2019 Week 5

Another week with some fine skiing

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Karma, having a strenuous descent from Vorfjellet in Luster

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Location WCP
Høgåsen 240m 240m Ulstein, Norway WCP
Liafjellet (east top) 527m 14m Ørskog, Norway WCP
Haddalshornet 611m 103m Ulstein, Norway WCP
Nihusen 438m 340m Skodje, Norway WCP
Høgehaug 980m 10m Sogndal
Blåfjellet 1401m 151m Leikanger/ Sogndal, Norway WCP
Vorfjellet 1209m 179m Luster, Norway WCP

Løkeberget (579m) – did not summit, Jan 28 2019

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Did not manage to reach Løkeberget today…

Monday: I started this hiking and skiing week at lake Snipsøyrvatnet on Hareidlandet island. The plan was to ascend Løkeberget on skis.

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Løkeberget

It started out nice and easy along the service road to lake Hammarstøylsvatnet.

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At the trailhead

There were only two problems; bad weather was moving in, and the snow was too deep and icy for Karma.

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All good along the service road

At 260m elevation, I gave up. Even if bad weather wasn’t coming along, this was way too strenuous for Karma. I mean, she would have followed me until eternity, but there was absolutely no fun in it, for either one of us…

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We’re turning around – now!

Trip statistics: 3,4km, 230 vertical meters, 45 mins

Høgåsen (240m), Jan 28 2019

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The route from Åsen to Høgåsen

Monday: I didn’t want to go home without having been to a top, so I drove to Åsen on Dimnøya to hike Høgåsen. We had a smooth ride up the forest, but when we reached the top, we were in the middle of an inferno.

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Not pleasant on Høgåsen

It was just not a nice Monday…

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Yes, we’re going home now…

Trip statistics: 3,2km, 220 vertical meters, 45 mins

Liafjellet east top (527m) , Jan 29 2019

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The winter route to Liafjellet from Solnørdalsvegen

Tuesday: After work in Ålesund, I met up with my colleague Fredrik at Moa. Together we drove to Solnørdalsvegen (from Sjøholt) to ski Liafjellet. Fredrik had only background in cross-country skiing and from slalom slopes. He had never skied to a mountain with Telemark or Randonee equipment. I lent him my Randonee skis for the occasion. For me, it felt odd to put the old Telemark skis back on.

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On a cold afternoon, it’s nice to get changed inside the car…

After a slightly cumbersome section through the lower forest, the terrain opened up. We were heading into the darkness, but had sufficient daylight during the ascent.

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Above the cumbersome part of the forest

Fredrik had never skied on skins before, and after the trip, he told me that this was the highlight of the trip…

The snow was perfect for skiing, almost powder quality. Which meant that Karma had a huge struggle in following us up the forest.

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Karma, having a very strenuous ascent

As such, we agreed that we would settle for the east top – only 1m lower than the west top.

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Closing in on the east top

When we reached the east top, it was pitch dark and the descent would be assisted by our headlamps.

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On the Liafjellet east top

So how did Fredrik do on the way down? Well … it will take a few more trips before he’s fully comfortable with this type of skiing. But he had overall big fun, which is the most important thing!

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Fredrik in the cumbersome section of the forest

This was my 3rd trip with Fredrik. The first went to Sukkertoppen with our team at work, and the second was a memorable scramble on the amazing Fingeren peak.

Trip statistics: 6km, 435 vertical meters, 2h:15m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Haddalshornet (611m) , Jan 30 2018

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My skiing route to Haddalshornet

Wednesday: I will mostly remember this ski-trip for the epic bad skiing conditions.

Karma and I started out from Indre Haddal. The forest part allows for skiing up, but for certain, not for skiing down.

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Up the forest above Haddal

Above the forest, there was hardly any snow left.

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Skiing down here was just terrible

Then we headed up to the upper part of Klungsdalen valley, where it was windy as hell. The snow in the upper valley could best be described as Sastrugis

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Hmm – not epic skiing…

My original plan had been to ski down the west flank, but given the bad skiing conditions I soon decided to return along our ascent route. At least, I knew what we were in for.

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Haddalshornet

We reached the windy summit and performed our normal rituals (daddy taking pictures and Karma waiting for goodies)

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On top of Haddalshornet

The descent went better than feared. It was dead dark by now, and my headlamp only revealed the very nearby surroundings, but I knew the area quite well from previous trips.

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Ytre Søre Sunnmøre islands, seen from Haddalshornet

But the forest part was really bad, and eventually I had to take the skis off and walk down.

Trip statistics: 6,3km, 600 vertical meters, 1h:50m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

 

Nihusen (438m) , Jan 31 2019

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The normal route from Indreberg to Nihusen

Thursday: After work in Ålesund, I drove to Skodje to ski Nihusen. My good friend Torill Berg had told me to feel free to park by her mother’s house. As the trailhead parking hadn’t been cleared of snow, I happily accepted the invite. As I prepared to head out, Torill’s brother and her mom came driving up.

I hadn’t met him before and I said “you’ll probably wondering why a stranger has parked here?“. “I guess we’ll soon find out“, he replied and I had a good laugh from this quick reply. Once I said my name, I was treated like close family. He had heard about me. I guess Torill had only told him about the fun part of “hell week” in northern Norway in 2007. Torill and I have climbed both Romsdalshorn and Stetind together. We’ve done amazing stuff together. Friends for life.

Then, Karma and I headed up the long forest road from Indreberg.

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On our way to Nihusen

The snow on the road was just perfect and I SO looked forward to ski down here.

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Totally perfect snow

After the end of the forest road, the pitch up to the top is pretty steep and it was a struggle to get to the top on skis. But, I managed. Karma followed the footpath and reached the top without totally blowing her steam.

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On top of Nihusen

After a short stay, it was time for descent. The trip down the steep section felt like “Hawaii skiing“, but I managed to get down to the forest road without falling flat on my face.

The forest road was heavenly to ski. The only complaint is that it isn’t very steep, so I didn’t really get the speed I wanted.

This was also the first time I tried my new GoPro Fusion. When I returned home I learned that I hadn’t enough memory on my computer to combine the front and rear videos. Bummer!

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Not exactly 360 degrees, but one can use the imagination…

Nevertheless, it was a very nice ski-trip!

Trip statistics: 5,7km, 380m vertical meters, 1h:24m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

 

Høgehaug (980m),  Feb 1 2019

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The normal route(s) to Høgehaug

Friday:  After work, I drove to Sogndal to spend the weekend with my girlfriend Anne. As she was out on a Park Ranger mission, I had time to do a quick ski-trip.

I drove up to Hodlekve (just above Sogndal) to ski Høgehaug. It was pitch dark when we left the parking in Rindabotn.

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Rindabotn – unusually quiet…

I didn’t expect to see anyone on the mountain, but after I while, I saw two headlamps. They were (of course) our friends Vibeke and Leif, who could report slightly hostile conditions on top.

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Tylderingen – all lit up

Karma and I were in shelter most of the way, but it was indeed windy on top. But it was not bad measured to the wind back home. Leif comes from the same area as where I live, and I guess he has just forgotten how it’s like out on the coastline.

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Karma on Høgehaug

After returning to the trailhead, I drove down to Sogndal and arrived at Anne’s house just as she returned from her afternoon work outdoors. Perfect timing. The family reunited and the weekend was ON!

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Hello Sogndal! Nice to be back…

Trip statistics: 9,1km, 400 vertical meters, 1h:25m

 

Blåfjellet (1401m) , Feb 2 2019

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My route from Rindabotn to Blåfjellet

Saturday: Anne wasn’t up for any skiing today and suggested that I could go on a ski-trip while she would look after Karma. I gladly accepted the invitation and drove up to Hodlekve to ski Blåfjellet. My parking ticket from the night before was still valid.

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At the Rindabotn trailhead

I decided to try a new route up the mountain and followed the Høgehaug route until I reached the Red Cross box. Then I headed into the birch forest, aiming for Storakupa. I had been to Blåfjellet several times, but I had never been in these parts of the mountain.

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Towards Storakupa. Blåfjellet in the background.

I wasn’t the only one who had chosen this route, and I could follow tracks all the way into “the bowl”.

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A glorious day on skis

Above Storakupa, the wind had wiped out most tracks, but the snow was now so firm that no tracks were needed. And soon, I had the two summits in view.

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The two Blåfjellet tops. The left one is the highest

The westernmost top is the highest (1401m) and is located in Leikanger. The east top is located on the Leikanger – Sogndal border. However, these municipalities will merge in 2020, so Blåfjellet 1401m will soon be a Sogndal mountain top. Most people go to the east top, and I was all alone on the west top.

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On the west top. It’s a bit cold and chilly…

I decided to more or less descend along my ascent route and shot some video clips along the way down. The circular effect comes from the GoPro Fusion camera:

Trip statistics: 9,3km, 805 vertical meters, 2h:09m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Røvhaugane , Feb 2 2019

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Reunited with the family

Saturday: Once back in Sogndal, Anne wanted to go for a walk and suggested Røvhaugane. It turned out to be a really nice round trip hike and I cursed myself for not recording the hike on my GPS.

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Sogndal seen from Kongaberget

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the hike:

Sogndal , Feb 2 2019

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Note quite the definition of “winter climbing”, but still fun to climb it sideways…

In the evening, we took a walk along the Fjordstien trail. I brought my camera of course…

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the walk:

Vorfjellet (1209m) , Feb 3 2019

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The route to Vorfjellet

Saturday: Today, we drove to Gaupne and then up the Engjadalen to ski Vorfjellet. I was rather pessimistic about finding any tracks up the mountain, but Anne had good hopes.

The last (and only) time we skied Vorfjellet was in 2010, when we skied up the south ridge. Today, we followed the recommendations from two skiers we met at the entrance of the toll road. The recommendation was to ski up to Navarsete and then ski up to the south ridge.

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Heading out from the Gjetarhaugen parking

There were indeed tracks up the mountain and Karma had a fairly easy ride up the mountain.

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At Navarsete. Vorfjellet up the left

The snow quality wasn’t superb, but we were pretty sure that we would be alright, upon our descent.

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In the long hillside between the summit ridge and the valley floor

Eventually, we reached a trig. point and a signpost saying “Vorfjellet 1209m“, and I was sure that we had reached the top.

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The “official” top. But not the high point!

But no, the high point was still 300m to the east/northeast. I *hate* this type of misinformation.

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Finally!

But shortly after, we could surely claim the high point

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Our small family, on top of Vorfjellet

We had some pretty darned good views from up here.

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Vangsen

We decided to descend the same way we came and the descent offered SOME sections of nice skiing.

I made a video clip from the pictures of the ascent and video from the way down. Captured by GoPro Fusion (but not with the 360 deg. result…)

Another very nice week had come to an end, where the skis were the skis were the primary means of upwards and downwards progress…

Trip statistics: 7,9km, 700 vertical meters, 2h:40m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

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