2019 Week 49

Bad weather week and the first ski-trip

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It’s that time of the year again…

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Location WCP
Høgkubben 450m 62m Ålesund, Norway WCP
Høgkubben 450m 62m Ålesund, Norway WCP
Rambjøra 132m 109m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
Høgehaug 980m 10m Sogndal
Stedjeåsen 624m 121m Sogndal, Norway WCP

Høgkubben (450m), Dec 2 2019

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Our route from Blindheim

Monday:  I couldn’t shake the feeling: “another week, here we go again…” In other words, I wouldn’t mind at all driving straight home after work in Ålesund. Another day of battling indolence. Even an eager beaver like myself can have a bad day. But, then there’s knowing that once you get on the trail, it’s all good.

I decided to hike Høgkubben from Blindheim, expecting a beaten path. After all, quite a number of people live here, and some of them like to hike the local mountain. I also expected that Karma would protest, as she doesn’t seem to like this route. And she did protest, but when daddy commands, Karma gets going.

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On our way up the tractor road

She’s been acting quite strange lately. For seven years, she has been by my side. But lately, she goes to the basement to sleep at every opportunity. I hope she’s not sick. She eats good and seems otherwise happy, but wants to be by herself. I’m taking her to the Vet tomorrow, just in case. She has a hot spot that just won’t heal, but I’m not sure if it’s affecting her in any way.

Anyway – the path was indeed beaten, making progress up the forest road much easier than it otherwise would have been.

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Closing in on the top

We arrived on the summit just as it got dark enough to warrant the use of a headlamp. The pictures are lying in that respect. As for the pictures – they’re not good, as it was just a bit too dark for handheld shots. But you get the overall idea. It was indeed a nice afternoon on Høgkubben.

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On top of Høgkubben
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View towards Ålesund
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View towards Sykkylven

To my delight, I could see tracks down the other path. This meant that we would get a round trip hike and that I didn’t have to break the trail myself. Karma was now happy as a dog can be, and one may wonder what she actually protested against in the first place…

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Down the other path

Trip statistics: 5,1km, 400 vertical meters, 1h:20m

@Vet, Dec 3 2019

Tuesday: No hiking today. I took Karma to the Vet to check out a hot-spot that has crawled back out from the shadows. The Vet performed a small surgery (without any sedation) and Karma stood still like she always does. Again, she received kind words from the Vet for her patience. Then she was put on antibiotics, and given the foul weather, I decided it was best to take it easy today.

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Poor girl…

Høgkubben (450m), Dec 4 2019

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Our LONG round trip hike across Høgkubben

Wednesday: I got up at 5am and prepared for my working day in Ålesund. I left work 3:30pm when it was getting dark. The wind was seriously picking up and it started to rain. The will to just drive straight home to a warm and cosy house was overwhelming. And once again I managed to pull myself out of this longing for comfort and drove to the slalom hill in Spjelkavika.

All the snow had disappeared in less than two days and the path was incredibly icy. Not so bad in the beginning, but quite worse higher up.

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Up the slalom hill

On the top of the hill (Høgelia), we passed the “Christmas tree“, but there was not a shred of Christmas feeling

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Reaching the top of Høgelia

Two days ago, I visited Høgkubben from the Blindheim side. If it hadn’t been for a broken trail, I could have wanted gaiters. Now, there was hardly any snow left and I was wearing sneakers. A bad choice, as I was both cold and wet on my feet by the time we reached Høgkubben.

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Ålesund – Spjelkavika view from Høgelia

The plan was to descend via Bigtonhytta, but I didn’t want to spend more time on this mountain than strictly necessary and took the path towards Blindheim. Which – would put us on the wrong side of the mountain and mean 4km along paved roads to get back to Spjelkavika. But that was OK. I was tired of the ice and the wind.

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On top of a windy and rainy Høgkubben. Just wanted to get OFF

On the way down to Blindheim, we passed the same bench I took a picture of on Monday. There was a significant change in the amount of snow…

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Left: Today (Wednesday). Right: Monday

Fortunately, as I approached Spjelkavika, I found a “back road” that saved us 0,5km. And then it really started to pour down. We made it back to the car in the nick of time. The ferry ride across the fjord was bumpy!

Trip statistics: 9,7km, 400 vertical meters, 1h:52m

Rambjøra (132m), Dec 5 2019

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Our usual loop on Rambjøra.

Thursday: It was pouring down outside and the doorstep felt like it was 150cm high. Still low enough to climb across, and after pulling myself together real hard, I decided to give Karma a longer afternoon walk than just around the block.

For some reason, Rambjøra is on Karma’s “A-list” and she always takes off like a rocket. I had push hard just to keep up. Whatever snow was left was melting as we walked and it was altogether a miserable happening…

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On Rambjøra.

Then my headlamp decided to call it a day. Well – almost. It switched itself off every time I put my right foot into the ground, and I had to slam it to get it working again. And – we had roughly 3km to go…

It was one of those hikes that is OK to forget about. Even Karma seemed pretty fed up when we returned to the house…

Trip statistics: 3,4km, 100 vertical meters, 45mins

To Sogndal, Dec 6 2019

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Walking the dog in Sogndal

Friday: I had some ambition to hike Stedjeåsen on Friday evening, but it felt way too nice to enter Anne’s warm and comfortable house, where dinner was awaiting. Karma got a walk down by the fjord, and that was all she would get this afternoon. That is, until Anne took her on the evening walk.

Høgehaug (980m), Dec 7 2019

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Our ski-trip to Høgehaug and back

Saturday: As snow had fallen during the night, Anne and I decided to ski Høgehaug on Saturday. This would be the first ski-trip for the new season for both of us. I pictured nice tracks from a snowmobile, but that wasn’t the case. Fortunately, we didn’t have to break the trail ourselves, as some other skiers had left before us.

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Heading out from Rindabotn / Hodlekve

We started out in fairly nice weather, but that was about to change soon. Already at the top of the first hill, the snow and wind against made it difficult to look in the direction we were going. Fortunatly, we could still see the ski-tracks from the other skiers and were able to maintain progress, while looking down on our skis.

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Hard to see…

In Stilledalen (“The quiet valley”), I sensed a change in the weather. It took another 20 minutes for the weather to actually change, but it did.

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In Stilledalen. Looks nice, but invisible snow whipped our eyes

On our way up, we met the skiers who had broken the trail. The last person was Tom Dybwad – a friend of ours that we normally meet on our ski trips to Tylderingen.

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Tom and his faithful companion “Tina”

In the final section of our trip, the weather changed for the better, and we could enjoy a couple of nice minutes on top of Høgehaug. I had forgotten to bring treats for Karma, and she was disappointed. As she should be. But I promised her “double up” once back at the car, and I assumed I was forgiven.

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On top of Høgehaug

We had a nice trip down the mountain, although I suffered from not having prepped my skis for the new winter season. My glide was awful, but it was nevertheless a really nice ski-trip…

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Let’s check your vision. How many fingers am I holding up?

Trip statistics: 9,4km, 435 vertical meters, 2h:17m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Stedjeåsen (624m), Dec 8 2019

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Our round trip hike across Stedjeåsen

Sunday: It had snowed a lot, and the natural thing to do would be to go skiing. Like on Tylderingen, for example. But it was still snowing,and remembering yesterday, I didn’t fancy skiing in a snowfall with wind against. So, I proposed a round trip hike across Stedjeåsen, and Anne looked forward to it.

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Karma felt that Anne had a slow start

We took the normal route up the forest, which was nice. Only one hiker had been out today, and we met her as she returned from “Dagsturhytta”.

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Passing “Dagsturhytta”

At 470m we took the southernmost trail – which we had to break ourselves. As we were in the forest, we didn’t have a lot of snow to deal with. It was a most enjoyable hike so far!

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It was a very nice walk up the forest!

We then reached the tree where the mailbox is located, and signed into the visitor’s register.

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The ladies in red on Stedjeåsen

Then we continued towards the high point – which is hardly visited by anyone – mainly due to wet bog in summer and deep snow in winter.

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On our way to the high point. The snow is deep.

But we got to the top and agreed that we should do a round trip hike, through descending via Skardet.

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On the very top of Stedjeåsen

But first, we had to locate the path – so we didn’t get lost in the forest…

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Anne found the path – thanks to red dots on the trees

Anne found the route, and we were able to follow the red dots on the trees down the forest.

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Heading down from the Skardet pass

Eventually, we reached a tractor road that took us down to Flatane.

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Finally, out of the woods…

The tractor road was a small challenge, as it was really icy – with a shallow layer of snow on top. But we stayed on our feet and returned home safe and sound. A very enjoyable round trip hike!

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Better stay on the side

Trip statistics: 7,7km, 600 vertical meters, 2h:42m

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