2018 Week 36

Slow start, great finish!

Inviting my colleagues to “Trollråsa” on Sukkertoppen

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Location WCP
Rjåhornet 598m 105m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
Garnestua 653m 415m Ulstein, Norway WCP
Sollia 661m 661m Herøy/Sande, M&R, Norway WCP
Sukkeroppen 314m 314m Ålesund, Norway WCP
Sandhornet 909m 471m Ørsta, Norway WCP

Rjåhornet (598m), Sep 3 2018


Monday:  Monday’s is Rjåhornet day. Well not always…

Today, I decided to jog up the mountain. Unfortunately my running shape is nothing like it should be, and I had to switch to fast walking halfway up the final 400 vertical meters hill.

Had eventually switch to walking

I reached the top in 33:45m, which was horrendously bad, compared to where I wanted to be (around 30m). But OK. Better luck next time…


Trip statistics: 5,9km, 570 vertical meters, 1h:12m

Garnestua (653m),  Sep 4 2018


The round trip hike


Tuesday: Today I decided to hike Garnestua, fast from Haddal. This route is way too steep and brutal for running the whole way – in the shape I am in these days. But I can still hike fast.

I like this route and Karma likes it even more. She goes nuts when she realizes that we’re *here*. I don’t know why. Perhaps she saw a hare 4 years ago, and still remember it.

Karma on Garnestua

We reached the top in 34m:57s, which was OK. Just like on Rjåhornet the day before, we had fog on top . So no big reason to hang around.

Foggy view towards Gurskøy island

Upon descent, we went over to Flåna, then down to lake Garnesvatnet before I sat course towards my ascent route.

Trip statistics: 7,2km, 680 vertical meters, 1h:20m

Sollia (661m), Sep 5 2018

The route

Wednesday: I was still in trying to build my running form and decided to run Sollia from Leikongsætra. It’s always satisfying to be able to run all of the the 5,5km to the top. Regardless of the total time spent…

Karma on Sollia

Today, we (Karma and I) did it in 46m:52s, which was roughly 3 minutes slower than what I did in 2016. It will be interesting to see if 2018 was just a bad running year or if age really matters…

We got fog for the 3rd day in a row. Grrr…

“View” towards Ulsteinvik

As a variation to the route, I took the new route on the other side of Holmevatnet and joined my ascent route further down. It was a nice run and a nice hike, regardless of the weather.

Karma in front of Holmevatnet

Trip statistics: 12,9km 630 vertical meters, 1h:55m

Sukkertoppen (314), Sep 6 2018

Karma on Sukkertoppen – the first out of two hikes up this mountain today

Thursday:  For this day, I had invited my closest colleagues to hike up “Trollråsa” on the “back side” of Sukkertoppen. It is a route I developed shortly after moving to Ålesund in 2006. I was appalled about the fact that no one had done this earlier. It didn’t take long before the word about the route got around, and people started coming. Now, 12 years later, the route is regarded as quite a normal route on this mountain. I am not the kind of person that takes much *pride* in things, but I am quite happy about having made this amazing route popular…

The NORMAL route to Sukkertoppen

Enough boast and back to my colleagues; none of them had ever done a hike like this before, and I was really, really nervous about the whole thing. It’s not a difficult route, but you have to use your hands here and there and there are places where you should most definitely not fall! My fear was naturally that someone had a bad day and got serious or fatally injured.

The Trollråsa route to Sukkertoppen

The team consisted of Thomas, Fredrik, Wouter (our boss, or “baas” as he’s Dutch) and Srinivas. The agreement was that we would meet by Hessa Stadion at 5pm. That gave me time to walk Karma first, as I didn’t want to take her up Trollråsa. So, we hiked up and down the normal route before I drove to Hessa Stadion and parked the car in the shade. I prepared a backpack with some harnesses, a short rope and some gear in case anyone got really uncomfortable.

Ålesund view from Sukkertoppen

I think I’ve boasted enough already, but I couldn’t resist; while waiting for the others, I chatted with a woman passing by. She saw my gear and wondered what I was up to. I explained the purpose and I asked if she was heading for Trollråsa. “No”, because there’s a new route in town…

I definitely need to try out this new route…

Ah, now I remembered hearing about the “Via Ferrata” like route that popped up some years ago. We chatted some more, and when I eventually told them that I had developed Trollråsa and explained the story behind the name. She then asked me about my name. When I told her, she kinda … screamed … in a civil manner. Apparently, my former site westcoastpeaks.com has been extensively used by a number of people over the years, her included. She told me she had always wondered how I looked like and she seemed “over the moon” to meet me. That’s definitely the first, and most likely my last 15 minutes of fame

The Breidsundet sound, seen from Sukkertoppen

The others arrived pretty much on time and we headed out..

And off we went – in Abbey Road style…

Already in the first (and easy) hillside, it was clear to see that the non-Norwegians found this route quite … cumbersome. I seriously wondered how this would progress..

Up the forest section

Eventually, we reached the mailbox (I bought it in 2006 and yes, it was still around). We stopped here for a little while, just to take in the views and to prepare them for what was next.

By the mailbox

Next up was a scramble with a bad outcome if you slip. I knew I was a pest (it couldn’t be helped) and made sure each and every one picked the best handhold and move. I also couldn’t help but notice that Fredrik moved like he had done this all his life (and he had never done this before). Thomas mentioned something about “some of the strangest things he’s ever done”, but didn’t seem to have any problem at all. Srinivas and Wouter had a more serious look on their face, but scrambled in an impeccable way.

Wouter, scrambling up from the mailbox

So far, I could have brought my dog, but the final hurdle – the crux – was still to come. This section wasn’t half as bad in 2006, but after years of tear and wear it’s now a real scramble. I decided to minimize the total risk and showed Fredrik an alternative route – much more airy, but much easier. Then I asked him to take Wouter that way while I oversaw Srinivas and Thomas scramble up the harder section. Once everyone was up, safe and sound, I could finally breathe again

Fredrik also had to try out the hardest section

There are a couple of fun points on the way to the top, including the-rock-with-the-hole-under. Sadly, only Fredrik took the challenge to climb through.

Attaboy! But which way is your head pointing?

The other fun point – a type of obelisk rock – I encouraged them to skip. A fall here would not be good at all. Besides, it had started to rain some and the rock was slippery.

And finally – we reached the top.

Fredrik, Srinivas, Wouter and Thomas on Sukkertoppen

We took the normal route down. It didn’t go quite as fast as I wished, but you can’t rush people who do their best. But eventually we reached the Hessa School trailhead, where we had another car parked. I still had a long way home back to Gurskøy, but knowing everything went well and they all seemed to have a great time, the trip home went like a blast…

Trip 1 statistics: 4,1km, 325 vertical meters, 1h:08m
Trip 2 statistics: 3,4km, 300 vertical meters, 2 hours

Pictures from the first hike:

Pictures from the Trollråsa hike:

Sandhornet (909m) , Sep 7 2018

The route

Friday: Now that the weather had turned to the better, I wanted to end the work week on a good note and drove to Ørsta to hike Sandhornet from Mosætra.

At Mosætra

I have been to Sandhornet several times, both in summer and winter, but never visited the mountain from this side. Which means I had never been to Rambjørhornet (815m) either.

Langedalen valley

Karma and I followed a nice path up to the mountain.

Sandhornet (left) and Rambjørhornet (right)

I enjoyed reaching Rambjørhornet, as there’s nothing like getting to a place I’ve never been before. The views were of course first class, even if we hadn’t reached the main top yet.

View from Rambjørhornet. Sandhornet to the left.

After hiking across the unnamed top 816m, we ascended the final hill towards Sandhornet.

Towards Sandhornet

The views weren’t too bad there either…

View from Sandhornet

If there is the slightest chance of a round trip hike, I’ll take it. Which wasn’t easy to do along this route, but in the pass between Sandhornet and 816m, I left the path and hiked (somewhat steep) off-trail towards a gorge.

Crossing the small gorge

We crossed the gorge and rejoined our ascent route minutes later. All in all, a great hike!

Trip statistics: 6km, 660 vertical meters, 1h:53m

Pictures from the hike:

Fingeren (1188m), Sep 8 2018

Saturday: I invited my colleague Fredrik to this superb scramble in the Sunnmøre Alps. If you want to read the trip report, you’ll find it here. If you just want to check the video, then choose HD and click play…

Bergehornet (1024m), Sep 9 2018

Sunday:  A nice revisit to the Vartdal peaks. I hadn’t been to Bergehornet in 12 years, so it was high time. If you want to read the trip report, you’ll find it here

Iphone panorama from Bergehornet


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