Chasing the afternoon colors
|Skåla||184m||497m||Herøy, M&R, Norway|
Monday: I hadn’t been to Sukkertoppen since January, and figured it was high time I revisited one of my former favorite tops. I always want to hike Trollråsa of course – a route I established in 2006 and that has become quite popular since. But it’s just too steep to get Karma up the final pitch before the summit ridge. Hence, I’m confined to the normal route. Which is quite nice also!
Today, we headed straight up to the forest ridge above the Hessa school. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before, and I don’t know why. This is a much more fun route than the normal route a bit further west.
The path was icy in places, and in one place, Karma had to put her claws to good use…
It’s *always* nice to hike Sukkertoppen. The views are just great!
And then it was time for the regular pose at the high point!
It was already getting late and the city lights were already bright.
We took an off-trail route down to Skarbøvika, and then we got to see the most amazing moon. Or, should I say *I*. Not sure Karma gave a rat’s ass about this yellow thing up in the sky. But, I really struggled to get my new camera take the picture I wanted. It just didn’t seem to be programmed for moon pictures! More likely, I’m a mighty poor photographer. But that gives me inspiration to find out more…
Trip statistics: 4,7km, 340 vertical meters, 1h:24m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:
Tuesday: Another day in Ålesund, and after work I had plan to run all the way from Mauseidvågen and up to Sulafjellet (776m). That would be tough one! But just before I was to leave work, we run into an operational issue that had to be dealt with. As I was not on duty, I was free to go, but I decided to do a short walk with the dog and come back to work to see how it was going.
As I didn’t want to be away for too long, I decided to drive to Gåseidneset (where I lived from 2006 to 2008) and hike across Høgenakken, find a route towards Hatlaåsen and return to Gåseidneset. Which I did. Ref. the above snap from Google Earth.
The route up to Høgenakken is a route I know *very well* and it didn’t take long before I had a familiar view ahead of me.
From Høgenakken, we continued to the east until we found a pedestrian crossing across Lerstadvegen. This road is quite busy in the afternoon!
Once we had crossed the road, I discovered a path that I didn’t know about, but which took us in the direction of Hatlaåsen. As the path seemed to turn east above the tunnel, I decided to go off-trail towards the west. The off-trail route took us to the top of Hatlaåsen.
From Hatlaåsen, we followed the forest ridge to Ytre Hatlane and then along back roads back to Gåseidnes. Back in the office, the problems had been solved and I could take a final look at “my systems” before concluding that the distress was over and that I could go home.
Trip statistics: 5,7km, 260 vertical meters, 1h:15m
Wednesday: After work, I sat out to hike Øyrahornet above Tjørvåg, but when I saw the fresh and soaking wet snow on the mountain, I felt for a hike *below* the snow line instead.
So, I decided that Karma and I should do a round trip hike across Skåla. It was raining only light at the time, so the hike up Skåla was quite OK.
I hadn’t been to Skåla in 2019, so it was OK to add this top to my 2019 map.
In the horizon, I could see a glimpse of red-ish sky. Perhaps we could hope for good weather tomorrow?
We descended to the school at Stokksund and followed gravel- and side roads back to Tjørvåg.
Trip statistics: 5km, 230 vertical meters, 1h:05m
Thursday: This afternoon, I sat course for Godøya island to a) hike Storhornet, b) hopefully get a glimpse of a nice orange shine in the horizon and c) touch proper snow for the first time this winter.
The time was 3:42pm when Karma and I headed out from the Gjuv trailhead, and I expected that the sun would be gone some minutes later. I was lucky to get a glimpse of it before it vanished.
The path up the forest was partly dry, partly icy. I made a mental note about taking extra care upon descent.
Once we reached the pass between Lesten and Storhornet, the views opened up.
I was in a hurry to get to the top to get some nice post-sunset pictures, but it was difficult to keep a good pace on the slippery snow.
We reached the top 4:23pm and were greeted with awesome views!
It was tempting to continue across the mountain, descend over Sloktinden, then down the forest until we reached the forest road we started out from. But I wasn’t sure that I would be able to find the path with all the snow on the mountain. So, I found it best to head down the same way we came up.
It was starting to get pretty dark, but as long we walked on snow, we had enough light. In the forest, it also went OK until we were in the very last hill. There, I had to use my hands on whatever rock or stub I could find, in case I slipped on the ice.
At one point, I got a shiver down my spine – as whatever I was holding on to felt very awkward. It turned out to be a Troll, carved out from wood. It gave me a laugh…
The time was 4:54pm when we reached the car, and I was happy about not having used the headlamp. It’s sort of a principle, up to the point when there is no other option…
Trip statistics: 4,3km, 480 vertical meters, 1h:12m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP):
Not according to plan…, Nov 16 2019
Saturday: Friday was a transport day (Sunnmøre – Sogndal) and I was just too tired to go hiking after dark, after a long day of work and travel. Anne had prepared a nice seafood meal and both Karma and I can survive one day without hiking.
I woke up early on Saturday, feeling fine and went back to sleep. Then I woke up a couple of hours later with sweating, headache and nausea. I could no longer hold my food and in short, it was a terrible day in bed. It should be noted that Anne was just fine…
Somewhat stressful was the fact that Anne had invited guests for dinner in the evening (7pm), so I’d better be back on my feet before then. Fortunately, my general shape and form made a drastic leap towards the better around 5pm. The two bananas I had eaten seemed to stick.
Now, I had to mentally prepare for the meal – Rakfisk – Norwegian fish dish made from trout or sometimes char, salted and fermented for two to three months, or even up to a year, then eaten without cooking. And – Akevitt – a distilled spirit that is very popular in Scandinavia and is mandatory with Rakfisk.
So, moving from a day of vomiting to this meal, was a mental challenge. But it all worked out very well. I was my usual self again by 7pm, although I went really, really easy on the Akevitt. And no beer. It was a most enjoyable evening, which ended with a round of Liar’s dice – a very fun game and perfect for 6 players!
Sunday: Today, it was Anne’s birthday and as the weather was just fine, we just had to do a nice hike that we would remember for some time. I proposed Storehaugfjellet outside Sogndal.
When I asked Anne about the preferred route, she said that she wanted to hike from “Store-Svingen” and via Bjørkestølen. Which means that the hike from the parking and to the top is 6,3km.
Bjørkestølen is only a 2,1km hike from the parking and although the ground was white, we hadn’t really touched snow yet.
Once we rose above the forest, we found snow.
And Karma went nuts…
Once we reached the ridge, we got a nice view towards Sogndal.
We decided to pass Storehaugen on the south side, and the closer we got to the top, the more snow we got.
We enjoy snow, but preferably of the kind which you can ski on. This was just a heap of snow straight onto rocks.
The walk over to the high point felt somewhat “endless”, but eventually we got there – 2h:14m after heading out.
We were a little cold due to the wind, but very happy to have made it to the top on this beautiful Sunday!
We then started discussing our return options. We could either head down the way we came up (boring), or follow the ridge all the way down to Hasleggi, rather than going via Bjørkestølen. But the amount of snow and the wind didn’t make that option so tempting. Or – we could just hike down the mountain service road, where there was no wind at all. This meant a near 5km walk along the main road to get back to the car, but so be it. And that’s what we decided to do.
I would *seldom* rank a walk on a road OVER a walk in the terrain, but this was just enjoyable. No wind and sunshine against. And no stomping in deep snow. We noticed however, that fog was moving in below us.
Not too far from where the service road meets the Lingesete road, we decided to follow a vague path leading into the forest. I had taken this route once before, and it led me to Skogasete – some old farm buildings in the forest. We also ended up here today, and this place took Anne by surprise. She had neither heard of it, nor been here before.
When we reached the local airport, we discussed if it was possible to land a plane here or not. We had seen a plane come in when we were on the mountain, but the fog hadn’t moved in at that point in time. I told Anne how truly annoying it would have to be – to fly in – in this gorgeous weather, only to discover a thin layer of fog above the airstrip, preventing the plane from landing. And in worst case, the plane will have to fly to a different town and the passengers will spend hours in a bus.
In any case, we continued along the main road, partly walking, partly jogging. Boring as it was, this gave us the opportunity of a really nice round trip hike. So, no complaints whatsoever.
It was a nice hiking week, although I “lost” two days of hiking, but I got far more daylight pictures than I had expected, given that we’re in mid-November. Will next week be the first “darkness week”? Stay tuned…
Trip statistics: 16,5km, 830 vertical meters, 4h:13m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone8) from the hike: