2019 Week 8

A good week of hiking…

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The weather this week summarized – a little bit of this and a little bit of that…

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Location WCP
Kongsvollen 683m 200m Hareid/Ulstein, Norway WCP
Øyrahornet 417m 42m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
Løkeberget 579m 300m Hareid, Norway WCP
Meraftafjellet 578m 578m Skodje, Norway WCP
Rjåhornet 600 107m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
Sandfjellet 682m 54m Vanylven, Norway WCP
Bjørlykkjehornet 707m 264m Vanylven, Norway
Røstallen 644m 34m Vanylven, Norway WCP
Svartetua 842m 449m Vanylven, Norway WCP

Kongsvollen (683m), Feb 18 2019

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My route to Kongsvollen

Monday: Week 8 didn’t offer great weather to begin with. Yet, I decided to hike Kongsvollen (the 2nd highest top on Hareidlandet island) despite the fact that this is a very bad place (open space, no shelter) to get caught by bad weather. But no pain, no gain and so in light rain, Karma and I headed out from Ringstaddalen.

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Heading out from Ringstaddalen

As it turned out, the “pain” did not come through the weather, but through the deep and super-rotten snow in the hillside below lake Hundelaupsvatnet. I was only wearing terrain shoes, and it didn’t take long before I was both wet and cold on my feet.

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We had to cross lots of snow fields – with rotten snow

The wind picked up as we reached the lake, but it wasn’t as bad as I had feared it would be. Quite often, the winds on the tops are cold, strong and evil.

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Arriving at lake Hundelaupsvatnet. Turn left for Kongsvollen, right for Blåtind

I was quite happy when we reached the top without any other obstacles than rotten snow.

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Karma on Kongsvollen

It was tempting to hike down the “Bukketrappa” ridge, but that meant a whole lot more rotten snow. So, I decided to head back the way we came. On the way back down, I enjoyed the full moon, although it was very difficult to hold the camera steady in the wind.

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Full moon

Trip statistics: 7km, 630 vertical meters, 2 hours (sharp)

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Øyrahornet (417m), Feb 19 2019

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Our route from Tjørvåg to Øyrahornet

Tuesday: When working in Ålesund, I always try to do a hike on that side of the fjord, before going home. But today, it was raining so hard that I just wanted to get back home. Moreover, I was dead meat with no energy.

When I arrived Gurskøya (the island where I live) it was only raining light and I still had to walk the dog. I decided to pull myself together and drove to Tjørvåg to hike Øyrahornet.

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Øyrahornet, seen from the Tjørvåg trailhead

It’s 400 vertical meters straight up and I decided to keep a good pace, just to get done with it.

We reached the top in 23 minutes, which is not a great time, but the path was muddy, slippery and icy. And it was dark…

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Karma on Øyrahornet

I was SO happy when I got back home and could change clothes and relax! It would be impossible to feel that same way if I had not gone on that hike…

Trip statistics: 3,8km, 400 vertical meters, 50 mins

Løkeberget (579) , Feb 20 2019

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Our route across Løkeberget

Wednesday: On Jan 28, Karma and I headed for Løkeberget from Snipsøyrvatnet, but turned back around due to bad weather and deep snow with a cruel crust.

Today, the weather seemed much more stabile and we gave it another go.

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Here we go again…

Most of the snow had melted and we had an easy ride all the way to lake Svartevatnet. Here, we had to cross the drain from the lake and there was too much water to get across and remain dry. A controlled crossing would have made my feet super-wet, so I decided to go for speed, with one foot in the middle of the drain and land on the other side. It could have been slippery, so there was a slight risk of falling. But the plan worked and I got to the other side without feeling too wet.

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The drain from lake Svartevatnet

Then we had a nice walk up the ridge.

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The ridge leading to the top

When we got to the top, I could see bad weather moving in, and decided to leave at once. But crossing the drain one more time wasn’t tempting, so I decided to head down to Langeheida and hope we could find a nice route down a forest where I’ve never been before.

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Karma on Løkeberget. Incoming rain and wind in the background

The upper part of the forest went easy, but then we were heading towards a juniper bush forest. In other words: hell! But then I noticed a path, even marked by sticks. How practical! The path guided us gently down to the main road, 1,8km south of the car. And just when we reached the car, the rain came.

