2019 Week 18

What a chaotic week!

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Thank you, light!

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

Peak Height PF Location WCP
Skogstadfjellet 728m 229m Jølster, Norway
Kariknausen 686m 43m Jølster, Norway
Storhornet 497m 497m Giske, Norway WCP
Trælvikfjellet 365m 157m Bremanger, Norway
Marafjellet 536m 118m Bremanger, Norway
Aksla 592m 122m Bremanger, Norway
Huldrehornet 271m 113m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
Rundebranden 294m 141m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
Espenakken 397m 13m Ørsta, Norway

Skogstadfjellet (728m), Apr 29 2019

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Skogstadfjellet

Monday: When planning my afternoon drive from Sogndal to Sunnmøre, I was very keen to get a new mountain top, but not at any cost – like a horrendous long drive. I thought I had done all the tops that is reasonable to do on an afternoon, when you also have a 3 hour drive – AND get up 5am the next morning.

Then I noticed, to my DELIGHT – that I’ve completely overlooked Skogstadfjellet in Jølster. The detour from Skei to Vassenden would only be 30 minutes or so. And the mountain was only 728m. That was the mountain that I would stand on top of, this afternoon.

From Vassenden, I drove to Hjelmbrekka, and continued on a rough road until I found a parking area. The road continued as for a little while, but I didn’t expect it to go very far. And it didn’t.

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At the parking

We got onto the marked forest path to Hjellbrekkestøylen, and it was a very nice path. Someone has spent a fair amount of hours putting rocks in place…

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Nice forest path!

After a little while, we reached Hjellbrekkestøylen, and I expected to go off-trail from there.

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Hjellbrekkestøylen

We kept on heading straight up the mountain and I could see a vague path here and there. But the terrain was easy to walk in and I didn’t put any effort into following the path.

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A properly sized rock…

We reached the top 50 minutes after leaving the car. It was nice to study the tops on the other side of Angedalen. I’ve seen them before, but they were not on my radar then. They are now.

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On top of Skogstadfjellet

As I was ahead of my own schedule, there was time to stop by Kariknausen. It’s not a prominent top, but I try to visit named tops, time permitted…

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On Kariknausen, I told Karma that we would go to all those mountains. She needed a minute afterwards…

Then we took an off-trail route towards Hjellbrekkstøylen and continued down the same path that we had followed during the ascent.

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The route

Trip statistics: 7km, 530 vertical meters, 1h:40m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Storhornet (497m), Apr 30 2019

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Storhornet in fog

Tuesday: Ålesund day, and after work I drove to Godøya island to revisit a route that I hadn’t done in years – up from the school.

The sea fog had rolled in over the coastline, and it was of course tempting to drive east until I escaped it. But I was in no mood for a long drive, and settled for walking in the fog.

From the school, we followed an “autostrada” to the foot of the mountain.

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OK, straight ahead it is…

Then, we got onto the forest path, and I concluded that I didn’t remember anything from the last time I did this route. Probably back in 2006 or thereabouts…

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Forest section!

Higher up, I could see that a whole lot of effort was going into the trail on this side of the mountain too. Rocks had been flown in by helicopter and work was in progress. The end result will be great, but one could always argue the use of helicopter for such a purpose.

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Work in progress…

We passed Sloktinden in thick fog…

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Sorry, Karma. No treats on this small top…

And the views from Storhornet summit wasn’t any better either…

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But at least, there were treats…

We took the normal route down to Gjuv, where the trail work has been completed. The pathway of rocks will surely reduce the wear and tear on the terrain.

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On the way down to Gjuv, looking back up

When we got to the new gravel road that runs from Gjuv, and almost to the eastern end of the island, I decided to follow it back to the fork close to the school. A road such as this can be a bit boring, but “they” had made it a bit interesting in places…

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That’s … interesting…

We made it back to the car in due time before the afternoon close of the tunnel (maintenance work) and now I only had the 70km drive from Godøya to Gurskøya before I could call it a day.

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The route

Trip statistics: 7,9km, 600 vertical meters, 1h:56m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Trælvikfjellet (365m), Marafjellet (536m), Aksla (592m), May 1 2019

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Passing Svelgen

Wednesday: International Worker’s Day, and I would spend it by putting 3 more pf100 tops into my 2019 account. That would give me a count of 22 so far this year, and the outlook for 100 wouldn’t see totally hopeless. I would be more or less “en route” compared to 2018, where I actually reached my goal record early, at the end of July.

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The 3 tops today

So I took the trip from Gurskøya to Nesbø west of Svelgen, a 136km drive that includes two ferries. I stopped by a house, rang the doorbell and got some good advice for the hike I had planned.

I parked at the foot of the mountain service road that runs all the way up to the plateau on Sætrefjellet – and then some. But I wasn’t planning on following it. Instead, I went straight into the forest, aiming for Trælvikfjellet.

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VERY surprised to find a “climbing” park at Nesbø!

When I saw the forest from the trailhead, it looked quite steep and rugged. But it turned out to be a smooth ride!

Eventually, we rose above the forest and could enjoy the little view we had…

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View towards Mulen

The top was reached 35 minutes after heading out.

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On Trælvikfjellet. #20

We continued to the east until I got Marafjellet in view. I wasn’t quite clear on how I should approach this mountain, but decided to descend to the pass south of Ospenessætra and then make a decision.

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Marafjellet ahead

It turned out to be a good choice for descent, and one down on the forest road I decided to follow it to its end – near Omvendeskaret – wherever that was.

I was lucky. At the end of the forest road, I found a forest path that took us up to the mountain plateau on Marafjellet.

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On our way up Marafjellet

Then we crossed a service road that wasn’t on my map. As we were now in thick fog, I was a bit confused but continued towards the high point. Which, according to the map was the north top (524m). The south top was 3m lower. But there was also a 3rd 520m contour, just east of point 521m, and by instinct, I decided to visit it.

And that turned out to be the high point (I later learned). The highest contour on Økonomisk Kartverk was 535m, and I added 1m for good measure.

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On Marafjellet. #21

I also visited both point 521m and 524m, just to be on the safe side. On my way here and there, I crossed one service road after the other. What the heck was going on, on this mountain? I later found that there will be a windmill farm up here (Hennøy Vindpark).

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What the HECK is happening on this mountain?

I don’t like windmill parks on shore. Period. It’s an irreversible change to our nature, the windmills are killing birds by the numbers. Put them at sea! Like the oil rigs…

So, Marafjellet was a depressing visit, and I moved on towards Aksla. I had to use the GPS for help, and the hike to the foot of Aksla was; off-trail – road crossing – off-trail – road crossing, etc.

And when I was at the foot of Aksla, I followed something that just had to be another service road in spe.

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Great! This mountain is officially FOOBAR!

I was quite happy when I reached the top. Now, we could go home. OK, we still had 7,6km back to the car, but at least we were getting OFF this mountain.

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On Aksla. #22

I was very happy about getting 3 new mountain tops, but memorable – the hike was NOT!

Trip statistics: 18,5km, 1050 vertical meters, 3 hours

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Huldrehornet (271m),  May 3 2019

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Holy SHIT!

Friday: And then came the snow

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No! I’m not motivated for this!

And along with the snowfall, I caught a cold. Which was just grave enough to make me skip the daily hike the day before.

The snow was not welcome at all. Most of us in southern Norway had changed to summer tires and it felt very weird to drive to work in Ålesund the day before – on a perfectly white and shiny road (hail).

My thoughts went to the wildlife who had bet everything on that spring was finally here. Except for the ticks, that I hoped would freeze to death. A futile thought…

Anyway, I decided to spend the little energy I had left on walking the dog up to Huldrehornet – one of my very local mountains. The mix of green plants and white snow was quite unusual…

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Weird…

As we got above the forest, I could see the snow showers roaming the region. I realized that it would get worse before it got better…

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STAY!

Karma loves the snow and was totally happy! I wished I could share her enthusiasm. I mean, I like snow, but only when there is a base layer and that you can ski on top of it. This was just – annoying.

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Karma – happy as … eh … a dog?

Getting sick was totally not according to plan. Really, really bad timing. But I hoped it wouldn’t last long (it did, actually). I decided to seek some comfort in taking a really steep route down the forest, but it didn’t really lighten my mood. All I could hope for was a better tomorrow…

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Descending from Huldrehornet

The upside was that Anne came later in the afternoon…

Trip statistics: 2,4km, 250 vertical meters, 55 minutes

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Rundebranden (294m),  May 4 2019

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Runde island didn’t have much snow left

Saturday: My cold was still present, but I decided to join Anne on her trip to Runde island in the afternoon. Her Park Ranger responsibility lies mainly in the Indre Sogn region (and primarly Jostedalsbreen National Park), but as she travels to the coastline every so often, it’s only natural that she keeps a lazy eye on Runde.

We drove to Goksøyr and decided to hike via Rundebranden (she knows I won’t be happy if there is not a top involved…) before we went to Lundeura – where the puffins come in at night. Anne’s role would be to make sure that the spectators behave and stay within the fence.

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Passing a couple of Great Skuas. Not angry with us, but other Skuas.

Snow on top of Rundebranden on May 4 is a rare thing.

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On Rundebranden

Afterwards, we moved on to Lundeura, where we met a bunch of photographers, led by Roger Brendhaugen. We also met him in 2017 or 2018, but I’m not able to find the date. Roger told us that he would make a story about the birds using plastic and fishing nets as nests, and that article was posted in Dagbladet a few days later.

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Anne, talking to Roger in Lundeura

Anne decided to wait for the puffins, but I was too cold to stand still and decided to move on towards the bridge and be picked up later.

Along the way, we found a rock that I’ve now called the “Runde preacher’s rock“…

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Just … stay put!

When we got to the bridge, I decided to walk towards the Runde village, waiting for Anne to come and pick me up. Along the way, we passed an eagle who was just killing time.

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White-tailed eagle

And down by the beach, I passed some Greylag geese

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Don’t mind me! (they did)

Trip statistics: 7,8km, 440 vertical meters, 2h:40m

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

Espenakken (397m),  May 5 2019

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It has to get worse until it gets better…

Sunday: The weather was bad, my health status was bad, and the snow just kept on coming. In sum – miserable.

In order to find inspiration for any sort of activity, I knew it had to be a walk I’d never done before, and preferably – up to a named point. After searching the map long and had, I suggested that we could go to Espenakken – a hump on the Melshornet (Ørsta/Volda) massif. And as I had never walked the forest road to Melssætra – I was quite happy about the choice. I really should have stayed in bed, but the will to see new terrain was stronger.

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On our way to Espenakken!

The hike started out below the snow, and the weather was OK-ish. But it didn’t take long before we felt that we were in the middle of winter

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This is … plain wrong!

A FAIR amount of snow had fallen and we were plodding up the forest road, leading to a building close to Espenakken.

From this building, it was a short walk up to the top.

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Welcome to Norwegian spring…

From the top, we took an off-trail descent towards Melssætra. It was just incredible to be in the middle of winter again. I wondered how long this would last…

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Passing Melssætra

From Melssætra, we descended along a marked path (tall sticks!) back to the forest road and headed back to the car.

It had been a very strange week. I got 4 new of100 tops (yeah!), witnessed winter return at full strength and got sick.

Trip statistics: 5,4km, 350 vertical meters, 1,5 hours

Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip:

 

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