A short hiking week and arrival of full winter
Kongsberg, Nov 25-27 2019
How awful to travel to the city of Kongsberg – King’s mountain in English, and not do ANY hiking! Well, there was just no time. I had 3 very nice days with my new employer – KONGSBERG – along with ~200 other colleagues from the IT department.
As we were busy from early morning to late evening, there was little time for pictures, but at least I can share a couple from the Kongsberg Bergverksmuseum. I’m not really a museum-going type of guy, but this was actually very interesting – as the silver mine – along with the very beginning of the KONGSBERG company is so closely connection with Norway becoming an independent nation.
Thursday: It was snowing when I drove towards Haddal – to hike Garnestua after work. Actually, I didn’t see anything of the mountain, due to the snow shower.
It felt both uplifted and a bit down. Uplifted because we today went live with a SW system that I’ve built, and it ran perfectly. A bit down, as Anne left this morning and we wouldn’t see each other again until next weekend. In any case, I looked forward to go hiking again, after 3 days in Kongsberg.
It stopped snowing after a little while, and when we got out of the forest, it was quite nice. A little wind and still some snowdrift, but certainly not hostile conditions.
Looking back, I could see a snow shower also hitting the area where I live.
We got onto the long summit ridge and the weather stayed OK. A little bit more wind, and a little bit more snowdrift, but still OK.
In the final hill before the top, we headed into fog.
The summits around here are always exposed when the weather is bad, and it was much more unpleasant being on the top, than just a little bit further down.
As the weather was not too bad, I decided to descend the normal route to Løset, and hike/jog down Ringstaddalen (along the road). The path was so icy that it was impossible to follow it, especially with fresh snow on top. But hiking off-trail, alongside was just OK.
As we got closer to Løset, I decided to leave the path and take a short-cut so that I would get less distance along the road. That was a mistake. It started to snow again, and as we tried to find our way through some juniper bush, I could no longer see Karma – who had been next to me all the way down. After 30 seconds, I could still not see her, and I started to get a bad feeling. I called for her, well knowing that she doesn’t come running. She just stays put right where she is and thinks she’s doing it right. Even though I trained her on this when she was a puppy.
Then I started to follow my track back up the mountain. Track – as in GPS track. It was not possible to see my footsteps due to the darkness, the snowfall and the fact that we had hiked through the bush.
After a while I was confident that I was way beyond the point where I saw her last. So I returned to the point where I lost her, just in case she had returned, while planning how I should organize a search. Should I call someone for help, or should I do this by myself? It was not a nice situation to be in.
When I got back to the point where the bush was really dense, I saw her at the same place I had lost her. She seemed mighty confused, but very, very glad to see me.
I have no idea what happened. My guess is that she suddenly got a scent of a rodent in the bush and ignored my calls. In any case, I was really happy not having lost my dog and after some more unpleasant hike through the bush, we finally made it to the road. This is a short-cut I will never repeat!
Trip statistics: 9,2km, 700 vertical meters, 2 hours
Friday: I decided to work in Ålesund today, which I usually don’t do on Fridays. But, since I hadn’t been there all week, I decided to go. I assumed it would be a smooth ride with little or no traffic. After all, Norwegians go to their cabins on Thursday evening. Well, some at least. However, it turned out to be the worst traffic I’ve ever seen here. Could it be because of Black Friday?
Anyway, after work the weather was a bit rugged and I decided to stay low and safe. A hike across Aksla seemed tempting and I drove to Gangstøvika and parked there. I was a little nervous about how Karma would take it. Lately, she’s refused to walk from here. Perhaps it’s because she knew I would be running for the entire 7,5km loop.
But today, I started out walking and she seemed happy to go along.
After a while I decided to jog, because walking this route is a little bit boring. And besides, I wanted to get to Fjellstua for the usual Ålesund picture before it got too dark for a handheld shot. I made it – just in time. I had to tweak to get down to 1/50 sec, but the result was moderately OK.
Then we sat course for the high point. It was nice to follow the snowy trails.
By the time we got to Rundskue (the highest point), it got quite dark. 5 minutes later, the headlamp had to come on, as I chose the forest route instead of the lit trail.
The Friday pizza and beer tastes so much better after a workout like this.
Trip statistics: 7,5km, 330 vertical meters, 1h:20m
Saturday: After working from home in the morning, I left the house at noon – planning to hike Blåtind or Haddalshornet. But on my way I changed my plan and decided to hike Lidaveten in Volda instead.
I hoped we would get a sunny hike across the mountain. At last, it looked good while driving in.
When we headed out from Berkneset, there was hardly any snow on the path and I looked forward to get above the forest and take lots of pictures.
But then the weather changed…
It was now full winter on this mountain. Fortunately, it wasn’t very windy.
Eventually, we reached the top and I had to de-ice Karma.
I decided to hike down the ridge leading to Eideim and followed the sticks. I was a bit confused early on, as it wasn’t as steep as I had expected it to be. After having descended 50 vertical meters I had to pull out the GPS and concluded that we were on the wrong ridge. Sigh…
Back at the top, I made sure that I found the correct ridge, and we were also able to follow the path – even if it was hidden below 15-20cm of fresh snow.
I thought all the snow would be a problem for Karma, but she was in hyper drive today and clearly having a ball.
Once back on the forest road, we took the trail to Bøen. Karma was still super-happy and ran in circles from pure happiness.
When we got to Bøen, we got to see the sky again. We’ve seen snow many times this autumn and winter, but nothing like this – in the coastal region. Winter is here for sure, and I need to prep my skis!
Trip statistics: 7,2km, 680 vertical meters, 2h:15m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:
Sunday: The weather was far from good, but not worse than that I decided to aim for a 600m top. It would mean that we would be very exposed to snow showers, which is only a problem if they also are accompanied with a strong wind. Moreover, a lot of snow has fallen and so the trip would be a snow plod rather than a hike. I got into my car without knowing where I’d end up, but after a few minutes’ drive, I decided to visit Haddalshornet.
I drove to Havåg, as I know the forest path quite well. Even if the path would be covered with lots of snow, I would still find my way. And so would Karma.
The forest part was quite easy. The snow wasn’t that deep.
As we got onto the mountain proper, it began to snow. I thought to myself – “oh no, here we go again“, with reference to the snow shower that lasted during our entire hike across Lidaveten the day before.
To say that Karma didn’t struggle in the deep snow, would be a lie…
But the good news was that the snow shower passed as we ascended the final hill to the top.
Being on top of Haddalshornet was actually quite nice. I had feared much worse weather. Big bonus!
But I didn’t want to stick around to see if a new shower was coming along, and so we left the summit after just a couple of minutes. The descent was of course much easier than the ascent…
One thing is for sure, I am glad I put the suit on the dog. I really don’t want to imagine what she would have looked like without it…
Trip statistics: 5,5km, 620 vertical meters, 1h:45m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone8) from the hike: