December is here – for sure…
|Huldrehornet||271m||113m||Herøy, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|Heida||239m||126m||Herøy, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|Nakken||180m||22m||Herøy, M&R, Norway|
|Gyrinakken||365m||157m||Herøy, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|Rjåhornet||598m||105m||Herøy, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|Nørdbergsheida||509m||75m||Herøy, M&R, Norway||WCP|
Monday: This was clearly the worst “commute” from Sogndal and home this year. Heavy snowfall several places, and when it didn’t snow, it rained and the roads were icy. I was quite relieved getting back home, safe and sound.
I had to walk the dog and decided to do so on Huldrehornet on Gurskøya. I wanted to stay in the forest, in shelter of the strong winds. Well – in order to reach the top, we had to rise above the forest and just as I got on the summit ridge, the wind blew me straight back to where I came from. The wind was THAT strong.
But we made it to the top, and the contrast from the nice and cozy forest couldn’t have been bigger.
Trip statistics: 2,2km, 250 vertical meters, 35min
Tuesday: The rough weather continued, and I had absolutely no intention of exposing myself o rthe dog to the strong winds. I wasn’t in my best shape and form either. Not sure what’s going on. We’ll see how it goes.
In any case, well after dark I was able to pull myself together and walk the dog. I decided to visit Heida on Gurskøya, as I wanted to stay in shelter of the strong winds.
We had a very nice hike up the forest, on a thin layer of snow. It was impossible to sense that the winds were raging a bit higher up. But when we reached the top, we could certainly feel it.
I decided to continue across the top and descend to Jøsokbakken. I had only hiked this route once before, and I had problems following the path. But Karma didn’t have any issues and guided me down the forest. Whether she remembered the route, or sensed it – I don’t know.
Down by the fence above Jøsokbakken, I recalled that we previously did a “hairy route” in order to get down to the main road. It’s really steep and today – in the dark – I had no chance finding a safe way down. So I had to retrace my steps and find another way down to Jøsokbakken and follow other paths down to the main road.
All in all, a good walk, both for me and the dog.
Trip statistics: 6,1km, 360 vertical meters, 1,5 hours.
Wednesday: Yet another miserable dark afternoon with strong winds and rain showers that gave no motivation to get out of the front door. Still, the dog needed to get a walk and I decided that a hike across Nakken (on Gurskøya) wouldn’t expose us too much for the ugly weather.
We headed out from Djupvika, and followed the marked path (marked by me) up to the top and then we followed another path to Leikong. We now had 1,7km back to the car, but most of it was along a pedestrian walk – hence OK. When we ran out of a sidewalk, we caused a little chaos for the general traffic, as the drivers – a) didn’t expect to see anything out of the ordinary alongside the road and b) had to figure out if these obstacles were on or off the main road. We were of course OFF the main road.
Trip statistics: 4,1km, 250 vertical meters, 56 mins.
Thursday: Now I was totally fed up with miserable weather, but defeated indolence once again by taking Karma for a trip across Gyrinakken (on Gurskøya).
We started out from the lit trail on Leikongeidet. I didn’t expect Karma to get a big kick out of a icy gravel road, but she took off like a rocket.
Eventually, we headed into the dark forest and I regretted wearing sneakers (for the 4th day in a row). The path was mostly soaking wet, and when it wasn’t wet, there was snow. But, I’m able to keep a bigger pace with them, so it is what it is…
On top it was snowing. We were just high enough to get a feel for it. 20 vertical meters further down, it was just raining.
We continued west down to the Go-cart field and then had to get onto the busy main road (FV61) where we caused cars to get to a sudden halt, as they couldn’t figure out what all the reflex and lights alongside the road was all about. I bet no one EVER walks alongside this road.
But, when we got back to the car, it felt all worth it. It’s just a huge sensation after you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone – and here I’m talking about the comfort of a warm house – done a good walk and return all wet – looking forward to get back to the warm house.
Trip statistics: 5,8km, 310m vertical meters, 1h:20m
Friday: Three good things happened today: 1) the weather changed for the better, 2) I had a most excellent work day and 3) Anne was on her way from Sogndal. Putting a rank to it, I guess I should have put this in the opposite order…
Anyway, I figured I had time after work to hike Rjåhornet (on Gurskøya) before Anne arrived, and I decided to start from the very sea level – at Leikong.
Again, I was wearing sneakers – for the 5th day in a row, which not seemed like the best choice for a snowy 600m mountain. However – the first 300 vertical meters hardly offered any snow at all. Just a lot of ice – but only on the path.
At 300 meters, two things happened – we reached hard snow and it went pitch dark. Along with the darkness came a nice moon. Without a tripod, I did my best to take a handheld picture…
At 500 meters, the snow was getting real hard – up to the point where I started to worry about the final 100 vertical meters. A slide on hard snow mixed with rocks is never nice.
But the snow wasn’t hard as ice, and I was able to make footsteps, which I could follow on our way down. It was altogether quite safe, although I’ve been in situations up here where I really worried about my safety.
We then reached the top, I took a picture, Karma got her reward and then we hurried down the mountain. Anne had arrived 15 minutes ahead of us, and Karma was over the moon when she realized that mummy was in the house…
Trip statistics: 5,8km, 310m vertical meters, 1h:30m
Friday evening: Time for the annual Smalahove fiest at Lena & Terje’s place. With lots of friends gathered. Altogether an evening to look forward to, and think back on. The dinner may not look too picturesque, but tastes like heaven. Especially when accompanied with Aquavite. And yes, I ate the eye too. Like I always do.
Saturday: We weren’t in bed until 2am, and Karma was so thrilled when we came back that she couldn’t hold her food. There’s nothing like having to clean up barf before going to bed, somewhat animated…
Status as 6am was … not good. Status at 8am was … better, but not good. Status at 10am was OK. At least good enough to get out of bed.
After breakfast, I proposed that we should do like we did in August – hike across Hasundhornet (on Hareidlandet island) to pick up my car – which was left at Lena & Terje’s place.
This time we would not start at Løset, but from Garneskrysset.
From Garneskrysset, we followed the path up to lake Garnesvatnet. The weather was gorgeous and it was so nice to be outdoors. We were indeed happy!
And Karma was – of course – all over the place…
Eventually, we reached lake Garnesvatnet.
We decided to just cut straight across Flåna’s ridge and pick whatever route towards Hasundhornet that seemed suitable. As the snow didn’t carry our weight, we decided to aim for the path running along the ridge.
On our way towards the ridge, I came across a split rock and decided to introduce Anne to a small challenge. After having done it myself, of course…
And then we sat course for the top.
On top, we took the base for our Christmas card for friends (top picture), a tradition we’ve had since 2011. We wished we could have more snow, though. Perhaps that will not will be the final picture. We’ll see…
After a nice stay on top, we moved on – in the direction of Strandabøen. We followed the same path as we did in August, but this time we didn’t take the path pointing to Hasund.
Instead, we followed the path down to Notten. I’ve never been here before, and I really like getting to new places.
There was a “Strandabøen” signpost here, which was just perfect – as that’s was exactly where we were going.
And a little while later, we could ring Lena & Terje’s doorbell, and thank them (once again) for the nice party. And then we drove back to Garneskrysset in my car…
Trip statistics: 8,5km, 670m vertical meters, 3 hours
Pictures from the trip (Canon EOS RP):
Sunday: Today, I proposed a hike from Gjerdsvika to Nørdbergsheida (on Gurskøya), primarily because I wanted to show Anne the route from Botnen. Nørdbergsheida – not being a very prominent top – isn’t my typical candidate top for a Sunday, but there are plenty of round trip options, and anything was on the table.
The new walkway in Botnen provides easy access to the mountain, and Anne liked it. All that wood brings a lot of attention, but on the positive side, it preserves the terrain under.
Halfway up Botnen, we took a short break and enjoyed the view towards Gjerdsvika.
Our next stop was at “Strutsely” – the new Gapahuk. We agreed that it was properly anchored, and no storm will send this at sea anytime soon…
The Gapahuk gives a spectacular ocean- and Gjerdsvika view. This would be just the place to enjoy the sunset, while having something nice to eat…
Then we moved on towards Nørdbergsheida.
I had possibly foreseen a descent to lake Storevatnet and a long hike around the lake, alternatively to continue to Storetua. But Anne wasn’t in top shape today, so we settled for a descent along the Høgehornet ridge. Which is a nice route! Don’t get me wrong…
After passing across Høgehornet, we agreed to hike off-trail down to lake Storevatnet, just to get a variation to a familiar route. That off-trail part was no fun whatsoever. But a variation is a variation…
We had one more variation in store. I was curious where the road that forked by the toll booth on the Sædalsvegen road led. Probably to the pipeline, but I wanted to know for sure. It did.
Now that we were, we figured we might as well hike alongside it, as it would take us directly to the car. It was a really nice round trip hike, although it was a bit shorter than I had originally planned. On the upside, we were home early and could get more out of this Sunday – our last Sunday before going on Christmas vacation.
And there was a nice bottle of wine awaiting for dinner…
Trip statistics: 8,3km, 570m vertical meters, 2h:43m hours
Pictures from the trip (Canon EOS RP):
Looking for Arco
Sunday evening: As we were cooking dinner, we saw on Facebook that a good friend of us had lost his dog below Garnestua. The spooky thing that this was really close to where Karma disappeared two weeks ago. Fortunately, she reappeared after 15 long minutes, but I knew what my friend was going through.
Once we finished dinner (very hasty and no wine), I got in my car and drove up Ringstaddalen, called my friend and asked where he wanted me to search. He gave me a starting point and told me he would come up. He had spent most of the day up here searching already, but there’s probably inspiration in friends coming along. It was dead dark, but the dog had a reflex on, so the darkness was not by default a problem.
I let Karma get a long and good smell in the cage that my friend had left at the trailhead, in case his dog would make his way back. But Karma has no training in this type of search, and I didn’t expect that she would know what to do with the scent.
I tried to imagine that the dog had decided to chase a deer or a hare, both surely wanting to seek to higher ground. So I pictured a chase route and sat course for lake Mørkevatnet. But when I rose above the forest, I decided not to continue upwards. The dog had ben on a leash, and chances were that the dog had gotten stuck in the bush or in the forest. Not above it. So, I did a zig-zag sweep downwards. In the distant, I could hear my friend call for his dog (I hadn’t met him yet, but we kept in touch over the phone).
After a couple of hours, it was time to call it a day. I met up with my friend further down in the forest, and he told me that they would start again early in the morning. It would be difficult for me to join then, but was prepared to be out all afternoon and evening, for the rest of the week if need be. We don’t leave our four-legged friends behind.
On Monday afternoon, just as I was preparing to go out and search for the dog, I learned that they found the dog. If I had followed my first instinct and continued up to lake Mørkevatnet and to the ridge where the normal route runs, chances are that I would have found the dog. Because that’s where he had spent the night – in shelter of the wind. So it ended on a good note, and Christmas will be extra nice for my friends this year!