2019 Week 4

A fantastic skiing week!

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Blåtindane and Grøtdalstindane in the Sunnmøre alps

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Location WCP
Melshornet 807m 564m Ørsta, Norway WCP
Sulafjellet 776m 776m Sula, M&R, Norway WCP
Melshornet 668m 560m Hareid, Norway WCP
Frostadtinden 807m 364m Skodje/Vestnes, Norway WCP
Hidsegga 556m 320m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
Sandhornet 909m 471m Ørsta, Norway WCP
Sollia 661m 661m Herøy/Sande, M&R, Norway WCP
Rjåhornet 598m 105m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
Huldrehornet 271m 113m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP

Melshornet (807m), Jan 21 2019

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The Helgatun – Melshornet route

Monday: I was on my way home to Sunnmøre after spending the weekend in Sogndal. At Volda, I decided it was time to walk the dog, and drove up to Helgatun to ski Melshornet. It was dark already, but skiing here with a headlamp does not offer any difficulties.

I soon noticed that thanks to the full moon, the headlamp wasn’t needed on our way up the mountain. I only switched it on when other skiers came down. This mountain seems to attract skiers 24×7.

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At the Helgatun trailhead

Thanks to the nice weather, the summit view was great. And now I started to look forward to the descent. The snow was soft enough for me to “kick ass” and hard enough for Karma to keep maximum pace.

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Ørsta seen from Melshornet

On the way down I met a guy who hadn’t understood the concept of switching on the headlamp to signal his presence. I noticed him when I was two meters in front of him, but avoided both a collision and falling during the evasive action.

That was a nice trip! Then I continued my travel back home, only stopping at Eiksund for one final picture.

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Liahornet (left) and Liadalsnipa (the pointy one), seen from Eiksund

Trip statistics: 6,3km, 590 vertical meters, 1h:25m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Vardane, Sula (776m) , Jan 22 2019

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The route from Eikrem

Tuesday: After work in Ålesund, I decided to drive to Eikrem (it’s on the way to the ferry) and ski Sulafjellet.

The forest road to Rollonhytta is one of my favorite routes for ski descent when the snow is perfect, which is was today. It’s just a blast to ski down this curvy road on nice snow!

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Up the forest road

From Rollonhytta, the snow conditions changed. There’s always wind on the coastline, so perfect snow above the forest is rare. And when the daylight fades, there’s also this emerging crust that can be somewhat challenging on the way down.

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Rollonhytta with Sulafjellet in the background

At least the views from the top were mighty nice! The wind made it difficult to keep the camera absolutely steady, but the results weren’t all bad.

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Ålesund seen from Vardane on Sulafjellet

I survived the crust down the mountain, but Karma had a strenuous run down.

It got much better for both when we got to Rollonhytta and could just let it flow on nice snow. And Karma was able to stay on my tail all the way down. There’s no better way than this to come home after work!

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Karma on Vardane, with Godøya island in the background

Trip statistics: 11,6km, 750 vertical meters, 2 hours

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Melshornet (668m) , Jan 23 2018

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The route from Ulset to Melshornet

Wednesday: There are two tops called Melshornet in my local region. It’s Melshornet in Ørsta/Volda that I skied on Monday, and then there’s Melshornet on Hareidlandet island – which I planned to ski this afternoon.

I planned to drive to Ulset via Røyset, but the road was just too icy, so I had to drive via Hjørungavåg. The parking wasn’t cleared, so I had to park alongside the road. I could see tracks from some hikers, but as there wasn’t too much snow on the mountain, it was not a matter of breaking any trail today.

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At the Ulset trailhead

While there wasn’t a whole lot of snow, it didn’t carry Karma’s weight and she really struggled until we reached more firm snow high on the mountain. I left my skis halfway up the last hill, due to ice.

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View across Vartdalsfjorden

It was windy and cold on top, so our stay was short.

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Cold on Melshornet

I had to spend a good 5 minutes locating my skis. I was just too lazy to take a GPS waypoint when I left them. At one point, I thought they both had taken off and that I would be walking down the mountain. But I eventually found them and made a mental note about sticking something that reflects light on them…

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Hareid seen from Melshornet

Skiing down the forest was horrible. This forest isn’t suited for skiing, but I survived it and afterwards it still felt like a really nice trip.

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Hareiddalen valley seen from Melshornet

Trip statistics: 3,8km, 280 vertical meters, 1h:17m

Pictures from the trip:

Frostadtinden (807m) , Jan 24 2019

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The route from Storsætra to Frostadtinden

Thursday: Every region has its “default mountains for skiing” when the conditions are good. In the Skodje-Vestnes region, Frostadtinden is one of these mountains. Even in winter, you can drive all the way to the Storsætra parking at ~220m elevation. From here, the summit is 4,5km away, and you can almost count on tracks up the mountain.

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Heading out from the Storsætra parking

The tracks were of good help for Karma, but as the amount of snow seem to increase proportionally to the elevation, she struggled a lot higher up.

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In the forest area. The snow was gorgeous for skiing here

It was quite a cold and windy afternoon, and it felt really nice to change shirt on top and feel dry again.

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On top of Frostadtinden

Due to the wind, it was impossible to get the pictures I wanted, but was somewhat content about the picture of the slalom slopes on Ørskogfjellet.

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The skiing centre on Ørskogfjellet

The descent was a bit slow, as I had to wait for Karma all the time. But things improved for both of us in the lower part of the mountain and down the road to the parking, it was “full speed ahead”.

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View towards Ålesund

Trip statistics: 9km, 600m vertical meters, 2 hours

Pictures from the trip:

Veten on Hidsegga (556m),  Jan 25 2019

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The route

Friday:  Today, I wanted a break from skiing and drove out to Gyljane, Goteneset on Gurskøya after work. The goal was Veten on Hidsegga, and I figured that there would be snow, but not much. That turned out to be an accurate assumption.

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Veten seen from the trailhead

Karma and I headed up the forest road in Hidsdalen and then got on the summer path, which was now covered by snow. Closer to the steep hill leading up to the ridge, I expected to see footsteps from Trond Hide, from Bøen Gard (farm). He hikes this mountain almost every day, I believe.

And sure enough, up from “the abyss” (the steep hillside above his farm), came his footsteps, and I followed them up to the ridge.

There wasn’t much snow on the summit ridge and the strong wind is the main explanation. I’ve been up here in horrific weather, and I hoped that there wasn’t any incoming showers. You really don’t know for sure when it’s dark. I didn’t want to spend one minute up here longer than necessary, so after a couple of pictures, we headed back down.

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Karma on top

As I returned to “the abyss”, I suddenly decided to follow his footsteps down the steep mountainside. It turned out to be much steeper than I had expected, and the hillside was basically a giant boulder field. Due to icy rocks, Karma had problems and I had to help her every now and then. Halfway down, I hoped that I had enough battery on my headlamp. If it went flat, we would be in a very awkward position.

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View from the top. Ulsteinvik in center

But the battery held, and we made it all way down to the farm, where I met a girl. She didn’t seem surprised at all to see a stranger and a dog coming out of the forest. I asked her to say hi to Trond from me, not sure if he still would remember me. It’s been many years since I met him on this mountain.

On my way home, I stopped to take a picture of Herøybrua (the Herøy bridge).

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Herøybrua

 

Trip statistics: 5,1km, 550 vertical meters, 1h:55m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the hike:

 

Sandhornet (909m) , Jan 26 2019

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The normal winter route from Brudevollen to Sandhornet

Saturday: Time to go skiing again, and the choice fell on Sandhornet – one of the “default mountains for skiing” in the Ørsta/Volda region. As such, I know that I would NOT be alone on this mountain…

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Sandhornet

When I arrived at Brudavollen, there was chaos at the parking. There were cars everywhere, and the local farmer tried to make space for more cars with his tractor. I eventually managed to find a slot and Karma and I could finally head up the forest road.

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The dog in the other car had the same suit. Karma reacted just like any other lady who sees another woman wearing the same dress at the party…

We passed two girls and one of them said “that must be Karma“. As I had never seen her before, I was somewhat surprised. It turned out that she was a friend of Anne and that she had seen pictures on Facebook.

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Up the forest road. Happy dog!

There were of course plenty of tracks up the mountain, making the ascent easy for Karma.

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Sandhornet comes into view

I could see a string of skiers higher up on the mountain, and we almost caught up with most of them before we arrived on top. There were at least 10 other skiers there and others were already on their way down.

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Arriving on Sandhornet

There were lots of peaks – all around – to admire…

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Kolåstinden

 

I’m a bit uneasy in respect to the dog and this summit. It’s hopeless to ski with the dog on a leash, and the east-facing cornices are really scary. Hence, I try to stay as much to the west as possible where the skiing conditions are seldom good. So it’s always a bumpy and nervous descent down to the pass before there’s no place she could go and fall off the mountain.

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Karma on Sandhornet

From the pass, I normally treat myself with a continuous run down to the flats, leaving Karma behind. She is not bothering anyone else, as all she’s focused about is to catch up with me. If she only had the wisdom to stay on the track, it wouldn’t be that hard. But no way – she always takes the direct line approach.

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Gooood dog!

Another downside with skiing this mountain is the forest road, where a tractor often has driven, leaving hopeless conditions for skiing. But today, there were no tracks and offered a very enjoyable descent!

Trip statistics: 9,9km, 820 vertical meters, 2h:06m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Sollia (661m), Rjåhornet (600m), Huldrehornet (271m) , Jan 27 2019

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The rout. Blue = on bike

Saturday: Today I went skiing in my local region. Gurskøya island doesn’t offer many days for nice skiing during the winter season, and it would be stretching it by saying that conditions were good today. But it was *possible* to ski, which was the most important thing.

The plan was to ski Sollia from Leikongsætra, optionally make a detour to Rjåhornet on the way down. But I was somewhat skeptical, as I knew that there wasn’t much snow on Rjåhornet. Time would tell.

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Heading out from Leikongsætra, along with another skier

The firm snow gave Karma an easy ride up the mountain and carried her weight most of the time.

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I guess life isn’t all that bad, after all…

Eventually, we reached the top and enjoyed the nice view.

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On top of Sollia

I had made up my mind. We would go for Rjåhornet, and continue across Huldrehornet and all the way home. Which meant that I would have to take the bike to get the car. As I definitely would not be able to ski across Huldrehornet, this trip would then offer skiing, hiking and biking. I thought that was pretty cool.

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Rjåhornet in the foreground

We passed lake Holmevatnet on the north side and almost joined our ascent tracks before setting the course for Rjåhornet.

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On the way down to (the frozen) lake Holmevatnet

As we were closing in on Rjåhornet, I could see that it was fully possible to ski all the way to the top. Karma was focusing on other things…

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On the way to Rjåhornet

It was nice to reach Rjåhornet on skis. It’s been a while since the last time. I decided not to worry about the – assumed hopeless – skiing conditions on the northeast side until I was in the thick of it.

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Arriving on Rjåhornet

A few minutes later, I was in the thick of it. But fortunately, I know where how the winds blow and when the snow pile up and had a surprisingly fun descent on Rjåhornet.

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Having descended Rjåhornet

We continued on the flats towards Huldrehornet, and I saw that it was possible to ski all the way to the top, even if it would mean that Karma had a bush fight coming up. But she managed fine and soon we reached the third top on our trip.

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Towards Huldrehornet (background)

I could possibly ski quite far down the Huldrehornet forest, but it would be utterly cumbersome and the chance of damaging the skis was huge. So I decided to put the skis on the backpack and hike home.

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On Huldrehornet, with Rjåhornet in the background

Once home, I had a 6,6km and 200 vertical meters bike trip ahead of me. When I reached the car, I was really, really happy about how nice this trip turned out. A great end to a fantastic skiing week!

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The car is at the end of this road

Trip statistics: 14,2km, 1120 vertical meters, 3h:45m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

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