Stølsheimen, Aug 23-25 2019

Base-camp Bjordal by Fuglsetfjorden

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Nesheim camping, with Hestkamben above

Peaks visited (click the link to jump to the chapter):

Peak Height PF Location
Middagshaugen 735m 137m Høyanger, Norway
Hestkamben 656m 137m Høyanger, Norway
Blåfjellet 914m 211m Høyanger, Norway
Blyfjellet 883m 165m Høyanger, Norway
Skorvane 861m 153m Høyanger, Norway
Saueskardegga 804m 131m Høyanger, Norway
Høgerinden 745m 182m Høyanger, Norway

 

Friday (Week 34): Anne and I had booked a cabin at Nesheim Camping in Bjordal by Fuglsetfjorden – one of Sognefjorden’s many side arms. This would be a brand new region to me, and I really looked forward to get there.

After work on Friday (flexing a little) I had a 295km drive ahead of me. Estimated time 5h:34m. I looked forward to take the Nordeide – Ortnevik ferry – one of the few ferries in western Norway that I still hadn’t taken. It wasn’t really a ferry. It was a shuttle express boat that could take 5-6 cars. Quite fun!

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On my way to Ortnevik. Yes, we had to enter in reverse…

I was actually supposed to meet Anne at Nordeide, but I was so early that I caught an earlier ferry. I could then spend the time at Bjordal, getting the cabin “in shape”. Put on the bed sheets, put the beer in the refrigerator, you know – important things…

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Ortnevik

Eventually I got to Bjordal, after a 26km drive from Ortnevik, met the owner, got the key and checked in. The cabin standard was so and so, but the price was pleasant. So, no complaints. After getting things in order, I took a walk with Karma while waiting for Anne.

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Nesheim Camping by Fuglsetfjorden

Anne came a little while later, and Friday Taco evening was on! With chicken…

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Ready for the weekend!

Pictures (Canon EOS RP/ Iphone6) from the transport leg:

Middagshaugen (753m), Hestkamben (656m), Aug 24 2019

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Hestkamben

Saturday: The plan for the day was Hestkamben. There were many tops to choose between, but Hestkamben was the obvious starting candidate.

But first, breakfast. While the humans enjoyed eggs and bread, Karma was locked on to the water…

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A nice Saturday morning by Fuglsetfjorden

We then drove up to lake Årsdalsvatnet and parked where it seemed obvious to park. We then followed the gravel road for 800m until it ended. And then it started to rain…

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To the mountain!

We continued up to a pass where the path forked. The path straight ahead continued to Bjordal (7km) and so did the path going up to the high ridge. But this route was only supposed to be 5,5km.

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To the left…

This was rough terrain, and it was really nice to be here. In the early 2000’s I was very active visiting tops on the Hordaland side of the Stølsheimen mountain region, and had no time to visit tops on the other side of the county border. So, in one way I was back in a region I once knew really well. But now it felt that I was in a totally foreign landscape. I could for instance remember only glimpses of the 2002 trip to Årsdalsryggen – just 7km south of where we were now. That’s when it’s nice to have a really old blog (it was called a “homepage” back then) to turn to…

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You can’t go anywhere you please in this area…

Before we sat course for Hestkamben, we had to visit Middagshaugen of course – only 250m south of the point where we entered the ridge.

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On Middagshaugen with Hestkamben in the background (left)

Once this top was “in the bag”, we headed for Hestkamben. The ridge looked mighty nice!

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Looks like fun ridge!

Then the rain stopped and everyone was happy!

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Karma had no collar, due to the bad hot spot on her throat. As recommended by the Vet…

It felt like we had really long ridge ahead of us, and at times, I didn’t really feel there was any progress.

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I guess we’re closing in, but … still a bit to go…

The most interesting part of any hike is to keep an eye out for fun details. Like, Anne – completely falling in love with this tree

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I understand tree climbing, but not tree hugging…

Or this little fellow…

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Everyone’s busy. With something…

Finally, we reached the high point on Hestkamben – called Varden.

