What a week…
|Kongsvollen||683m||200m||Ulstein/ Hareid, Norway||WCP|
|Sollia||661m||661m||Herøy/ Sande, Norway||WCP|
|Bjørnåsen (Jeløya)||138m||107m||Moss, Norway|
|Rambergåsen (Jeløya)||140m||140m||Moss, Norway|
|Bloksberg (Hankø)||53m||53m||Fredrikstad, Norway|
Langenestinden (1206m), Sep 23 2019
Monday: The nice weather from the weekend continued into the new week, and on Monday afternoon, I decided to enjoy the weather to the fullest. My target for the day was Langenestinden – a peak I haven’t visited since 2007.
I drove up Standalsdalen and enjoyed the mighty view towards Kolåstinden and Sætretindane before parking the car at the head of the Fladalen valley.
At 4pm, we were on our way (I left work a little earlier than I usually do)
I thought I knew the route to the top and hadn’t bothered to look at my own route description from 2007. But when I approached the foot of the mountain, I got very insecure about where to go. I wasn’t able to read the cairns properly and took on a route that turned out to be no-go.
I decided to turn around and take another look at the mountain from below, but then I noticed a girl coming down the mountain, just north of where Karma and I had gone up. That was quite lucky, as I don’t think I would have attempted that route, as it was somewhat concealed from my angle.
But soon, we were on the right track. The lower section is perhaps the trickiest, especially if you have a dog. But the overall route is quite friendly, although steep throughout.
Make no mistake – the route is steep all the way to the top. If you for instance run into a thin layer of snow, you might not be able to reach the top – unless you have brought an ice-axe.
There was one tricky point halfway up the mountainside which probably had been easy for the dog if I had let her figure it out on her own. But I didn’t let her, and struggled for a few minutes before I got her safely across the rock that blocked the way from one gully to another.
Once past this point, the remaining route to the top was easy. The path is well worn and easy to follow.
It was the 2nd time I reached this top, and with two different dogs. The last one walked by herself all the way…
My former dog enjoyed the comfort of the backpack every so often…
The view from the top is absolutely stunning, with Hjørundfjorden 1200m below…
I spent a few good minutes zooming into some amazing peaks across the fjord…
I had also a clear view towards Gjegnen in Nordfjord – 61,2km to the southwest.
But this time of the year, I had to mind the time. The sun was already setting and it was time to get back down. We took it NICE and EASY down the mountain. We returned to the car at 7pm, with 20-30 minutes to go before darkness. It was a very memorable hike!
Trip statistics: 8km, 960 vertical meters, 3 hours
Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone8) from the hike:
Kongsvollen (683m), Sep 24 2019
Tuesday: When I work in Ålesund, I get up at 4:55am, which in my book is pretty early! But sometimes, the morning walk with the dog has some nice moments. Like this morning. This type of fog *could* mean that I could hike after work and perhaps get above the fog. Those types of hikes are for the memory book…
When I got to Hareid and waited for the ferry, the fog had gone. Or – not arrived yet. I would find out in about 9 hours…
When I was on my way home in the afternoon, I could see a WALL of fog coming in from the ocean, as I drove across Eidet (between Hareid and Ulsteinvik). Kongsvollen was still in the clear, so I drove to Løset with the ambition to get to the top before the fog came along. Or even better – the fog would beat me to it, but stay *below* me.
I jogged from Løset and to the foot of the mountain and when we got up on the ridge, the fog hit the mountain. For a minute, I thought that this would be a hike in the fog.
But the fog came and went and after a while it seemed clear that we would stay above it, and we reached the fog-free top of Kongsvollen.
This gave us a nice view towards the Sunnmøre alps on the other side of Vartdalsfjorden:
… but towards the south, there was a sea of fog – moving in fast!
I could not tell how far this “carpet” would stretch. Sometimes it stretches well into the Sunnmøre alps range, other times it stops when it get to the higher peaks. I didn’t plan to stick around to find out.
What was quite obvious was that our descent would involve hiking in fog, and it was a very cool moment when we left the sunshine and headed into the fog.
So far, I had a superb start of the new week!
Trip statistics: 9km, 570 vertical meters, 1h:54m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone8):
Sollia (661m), Sep 25 2019
Wednesday: And the beautiful weather just continued!
Today, I decided to go to Sollia and repaint all sticks on the normal route high on the mountain. Each and single one had taken a good beating from several hard winters. I found it best to hike to the top (5,5km), begin the paint job and work my way down the mountain.
It’s always nice to be on this mountain. But I didn’t have time to study the views. It would get dark at 8pm and now it was almost 6pm.
I enjoyed the painting job. The result was good and the combination of the paint brush and the ketchup bottle worked perfectly.
I was fully into the job and didn’t think about anything else. When the paint job was almost finished, I suddenly noticed that the sun had set and the time was 7:20pm. That was definitely a “wake-up” call, as I hadn’t brought a headlamp. I made a quick assessment. I had 3,2km back to the car (mostly downhill) and 3 sticks left. That would work if we (Karma and I) just ran down the entire mountain.
And my assessment turned out be a sane one. We reached the car 7:50pm, and 10 minutes later it was pretty dark.
Trip statistics: 11km, 600 vertical meters, 3 hours
Pictures (Iphone8) from the hike:
Transport Leg to Sogndal, Sep 26 2019
Thursday: Transport day – to Sogndal. I was going to eastern Norway this weekend and Anne would take care of Karma while I was away.
Sogndal – Oslo, Sep 27 2019
Friday: I would be spending this weekend on the island of Hankø (outside Fredrikstad) with some of my very best friends. It was time for the annual beer and wiener (sausage) tasting competition. I don’t remember when it all begun, but for sure more than 20 years ago. After moving to western Norway, my attendance has dropped significantly. It was now 5 years since I participated in this very fun event. But one thing was for certain – I would not be taking part of the blind testing. I had grown a bad headache over the past days, and combining it with alcohol would surely not improve the situation. So, I had already announced to the guys that I would be doing the serving.
I took the morning flight (Widerøe) from Sogndal to Oslo. The flight was smooth (except for the landing) and so was the rental car pick-up even though the Avis office hadn’t opened by 8am. But 15 minutes later I had the car keys in my hand. I got a fairly new Skoda Octavia, which was practical as I am familiar with Skodas.
The weather was awful. It kept pouring down. Now that I was on my way towards Oslo, I could start planning my day.
I had to be at Vikane outside Hankø around 6pm, which would give me time to visit some lower forest tops in the Østfold county. As long as the prominence was 100 meters or more, they would lead me towards my annual goal of 100 new tops, and my current count was 92.
Bjørnåsen (138m), Sep 27 2019
I decided to start out at Jeløy – an island outside the city of Moss and that has two tops that I wanted to visit. I drove to the north side of the island and parked near the Renneflotvegen road.
After a minutes, I saw the “Bjørnåsen 0,5km” signpost and headed into the forest along a visible path.
In not too long, I reached a point that I thought was the top, as there was a “Bjørnåsen” signpost.
But on peakbook.org, the high point was 60-70m to the southeast and so I wandered a bit around on the top, considering where the high point would be. Eventually I found a spot close enough to the marked on the peakbook app, and I decided that Bjørnåsen was “in the bag”. 93/100!
I took a different route down the forest and eventually ended up where I started out. I was quite wet by now, but I would get a chance to dry up a bit in the car.
Trip statistics: 2,7km, 120 vertical meters, 45 mins
Rambergåsen (140m), Sep 27 2019
Friday: After visiting Bjørnåsen, Rambergåsen was next up. This is the high point on Jeløya island. I drove up to Ramberg to look for a path. It was still pouring down, but I was now “on a roll” to get close to my annual goal and the rain didn’t affect me one bit.
Rambergåsen was a short hike. I followed a nice forest path to the top and headed back the same way.
I was now done with Jeløya and started to wonder what my next top would be.
Trip statistics: 1,2km, 80 vertical meters, 18 mins
Stikkaåsen (149m), Sep 27 2019
Friday: After visiting Rambergåsen, I left Jeløya and Moss, I got back on the E6 and headed to the south. At the Solli junction, I got off the motorway and followed 1166 up to Stikka in the Sarpsborg county.
I parked by the road leading to “Retrieverklubben“. I assume that’s a club house for the local Retriever club. When I got to the club house, I had to cross some really wet terrain in order to get over to the Stikkaåsen forest.
After a short off-trail hike, I reached the fire lookout tower that (clearly) marked the high point. I took the same route back to the car.
Trip statistics: 1,4km, 50 vertical meters, 21 mins
Raubråteberget (116m), Sep 27 2019
Friday: After hiking Stikkaåsen, I drove back to Solli and continued south on 381 towards Evenrød. I got on a smaller road to Nordre Bjørnerød where I didn’t find any parking without blocking for other traffic. So, I went up to the farm building, rang the doorbell, explained my business and was granted parking.
I followed a road up to Skihytta (the ski hut) where two ladies had taken shelter from the rain.
I checked the map on the wall and saw that the name Skavdalsfjellet was where I had expected to find Raubråteberget…
I then continued northbound on a perfectly good and wet path.
Once I reached the high point, the tour turned out to be a real Østfold tour, as I had been tops in Moss, Sarpsborg and now Fredrikstad. After half a minute, I turned around and went back the same way I came.
Trip statistics: 4,3km, 90 vertical meters, 43 mins
Østento (118m), Sep 27 2019
Friday: It was time to think about setting the course for Vikane, where my good friend Lars would pick me up in his boat. But first, there was time to visit Østento – not far from Vikane.
I drove to Lisleng and found parking close to a horse farm.
It didn’t take me by great surprise that the route to the top went along a horse trail…
I had to get slightly off-trail in order to reach the high point, but when I got there, I was really, really happy. For two reasons; 1) my annual count of new tops was now 97. Only 3 to go, and 2) I could finally change to dry clothes!
Trip statistics: 1,3km, 70 vertical meters, 20 mins
Hankø, Sep 27 2019
Friday: I got to Vikane around 3:30pm, leaving me 2,5 hours until the pick-up. There were no other tops in the vicinity that was on my to-do list, so I decided to get some sleep in the car. The headache that had followed me for the past days was casting a huge shadow over the upcoming weekend. I could only hope for the best.
A 1,5 hour sleep did me good and at 6pm, I went down to Hankø Marina to wait for Lars and a couple of other pals that would meet there.
The rain had finally ceased, and we had a nice boat trip to Lars’ cabin on Hankø.
It was darn good to meet up with good old friends again. I had one beer before I realized that alcohol was not a match for the headache that had come back again. Still, I enjoyed myself big-time although I called it a day quite early.
Bloksberg (53m), Sep 28 2019
Saturday: My fellow comrades partied good and it lasted *well* into Saturday. The headache from the day before wasn’t too bad, and I figured a walk would do me good. It was only natural to visit Bloksberg – the high point on the island. I thought that I been there once before, but I couldn’t find any trace of it in my logs.
The terrain from the south side of the island is easy enough – slabs!
Quite soon I noticed movement in the bush. A deer-looking creature crossed my trail and I had no idea what I had just seen. Later, I was told that this was a Fallow deer (Dåhjort in Norwegian), which does naturally belong in Norway. There is however a wild tribe on this very island.
The rain had taken a long pause, and I hoped that I could make it to the top and back again before the next shower came along. Because, I was not properly dressed for hiking in rain.
When I reached the top, I knew for a fact that I had been here before, many years ago. The graves on top (there are 7 of them on the island) are dated back to the Bronze age. Unfortunately, only being 53m high, Bloksberg would not add to my count of tops with a prominence of 100m or more. Still, it was nice to now have it in my logs…
On my way back, it started to pour down and I was pretty wet when I got back to the cabin.
Trip statistics: 3,5km, 120 vertical meters, 1 hour
In the afternoon, it was time for the highlight of the weekend – the “legendary” annual beer tasting, and I would be serving (blind test). Like always, there was 10 sorts of beer, and 5 sorts of wiener sausages, and I had thrown in an 11th beer, which could tip a potential tie. There’s just no learning from this – ever – and there was a tie on 4 correct beers and 3 sausages. Not too impressive, given that the tradition spans decades.
Later on, we were served a dinner that I will remember for a long time. My general shape and form was such that I could allow myself a few beers. I felt OK when I went to bed (being the first by a good margin), but I woke up a couple of hours later with a headache straight outta hell. Obviously, whatever was going on in my neck didn’t like the combination of alcohol. It was a long, long night…
Hankø, Sep 30 2019
Sunday: This was by far my worst day in 2019. The headache was of the incapacitating kind. Breakfast with the guys was totally out of the question. And the few beers I had the night before was NOT the reason, but most likely a contributing factor. It had been an insane year at work, and I started thinking if my neck was in a state of shock from invisible stress. I would have to figure that out later. Now, it was just facing a very stressful day.
The cabin had to be cleaned and closed for the season, then get back to the mainland, a couple of hours of driving to the Oslo airport and the 8:30pm flight to Sogndal. I got quite depressed thinking about it.
One of my buddies (Kristian) hauled me out of bed and told me to sit down. He pulled out a multi-tool (type: Leatherman), took my middle finger, put some kind of tool (not the knife) into the tip of it, looking for the point where it would hurt the most. He told me he had studied acupuncture and assumed this would help.
After a couple of minutes, the headache completely disappeared, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because I wanted it so. I call it a small miracle.
I could now participate fully in the chores and also begun thinking about doing a couple of walks on my way to the airport. There would surely be time for one or two…
It was really nice to see the “old gang” again, and I already look forward to the next time. The concept of visiting old friends AND visiting Østfold forest tops was surely to be repeated.
I was taken to Hankø Marina where I picked up my rental car and spent a couple of minutes planning my day.
Gastgiveren (217m), Sep 30 2019
Sunday: From Vikane, I drove up to Solli, crossed E6, continued northbound on 279 before I turned east on 1088 towards Trøsken. My goal was Gastgiveren, and I reckoned this would be a long walk – and probably the only one I had time for today.
But, I found out that I could drive all the way up to Harehjellhytta on Kjerringåsen, which gave me a perfect start for the hike to Gastgiveren.
I wasted up to 10 minutes trying to figure out how to pay (NOK 20,-). I could pay via the cell phone, but I was not given the chance to enter the license number. So, how would they know? Fortunately, I got hold of a guy that told me that the payment was optional and I was free to pay whatever I wanted. Happy about driving all the way up to the hut, I paid 60,- and headed out.
This is clearly a popular skiing area in winter, and likewise for roller skiing in summer. I followed the trail until I felt that Gastgiveren should be up to my left and headed into the forest, off-trail.
And after a few minutes, I had a structure ahead of me that was either the ruins of a fire lookout tower, or the skeleton of a lavvo (type of tipi). I’m not sure. It could be something else too.
I then found a marked path, which I followed back to the road. I decided to jog back to the parking, as I could see that there could be time for also visiting the nearby Buråsen.
Trip statistics: 5,3km, 130 vertical meters, 1h:10m
Buråsen (182m), Sep 30 2019
Sunday: The time was close to 4pm when I reached the car after hiking Gastgiveren. I wanted to be at Gardermoen (airport) no later than 7pm, as that’s when I was supposed to deliver the car. That gave me a 3 hour window for: driving to the Buråsen trailhead, hike to the top and back down, drive to Oslo airport Gardermoen (1h:40m), fill the tank along the way, change clothes and return the car. It was an ambitious, but surely doable goal.
I crossed Trøsken bru (bridge) and entered Tunøya before heading north in the direction of Mingedal. I found the tractor road that I had planned to follow (near Jelsnes) but didn’t find anywhere to park. So, after wasting precious time, I had to park in front of the tractor road, hoping that no tractors had business up there today.
The time was 4:10pm when I headed out. I found that following the tractor road (which turned into a forest path) would be a detour, so I headed straight up the forest, in a pretty good pace.
I then got a blistering headache, the type when you feel your head will explode, and had to sit down for a couple of minutes, to get a lower pulse. It was clear that I would have to do the rest of the hike walking, not jogging.
The time was close to 4:30pm when I reached the top. And this time, it looked like the structure on top actually was a fire lookout tower.
On my way down, I followed the path that I should have been on from the start, but after a while I got impatient and headed off-trail in the direction I came up. The time was 4:42pm when I got back to the car. The question was now how long it would take to get on the E6 – which I hoped to be on by 5pm. The road I had followed (via Agnalt) was terrible and it would take me a long time to get back that way. But Google Maps suggested that I should drive south and get back on E6 at Leikevoll. Perfect, and now I was back on schedule.
Trip statistics: 2,6km, 150 vertical meters, 32mins
To Oslo airport, Sep 30 2019
It was nice to drive the E6 in sunny weather, and if I could avoid any traffic jam, then I would be ahead of plan when I got to the airport. A massive traffic control had seemingly just ended – there were many, many cars on a turnout, and that would have taken some time, had I been pulled over.
I reached the rental car park at Gardermoen, a little before 7pm, with clean clothes and full tank. The 8:30pm plane was on time, and an hour later, I was on my way to Sogndal after Anne and Karma picked me up at the airport.
The weekend ended on a very good note! My peak count was now 99, with only one more top to go. In the back of my mind I wondered which top it would be, although I thought I knew the answer. Check in for the Week 42 report to learn which one…