2020 Week 2

Bad weather! For the most part…

The only exception…

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Location WCP
Ursfjellet 563 213m Ålesund, Norway WCP
Gyrinakken 365m 157m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
Heida 239m 126m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
Høgåsen 240m 240m Ulstein, Norway WCP
Svarane 191m 43m Ulstein, Norway WCP
Stemnehornet 190m 43m Ulstein, Norway WCP
Blåtind 697m 697m Ulstein, Norway WCP
Garnestua 653m 415m Ulstein, Norway WCP
Solavågsfjellet 263m 210m Sula, Norway WCP
Rjåhornet 598m 105m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP

Ursfjellet (564m), Jan 6 2020

Our route up and down Ursfjellet

Monday: It was raining when I headed to Ålesund in the morning, but during the day it cleared up and it looked like we would get a very nice afternoon. I left work a little earlier just to get some daylight and blue sky – very important for the mind and soul. I thought a little about where to go, but ended up with Ursfjellet. There wouldn’t be much snow left after the massive rain the past days.

Karma and I headed out from lake Brusdalsvatnet and followed the Fjellvegen road upwards. It is utterly boring, lies in the shadow and had snow. But as long as Karma’s happy, I’m happy…

On the road to lake Langevatnet

After 2,3km, we reached lake Langevatnet where I fully enjoyed the moon and red clouds (top picture).

From the lake, we followed the mountain path towards Vasstrandfjellet, and the path was as good as free of snow.

Vasstrandfjellet seen from the lake

But first, we had to cross the creek from the lake.

Go, girl!

Just below Vasstrandfjellet, I discovered a new path that I hadn’t walked before. It soon disappeared, but we continued off-trail up to Gråsteinsegga (549m). Here, we had superb views towards Ålesund and Sykkylven.


It was surprisingly windy up here, or perhaps not – given the storm that is expected tonight or tomorrow. I guess any storm has a front. But with the hood on, everything was OK and we continued towards the high point.

On our way to Ursfjellet

The last time I visited Ursfjellet (2019) the top belong to Skodje municipality. That doesn’t exist anymore after the municipality reform effective from Jan 1 2020. Now, this top belongs to Ålesund.

On top of Ursfjellet

It would have been easy and convenient to follow the well worn path on our way down, and for a minute or two, that was my plan. But when I didn’t see the fun in it, I decided to (once again) head off-trail for a descent through the forest. But this time I aimed for a path that I had just discovered on the map.

Most of the descent was very cumbersome (juniper bush), but my GPS took us straight to the start of the path – which we followed the remaining 0,5km down to the road. The car was now only 0,7km away.

Just found the forest path

It was a most welcome nice-weather window! It started to rain later in the afternoon and the wind was picking up. It will be interesting to see what weather we will get tomorrow!

Trip statistics: 8,4km, 600 vertical meters, 2h:20m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Gyrinakken (365m), Heida (239m), Jan 7 2020

Our route across Gyrinakken and Heida

Tuesday: This day will go down in history as one of the worst. I’ll spare you for the details, but it was a really, really bad day. But keywords were a massive tension headache and a hospital visit. The two things were not initially related. Fortunately, I felt much better in the afternoon and instead of spending the afternoon in bed (as the outlook suggested), I could take Karma for a walk.

I chose to stay well below the strong winds (a storm was on its way) and I figured that a round trip hike across Gyrinakken and Heida would for the most part keep us sheltered.

At the Gyrinakken/Heida trailhead

We followed the normal route to Gyrinakken and really felt the strong winds on the final 50 vertical meters before the top. The summit cairn provided nice shelter.

On top of Gyrinakken

From Gyrinakken, I took a terrible off-trail route down the steep forest into Jøsokdalen valley. Karma fell into a hole and couldn’t get up by herself. Daddy had to come to the rescue. But eventually, we arrived at the Jøsokdalen road.

After a while, we left the road and got on a vague path that took us up to Heida. By now, were soaking wet and I really wanted to go home now. The thought of the warm house and a shower was just beatiful.

On top of Heida

We took the normal path from Heida and back to the trailhead. Afterwards, I was really happy about how the day had progressed – compared to how it begun

Trip statistics: 6,8km, 500 vertical meters, 2h:09m

Høgåsen (240m), Svarane (191m), Stemnehornet (190m), Jan 8 2020

Our round trip hike on Dimnøya

Wednesday: I was all ready to get into the car and drive to Djupvika and hike Rjåhornet (600m) when thunder, lightning and massive hail showers forced me to come up with a plan B.

Plan B was first and foremost about waiting for the thunder and lightning to pass. But the hail shower remained, and they were just EVIL! As such, I had to find a more sheltered route for the afternoon hike. The “big round” on Dimnøya island fit the requirement perfectly.

We hadn’t walked for long before we got the first hail shower. Karma doesn’t like hail and said to me – in her body language – perhaps not? I replied – with my body language – that the hail would pass and we would move on. She always listens to daddy…

A great start…

The hail did indeed pass, and we got a nice moonlight on our way up to Høgåsen. Along with a gale force wind. The weather had been crazy today. A storm hit the west coast last night (I barely slept all night) and was now moving north.

Ah… nice!

Once we reached the top of Høgåsen, we were also at the most exposed spot. Things would get easier from here on. If you look aside from being soaking wet and extremely muddy paths…

On top of Høgåsen. Ulsteinvik in the background

We hiked across Svarane and Stemnehornet and continued in the direction of Uglesætra – a hut with no doors, packed with “stuff” and lots of carved out figures in the vicinity. Heaven for children, of course. And some grown ups…

A great way to make your GPS report more vertical meters 😉

We spent a couple of minutes inside the hut before moving on.

At Uglesætra. Karma is amazed…

As for my health condition, I’ve sort of come to terms that it has to be a virus of some sort. My capacity outdoors is 50-60% and a fairly easy hike like this isn’t a free ride. However, I feel mentally so much better after these hikes, which is more important than the physical aspect.

Trip statistics: 7,8km, 500 vertical meters, 2h:10m

Blåtind (697m), Jan 9 2020

Our route up and down Blåtind

Thursday: The weather had turned to the better. I was so sick of strong winds shaking the house (and it’s not a badly built house!) that the thought about moving came upon me – again. The day started with a doctor’s visit and we reached a mutual agreement that we don’t know what’s causing my sudden lack of energy, and that we both hoped it will pass. My working day also ended on a medical note – as I went to Fosnavåg to take the flu vaccine.

I wasn’t sure whether one should take it easy after this type of vaccine, and if the weather had still been bad, I would probably have. But – as the weather was pretty OK, I decided to go to Blåtind – the highest top on Hareidlandet island – and our first hike there in 2020.

Blåtind (center) seen from close to my house

As we drove up Ringstaddalen, the moon came into view.


The moon more or less stayed with us on our way up the mountain.

On the path to lake Hundelaupsvatnet

There was hardly any snow left. Actually, it all looked like hail!

By lake Hundelaupsvatnet

As we rose above lake Hundelaupvatnet, the moon seemed to get lost behind the clouds, so I decided to take one last picture of it.

Kongsvollen and lake Hundelaupsvatnet

I took a slightly different route up to the summit ridge, which included an ascent up a snowfield that had soft snow in the beginning and very hard snow near the top. I didn’t fancy turning around, and I couldn’t proceed upwards. I had some steep rocks to my left and I figured that both me and the dog could climb them, if only we could get there. A slide down would probably have not caused any injuries, but I didn’t want to slide so I spent a few minutes kicking steps sideways until we reached the rock. And up we came!

By the time we reached the top of Blåtind, it was dark.

On top of Blåtind – for the 170th time…

For descent, we followed the northwest ridge into Klungsdalen, leading us down to Indre Haddal, from where we followed the road back to the parking in Ringstaddalen. A very nice hike, and my 170th visit to this top…

Trip statistics: 6,4km, 680 vertical meters, 1h:51m

Garnestua (653m), Jan 10 2020

Our route across Garnestua

Friday: I left work an hour earlier, to get some extra daylight on my planned hike to Garnestua. It was a nice afternoon and I looked forward to the hike. I would have chosen a longer hike, if it hadn’t been for that Anne were on her way to Sunnmøre.

We headed out from Ytre Haddal and followed the nice forest path upwards.

On our way up from Ytre Haddal

It was a bit windy when we got above the forest, but nothing to even mention – compared to the strong winds we’ve had for the past week.

On the ridge to the summit

When we reached the top, I called Anne. She was in Volda, and then I asked her to pick us up in Ringstaddalen. Then Karma and I could descent to Løset and follow the road until Anne came along.

On top of Garnestua

Descending the northeast ridge was really nice, with a thin layer of snow all the way down. There is a HUGE difference between south- and north-facing sides. There was hardly any snow at all up the southwest ridge.

