Easter: Apr 18 2019 – Skinfjellet

Our last whole day on Møsvatn

Life is good…

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Location
Magnusgrønutane 1392m 72m Vinje, Norway
Skinfjellet 1420m 130m Vinje, Norway
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Thursday: Our last whole day on Møsvatn. The weather and the snow was still brilliant, so we planned yet another  long trip. We had been skiing more than 20km each day since Saturday (Sunday was the exception, which was transport day), and by the looks of it, we would reach 20km today as well.

The goal for today was Skinfjellet (1420m) – and based on the map, the route seemed pretty clear; Vaddebukti – Laksåi – Laksatjørni – Laksåbotn – Tjørndalen – Skinfjellet. I did hope that there would be an opportunity for visiting Magunsgrønutane also, but time would show. Skinfjellet was the main goal.

Leaving Hovdeøyi

After 3,3km, we reached the mainland by Vaddebukti.

Vaddebukti. Magnusgrønutane to the right.

Next, we followed snowmobile tracks towards lake Laksatjørni. Magnusgrønutane was always there in center – ahead of us.


The crossing of the Laksåbotn valley went smooth (the terrain towards Vonskingjuvet looked fascinating, but we didn’t explore it) and soon we were on our way up the mountain.

Rising above the forest

We took a less optimal turn, passing point 1199m on the west side, when we could have just followed the river into Tjørndalen. But now that we were at the foothills of Magnusgrønutane, I proposed a round trip and Anne agreed.

On our way up to Magnusgrønutane

2,5 hours after leaving the cabin on Hovdeøyi, we reached the top of Magnusgrønutane and had a clear view towards Skinfjellet – 1,9km to the northwest.

On Magunsgrønutane, with Skinfjellet in the background

After a short stay, we hiked back down to the skis (it wasn’t possible to ski all the way to the top) and began our journey across the humps and bumps towards Skinfjellet.

I guess we could have skied here, but … 

When we got to the foot of Skinfjellet, we realized that it was steeper than what we had thought it would be, based on what we saw from the other top. We would surely get up, but not necessarily on skis.

It was quite steep here, so I decided to go for the gully to the right

But I decided to go for the very distinct gully further right while Anne took a small rest.

Anne follows. Magnusgrønutane in center.

Once I concluded that the route was safe, Anne followed. I mean, in worst case, we could set off a small, wet-snow avalanche. But it wasn’t that steep, so I never worried much about it. Still, I would want us to descend this gully one at a time…

Resting my eyes on Gaustatoppen, while waiting for Anne

We visited the northernmost of the two tops first. My GPS said 1423m.

On the north top

Then we moved over to the south top, and my GPS said 1423m there as well. As I can now look at the GPS tracks, I still can’t say which of the tops is the higher.

On the south top

After a nice stay on top, it was time to move on. I skied the gully first. Some snow was trailing me, but nothing that looked like anything that would emerge.

Then Anne followed and we had to put the skins back on, in order to get back up to the ridge leading to Magnusgrønutane.

Anne, descending the gully

We crossed the first hump, then skied down to lake 1281m in Tjørndalen.

Leaving lake 1281m

I had hoped that we would have a continuous descent from here, but that wasn’t the case. Every small lake we passed had an uphill in the other end. It was hard to understand the river beneath was actually running that direction.

Still in Tjørndalen valley

Then we made the same navigational error as we did on the way up, and ended up in the terrain near point 1199m instead of just following the river. That last uphill made Anne want to relax in the grass.

Now what?

I was not in “relaxing mode” and just waited patiently while Anne decided to move on…


Now we had to decide if we wanted to follow the same route back to Hovdeøyi or do something else. I was in the mood for “something else” and proposed to return via the drain from lake Skinvatnet. Anne thought this was a good idea, and so sat course for Gregardsbu and the valley between Veslefjell and Driftsnutane.

The descent to Gregardsbu was really nice, on firm snow, and then we sat course for the narrow valley.

Descent towards Gregardsbu

The narrow valley was way too cumbersome to even attempt, so we stayed higher up on the Veslefjell side. Which went just fine, and soon we were down by lake Møsvatn.

Back on lake Møsvatn. Hamresåta to the right.

And now we had a 5,1km transport leg back to the cabin. Anne wanted to put skins back on, but that meant she would be going really slow, compared to me – who wanted to skate. So, I put a leash between her and Karma, which worked out very well. Not that Karma was pulling her weight, but it provided that small psychological upside to make Anne go skating as well.

When we reached the island, we had still 1,5km of uphill ahead of us, and I took over the leash…

Anne, recreating a “Vette moment” from the Lillehammer Olympics in ’94

It was defintely the best trip I had during our stay by lake Møsvatn.

Trip statistics: 23,5km, 770 vertical meters, 6h:10m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

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