Sørgulen round trip, May 26 2019

Skudalsnipa, Gulestønipa, Rognen, Steinheia, Fossedalsegga and Grønegga

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Hiking in the Sørgulen mountains, here on the way down from Grønegga

Sunday: I had this day all to myself and even the weather was very unstable on the coastline, I trusted the nice forecast for the Bremanger region (sunny) and left home 7:15am, going for a grand slam that would give me 5 new pf100 tops.

I had a 166km drive (incl. 2 ferries) ahead of me. It was raining all the way to Nordfjord, but I kept the faith.

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Waiting for the ferry at Skårheim by Nordfjord. The weather is getting better

The drive to Svelgen is always nice. There’s dramatic nature all around. The trip around Midtgulen, Vindspollen and Sørgulen was a bit boring but I was positively surprised when I passed the northernmost point on the road and had course for Botnane – my starting point.

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Rognen ahead

It was easy to find the tractor road to lake Norddalsvatnet and there was plenty of parking down by Pollen.

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The trailhead by Pollen

Skudalsnipa (670m)

Karma and I headed towards lake Norddalsvatnet and I was very curious about the route up the mountain. On peakbook.org, I noticed that some guys had taken the exact route that I planned to do, just a few days earlier. So I knew that the round trip was 20km+, 17-1800 vertical meters and it took them close to 8,5 hours to do it. That was way more time than I had planned to put into it. Perhaps I would cut down on a few tops…

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On our way into the valley. Dramatic terrain from the get-go

I was quite surprised when a car with two hikers came driving up the rough road and parked by lake Norddalsvatnet. I would never do that to my car!

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At the start of the forest route

When we reached the forest, I noticed that the route was marked with small signs on the trees. The path wasn’t so visible and it didn’t take long before I lost track. But as I had downloaded the GPS track from the other guys, we quickly got back on track.

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The forest route

The hike up the forest was smooth, although the path was a bit unclear just before it topped out above lake 378m.

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Almost up!

We stopped by a signpost that indicated that there were multiple marked routes up here. It was just a matter of picking a direction and get going.

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OK, we’ll go left!

I decided to go clockwise and started with Skudalsnipa. The route up to the Botnanipa ridge was rocky, but nothing in comparison to the sea of rock we had in front of us.

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OMG!

The terrain was not very exciting so far, but it helped that the “locals” popped up here and there…

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Off you go…

The hike up to Skudalsnipa was just not fun, but I looked so much forward to “bagging” my first top for the day, so it was tolerable.

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Perhaps singing a song will help…

1,5 hours after heading out, we reached the top of Skudalsnipa. From here, we had a good view towards the next tops. Gulestønipa was just a rocky hump, but Rognen looked more interesting.

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On top of Skudalsnipa

Gulestønipa (550m)

From Skudalsnipa, we took a northeast course down an “endless” field of rocks. At this point, I was pretty sure that I would hike Rognen and call it a day.

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On the way to Gulestønipa. Rognen to the right.

But, the ascent up Gulestønipa was less painful than the descent from Skudalsnipa. There was more grass and overall terrain.

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Ascending Gulestønipa

We didn’t stop for long at the top. There was a more interesting mountain close by…

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On top of Gulestønipa

Rognen (689m)

We took a direct course for Rognen and I aimed at a natural ascent point, and I hoped that I would get Karma up there.

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Rognen. We aimed for the gully right of center

The huge upside was that the weather was just brilliantly nice!

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Frøya island

And there was plenty of water all around. Karma never had to go thirsty for long…

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Knock yourself out…

When we got to the point I had been wondering about, there was absolutely no reason to worry. Karma jumped up like it was a pavement.

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Hey! Wait for me!

And then we had yet another rocky ascent ahead of us…

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I do like hiking on rock, but this was … a lot!

It was nice to reach the top. So nice that I took a rare SLR-selfie…

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Yeah! 

From here, I had a pretty good view towards Trælvikfjellet, Marafjellet and Aksla that I visited earlier at the beginning of May. That mountain is F….. UP from windmill development. Roads everywhere (no windmills yet) and a quarry. To top it all.

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Looking down on our May 1 hike

Now I had to figure out what to do. Even if I would call it a day, I would still have to walk across Steinheia. I decided to visit the high point (even if the top didn’t have a primary factor of 100m – and thus – didn’t count) and make my decision then.

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Haukånipa – visited on May 18th

Steinheia (664m)

I had many options for how I could ascend Steinheia, but decided to try one of the ledges. They’re so cool!

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I picked the slanting ledge in the middle

The ledge was perfect and offered no obstacles.

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On the ledge. Grass at first, then slabs

When I looked back at Rognen, I felt I had been on a pretty long hike already. By the time I reached the top of Steinheia, we had walked 11,5km. Just above half way, if we were to follow the original plan.

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Looking back on Rognen

Steinheia (“rock hill”) lived up to its name…

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On Steinheia. Rognen in the background.

After enjoying a quick lunch, I found the motivation to do one more top. I decided to visit Fossedalsegga and THEN call it a day.

Fossedalsegga (616m)

The hike from Steinheia to Fossedalsegga was quite smooth, if I disregard the rocky south side of Steinheia.

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Fossedalsegga

There were still plenty of water all around, and Karma’s drinking got more and more serious.

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That’s right, girl. Fill it up!

And after 4,5 hours (+) of hiking, we stood on Fossedalsegga – top #5 for the day.

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On top of Fossedalsegga

The plan was now to get off this mountain, and that could be a challenge, given the cliffs. I had not looked at the downloaded track since I left the forest. I decided to find my own way. There’s much more fun in that.

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Langevatna and Fossedalsegga above

We continued south along the ridge and I aimed at Langevatna. I decided to go for a descent route that worked out nicely. Even though the margin between a successful descent and having to go back up was pretty thin.

OK, we’re off Fossedalsegga, but now what. I didn’t quite remember the terrain above lake 378m, which we had to aim for, if we were to descend now.

But on the other hand, we very now at the foot of Grønegga and the top didn’t seem far away. Making the decision to visit top #6 wasn’t very hard.

And there were more “locals” to point the camera at…

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Hey! Stick around!

Grønegga (633m)

The hike up to Grønegga went smooth, across grass and nice slabs.

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Grønegga seen from Fossedalsegga. Easy terrain!

It felt really good to reach the top and having reached my original goal.

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On Grønegga

Now we just had to find a good route down to lake 378m.

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Lake 378m. Descent into the forest to the left.

The slabs down the ridge was easy to hike on and all of a sudden, there were sticks. No visible path, though.

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View up the Grønegga ridge

It didn’t make a difference to follow the sticks and we just followed the terrain where it was natural. I had forgotten the hillside between the lake and the signpost we stopped by, on our way up. But eventually, we were back at the signpost and from here on, there was ONLY downhill…

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Back where the round trip hike began

We reached the car 6,5 hours after leaving it. It was 2 hours faster than the other guys (but they had also hiked point 605m northeast of Fossedalsegga ) and 1 hours ahead of my own forecast before I headed out.

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Heading down the forest

Wow! That was a long and good day in the Bremanger mountains! I was back home 20:40pm.

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Back at the trailhead

Trip statistics: 20,6km, 1750 vertical meters, 6,5 hours

Pictures (Canon80D) from the hike:

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