2019 Week 10

A week for nice scenery…

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Kjøsnesfjorden

Peaks visited (Click on the Peak name link to go directly to the chapter)

Peak Height PF Location WCP
Hornet 695m 182m Volda, Norway WCP
Storhornet 497m 497m Giske, Norway WCP
Grøtshornet 663m 581m Haram, Norway WCP
Hovdenakken 474m 176m Hareid, Norway WCP
Ramnefjellet 444m 76m Hareid, Norway WCP
Røddalshorn 563m 100m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
Veirahaldet 1206m 173m Ørsta, Norway WCP
Skarphornet 698m 195m Volda, Norway WCP

Hornet (695m), Mar 4 2019

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Our route up an down Hornet

Monday: After working from Anne’s place in Sogndal, I headed for Sunnmøre (home) in the afternoon. The weather was great, and the scenery was stunning. I had to stop 4 times just to take pictures (incl. the picture on top of this page)…

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Bøyabreen glacier, Fjærland. See the woman’s face to the left?

As we closed in on Volda, I decided to walk the dog on Hornet. Even if it meant I had to wait up to 30 minutes (worst case) for the convoy through the Rotsethornet tunnel.

I really like the route up from Homborset. It’s straight up in the beginning, but then it flattens a bit, traversing the hillside. Thanks to the steps that have been put in place (I sense a lot of hard work behind this…), I’m able to keep a pretty decent pace.

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On our way up the mountain

The main goal was to get to the top before it got totally dark. Not that it really mattered, but it’s always nice to have some view from the top. As we headed out 18:00 sharp, this wasn’t given. But we seemed to be on schedule when we passed Homborsetsætra

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At Homborsetsætra, with Hornet in the background (summit not seen from here)

I was only wearing terrain shoes and hoped that the snow on the mountain (which there wasn’t a whole lot of…) wasn’t too soft. As it turned out, it was hard as a floor.

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Like walking on my own floor back home…

We reached the top 18:50, after ~650 vertical meters. It wasn’t totally dark yet, but I knew that I would switch the headlamp on, upon descent.

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Karma on top of Hornet

The descent went well. We kept a good pace and returned to the car 19:22, and fortunately – we only had to wait 10 minutes for the convoy.

Trip statistics: 5,3km, 650m vertical meters, 1h:22m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Storhornet on Godøya (497m), Mar 5 2019

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Our round trip hike on Godøya island

Tuesday: Back in Ålesund, gorgeous weather and the plan after work was to repeat one of my favorite trips from the time I lived in Ålesund.

The route in short; On Godøya island – from Gjuv, along the shore, up the Måsegjølet couloir, along lake Alnesvatnet, across Storhornet and down to Gjuv. I had a lot of a fun stuff ahead of me.

Once on the path that leads to the rocky shore, I got the same good feeling that I remembered from previous trips.

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Here we go!

The rock walls above are quite impressive (relatively speaking) and I tried to remember all the scrambles I’ve had here…

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Good memories, everywhere I look

But there were obstacles ahead, like getting Karma safely across some cliffs with fixed chains in place. Good thing that Karma is an excellent climber and doesn’t fear heights. She handled all the obstacles with the greatest ease…

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Karma climbed safely down here

Next followed the large boulder section. I’m very grateful for the red dots that marks the route, otherwise this could have taken some time.

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Boulder field ahead…

I didn’t remember every step of the route, and got to a place where I thought we had to go UP to bypass the cliffs. After going here and there for a bit, I noticed a pothole just above the sea and remembered two things; a) the route was down there and b) passing the pothole requires balancing across a sharp rock. Not ideal for the dog. But it turned out that there was another route, which was only possible to do on low tide – like now.

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A slight navigation error in this part. The route runs just above the water

Then we came to another cliff with a chain where I didn’t want Karma to go. But it was easy to bypass this obstacle.

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That’s steep! Even for Karma…

Now that the shore “hurdles” were behind us, I could relax and enjoy the view.

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View towards the Sunnmøre alps

I remembered the Måsegjølet couloir to be quite easy, but how easy would it be for the dog? Time would tell.

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Måsegjølet ahead

The easiest thing to do, would be to follow the marked route to Alnes and then follow the mountain trail upwards. But there’s not a whole lot of fun in that. The coolest part of the shore was definitely behind us. Måesgjølet seemed much more fun!

The route to the couloir’s entry point looked very cumbersome. And it was! Bush and boulder. But eventually we were inside the couloir and headed upwards. The steepest part wasn’t difficult for Karma at all, and now we were more than halfway up.

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Making good progress up the couloir

Once on top, a guy came jogging along the path and looked very confused when he saw us “pop up” from the couloir. He seemed interested and asked questions about this route before we said goodbye and parted.

Then we sat course for lake Alnesvatnet and Storhornet – which we would hike across.

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Lake Alnesvatnet and Storhornet

When we passed the waterfall, I noticed some cool “ice art“.

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Ice art

Then there was this ultra-cool rock named “Johan Skytt“, which pops out of the cliff and looks like it will fall off at any given moment. I had to go out there, of course…

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The “Johan Skytt” rock, with Alnes below

On our way up Storhornet, I could follow the sunset, minute by minute. Very nice…

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Awesome…

And finally – after a long hike – we reached the top.

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On top of Storehornet, with Ålesund in the background

On our way down from the top, we met 3 girls – taking selfies. They seemed a bit embarrassed about this, and quickly informed me that they were from eastern Norway. And they seemed a bit relieved when they heard that I spoke with eastern Norway dialect. As if I care how and when people take pictures…

Karma and I moved on and I felt I had plenty time before the Godøy tunnel closed for the maintenance work, only allowing  convoys through. The time was 18:30 when we reached the car, and I expected that I would be at the tunnel just before the workers started preparing for closure. And I was..

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What a superb hike!

Trip statistics: 9,8km, 700 vertical meters, 2h:50m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

 

Grøtshornet (663m) , Mar 6 2019

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Our route up and down Grøtshornet

Wednesday: Another day in Ålesund, and as I had some requirements for choosing a hike after work; 1) one I hadn’t already hiked in 2019, 2) trail facing the sun, 3) not too much snow and 4) not too far to drive. It was pretty clear it had to be one of the Haram tops, but which one? As Grøtshornet was the closest, my target was now set.

I parked by the Ravn Stadion, followed the road 170m (in the direction of Brattvåg) and then got on a tractor road. After around 0,7km, the tractor road forks. You can reach Grøtshornet either way and both routes are marked by sticks. Last time I was here, I went left. So, today, I went right.

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On the tractor road

After a short hike through the forest, we got to a meadow where the mountain came into view.

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The mountain comes into view

I knew that the two routes merged by some old ruins (Hagesætra?), from where we would begin the ascent up to the ridge.

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To the mountain ridge

The weather was just lovely and it was really nice to see the Vaksvikfjellet peaks, on our way up the mountain.

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Høgsvora, Kvitnyken, Brudefølget, Lauparen, Grytavasstinden

Once you get the feeling that the summit close, it’s still 1km away…

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The hike across Eisdsvikheia feels *long*

But eventually, we reached the top. The cairn was tagged with red paint, and I decided to use photoshop to remove most of it from the picture. Makes you wonder. Someone hiked 5km to get to this top, had brought paint and got some satisfaction by painting their name on the cairn. Someone has some serious growing up to do…

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Karma on Grøtshornet, with Blåskjerdingen in the background

And then it was time for poser girl

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No, she’s not vain. I told her to go up there…

On our way down the mountain, I had a pretty good view towards Godøya – where we hiked the day before. A spectacular view!

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Godøya

Back at Hagesætra (?) ruins, we took the other trail back down. It was only 0,2km longer than the other trail that we followed upon ascent. Nice hike!

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Descending from Grøtshornet

Trip statistics: 10,1km, 650 vertical meters, 2 hours

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Hovdenakken (474m), Ramnefjellet (444m) , Mar 7 2019

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Our route across Hovdenakken and Ramnefjellet

Thursday: Time for a local hike today. I wasn’t very inspired, but felt obligated to give the dog a proper walk. It was gloomy and a windy in the mountains, and so I decided to go to Hovdenakken, from the golf course in Hareidsdalen. To raise the inspiration, I decided to not come down the same way. Perhaps find a route down on the south side of the mountain? Why not? I’ve never been in that forest before.

