Last (dark) week before Christmas
|Leinehornet||366m||366m||Herøy, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|Sandvikshornet||352m||13m||Herøy, M&R, Norway|
|Skåla||184m||497m||Herøy, M&R, Norway|
Monday: My birthday, turning 56 years old. The day started quite OK 1 minute past midnight when Anne and I were enjoying a couple of shots of Aquavite, once I returned home after the search for my friend’s dog – Arco. My birthday present from Anne was my favorite backpack – Mammut 30L, which I haven’t had in a few years – since my last one was completely worn out. Along with a pair of gaiters, which I lacked. So the day started out on a good note.
At work, we went live with the new computer program I’ve been working on for the past months. The company took a calculated risk in going live in the middle of the December “freeze period” (no changes to anything that could affect financial reporting), but the run turned out to be quite successful.
The day also included a visit to the Doctor, where I took a number of tests – hoping they would reveal why my general form had been off balance lately.
So far, the day had been content-rich, and I guess it was only proper that it rained cats and dogs when I took the dog for the afternoon walk.
We headed out from Bugardsmyrane above Ulsteinvik (on Hareidlandet island), and the weather was as miserable as it could get.
Then we headed up “Mørdarbakken” (Killer hill) and when we reached the top, it was snowing. From the top of the gravel road, we only had a few meters over to the Skeidshornet point.
We took the forest path down, and it was as slippery as it could possibly get. Ice on the trail and wet grass outside the trail freezing by the minute.
No complaints, though. I’ll definitely remember this birthday…
Trip statistics: 3,8km, 250 vertical meters, 50min
Tuesday: After ending my work day in Ålesund, talking a walk across Aksla felt much better than seeking to higher ground where we would experience wet snow and more rain. It was definitely the “easy way out” for walking the dog today. And the dog didn’t seem to mind either.
I tried to walk as long as possible without using the headlamp. When there was snow on the trail, it was bright as daylight. When there wasn’t, it was dark as the night.
Eventually, we made it to Fjellstua where I decided to spend a couple of minutes taking a good picture (opposed to a handheld shot) of Ålesund. I was quite happy with the result…
Upon our return to Fagerlia, I decided to take a route that I’ve not done before, even if this meant that we would have to trade a nice forest trail to a paved road. But I do like walking places where I haven’t been before, so it was all good.
Trip statistics: 8,8km, 330 vertical meters, 1h:56m
Wednesday: Another rainy evening, and it costed me a great deal to find the motivation to go hiking in this weather – and the darkness. I’m only human.
But, I took the drive to Leinøya and we headed up Leinehornet’s west ridge. It was an easy ascent, although I felt old and tired. But Karma likes this route, which was the most important thing.
On top, I tried to take a picture of Ulsteinvik by placing the camera inside the cairn, but there was too much wind for a proper picture.
Upon descent, we followed the path down the southeast side of the mountain, and the path really, really icy. Downright dangerous, unless I focused on every step of the way.
We made it down to Leine, safe and sound, followed a forest path above the houses until we were forced down to the main road, with 0,8km left to the car. Again, we caused a little chaos for the general traffic (no one expects to see hikers along this road), but eventually we returned to the car and could set the course back to a warm and comfortable house.
Trip statistics: 4,0km, 380 vertical meters, 1h:15m.
Friday: Too many rainy evenings in a row is too much to bear, so I skipped Thursday’s walk with the best confidence in the world. But two days in a row isn’t within “operating standards“, but at least I could choose not to go very high – where it was utterly unpleasant.
So today, I chose to walk the dog from Tjørvåg and up to Sandvikhornet. In the beginning, just very, very rainy and unpleasant. Higher up – totally unpleasant and I didn’t even want to pull out my camera on top.
We descended back to Sandvikskaret, and it was raining less by now.
Hence, I decided to return to Tjørvåg via Skåla and Trolldalen. Not much of a detour, but I really try to keep the walks above 5km if possible. And this detour would certainly get me there. And with some margin too…
Trip statistics: 6,5km, 480 vertical meters, 1h:44m.
Saturday: Given our upcoming Christmas break, my to-do list was more than full. Thus, limited time for hiking. This morning, I had to drive to Ørsta to get the last part of Karma’s antibiotics (her 3rd round in a row to cure a bad hot-spot). They had simply run out of the stuff in Ulsteinvik, Hareid and Ålesund.
On my way home, I decided to hike Helgehornet and chose the Helgehorn tunnel as the starting point.
The forest road was partly gravel, partly as-icy-as-it-gets.
As I’ve done this route a number of times, I decided to go off-trail for some variation. That route will certainly not be repeated.
As we reached the forest proper and the snow, things got easier. Someone had walked up here with snowshoes, and the snow carried my weight. For the most part. But when we got above the forest, the snow was soggy and I sunk through. Karma, on the other hand, had a ball…
Two things stood out as memorable when we reached the top: 1) we had daylight and 2) it wasn’t raining. Two very pleasant facts. I wanted to go for a longer round trip but realized I didn’t have the time. Too much to do, and so we returned the same route we came up.
Trip statistics: 6,3km, 550 vertical meters, 1h:50m.
Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone8) from the hike:
Billingen, Dec 22 2019
Sunday: Christmas break was on! I started the day walking the dog and having breakfast. Then it was time to give Karma the Christmas haircut. Such news is never well received, and it turned out to be the usual struggle.
We had borrowed Lena and Terje’s (good friends) cabin on Billingen (Strynefjellet) for Christmas, and we were going there today. I would be picking up Anne in Stryn, coming with a bus from Sogndal.
But first I had to get all the stuff into the car. Which was a massive task. Thank Godness I have a 220cm long compartment. So much stuff! On the other hand, I didn’t plan on returning home on this side of 2019. Plus the Christmas tree. But eventually, everything was packed in pristine order. In case of a collision (we crashed before the 2017 Christmas break – not our fault), I didn’t want anything to be damaged.
I then drove to Stryn, picked up Anne before heading eastbound. We left nice weather in western Norway for totally dense fog on Strynefjellet, but the fog stayed at a certain elevation, and as we descended from Strynefjellet, we also dodged the fog.
We arrived at the cabin after it got dark, we settled in, enjoyed Rakfisk for dinner and just chilled… (“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“)
Karma couldn’t decide which bed she liked the most – her own or Jade’s (Lena & Terje’s dog), so she kept moving between the two for a while.
We were now looking forward to 4-5 days at this cabin, check out the local ski tracks (hopefuly prepared by snowmobiles) and perhaps get a mountain ski-trip (or two). Time will show…