2019 Week 14

A good hiking week (and some skiing in the weekend)

Karma on Liahornet

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

Peak Height PF Location WCP
Grøthornet 569m 56m Hareid, Norway WCP
Skolma 636m 483m Hareid/ Ulstein, Norway WCP
Signalhornet 627m 83m Hareid, Norway WCP
Melshornet 668m 560m Hareid, Norway WCP
Sulafjellet 776m 776m Sula, M&R, Norway WCP
Liahornet 1035m 245m Ørsta, Norway WCP
Lidaveten 592m 439m Volda, Norway WCP


Grøthornet (569m), Skolma (636m), Signalhornet (627m), Apr 1 2019

Happy days on Skolma

Monday: Today, my employment in Rolls-Royce Marine ended and my future (near of far) is now with Kongsberg Maritime. It’s been a very busy period and today I needed a good and windy hike to “shake the dust off”, stress down and chill out.

After work in Ålesund, I took the ferry to Hareid (which I always do to get home) and then drove to Brandal to hike Skolma. I looked forward to hike up the steep ridge from Brandal and up to the plateau below Grøthornet.

We went up the ridge in center of the picture

I parked at the waterworks in Ytredalen, and then we followed a tractor road down to the nearest house. Here, we went through the forest until we reached the marked path up the ridge. It’s a pretty steep ridge, and you’ll definitely trim your leg muscles if you want to keep a good pace up here. Which we like to do…

In a good pace, up the ridge

After a short while, you get a pretty decent view towards Brandal…


Once on the plateau below Grøthornet, the “windy part” was in the bag. A cold, strong wind came in from the east – or southeast. Sometimes, it’s not easy to tell.

Towards Grøthornet. It’s quite windy by now.

We passed the top of Grøthornet and then continued down to the lake to set course for Skolma.

On Grøthornet, Skolma in the background

I had hoped that Signalhornet would block for some of the wind, and perhaps it did in the beginning. But not higher up. Karma had no protection from the wind, but didn’t seem to be in any sort of distress…

Karma is OK…

It was nice to find shelter behind the summit cairn on Skolma.

On Skolma, in shelter of the wind

As I wanted this to be a complete round trip hike, we continued towards Signalhornet. The snow can be pretty hard on the west side, making an ascent tricky at times. But today, the snow was not hard and soon we were up by the fine cairn.

On Signalhornet

From Signalhornet, we headed down the ridge, aiming for “Sætra“. I didn’t bother looking for paths, as they would be filled with snow anyway.

Heading for the Ytredalen valley

From “Sætra”, we followed the marked path down Ytredalen and back to the car. It was a really nice hike, and I got two hours off from thinking about work.

The route

Trip statistics: 7,3km, 690 vertical meters, 2 hours

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Melshornet (668m), Apr 2 2019

On the ridge to Melshornet

Tuesday: Working day in Ålesund, and like yesterday, I didn’t go for a hike on the Ålesund side of the fjord. Today, I drove towards Hjørungavåg, hoping to get a new route to Melshornet. Off-trail, if need be.

Before the Ovrasanden beach, I turned onto the Plassane road and discovered immediately a signpost pointing to Melshornet. Cool!

Yeah! New route!

But the path was quite boring, and I soon began to wonder when it would start to climb the forest. The answer to the question was: after 0,8km.

The path up the forest was boggy and wet and gave me very little energy. I expected that the path would take us up to the Ovranakken ridge, but I didn’t. It continued alongside the path all the way until the final ridge to the summit.

First time here. Last time here…

The upper ridge has some ice, but it was easy to bypass these potentially dangerous sections and the ascent to the top was unproblematic. I barely sensed any wind and I could see the sun, well hidden behind a veil of haze.

The upper ridge

Melshornet above Hareid is a truly excellent viewpoint. Wild peaks and the fjords – a great combination!

On top of Melshornet

Time to pick a route for descent. I knew the route to Pilskog in Hjørungavåg, but that would mean a fair share of walking along roads – in order to get back the car. So I decided to stick to the Ovranakken ridge as long as I could.

Leaving Melshornet. Sula island on the far side of the fjord

I followed a visible path all the way until it dropped steeply towards the main road. Just before the drop, I noticed the “Ovra” signpost, and we followed a marked path down the forest.

The path took us to Kverngota in Hjørungavåg, and the road took us to Ovra. We stopped by the beach for some extra fun before returning to the car. A very uplifting hike! I’ll definitely do the Ovra path again, opposed to the ascent route – which I’ll NEVER do again.

Fun at the Ovrasanden beach. Masdalhornet and Klovetinden in the background.

Trip statistics: 8,2km, 750vertical meters, 2h:05m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Sulafjellet (776m), Apr 3 2019

Jønshornet seen from Sulafjellet

Wednesday: Ålesund for the 3rd day in a row, and now I had been in Ålesund 6 days in the past 7 days. The travel distance isn’t such a big thing – 1h:20m each way, but it’s getting up at 5am that’s killing me. It’s just too early.

But gorgeous days help, of course. And today, I decided to visit Sulafjellet on my way home. It was quite clear that I would not ascend the mountain along the normal routes. Which runs up the north or east side – where’s there still some snow left. A south-facing route was clearly the best option, and then my option would be Sulebust – Sulabakkhornet – Vardane. A route I’ve done several times, and I just wanted to do something else.

So, I decided to hike straight up the Adelsgjølet couloir. I came down this couloir a few years ago, and now I wanted to ascend it.

The trailhead. Adelsgjølet couloir left of center

We followed the tractor road up to Ranten, then headed (off-trail) towards the couloir.

Towards the couloir

After an easy start, we soon ran into some “issues“.

OK. No worries. We’ll just go to plan B…

The issues got resolved and soon we were in the actual couloir. I was quite happy now, as hiking on rock (unstable as it may be) is clearly my favorite way of hiking. Well, just after descending a brilliant top on skis – in spring.

Pacing up the couloir

As we approached the top of the couloir, we also ran into snow. So, I decided to go for a steep ascent up to Røysahornet. We had to find a route around some obstacles on the ridge, but the overall ascent was easy.

The feries between Sulesund and Hareid

But now began the utterly boring part – the 1km hike across a meadow which offered nothing but turfs and soft snow.

Keeping a positive mindset, on a boring transport leg…

It felt SO good to reach the top. There would only, well mostly, be downhill from here. No one else was at the top, which is quite unusual. And, there wasn’t a great deal of tracks either. Perhaps the footprint of 1-2 persons.

On top of Sulafjellet

We descended along Tverrfjellet, aiming for Sulabakkhornet and the normal path back to the trailhead.

Towards Sulabakkhornet

As we passed Sulabakkhornet, we had to (of course) visit the high point – which is clearly the most “challenging” top on the Sulafjellet massif. But, we managed…

After a short “climb”, we bagged Sulabakkhornet

On our way down the normal route towards Sulabakken, we met 5 hikers, which is quite a LOT on this route – late afternoon – early in April. I missed the ferry by 1 minute, but as they now run every 20 minutes up to 7pm, it was OK. If I had missed the 7pm ferry, I would have to wait until the 7:40pm ferry, which would have felt like a total disaster. Sometimes, a 20 minute difference is all it takes…

The route

Trip statistics: 8km, 850vertical meters, 2h:40m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Liahornet (1035m), Apr 4 2019

No this is Liadalsnipa, not Liahornet. It’s a favorite, but I can’t bring the dog up there…

Thursday: Gorgeous weather, and I just had to visit a 1000m top in the afternoon. I had a conference call that ended at 4pm, and then I jumped into the car. I was fairly sure I was heading for Liadal, but I didn’t know which top Karma and I would end up on. Probably Liahornet or Grøthornet (1045m).

I decided to park by the Halse farm. The road into Liadalen is OK, but a little rough. And, it would be good to warm up before pacing up whatever mountain. There was a guy from Bergen who planned to hike Liadalsnipa. He had never been there before. I have. Several times, and also on snow. I strongly advised him to exercise sound judgment up there. He told me he was the first one to know when it was time to turn around. I could only take his word for it. He looked fit, and I guess he was more experienced that he sounded.

By the time we reached end of the forest road, I still didn’t know which top we would end up on. But when we reached the Liadalselva river, I decided to head straight up the forest and aim for Liahornet.

On the forest road, with Grøthornet ahead

The initial forest hike was OK. Wet, but not too wet. After a while, we ran into snow, but nothing to write home about. There were two layers of snow. The base was icy with soft snow on top. Which made it very slippery to ascend on snow. Hence, I had to pick a route that would give me as little snow as possible. Karma, with claws overdue for trimming, was just fine.

On our way up to Liahornet

Then we reached the ridge and were blessed with great views, some of them a bit hazy.

Finally on the ridge. 

0,6km later, we reached the top of Liahornet. Nice to be back!

On top of Liahornet

The east ridge is a bit steep, so I quickly ruled out a round trip hike. We retraced our steps down the ridge, and the descent was SO much nicer than the ascent!

Descending Liahornet

When we had passed the steepest section from the ridge, I decided to slide the remaining snow fields on foot. Twice, I slipped, and even if the angle wasn’t all that steep, I was unable to stop. The soft snow just vanished under me and the icy sent me quickly down the snow field. This would have been very scary in a slightly steeper slope. But on the other hand, if the terrain was steeper I would have brought crampons.

We left the summit 6:22pm and reached the car 7:11pm. Not too bad for a 950 vertical meter ascent on slippery ground.

I work a lot, and I’m often tired when I get home from work. But it’s quite amazing, as these daily 2-3 hour hikes in the afternoon give me so much energy that I can do many 5am-23pm days in a row and still have to fight for my sleep. I figure that’s pretty neat by the age of 55. I have imagined I would be “dead meat” by now…

Liahornet, seen on the way home

Trip statistics: 7,9km, 950vertical meters, 2h:20m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Lidaveten (592m), Apr 5 2019

Liadalsnipa (center) seen from Lidaveten. Ørstafjorden to the right.

Friday: I logged out from work at 2pm and sat course for Sogndal. But I wanted to walk the dog first, so I drove to Berkneset to hike Lidaveten. It’s a route that I know quite well by now, and I have a “wet dream” to hike up and down within the hour. That’s totally achievable if I leave the SLR behind and settle for the Iphone camera. Next time, perhaps.

The route from Berkneset

It was a really hot spring day, and it really felt like winter is over. I noticed that Karma was struggling, as she took numerous pauses and went for every snow field to cool off. Unfortunately for her, there were not many left.

But she reached the top alongside me and she needed a minute before getting busy with the summit treats.

Karma on Lidaveten

After a round of pictures, I decided to jog down the same route we came up. Normally, I would go for a round trip hike, but I looked forward to get to my girlfriend in Sogndal.

We reached the car 1h:10m after heading out. 5 minutes were “wasted” on top, and the other 5 minutes I could have killed by jogging here and there. Next time…

Before reaching Sogndal, we stopped by the Bøyabreen glacier to stretch our legs. It’s such an amazing place…

Below Bøyabreen glacier, on our way to Sogndal

Trip statistics: 4,5km, 610 vertical meters, 1h:10m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Valanipa (1231m), Apr 6 2019

See separate trip report.

Bjørnaholten (1085m), Skrednosi (1202m), Vedabakknosi (1262m), Apr 7 2019

See separate trip report.



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