The first ski-trips in 2020
|Røddalshorn||563m||100m||Herøy, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|Veten (Hidsegga)||556m||320m||Sande, M&R, Norway||WCP|
Røddalshorn (563m), Jan 13 2020
Monday: Week 3 had the same shitty weather as week 2. After work in Ålesund, I drove back home to Gurskøya and agreed with Anne – who had extended her weekend stay – that we should walk the dog (and ourselves) on Røddalshorn.
The path from Leikongeidet was wet and boggy, as I taken for granted. But even so, all 3 of us like this route.
Eventually, we reached the snow – which didn’t make walking any easier, but snow is far better than mud any day of the year…
We reached the top without using the headlamp, but only just!
The summit was really cold and windy, and I suggested that we should take a different route (off-trail) down. Anne is normally very easy-going in terms of my suggestions and was all for the idea.
The route went parallel to our ascent route, just a bit further south. This route is not fun in summer, but with snow it was quite OK. Unfortunately, Anne fell into a creek with water way up on her legs, but was able to make it down to the car before her feet turned cold.
Trip statistics: 3,7km, 400 vertical meters, 2h:12m
Svanshornet (552m), Jan 14 2020
Tuesday: I was really, really tired after working in Ålesund today, and as it was raining when I left work – I decided to drive directly home and have a lazy and nice afternoon. Which felt very logical and comfortable, but also plain wrong!
I had started 2020 with a goal of hiking at least 500 vertical meters and 5 kilometers each day (in average). So far, I was on track and I can assure you that it hadn’t been a free ride. So, if I skipped hiking today, I would be 500 vertical meters “short” on my goal, and it was probably this that made me turn right at the Langevåg exit on Sula island, rather than driving to the ferry that would take me home.
Sulafjellet (778m) was out of the question with the amount of snow in the higher mountains, and so Svanshornet was the only option. It’s a route I know quite well and I decided to go for it.
We kept a good pace until we reached the snow. Then the terrain got really muddy and slippery and the pace dropped.
Although I know this route well, it was much longer than I had remembered it to be. 4km to the top was just 1km more than I wanted on this afternoon.
The wind grew stronger the higher we got, but as long as it didn’t rain or snow it was OK. My goal was to reach the top without having to turn the headlamp on. And that was a goal I reached.
When we got on the summit ridge, the weather was just unpleasant. This was no place none of us wanted to stay for long…
The descent was nice – except for the places where I was up to my knees in snow. And when we reached the car, I was more happy than tired. The daily war was won – again!
Trip statistics: 8,1km, 600 vertical meters, 2 hours
Veten on Hidsegga (556m), Jan 15 2020
Wednesday: I will definitely remember this hike for a LONG time…
It was a windy day with high water level all along the coastline, and very light rain. I decided to hike Hidsegga – a mountain I have the greatest respect for when the weather is bad, but I didn’t consider this day to be a really bad weather day. Otherwise, I would have not have gone there. I almost had second thoughts when I had to have both hands on the steering wheel as we got close to Hidsneset and on the ocean I could see the wind whip up water in twister-style.
We started out from Goteneset 4:07pm and wondered if I could get to the top without switching on the headlamp. As expected – there was very little snow on this side of the mountain and so I expected it to be darker than if we had hiked from the Moltu side.
The hike was pretty normal until we topped out on the summit ridge. Bang! … and I was on the ground, knocked straight down by an incredible strong gust.
The next 100 meters were indeed windy, but there was nothing scary about it. But when we had 200 meters left to the summit cairn, it was a totally different ball game. I had real problems making progress, it was hard to breathe, my hood was ripped off, so was my headlamp and my hat. It was quite stressful. I took the dog on a leash and concluded that she was doing better than me. That’s when I decided to crawl. It helped.
I didn’t think we would make it all the way to the cairn, but we did. Once in shelter, I took a breath of sigh and relief for escaping this brutal force. I’ve not experienced anything like it ever since I measured more than 30 m/s on Ulriken tower back in 2005.
The funny thing was – behind the cairn, I had no sense of the raging wind around us – other than the noise. But once we stepped out of shelter, all hell broke loose again. The next 200 meters was a big, big struggle and I was so relieved once we got off the ridge. The most stressful part was not being able to keep the hood, the hat and the headlamp on while fighting to make progress.
5 minutes later, it started to rain. I was SO thankful that we didn’t get that rain on top. That would have been really, really bad for the dog.
Trip statistics: 5,5km, 550 vertical meters, 1,5 hours
Varden (330m), Rødlandstua (355m), Jan 16 2020
Thursday: Another rainy day, and I really, really, really wanted to just drive back home after working in Ålesund.
But, I managed to pull myself together and drove to Mørkeset to hike Rødlandstua. I decided to repeat the same route from Sep 4 2019, which would at least give me the daily 5km hike that I try to do, and in addition – 440 vertical meters. Not quite 500 as I strive for, but it will balance out over the week.
I talked to a local guy at the trailhead and he warned me about the steep route up to Sætra. I told him that I had been here before, and knew the trail fairly well. He seemed happy with my response. For the record – it’s not that steep…
Karma did not seem to be inspired at all, but follows her master with the utmost loyalty. I don’t blame her. Not only did it rain, but the path was soaking wet.
By the time we reached Varden, it was a bit windy as well, but nothing like yesterday. Today, it was just a breeze compared to the inferno on Hidsegga.
We hiked over to Rødlandstua, performed the regular summit rituals (picture, GPS waypoint and treats for the dog) before heading back down.
I considered following the vague path from Varden down to Høyvika, but in the end I figured the forest path would be better than 1,3km along the main road.
It was definitely not a hike for the history books, but at least we got out!
Trip statistics: 5,2km, 440 vertical meters, 1h:36m
Lidaveten (592m), Jan 17 2020
Friday: I left work a couple of hours early so that I could get a daylight hike, on my way to Sogndal. There would be plenty of work in the weekend, so I had the best conscience.
I chose to hike Lidaveten, which hardly had any snow left on the west-facing ridge, up from Berkneset. I had to be in Sogndal in time for dinner with friends, but if I hurried up, I could do my regular round trip hike.
I was not able to impress myself in terms of pace, but I had mountain boots on, in addition to a full 30L backpack. I’ve had so many near-accidents that I just don’t hike anymore without enough gear to survive some hours out in the wild.
But progress was fairly steady, and we arrived on the summit after 42 minutes.
I was locked on doing my regular round trip, and decided to speed things up. The mountainside down to Eideim is really steep at times, but I figure I do pretty OK in that kind of terrain. If needed, I think I would get a supportive statement from the hikers I passed, or met.
Eventually, we reached the tractor road that runs towards Bøen, and I was jogging all the way. We returned to the car, 1h:24m after leaving. 4 minutes ahead of schedule. Bonus! Next stop – Sogndal!
Trip statistics: 6,5km, 610 vertical meters, 1h:24m
Høgehaug (980m), Jan 18 2020
Saturday: Høgehaug is the go-to place when the weather in the Sogndal region is too bad for going to the higher tops. That said, the weather can be quite rough on Høgehaug too. But not today. Today, it was the “perfect” Høgehaug weather and the prepared trail from the Hodlekve skiing centre was packed with skiers en route to Høgehaug.
I was very pleased about going on my first ski-trip in 2020!
After a while, we ran into Susanne and Arthur, and we kept company up the valley.
When we got a touch of blue sky, I felt that perhaps we could have gone to a higher top – like Tylderingen.
But the blue sky didn’t last for long. Soon, we couldn’t see the difference between snow and air.
On top, the weather was far from pleasant. But we’ve seen much worse up here. At least, there was no rush to get off the high point. We left in an “orderly fashion”.
The descent was not memorable. In addition to the flat light, my skis were awful – not prepared for the new season. That HAD to change before the next ski-trip.
But all in all – it was certainly a nice trip.
Trip statistics: 9,1km, 420 vertical meters, 1h:09m
Hodlekve Skating Track, Jan 18 2020
Still Saturday: After the ski-trip to Høgehaug, we returned to Anne’s house – to eat and rest. