Well, more like 24 hours, actually…
Tarløysa (1087m), July 5 2019
Friday: This weekend, I decided to take the long drive from Gurskøy to Nesset and do the traverse across Skrokkenfjellet, Snarketinden and Rjuptinden – above Mittetdalen valley. On the way to Mittet, I wanted to hike Tarløysa – which seemed like a pretty easy hike, considering that we were in July and all…
I drove up the Nysetervegen toll road (NOK 82,-) and we were on our way by 18:30 on Friday afternoon.
The hike up the forest was straightforward and so was the ascent up to 900m where we reached the snow that had fallen the last couple of days. We should not have snowfall in July. That is my personal opinion.
With fresh and slippery snow, often quite deep, on top of large boulder – the walk was somewhat risky. Leg-breaking risky. Not so much going up, but we would need to come down the same way.
When we reached Midtryggen, we got fog. It was actually a bit cool. It looked dramatic up there.
When I thought we had reached the top, we were only at 1030m. I could see the top further away and because of the fog, it looked far away. But it wasn’t too bad and we reached the summit 1h:13m after heading out.
It felt like winter, but I was not wearing a jacket. It was altogether a bit strange.
The descent went ok even if I had a few episodes where the result could have been a broken leg. I did not enjoy being here and I realized I would have to change my plans for the next day. I could not do such a long traverse on slippery snow and rock without really risking an injury.
But now I wanted to settle in for the evening. I drove to Mittet as I had planned but took the toll road on the west side of the river instead. This would get me in position to hike Skarven and Bolfjellet which were both below 900m. And then I would just see what would happen.
I had brought a massive tarp (5x8m) which I put across the back of my car. It wanted to test the concept. And it worked. Kind of… The tarp gave me extra space behind the car, where I could sit in my chair, cook dinner and read a book. The back door was open and Karma kept staring at me – trying to understand this unusual scenario.
I enjoyed myself. No one would come up here this late in the afternoon and I felt peace and quiet. A tarp this size is really too big for a single person to handle, so I just might have to work a little with this extension concept. But there is at least a potential!
Trip statistics: 7,7km, 700 vertical meters, 2h:07m
Pictures (Canon 80D+Iphone) from the trip:
Skarven (835m), Bolfjellet (770m), Gravfjellet (1048m), Nebba (1106m), July 6 2019
Saturday: My plan to traverse Skrokkenfjellet, Snarketinden and Rjuptinden was cancelled already on Friday afternoon. The new plan involved Skarven and Bolfjellet. And possibly Gravfjellet. And then, possibly Nebba. The amount of snow would determine it.
I woke up around 6am, in my car – just below Ytre Mittetsætra where I had parked for the night. I really enjoyed firing up my Jetboil and start the day with a cup of hot chocolate. Afterwards, I made breakfast for me and Karma and got ready to head out.
We were on our way to Skarven a little past 7am. It was a glorious day and I was excited as I had no idea what I would end up doing today.
An annoying thing was that my GPS refused to accept any GPS signals. I’ve been struggling more and more with it lately. Perhaps it’s time to upgrade. A less annoying thing was the choice of boots. Yesterday, I had hiked Tarløysa in sneakers. But today, I wore proper hiking boots. Which was a wise decision, because the marked path to Skarven was basically just bog all the way up to the upper part of the mountain.
Also on the annoying account was the fog moving in. But there was nothing that could be done about it, and it all balanced when I finally got a GPS signal on top of Skarven. It’s funny – when you’ve been collecting tracks from all your hikes for two decades, it’s really annoying to miss one. But OK – I could probably borrow this part of the hike from someone on peakbook.org that had done this particular hike before.
We finally reached Skarven, and the fog seemed to come and go. The hike was ON and the first top was in the bag. The goal was 4 but I could settle with 2. All depending on the conditions.
We continued towards Bolfjellet. The fog provided some dramatic scenery, and all of a sudden – Romsdalshornet appeared.
The descent down Skarven’s south ridge was cumbersome. Dense bush. No fun at all, but eventually we made it down to the saddle.
The ascent up Bolfjellet was not bad, in terms of bush. And now the peak count was two, and I would definitely not stop now!
I decided to continue towards Gravfjellet, and the descent down Bolfjellet’s south side was just as painful as descending from Skarven (read: bush).
