the route sheltered us from the eastern wind. And when we reached the first top on the ridge, there was no wind at all! Very strange, as the snowdrift looked like a small inferno a few minutes earlier.

From the first top, I could see the route over to the high point. I had thought it would be more than 1km, but it was only half that distance. Bonus! And what a view!

Holy moly! Nice!

The high point is just before the trig. point, which is 1m lower – according to the online map. In any case, we skied to the trig. point, where I repeated the usual procedure.

I returned to the east top and was extremely happy when I could take the skins off. The ridge and forest descent would surely be heavenly with this powder snow. And it was! It was only the very last couple of minutes that were a bit cumbersome, in terms of skiing. A superb trip!

The trip: 6,5km, 470 vertical meters.


On top of Melshornet

Thursday; yet another stunning weather day. I had been thinking on a hike across Saursegga and Gjøna, where there is almost no snow left, but an inner voice commanded me to go skiing. Then it HAD to be Melshornet in Ørsta/Volda- for the 4th time this year.

There’s like nothing to think about; an autostrada to the top, easy for the dog, and hilarious fun on the way down.

On top, everyone was gathering on the cairn top. Karma and me went to the high point, some meters away from the cairn. We were all alone there, until the para-skiers came over and decided to use the high point for their lift-off. One guy said; “is your dog on a leash?”. I responded – “what, are you about to fly?” “Yes”, he said and I could not resist: “don’t worry, the dog can’t fly“.

Before descending the mountain, I made sure to enjoy the views from the top. Quite a spectacular scenery;

Melshornet panorama (1/2)
Melshornet panorama (2/2)

The trip: 6,4km, 590 vertical meters. The descent is captured on this HD video (along with some pictures from the ascent).

For those who don’t watch videos, here are the pictures from the ascent…


A memorable moment on 1206m

Friday; I was really not sure where to go this afternoon, but I felt I ought to go skiing somewhere. Then my friend Lena (for Karma: “auntie Lena“) called, asking if she could take Karma to Skafjellet. Then I was free to go skiing for myself. I called Terje (Lena’s husband) and asked if he was interested in Veirahaldet.

It was 6 years ago (minus one day) when we skied up Veirahaldet on a magical evening in 2012, but due to ice, we didn’t reach the top. He was all game, and today, there was no risk of ice.

We headed out 4:20pm from the Bondalseidet skiing centre, and headed straight up the slalom hill. We kept a reasonably steady pace and reached the top 6pm. WHAT a stunning afternoon, and we couldn’t wait to go skiing in the powder snow.

After a delightful descent, we returned to the car 6:20pm – 2 hours after heading out. It’s absurd to have this kind of break from the ordinary life in just 2 hours. Hopefully, the HD video clip below will explain what I mean… The trip: 8,8km, 900 vertical meters.

For those who don’t watch videos, here are the pictures from the ascent…


Towards Koppefjellet

Saturday; the weather was not great and my cell phone beeped in the morning; “Hi Arnt. Are you ready for snow today?Heck no!

But I had to do something, and preferably on skis, rather than on foot. As I hadn’t been to Koppefjellet in 2018, I decided that we should go there. I assumed there would be tracks up the mountain.

When I reached the trailhead in Aldalen (where the road ends – in winter), I could see that there were indeed tracks. A lot of them too! More good news was that the light was much better than I had feared, and it was much warmer than the other days this week. Perhaps the Siberian cold had finally moved on!

I know this route quite well by know, and in winter, I am normally a bit “nervous” about the slightly steep part, just before the summit ridge. There’s often hard snow, and I don’t fancy losing my grip. But with all this snow, I had no worries.

But it turned out that I got problems after all. There was soft snow on top of hard snow, and my skins were too slippery. It was a big struggle!

The weather was strange. It looked as if it was snowing everywhere, but there was nothing coming down. And the light was excellent for skiing too. I could not believe how lucky I was!

The descent was big fun! The snow was perfect, and I enjoyed the ride from the get-go and to the finish line. The trip: 5,4km, 690 vertical meters.

Afterwards, I took out for some soccer practice. She’s got talent! All captured in the below HD video clip:

For those who don’t watch videos, here are the pictures from the ascent…


Sunday; the weather was quite good and I decided to end a fantastic week with a fantastic ski-trip. I chose to go to Høgenipa on the Volda-Vanylven border, as I hadn’t been there in years. I still remember the superb ski-trip with Anne in February 2010.

After taking the ferry to Koparneset, I drove towards Syvden and had to stop for pictures.

Syvden panorama

I knew this would be a long trip for Karma, and I really hoped that there were ski-tracks up the mountain. At least the mountain road up from Landsverk should be an easy leg for her.

The ascent up the mountain road was just nice. In addition to good spirit and sunshine, I also knew that I would be able to ski almost all the way down (some gravel on the road in the very beginning).

When we got to the end of the mountain road, I could see tracks going in the direction of the mountain. Yes! And they carried Karma’s weight too. So far, so good!

Towards Høgenipa. A glorious day!

It was a bit cold. One woolen sweater under the Gore-Tex wasn’t enough. Two made the day!

When we finally got to the foot of the summit (it looks like a small hump from a distance, but it’s almost 80 meters up), I was not sure whether I should try to ski or walk up. In any case, I had to put Karma on a leash, because with the socks on, she had no grip. I ended up skiing, but with slightly harder snow, I would have had to walk.

Once on top, I couldn’t remember which of the two tops were the highest. So I had to visit both. It was roughly 0,6km over to Litlenipa (same height), and I got a better panorama towards the Sunnmøre alps from this top.

Sunnmøre alps seen from Litlenipa

Back at the main top, it was time for coffee, treats for Karma, more pictures and skins off. And – the GoPro on.

Descending the upper mountain wasn’t really big fun. The snow was quite wind-packed and the snow didn’t improve before reaching the flats by Bruelva. Karma looked tired. The snow didn’t carry her weight when running.

But she found new energy when we reached the mountain road. On solid ground again! We returned to the car exactly 3 hours after leaving. The trip: 13,7, 1050 vertical meters.

Breiteigfjellet (aka Syvdsalpane) seen on the way back to Koparneset

The below HD video clip summarizes the trip:

For those who don’t watch videos, here are the pictures from the ascent – plus some panoramas…

Leave a Reply