2019 Week 9

Mixed hiking and skiing

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On Helleberget, Sogndal

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Location WCP
Storetua 592m 249m Sande, Norway WCP
Ursfjellet 563m 213m Skodje, Norway WCP
Solavågsfjellet 263m 210m Sula, Norway WCP
Tylderingen 1104m 241m Sogndal, Norway WCP
Amlaholten 508m 265m Sogndal, Norway WCP
Helleberget 988m 108m Sogndal, Norway WCP
Stedjeåsen 624m 121m Sogndal, Norway WCP

Storetua (592m), Feb 25 2019

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Our Storetua round trip hike

Monday: OK, it’s still February. You can’t expect golden days too often. At least, the beginning of week 9 was far from golden. But you play the hand that’s been dealt and make the most of it.

And OK – Storetua probably didn’t have anything else but fog and rain to offer us today, but who knew? Perhaps something extremely fun would happen? It would probably not, but I would never find out if I didn’t went up there. And anyway, I needed to walk the dog – somewhere…

So I drove the usual trailhead when I hike Storetua and just embraced the fog and the light rain.

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Storetua – hidden in fog

One should always look for positives, and the positive today was that the weather didn’t get really ugly until we reached the (long) summit ridge. I decided to jog to be on top of the mountain for as short period as possible.

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Not pleasant weather on Storetua

When we reached the high point, I didn’t feel like running back across the plateau. It’s only close to 1km, but still.

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On top of Storetua

So, I decided to head straight down to lake Sæsvatnet and hike back via Årekinna. I knew that the terrain was just horrible, but chose that over more rain and wind.

I guess the below picture explains why I think the hike across Årekinna is horrible, but the positive was that we avoided more wind and rain. The third positive was that the car was not far away, and #4 – neither was my home…

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NOT fun terrain, by ANY standard…

Trip statistics: 6,2km, 495m vertical meters, 1,5 hours

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Ursfjellet (563m), Feb 26 2019

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Our round trip hike across Ursfjellet

Tuesday: Back in Ålesund, and to a much better weather day. I soon decided to head for Ursfjellet (also known as Vasstrandegga) after work.

I parked at the foot of the mountain road from Brusdalsvatnet to Langevatnet (lakes). I’ll be honest. It’s a quite boring 2,4km walk when you’ve done it a number of times before. There was no doubt that I would NOT return this way!

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On the road to Langevatnet

Having the awfully strenuous hike to the neighbour top Meraftafjellet (last week) in mind, I wondered how much snow there was. But my route today was south-facing, opposed to north-east facing on Meraftafjellet. Which makes a whole world of difference in this region, at this time of the year.

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Vasstrandfjellet seen from lake Langevatnet

We reached Vasstrandfjellet (531m) without having touched snow, so this looked promising.

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on Vasstrandfjellet

I met a woman with a dog, but apart from that, we had the mountain to ourselves. It was nice to be up there and the light was magical.

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A wonderful light…

Then we got to the highest point in Ålesund municipality – 83m west of the high point – which is in Skodje. How silly! Ålesund being the only municipality in the county without a mountain top as a high point. Not that it really matters now, as the municipalities will merge next year…

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High point Ålesund here. Top of Ursfjellet in the background…

It was nice to be back on Ursfjellet. Ålesund was somewhat hazy, while there were different colors in other directions.

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Ålesund seen from Ursfjellet

I got a good view towards Vaksvikfjellet. There were still some opportunities for skiing, but they were slim. Was spring already here? No it wasn’t, we learned one week later.

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Vaksvikfjellet peaks

Time to go home. Evening was on its way…

My trips to Ålesund (2-3 times a week) are long days due to my choice of going hiking (or skiing) in this region after work. I always leave home at 6am and I’m never home before 7pm. I just hope that there will be a bridge or a tunnel across the fjord in not too long. I’m pretty fed up with the ferries…

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Waiting for my ride home

Trip statistics: 8,8km, 605 vertical meters, 2h:09m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Solavågsfjellet (263m) , Feb 27 2019

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Our round trip hike across Solavågsfjellet

Wednesday: Another day in Ålesund, and the weather didn’t tempt me to seek to higher ground. On the quite opposite, actually, as I found that this was a perfect time to examine the Solavågsfjellet forest on the Eikrem side. I had never been there before.

OK, it would just be a forest hike, but I still really looked forward to it. If I’m not at liberty to do something exciting, visiting new terrain is the next best thing. I parked at the sports field at Eikrem and followed the forest road towards Brauta.

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Towards Brauta

Just before Brauta, I noticed the “Ramsvika/Solevåg/Furnes” signpost and headed into the forest on a perfectly good path. Karma was seemingly not very eager, which was surprising. But eventually, she laid down and vomited. After that, she was “Rocket girl“. I’m pretty sure humans can’t recover that quickly…

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On the forest path

I’ve been to Solavågsfjellet several times, but always from the Solevåg side. So, I was curious where I would join the path up from Solevåg-Ramsvika. That took a good 2,5km, but eventually, I was in familiar terrain.

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Back on Trollhaugen – the high point on Solavågsfjellet

Again, me being a round trip guy, I decided to take a different route back down – off-trail if need be.

So, I decided to follow the ridge around lake Svartevatnet. I noticed a signpost towards Dorgerhaugen and followed the ridge path to a viewpoint.

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On Dorgerhaugen – now aiming for Mausanakken (forest hill in the background)

I decided to follow the ridge towards Mausanakken, from where I reckoned I would find a way down to lake Mausavatnet, and then back to the trailhead.

I was actually able to follow paths (visible and less visible) all the way to Mausanakken. The high point was somewhat “hidden” in the bush.

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On Mausanakken

I followed a vague path down from Mausanakken and eventually ended up on the new trail that runs around lake Mausavatnet. I didn’t know about this trail, but it was mighty nice. Kudos to the enthusiasts behind this route!

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The perfectly nice trail along lake Mausavatnet

Altogether a very nice walk!

Trip statistics: 7,8km, 435 vertical meters, 2 hours

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Tylderingen (1104m) , Mar 1 2019

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Our route up and down Tylderingen

Friday: I decided to go Sogndal already on Thursday afternoon, and get an extra day with my girlfriend Anne. We’ve been commuting to each other almost every weekend since 2009. Needless to say, I’ve got to visit many peaks along the road between Sunnmøre and Sogndal…

I worked from Anne’s home in the daytime, and took Karma for a walk by the fjord during the lunch break

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Hesteggi, seen from Sogndalsfjøra

After work, I wanted to ski Tylderingen. I didn’t have any idea about the amount of snow. All I knew was the weather was brilliant and that I wanted to ski. It took some convincing to get Anne to come along. With her busy outdoors life as a Park Ranger, I can easily understand that the first thing on your mind, come weekend, is NOT the outdoors.

We drove up to Fretland and to my delight, we could ski from the trailhead. The snow was hard as ice, and we knew we would have a challenging descent down the mountain, but that was not something we would worry about now.

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Heading out from Fretland

We hoped we could get some smoother snow higher up, but no. It was rock hard all the way.

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Rising above the forest

The snow aside, there’s hardly a better way to face the weekend that skiing a mountain above 1000m elevation – in quite OK weather! Even Anne’s fatigue seemed to have vanished…

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The good life

It was nice to be back on the summit – for the 2nd time so far this year.

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On top of Tylderingen

And then the descent – potentially dangerous. None of us had remembered to bring helmets, but we’re not the worst skiers on the planet and managed to get down in a fairly safe manner.

A perfect end to the working week and a perfect entry to the weekend!

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Hurrungane peaks, seen from Tylderingen

Trip statistics: 7,4km, 600 vertical meters, 2 hours

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Amlaholten (508m) , Mar 2 2019

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Our round trip hike on Amlaholten

Saturday: The weather forecast promised snow, and we had no big interest in skiing in white-out, and decided to have a nice walk up to Amlaholten – from sea level.

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On our way to Amlaholten

This would be (close to) a repetition of the route we did back in 2009 – shortly after getting together. I really looked forward to this hike up from Amlabukti bay – steep, negotiating cliffs, and in a beautiful pine forest!

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This forest is steep in the beginning…

The objective is always to have as much childish fun as possible…

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It’s steeper below than it looks…

This time, we followed a route much closer to the steep cliffs above the fjord, and when we figured it was steep enough, we sought safer terrain.

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OK, this is steep enough…

Eventually, we reached the forest trail and had only a short walk to the top ahead of us.

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Almost on top

On top, it began to snow. Not perfect, as the plan was to start a fire and enjoy grilled cheese sandwiches. But, Anne got the fire going and shortly after, we had lunch!

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Yeah!

We took a different, albeit parallel route back down. The landscape looked quite different from when we started. But what a nice hike it was, for sure!

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Didn’t look like this when we headed out…

Trip statistics: 4,4km, 520m vertical meters, 2h:40m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Helleberget (988m), Høgehaug (980m),  Mar 3 2019

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Our ski route across Helleberget

Sunday:  Yesterday’s hike on foot to Amlaholten was nice, but even if it was spring (on the calendar), we still planned to ski for months ahead. So, today we drove up to Rindabotn (Hodlekve skiing centre in Sogndal) to ski Helleberget and Høgehaug.

Høgehaug is the “default” route for most skiers on a grey day. Visiting Helleberget removed the “default” part of our trip.

The weather was actually not bad when we left the parking.

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Heading out from Rindabotn

And everyone was happy to be outdoors again…

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We’d better wait…

We followed the Høgehaug route for a while, before we sat course for Helleberget.

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Towards Helleberget

I actually thought the weather was changing for the better, but once we reached the top, it started to change for the worse.

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On top of Helleberget

On the way down from Helleberget (in the direction of Høgehaug), the light was very flat and it was difficult to see if we had a drop or just flat snow ahead of us. Anne took a dive, but didn’t get injured.

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Descending from Helleberget

By now, it was also snowing and the wind had picked up.

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Quite winter-ish

Eventually, we reached the top of Høgehaug, had a quick conversation with another skier before returning to the trailhead via the normal route. A quite enjoyable variation to the “default” route…

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On top of Høgehaug

Trip statistics: 11,5km, 550 vertical meters, 3 hours

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Stedjeåsen (624m),  Mar 3 2019

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Our route up and down Stedeåsen

Still Sunday:  After the ski-trip to Helleberget, I decided that I wanted to visit Stedjeåsen before “calling it a week”. This would be a hike. No matter how much snow there is in the forest, you can always count on a broken trail here.

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Sogndal seen on the way to Stedjeåsen

Today was no exception, but the path was really slippery. I soon understood that coming down along this route would require concentration.

It’s been a while since I last was up here, and since then they’ve raised the Stedjestova cabin. There is or will be one of these cabins in every municipality in the Sogn og Fjordane county. The cabin was nice, and is probably going to be frequently visited by the many hikers in this forest.

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Stedjeåsen

Normally, we stop by the mailbox on the meadow below the high point. In winter, there is way too much snow and no one is breaking the trail to the high point. In summer, you have to cross a boggy meadow and get all wet. But today, the snow more or less carried my weight, and so today, we went to the true high point on Stedjeåsen.

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In the upper part of the Stedjeåsen forest

We took a round trip hike in the upper forest, which takes us past a nice viewpoint.

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Sogndalsfjorden (arm of Sognefjorden)

As I imagined, the descent was quite demanding. But I made it back down without taking a fall.

It was an OK hiking and skiing week. A mixture of everything, from nice weather to bad weather and total white-out.

Trip statistics: 6,4km, 550 vertical meters, 1h:38m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

 

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