As I approached lake Bolfjellvatnet, I started to worry about the river crossing. There was a whole lot of water in the river and what I could see from a distance did not look good.
But it turned out that the very start of the drain offered a way across. Barely! One meter further down, I would have to take my boots off and a few more meters – the current would be strong already.
But we made it across – fairly dry and could begin the ascent of Gravfjellet.
Anything on Gravfjellet’s west side looked like something one should avoid at all cost. So, we ended up with an approach from the southwest, and I had no intention on visiting Gravfjellet’s western point – 974m.
I found an OK route up to the ridge, but now we entered snow and fog. The fog was not an issue, as the GPS was working, but the snow was treacherous. One wrong step, and I could twist or break an ankle. And the dog was at risk too. Perhaps even more so.
But as long as there was uphill, things were fairly smooth. We reached the top of Gravfjellet 4 hours after heading out from the car.
Now that we were on Gravfjellet, it was only natural to complete the round trip, which included an ascent of Nebba. I had brought a few slices of bread, which came in very handy. But I hadn’t brought water – which is scarce on mountain ridges. I was quite thirsty when we started the descent from Gravfjellet, but I could see water close to the saddle.
Everything looks bigger and more scary in fog, and I found the distance to the Gravfjellet – Nebba saddle a bit overwhelming, seen during my descent. But it was just the fog playing tricks with my mind and soon we had made good progress.
We had to cross Knollan before we could descend to the saddle. And there, I had one good and one bad moment. The good was that we only had 300 vertical meters to ascend before we could go “home”. The bad was that I had no idea about how we could cross the river that we earlier crossed by lake Bolfjellvantet.
I strongly considered descending to lake Litlebottenvatnet and then continue up to Bolfjellvatnet. It would be quite a detour and I eventually decided to take my chances. But if I didn’t find a way across the river, this would mean at least 2,5km up to Bollfjellvatnet.
On the way down from Nebba, I had a good overview of the tops visited today:
After descending Nebba, I aimed for Tipphaugen and started looking for a way to cross the river nearby. I didn’t find one. Actually, the river looked worse than ever. So, we started walking upwards in the direction of Bolfjellvatnet. And after 0,5km I found a bridge. It was the most beautiful bridge I have ever seen!
The rest of the hike back to the car was just splendid! I had done 5 new mountains since I came to Rauma the day before, and I now had 49 new pf100 peaks so far this year. As the goal is 100, I knew I would feel better if I would return home with 50. So, I had to find an easy top somewhere along the way home. I had two candidates on the Rødven peninsula, but I ended up with Storaksla above Isfjorden.
Trip statistics: 19,1km, 1600 vertical meters, 8 hours
Pictures (Canon 80D+Iphone) from the trip:
Storaksla (625m), July 6 2019
Still Saturday: After a busy day in Mittetdalen, I sat course for Isfjorden. I was both hungry and thirsty after the 8 hour hike across 4 tops. After satisfying my needs at the local store, I drove up to Kavli and then the toll road to the Kavlisætra parking.
If I had just walked 0,3km along the toll road, I would have saved me the toll fare (NOK 50,-) and could hike ~3km along the west ridge. But I reckoned I could save some walking distance by driving up to Kavlisætra, just north of the top.
After I had parked, I walked the 1,3km to Kavlisætra. It was a nice and easy flat walk, with horses grassing all over the place. I’m a bit uneasy walking among horses with a dog, and one of the horses started to follow us. I was prepared to run for the river and throw ourselves in it, if need be.
But we reached the bridge across the river before the horse could get to us and we continued up to the forest ridge. The walk from the bridge and to the top was 1,2km, which means I saved 0,5km by driving up here.
The weather wasn’t so great anymore and the higher mountains had fog on top. I could only vaguely remember skiing to Kyrkjetaket in very flat light conditions back in 2006 – across Steinberget.
Normally, I would have followed the west ridge until I could see my car on the parking, and then cross the river. But given the hike earlier in the day, I’ve had it with rivers for a while. So, we took the same route down and had to pass that nosy horse one more time. This time, it left us alone.
Back at the parking, Gurskøya was our next stop – some 2,5-3 hours away. It had been quite intense 24+ hours, and when I finally got back home, it felt like DAYS since I left. It’s a great way to get “extra vacation”…
Trip statistics: 5,0km, 190 vertical meters, 1h:08m
Pictures (Canon 80D) from the trip: