2019 Week 43

Mixed weather – good and bad…

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“The slow death of autumn”

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Location WCP
Høgåsen 240m 240m Ulstein, Norway WCP
Holstadhornet 531m 98m Hareid, Norway WCP
Røddalshorn 563m 100m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
Skafjellet 573m 82m Hareid, Norway WCP
Melshornet 807m 564m Ørsta, Norway WCP
Gjøna 531m 163m Sande, Norway WCP
Saursegga 516m 93m Sande, Norway WCP
Haugshornet 431m 53m Sande, Norway WCP
Nørdbergsheida 509m 75m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
Skarphornet 698m 195m Volda, Norway WCP
Hornet 695m 182m Volda, Norway WCP
Heidane 649m 51m Volda, Norway WCP

Høgåsen (240m), Uglesætra, Oct 21 2019

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Our round trip hike on Dimnøya

Monday: I was fortunate enough to get a fairly appointment with my chiropractor in Volda, and he was a bit surprised to see me again, so soon. But I explained that this was a totally new issue, and hopefully no worse than just a solid kink in my lower back. After a closer inspection, he agreed that it was most likely nothing more than that. He cracked me up, and I could go back to work. Stiffer than before visit, but without that agonizing pain. Good job!

After work, I decided to take it a bit easy and took Karma up to Høgåsen on Dimnøya island outside Ulsteinvik. It was a bit windy and light rain, which was totally acceptable conditions in the forest.

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On top of Høgåsen

The back felt good enough to keep on walking, so we sat course for Svarane (191m) and Stemnehornet (190m) – a common round trip hike.

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Looking back on Høgåsen

From Stemnehornet, many will just follow the forest trail back to the sports field, but I decided to continue towards Uglesætra. I don’t think I can explain the concept in English, so I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Approaching Uglesætra

It’s not a concept, really. Just one guy (I believe…) who has created a small adventure park in a part of the forest. Immensely popular amongst the children…

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@Uglesætra

I had timed it well, and we reached the car just as it got dark. It was a nice hike, and it felt good to use the body, after having solved the “kink issue”…

Trip statistics: 5,8km, 350 vertical meters, 1h:54m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Holstadhornet (531m), Oct 22 2019

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Our route across Holstadhornet

Tuesday: I’ll be honest and say that I had to dig hard for inspiration to go hiking today. Not because of the light rain and wind on the mountains, but I was just dead tired. And, my back was stiff as heck, but clearly improving. On days like these, some hikes are easier to get going with, than others. Like Holstadhornet above Hareid.

You don’t have to start from sea level, but can drive up to Hovled and enjoy a wide and nice path up to the meadow by Håbakknotten.

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Along the nice path up from Hovled

Then follows a gentle climb up to Feiliskaret

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Had to jog all the way, in order to be down before the dark

… before you follow the ridge to the top.

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On top of Holstadhornet

From the top, we descended along a parallel route which took us down to Gjerdet. From there, we followed the roads back to the trailhead. It felt good both to have walked the dog and overcome my fatigue. We returned to the car 10 minutes before darkness.

Trip statistics: 5,6km, 500 vertical meters, 1h:18m

Røddalshorn (563m), Oct 23 2019

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Our route up and down Røddalshorn

Wednesday: Today, Anne came up from Sogndal. She would travel all the way to Bhutan the next day, so this afternoon was our only chance to hike together for a while.

However, we couldn’t spend too much time on the hike and chose to go to Røddalshorn – a nice and easy stroll up from (near) Leikongsætra. It’s a hike we both enjoy.

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Ready to go!

The path was soaking wet after recent rain, but it didn’t matter much. When we got on the high ridge, the path was much better.

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On the summit ridge

And then we were back on top of Røddalshorn…

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Our last hike together, for approx. 14 days…

Upon descent, we took an off-trail, parallel route while talking about her upcoming adventure in the faraway country she was heading for. I was a bit nervous about her initial part of the journey – to get the Ålesund and the airport. You can never be sure about anything out here on the coastline. So, we created plan A and plan B, which required that we got up at 4am…

Trip statistics: 3,4km, 400 vertical meters, 1h:09m

Skafjellet (573m),  Oct 24 2019

 

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Our route across Skafjellet

Thursday morning: Plan A was a “go”. The weather was fine and the 05:30am Hareid – Sulesund ferry went as it should. This meant that Anne would get to the Ålesund airport quite early, but getting there too late was certainly not an option. But, she got to Oslo and met with the group that she would travel to Bhutan with.

Thursday afternoon: I was a bit fed up with grey, windy and rainy days. I wanted sunshine, but I was certainly not getting any today.

So, the clue is to look hard on the map for routes I haven’t done before. Because, that gives me enough inspiration to ignore most weather. And today, I found a route to Skafjellet (near Hareid) that I yet hadn’t done.

Above Grimstad, there was a path along a creek that would take us up to the pass between Skafjellet and Holstadhornet. And from there, the hike up the ridge would be easy. But I was in a little hurry. The time was already 4:40pm, and it would be dark by 6:15pm. That left us with 1,5 hours to climb to 573m and return along the normal route – to Bjåstad. A 6,2km round trip hike. Should be fine…

The path up along the creek was one I won’t visit again. It was visible enough to follow, but that’s the best thing I can say about it.

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On the path along the creek

Once we reached the meadows below the high ridge, there was nothing more to be seen from the path. I tried to keep a good pace, but had to wait 5 minutes for Karma to eat some grass, and “clear the system” through vomiting. Before this, she looked like a turtle. After, she was a rabbit on steroids. It’s interesting how binary dogs can be…

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Off-trail towards Skafjellet

The time was 5:32pm when we reached the top. All in all, it looked like I didn’t have to hurry back down. Which we didn’t.

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On the windy Skafjellet

The path and forest road down to Bjåstad is always nice to hike, and we returned to the car 6:10pm. It was getting quite dark, but once again – we were “right on plan”.

Trip statistics: 6,2km, 550m vertical meters, 1,5 hours

Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone8):

Melshornet (807m), Oct 25 2019

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Our route up from Bratteberget

Friday: The weather was highly unstable, and I wasn’t really sure where to go. As the weather was not good at all along the coastline, I decided to drive to Ørsta or Volda after work and see how the weather was like there.

I ended up in Volda, and as the weather wasn’t bad at the time, I decided to give Melshornet a shot. My choice of trailhead fell on Bratteberget – from where I’ve hiked once before.

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Heading out from Bratteberget

We took the unmarked path (there are two) up the forest, and as we began to ascend along Kåkehaugen, it started to snow! Light, but definitely snow.

The snow shower passed as we passed the Turnhytta cabin and got on Melshornet’s southwest ridge.

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Towards Melshornet

I regretted not choosing hiking boots for this hike. I knew very well that as my terrain shoes were already wet, they would get crazy cold up in the snow on Melshornet. The good thing that there wasn’t a whole lot of it. Perhaps I got lucky and could jump from rock to rock?

Walking in snow was however unavoidable, and I soon started to lose the feeling in several toes. No worries, though. They would surely wake up again down in the forest.

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On top of Melshornet

It was really windy on top, and certainly not a place I intended to be for very long. But a short stay was really nice. It’s good to “feel the weather” from time to time.

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Time to get off…

We headed back the same route, and as soon we had passed Turnhytta, it started snowing again. And, as I had anticipated, I started to get the feeling back in my toes further down in the forest.

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More snow…

When we reached the traversing forest road, we took the marked path back to Bratteberget. It was the first time I hiked along that path.

And NOW I really could enjoy Friday evening, with the best conscience…

Trip statistics: 7km, 600 vertical meters, 1,5 hours

Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone8) from the hike:

Gjøna (531m), Saursegga (516m), Haugshornet (431m), Nørdbergsheida (509m), Oct 26 2019

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Our round trip hike

Saturday: I was on standby duty @work and had to look for a moderate hike in my local region, where I could abort at any time and be at my PC within the agreed response time.

I studied the map, looking for a “loop” that where I would accomplish this if need be. My choice fell on a round trip hike across Gjøna, Saursegga, Haugshornet and Nørdbergsheida. There wouldn’t be any new paths, although I’m not entirely sure if I’ve hiked from Haugshornet to Nørdbergsheida before. In any case, it would be the first time I did this loop.

We (Karma and I) started from Muren and took the westernmost (and newest) path up to Gjøna. It’s pretty much steep all the way. My kind of path!

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Karma has the “oh no” look on her face…

We were hiking in the shadow, but that was OK. We would get enough sunshine when following the ridge from Gjøna.

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On our way up to Gjøna

According to peakbook.org, this was the 12th time I stood on top of Gjøna – also known as Nipa. I think all of these visits have been quite nice, as I seldom go here in bad weather.

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On top of Gjøna

After a round of pictures and treats for the dog, it was time to move on towards Saursegga.

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The ridge towards Saursegga

I really like this ridge. It’s quite picturesque…

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Looking forward to it…

We continued across the small hump Hanen, and continued towards Haugshornet – still along a nice and marked path. On Haugshornet, Karma expected more treats. She hadn’t on Saursegga or Hanen, because those tops have neither a cairn nor a trig. point. But on Haugshornet, I had to “pay up”.

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Saursegga & Gjøna seen from Haugshornet

From Haugshornet, we followed a smaller path which went towards Nørdbergsheida. Or Kloven – as I think the locals call it. There are two humps on each side of lake Klovvatnet, and in “my book”, the south side is the highest. But the marker is on the north side. So, I tend to visit both tops whenever I pass through here.

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On Nørdbergsheida (the north side)

According to my cell phone, everything was still dandy fine @work, and we had plenty of time before it got dark. My initial thought was to descend to Sædalen and follow the service road down to Gjerdsvika. But I suddenly changed my mind, and followed the path leading towards Botnen.

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Towards Botnen

I passed the new “gapahuk” near Telebergvatna before the path took “a dive” into Botnen. The path is quite nice, but I seemed to remember that the lower part – near Gjerdsvika – was not so fun.

But someone had been busy here, and now the days of worrying about wet terrain here was over. Very nice. I think. The new wooden path is very dominating, but can’t it be forgiven when it keeps us dry? There’s no right answer to this questions. I can clearly see this from both sides.

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Staying dry…

The 1,6km hike along the main road back to Muren would have been boring, if Anne hadn’t called me from Bhutan – on FaceTime. It was really good to hear from her and everything was fine.

Trip statistics: 12,2km, 860 vertical meters, 3 hours

Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone8) from the hike:

Skarphornet (698m), Hornet (695m), Heidane (649m), Oct 27 2019

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Our very nice round trip hike

Sunday: When I finally found the time to go hiking this Sunday, the weather had changed from OK to extremely miserable. It was pouring down outside when I opened the front door. But now that I had changed clothes and all, I could just not close the door and go back in. The dog was already extremely eager to get out.

In the distance, to the east, I could see a glimpse of bright light and decided to drive to Volda and see if the weather was better over there. It actually was. For a time being. But the most important thing that it wasn’t pouring down when I parked by Rotevatnet – with the intention to hike Skarphornet.

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Skarphornet

We hiked along the golf course, and from far away I could see golfers. What I didn’t know was that they were waiting for us (Karma and I) to pass. By the time we finally passed them, they seemed really restless. Sorry about that…

Then we headed up the forest road leading up to Botnasætra. This is a dull transport leg. In winter, however, skiing down this forest road is quite fun!

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I agree. That looks weird…

The forest road turned into the path to Rotevassætra, and we followed it until it forked. We turned right and followed the path running up Skarphornet’s north ridge.

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We turned right here. This is the start of the north ridge

There is a “false summit” (681,5m) 400m south of the high point, and it confuses Karma every time we’re up here. She expects treats (because of the cairn) and doesn’t understand why she’s not getting paid…

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“Ehm….”

I was curious about how long the weather would stay OK. I felt really, really fortunate to be approaching the high point in fairly OK weather!

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View towards Koppefjellet

Eventually, we reached the high point – or should I say the cairn. The high point is 50m southeast of the cairn. Karma got paid and I had to decided what we should do next. My original plan was to descend along lake Horndalsvatnet, but I wanted to see the valley before I made up my mind.

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(Almost) on top of Skarphornet

On the way down Skarphornet’s south ridge, I had a good overview of the valley and decided that we should hike across Hornet and Heidane instead. Eventually, we would end up in the same valley, closer to lake Rotevatnet.

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Hornet and Heidane. Rotsethornet far right

The weather was still OK as we begun ascending Hornet, but then it started to snow. It was only a light snowfall, and it was all quite cosy as the snow melted as it touched ground.

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Sunndalsnipa and Eidskyrkja seen from Hornet

We moved on towards Heidane, and now the snow actually HIT the ground. It wasn’t all that cosy anymore, but at least it wasn’t windy. It’s quite a different thing with the wind…

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A feeling of winter…

We descended into Høgedalen – a route I know quite well from before. And because of the elevation change, the snow turned into rain.

On the map, there is a path that runs directly down to the trailhead, and I decided to see if I could find it. I sort of did, and was (sort of) able to follow it down the forest. Not that we needed the path. The forest was fairly open – and GREEN. It was the greenest forest I’ve seen in a long while. I made a mental note to come back here when there is sunshine!

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Even the dead trees were green…

Anyway, it was an OK week. I was able to do a hike all days of the week and was already curious how next week would turn out.

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Inspired to come back!

Trip statistics: 5,6km, 250 vertical meters, 3h:18m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone8) from the hike:

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