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On top of Hestkamben

As the top was a bit windy, we continued a bit to the north before we found a place to sit down for lunch.

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Nice viewpoint above Fuglsetfjorden

The path was easy to follow but not well worn! Bjordal isn’t exactly a large place, so there is of course a limit to how many people find their way across here. But make no mistake – if this ridge had been anywhere near a larger town, it would have been a massively popular route. And would most likely be upgraded with ropes, Gapahuks, a Via Ferrata and a Gondola. Most likely…

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Impressive how a tree like that can grow on top of a rock!

After a while, we got Bjordal in view. We had still a bit to go, but at least we could see the finish line. More precisely – the church, where we had left a car.

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Bjordal

After a steep forest section, we could have some fun…

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Smart. Put the swing high up in the forest so that the kids get some exercise…

Down in Bjordal, we were greeted by the locals

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Grass is seemingly overrated…

Trip statistics: 8,5km, 480 vertical meters, 3h:12m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Blåfjellet (914m), Blyfjellet (883m), Aug 18 2019

Still Saturday: After the hike across Hestkamben, we returned to Nesheim Camping and had a little more to eat and to change into dry clothes.

Blåfjellet

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Blåfjellet

Then we drove back up to the mountains, and parked near Nystølen by lake Fridalsvatnet. The goal was Blåfjellet – a seemingly short and easy hike. We did however hope that we could find a path, and we found a marked path near Nystølen.

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Where we parked…

We had an easy and windy hike up the mountain…

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Towards Blåfjellet

And in not too long, I had visited my new top #83 in 2019. The goal is as always 100, and it looked just like I might get there this year too. One thing is for certain – if it hadn’t been for this goal, we would never have been in Bjordal this weekend. Or ever, for that matter. Pressure is sometimes a good thing…

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Karma and Anne on Blåfjellet. Hestkamben is seen to the left, in the background

We headed back the same way. As we now had two cars (mine were parked by lake Årsdalsvatnet – remember?) I said to Anne that I would hike Blyfjellet before I joined her back at base-camp. Blyfjellet also seemed to be a short and straightforward hike and shouldn’t take too long…

Blyfjellet

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Blyfjellet

Karma and I headed over to Nystølen and followed the path towards Stordalen Fjellstove for a little while, and then headed straight up the northeast ridge.

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We headed up the ridge to the left

After a while, we had a decent view towards Blåfjellet and lake Fridalsvatnet.

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Lake Fridalsvatnet. Blåfjellet to the left.

I was extremely happy about reaching my 4th new top within one day, and Karma seemed quite happy too. Albeit for totally different reasons. The usual “summit treat” was on its way…

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Karma on top of Blyfjellet

I had planned to return along our ascent route, but after an impulse, I decided to try to find my way down the much steeper west flank. It turned out to be unproblematic, although that wasn’t apparent when seen from above…

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Where we descended from the top of Blyfjellet

Then we strolled down the northwest ridge, returned to the car and drove down to base-camp where Anne was preparing dinner. The good life….

Trip statistics: 6,4km, 450 vertical meters, 1h:50m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Skorvane (804m), Saueskardegga (804m), Aug 25 2019

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Skorvane

Sunday: On Sunday morning, we had breakfast, cleaned the cabin, checked out and sat course for the same mountain area that we had visited the day before. Because, we had decided that we would drive to Lavik via Matre, rather than taking the narrow and curvy roads along Sognefjorden.

Our primary goal was Skorvane, and to get to the trailhead, we had to drive 7km+ on a gravel road along lake Krokevatnet. Actually, there was no trailhead. We just decided to park by the drain from lake Osevatnet and head up along the river.

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On our way to Skorvane

The terrain was easy to hike in, even off-trail and all we had to care about was maintaining our course towards the mountain.

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Above lake Osevatnet

The top was reached 1,9km after leaving the car, and Anne congratulated me with new top #85 this year.

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On top of Skorvane

Short as the hike was, Anne agreed to a round trip hike, that would eventually bring us to the top of Saueskardegga. But then she had to return to Sogndal, as she had an outbound flight later in the evening.

We had a nice hike across points 859m and 844m.

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Towards point 844m

From point 844m, we had to decide how we were to approach Saueskardegga. The natural choice would be to get on the north ridge somewhere down in Stølsdalen, but that would be a little bit too easy. Why not head straight up?

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Our route to Sauskardegga

Looking at mountain sides directly is difficult at times. Is it really steep, or is it OK? From a distance, it looked OK. Up close, it looked steep. All the more interesting…

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Here, we had to trust the grass in order to advance…

This route clearly had aggravating potential, but we found our way through without any swearing and cursing…

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Go left, then right, left again, a little more left, then right and left 3 times…

But, we got up to the summit plateau without any difficulties and could set course for the summit point.

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Karma doesn’t walk around obstacles…

And then #86 was “in the bag”. Only 14 to go. And, it wasn’t even September yet.

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On top of Saueskardegga

To those of you who are wondering if it’s really difficult to get 100 new tops per year. Well, suppose you’ve visited every top in your local area, and that the nearest new top requires a couple of hours driving. Then you have to do two new tops every week. That’s a stretch. It’s not doable for me in practice. Especially if one has some concern about the environmental footprint. Then one has to approach this in a whole different way. Fewer trips, but trips that “pays a lot” once taken. This was certainly one of those trips…

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Descending Saueskardegga. Our cars are down by the road

We descended along the south ridge when Anne saw something of interest. What on earth (if at all) had caused this damage to the ground? We figured that it had to be a lightning strike. If that’s true, then that’s the first time I’ve seen actual results of one. At least one that didn’t result in a burned out building…

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The ground really “got it” here…

Eventually, we reached the cars. I had one more hike to do before returning home. I said goodbye to Anne and got ready for my final hike in this region. For now…

Trip statistics: 7,1km, 580 vertical meters, 2h:40m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Høgerinden (745m), Aug 25 2019

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Høgerinden

Still Sunday: I then drove to the end of the road, and parked by the dam between lake Stølsvatnet and lake Svartevatnet. I hadn’t checked the map at all, just presumed that there would be an obvious way up. But at first glance, there wasn’t.

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Høgerinden seen from the dam. No apparent route stood out here…

Clearly, I had to get on the south ridge, even if it meant fighting with gravel and boulder as a result of the low water level.

Karma and I crossed the dam and to my delight, I found a forest path that took us in the right direction.

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Across the dam, then to the right and to the back side of that ridge

As we headed up the valley between Høgerinden and Rindenova, I noticed a sheep mom with two lambs and put a leash on Karma. The distance was somewhere between 50 and 100 meters. Not even close enough to pose a threat. But sheep mom figured otherwise, and came running towards us in a very impressive pace.

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In the valley. The sheep are seen to the right.

I tried to hurry up, letting sheep mom think she had chased the intruders off, but heck no. She came running up the path behind us, furious as hell. I put Karma behind me and confronted the sheep. “Boo!” and all that. But to no avail…

Then the sheep attacked. Everything happened really fast. Karma broke out from behind me, with a tone of voice that promised to unleash all evil on earth if sheep mom harmed her owner. There was no physical contact, but I have never seen my dog like this … downright pissed off. Sheep mom got up on her back feet, turned around 180 degrees and rushed down the path. Game over.

After a while, we reached the top of Høgerinden. #87. Happy dude…

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On top of Høgerinden

Initially, we followed the same route back down, but instead of going into “sheep valley”, we stuck to the ridge and had a slightly cumbersome descent to get back onto the forest path. I cut myself on a branch of a tree and had to spend a good 10 minutes putting a band aid on, trying to stop the bleeding.

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Descending from Høgerinden

But eventually, we returned to the car and could set course for Sunnmøre. A 362km drive. 6,5 hours. But hey – with 7 new tops on my resume, a piece of cake…

Trip statistics: 3,3km, 210 vertical meters, 1 hour

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

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