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Down in the forest. It’s much darker than it appears on this picture…

Trip statistics: 8,5km, 620 vertical meters, 1h:45m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Meraftafjellet (578m) , Feb 21 2019

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Our route to Meraftafjellet

Thursday: Back in Ålesund, and I wasn’t really sure where to go after work. As I hadn’t been to Meraftafjellet this year, I decided to go there. We were at 579m the day before, with hardly any snow. So, I looked forward to a sunny hike from Gudmundset to 578m with the feeling of spring.

The hike turned out to be the direct opposite of sunny and spring-ish. Light rain moved in, but at least there was no snow.

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It’s raining, but most importantly – no snow!

But we ran into snow on the road after five minutes, and when we reached the forest ridge, I realized that I would remember this hike for all the wrong reasons (I was only wearing terrain shoes)…

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Crap!

At first, I could choose between hiking in deep and rotten snow, or along the path where the melting water was flooding. Kind of like pest or cholera, although it’s been said that one definitely should go for cholera

The hike got harder and harder the closer we got to the upper mountain. In places, I was knee-deep in the rotten snow, with Karma “swimming” along behind me. From time to time, I had to imagine how cold my feet would get, if I decided to go all the way to the top. The answer was “Probably OK” every time.

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The summit ridge still looks far, far away…

When we reached the summit ridge, there was much less snow – as I had hoped. We reached the top in fog, light rain and wind – and it was really, really nice that it would be just downhill from here on.

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On top of Meraftafjellet

The descent went fast! I found huge motivation in dry clothes (and socks) back at the car. Every strenuous trip is always nice once it’s over…

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On our way down from Meraftafjellet

Trip statistics: 6,5km, 500 vertical meters, 1h:43m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Rjåhornet (600m) , Feb 22 2019

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The route across Rjåhornet

Friday: Very tired after a hard working week, but even with little energy left, there is always just enough to hike Rjåhornet.

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Rjåhornet seen from Stemmedalen

I decided to hike from Stemmedalen, along a route I’ve marked myself. It has a steep section, which (unfortunately) the local hiking group (which I am part of) decided to secure with fixed ropes. My arguments against were not heard, and the fun about this route have been lost for me. But I’ve found another route up the steep section, which I ain’t telling no one about…

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Approaching the steep section

It was yet another windy day, and I knew that the wind would be very, very strong on top. But I know this mountain inside and out and was able to stay in shelter of the wind most of the way.

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One can tell it’s windy by looking at the fjord

And on top, there is shelter to be found behind one of the Tussa cabins.

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Pu-ha! Nice to be in shelter, don’t you think?

Being the round-trip guy that I am, I decided to take a totally different route down. So, I decided to head down Høgsetdalen valley – a route I seldom do, as I don’t find it very inspiring to go that way. But OK, let’s give it a shot. Perhaps something exciting will happen…

The “exciting” part was the creek crossing. It looked like a small challenge to get across without getting wet, but then I found a place where careful balancing got us across the slippery and icy rocks.

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Creek crossing in Høgsetdalen

After a while, I ended up on a path that I’ve never been to before. That was certainly a bonus! The path took us down to Sætremyra, from where we had to follow roads to get back to the car (except for a minor short-cut down by lake Aspvikvatnet.

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Rjåhornet seen from the main road. Stemmedalen to the left. Sætremyra to the right.

Trip statistics: 7,4km, 635m vertical meters, 1h:40m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

 

Sandfjellet (682m), Bjørlykkjehornet (707m),  Feb 23 2019

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Our hike across Sandfjellet and Bjørlykkjehornet

Saturday:  Today, I wanted to revisit an old route I did back in 2009 – from Koparneset and up to Sandfjellet. But this time, I wanted to extend the hike to include Bjørlykkehornet – which I’ve only visited from the Brandal side.

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Sandfjellet (left) and Bjørlykkjehornet

Karma and I headed out up the north ridge (Aksla), but I got fooled by a track which led me away from the ridge. It was quite cumbersome to get back on track.

The hike up the ridge was quite nice. There were a couple of pitches where Karma would need to show off her climbing skills

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Good girl!

As we finished the ridge section and started the walk up to the top, I noticed a nice route down from Bjørlykkjehornet that I could do on my return hike.

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The route from the top and down to the lake to the right looks easy enough!

Really looking forward to that, we continued the hike to the top of Sandegga.

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Towards Sandegga

On top, Karma demanded payment

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OK, I get the point…

From Sandegga, I had a really nice view towards Breiteigfjellet, also known as “Syvdsalpane“. I decided that, weather permitted, I would go on an exploration mission there on the next day. I have traversed this mountain, but I wanted to check out some of the local peaks/pinnacles to prepare for some cool trips in the future – but without a dog.

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Breiteigfjella

Then we moved on to Bjørlykkjehornet, which has a really steep drop down to the fjord.

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View down from Bjørlykkjehornet

Eventually, we began the descent along the ridge – and the route I had scouted on my way to Sandegga. Karma was off the leash and I got a huge scare when I suddenly saw a Ptarmigan on the edge of a cornice – and then Karma – with her eyes glued on the bird. From experience, I know it’s difficult to get into the dog’s head when it’s super-focused, but yelling (like you’ve never yelled before) sometimes help. And that’s what prevented Karma from doing anything before I got her on a leash. The poor bird understood that it had caused a dangerous situation and walked, seemingly shameful – away from the cornice.

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Ouch! That was close…

We arrived at lake Bjørlykkjevatnet and headed up on the other side. Then I found a neat ledge that connected us to Sandfjellet’s north ridge.

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Our route from Bjørlykkjehornet and to the Sandfjellet ridge

And then we followed the north ridge back to the car.

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About to descend the north ridge

As I reached the car, Anne called. I noticed that the temperature outside was 15 degrees C. I hadn’t really thought about the temperature until now, but realized that it was quite ODD for February. By the time we hung up, the temperature had dropped to 14 degrees, but it had nothing to do with the conversation 😉

Trip statistics: 8,3km, 875 vertical meters, 2h:27m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Røstallen (644m), Svartetua (842m),  Feb 24 2019

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Our round trip hike across Svartetua

Saturday:  As mentioned earlier, the plan for today was to explore some cool terrain on Breiteigfjella above Syvdsfjorden. But as I had totally misread the ferry route, I decided to drive from Årvika to Larsnes, just in time to catch the ferry to Åram. Rather than waiting half a hour for the ferry to Koparneset.

I quickly decided to go for Svartetua – along a route from Tunheim that I haven’t done before. I’ve been to Svartetua once before, when I hiked directly up from Syvden.

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Svartetua

But when I got to Tunheim, I didn’t see any signposts – which they’re pretty good at in Vanylven. So I had to drive up to a house and ask. The guy I spoke to suggested that I should go to Syvdseidet and hike from there. The routes up from this side were no good, he told me.

Which I did. I found the Svartetua signpost near the exit to the shooting range – where I also parked. This was OK, as I hadn’t hiked this route earlier either.

The route started out with a tractor road for 1km. Which was quite nice. It got us both “going”.

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On our way to Røstallen and Svartetua

Then we got onto a forest path which took us up to the Røstallen top. It was a little windy, but overall it was what I call a nice day. Given the circumstances – our location (along the coastline).

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The mountains on the other side of Syvdseidet

We then left Røstallen and sat course for the ridge leading to Svartetua.

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Towards Svartetua

When we got to the “Svartetua” signpost, I thought we had reached the top, but that wasn’t the case. The summit was still 220m to the northeast. I really, really don’t like these types of misleading signposts…

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No, Karma. This is NOT the high point!

From the real top, we had a nice view down to Syvden.

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Syvden seen from Svartetua

Before the hike, I had a feeling that I’ve never had before, and put an extra Gore-Tex jacket in my backpack. And when we reached the top of Svartetua, the wind was so cold that I decided to put on the second jacket as well. That felt nice! Perhaps my other jacket isn’t as wind-proof as it used to be…

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Windy summit, but Karma showed no signs of discomfort

Then, no what? Go down the same way? Not an option. So, we headed down the north ridge and then into the valley below Taksetvatna.

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Looking back on Svartetua

I thought the valley crossing would be utterly boring and cumbersome, but it went smooth as silk.

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The valley crossing

Eventually, I got the shooting range in view and aimed directly for it. I noticed something I thought was a cross, and wondered if someone got shot and buried here. A bizarre notion. But on closer view, it was a sign, probably outlining the perimeter of the range.

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The shooting range and “the cross”

It was by far not the most eventful hike I’ve done, but it was OK. And a nice ending to a busy hiking week.

Trip statistics: 9,7km, 840 vertical meters, 2h:35m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

 

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