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On our way towards Hovdenakken

It was surprisingly little snow, given the northeast facing route. And there’s really not a lot to report from the ascent…

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On Hovdenakken, with Ulsteinvik in the background

On top, I decided to continue to Ramnefjellet and find a way down the forest on the south side of Hovdenakken.

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Towards Ramnefjellet (the closest hill)

The first path of the descent went smooth. But that was above the forest. When I reached the juniper bush jungle, I had to find some corridors until I got to the more open birch forest. And after a while, I got on an old tractor road which I followed back to the main road.

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Hovdenakken seen from Ramnefjellet

All in all, it was fun to have been in new terrain.

Trip statistics: 7,1km, 550 vertical meters, 1h:50m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Røddalshorn (563m) , Mar 8 2019

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The route

Friday: The weather – lovely at first glance, but you just knew that something was lurking. And the snow – too much for hiking, too little for skiing. These factors made it difficult to decide where our afternoon trip should go.

I decided to ski from Leikongsætra, almost regardless the amount of snow up there. I didn’t even bring hiking shoes as a backup. If I could get to Sollia (661m), that would be awesome. If the weather didn’t permit it, that was OK. We’ll just see.

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At Leikongsætra – kind of skeptical…

I had brought my “dog skis” (without steel) and a pair of tiny skins. It wasn’t exactly what I would call good conditions for skiing, but at least the turfs wouldn’t hurt the skis too bad.

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Oh well…

On our way up to the pass, a huge cloud came in and I knew that this was a shower of some kind. If just snow, that would be OK. But combined with wind – not OK.

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Holy cow!

It turned out to be snow with some wind, but given the poor skiing conditions, I decided to give up on Sollia. But as we were outdoors, I didn’t want to return home without having been to a top. So, we changed course and aimed for Røddalshorn.

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Towards Røddalshorn

At the foot of Røddalshorn, the weather cleared up.

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We got a break from the showers

My left ski felt really slippery, and upon closer inspection, I noticed that I had lost the skin. OK – annoying, but it would surely not stop me.  I had a good feeling – we would ascend during the nice weather window, reach the top and begin our descent before the next shower came along. Ideally – to reach the car before the next shower came…

The ascent offered some stunning views towards other snow showers roaming in the region…

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Glad I’m not there…

And as we closed in on the top, we had some magical light too…

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This turned out to be a very fun trip…

From the top, I could see two things; 1) it would surely have been possible to ski Sollia, once on the plateau, and 2) another snow shower was moving in.

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On top of Røddalshorn

Fortunately, I know this mountain quite well. I know where the winds blow the snow, offering some nice corridors for skiing. And so the descent went quite fast.

Once back on the main road, I took a final look at the mountain and could see the same type of shower come in over the mountain, as the one that came over the pass during our ascent. I had just closed the car door when the snow began to fall…

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Bye, bye! I’m outta here…

Trip statistics: 6,4km, 460m vertical meters, 1h:44m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Veirahaldet (1206m),  Mar 9 2019

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The route to Veirahaldet

Saturday:  On certain internet forums, the discussion about the current avalanche danger was heated. It wasn’t the typical rapid change in weather that caused the avalanche danger, but the wind transport of snow. I personally reckoned the snow base to be fairly solid, but apparently, the upper layer was treacherous.

As the weather was lovely, I decided to go skiing, but chose a mountain that I believed would offer a reasonably safe route to the top – Veirahaldet – above the Bondalseidet skiing centre.

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Veirahaldet – looks windy!

My only worry about this mountain is hard snow on the final push to the top. If you slide, there’s just no telling where you’ll end up. But I didn’t think there would be any hard snow today.

When we got to Bondalseidet, there was already a LOT of people. The guy who collected the parking fee (NOK 50,-) told me that the mountain was pretty windy, but then he said “I’m sure you know what you’re doing“. I didn’t ask him what he meant or what made him draw that conclusion, but I reckoned I knew what I was doing…

The first part of the ascent is pretty free of risk – follow the tracks to the upper lift – approx. 870m.

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Ready to head out. The lifts were not running, so we could just head up the slope

I could see that the mountain was windy, and I already felt the chill at the lower ski-lift. The wind was only of concern in respect to the dog. I was dressed properly, but Karma didn’t seem to suffer yet…

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“Take a roll if you’re OK!”

On my way up, I had passed 9-10 skiers, and as we left the upper ski-lift, I didn’t see any fresh tracks up the mountain. Was I all alone up here? The last guy I passed turned around by the upper ski-lift.

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Leaving the upper ski-lift

I decided to stay in shelter from the wind as much as possible. Which meant staying on the west side of the ridge. But I also realized that would potentially put me in avalanche-prone terrain and tried to find a route in the middle of the wind and the risk.

The snow was pretty good, there was some resistance in it but no signs of wind transport, and definitely no sastrugis. Interestingly enough, the wind totally faded as we got to the last hill. On top, there wasn’t a stroke of wind. How strange and cool at the same time!

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Karma on the summit

Veirahaldet is a most excellent viewpoint towards the Sunnmøre alps. One peak after the other catches your attention. Like Kolåstinden and Sætretindane

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Kolåstinden and Sætretindane

Or Slogen and Smørskredtindane

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Slogen and Smørskredtindane

And not to forget a personal favorite – Vassdalstinden

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Vassdalstinden

Time for descent – and chaos. Karma wants to be as close to my feet as possible. You can say we have a conflict of interest. Me yelling only gets her wired up, and she starts barking. There’s only two things that can make her bark – me yelling on skis or someone just walking into the front door. Besides that, there’s been more than 6 years with total silence.

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Chaotic descent from the top. But it got better back on the tracks. Then she knows where to go

Later in the evening, I could see that there had been avalanches on 5-6 nearby mountains. Even a life was lost. Big tragedy! I also read that someone decided not to go to Veirahaldet because of the avalanche danger. Which made me wonder – was this a slight hysteria or was I just plain reckless? I don’t know. But I didn’t cause any avalanche on Veirahaldet today. That is for sure…

Trip statistics: 8,7km, 900 vertical meters, 1h:17m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Skarphornet (698m),  Mar 10 2019

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The route up and down Skarphornet

Sunday: I wanted to go skiing again, although the weather and the forecast seemed unpredictable. Would there be sunshine or would there be snow?

I decided to go for Skarphornet from the golf course by lake Rotevatnet. My 2nd trip from a golf course this week. If the forest road up to Botnasætra had proper snow, the descent would be quite fun. If not, well…

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Skarphornet

It didn’t take long before I got the answer. 5cm of fresh snow on top of gravel. OK for ascent, but totally not OK for descent.

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A picture doesn’t always tell the truth…

The snow didn’t get firm before the final hill before Botnasætra. And the weather still seemed very unpredictable.

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Hmm… is it coming our way?

Once on the Skarphornet ridge, the snow was just lovely. And so the descent wouldn’t be a total disaster. Karma had no worries whatsoever. She seemed to be in heaven, with her nose buried in the snow…

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Separated at birth…

And – always on the lookout for new and interesting things…

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Karma – always keep to explore

Nice view towards Volda

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Volda

There’s ~0,8km between point 684m and the high point, with some ups and downs. Which means I never take the skins off until I’m back at point 684m. But my plastic skins glide quite well, so it’s no big loss.

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Point 684m, with the top in the background

And eventually, we reached the top – with the gloomy weather still lurking in the background.

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On the Skarphornet high point

The descent went better than feared. The ride down from point 684m to Botnasætra was just honky dory nice.  And the first couple of hills down the tractor road too. But halfway down, I had to put the skins back on and just glide slowly down the tractor road.

As the bad weather never reached us, I concluded that it was a pretty nice trip, all things considered…

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Passing a snow shower on my way home

Trip statistics: 9,8km, 700 vertical meters, 2h:15m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

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