Lake Mørkevatnet – below Garnestua

We got all the way to Moldskred before Anne appeared.

On our way down Ringstaddalen valley

Trip statistics: 6,5km, 600 vertical meters, 1,5 hours

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Trollhaugen/Solavågsfjellet (263m), Jan 11 2020

Our route across Solavågsfjellet

Saturday: Anne and I had to go to Ålesund today, and after we had concluded our business there, it was time to go for a hike. As the weather was just AWFUL – it was pouring down and the winds were strong – going above the tree line was simply not an inspiring thought. So, I suggested that we should do a good round across Solavågsfjellet instead. We would at least be in shelter from the wind, and the forecast indicated a cease of the rain between 2pm and 4pm.

We left the trailhead at the south end of lake Mausavatnet 1:05pm. We followed the forest road towards Eikremsvika before getting on the forest path towards the high point – Trollhaugen.

On the road to Eikremsvika

Most of this forest is a protected area, which made Anne – a park ranger – forget all about the rain. And it is indeed a nice forest!

Into the forest…

On our way up to Trollhaugen, the rain stopped. We reached the top 2pm sharp and concluded that the forecast was pretty accurate so far.

On top of Trollhaugen

For our return hike, I proposed that we should hike across Dorgerhaugen and Mausanakken – a route I did in 2019 and thought was big fun. This route offers for the most part a very vague path.

At Dorgerhaugen. Mausanakken is seen to the left, with Sulafjellet in the background.

When we got to Mausanakken, we had to go off-trail in order to get to the tractor road leading down to lake Mausavatnet. As I had strategic waypoints from my last hike on my GPS, the descent from Mausanakken went quite smooth. Then we followed the nice trail along the lake back to the car.

On Mausanakken

It had already started to rain when we reached the car (3:15pm), so the forecast wasn’t totally accurate. But the upside was that for the rest of the day – the weather was horrendously bad. We were quite lucky to hit that particular good weather window.

The rest of the evening was memorable – spent with good friends and good games of Ticket to Ride and Liar’s Dice…

Trip statistics: 7,8km, 410 vertical meters, 2h:11m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Rjåhornet (600m), Jan 12 2020

Our hike across Rjåhornet

Sunday: Sunday morning offered fairly decent weather, but as things were these days – there was NO reason to assume it would stay that way. After a late breakfast, I took the dog and headed for Rjåhornet. I was not able to inspire Anne to come along.

Rjåhornet seen from Stemmedalen

On that note – Karma lacked inspiration as well. Normally, she’s running eagerly ahead of me, turning every stone – so to speak. But today, she was just strolling along, eating some grass wherever she could find it.

So, when we got to lake Stemmedalsvatnet, I decided to take a different (off-trail) route to the top, as I knew that would tickle her fancy. Instead of following the marked trail (which I have marked myself), we traversed the mountainside in the direction where the Leikong and Djupvik routes meet – near the top.

Traversing the mountainside

Karma is very interested in animal tracks. She’s so “committed” that she didn’t see the hare sitting 10 meters above her, as she had her nose glued to the tracks that the hare had just left behind. When I yelled, two things happened: 1) the hare flew and 2) Karma stopped. The hare lived on to see another day and Karma had something to ponder on for the rest of the hike.

Karma is wondering where the hare went…

As expected, the wind felt like an inferno on top.

Reaching the summit plateau also meant facing the wind

We found shelter behind the Tussa building on top, and I was just about to give Anne a call when a hail shower came along. We had two options; 1) stay until it passed or 2) run like hell. I chose the latter, as you never know how long these showers can last.

In shelter behind the building on top

This one didn’t last for very long, and I could give Anne a call down on our way down the mountain. I told her that I wanted to hike to Djupvika, and then back home. It would be great if she could meet us.

On the path to Djupvika

We met her just before lake Djupvikvatnet, and the weather was not good.

Meeting up with Anne

We decided to hike (off-trail) on the east side of the lake, and that was a huge mistake. The ground was so boggy that it was a true nightmare. Meanwhile, the pouring rain made good sure that we were soaking wet by the time we finally got back home. After changing jackets, she drove me to Stemmedalen where I could pick up my car.

Along Djupvikvatnet, with Rjåhornet in the background

Also this evening ended on a very memorable note, where I: a) baked my first bread – ever and b) went to Fosnavåg to see “The rise of Skywalker” with Anne.

Trip statistics: 9,1km, 640 vertical meters, 2h:18m

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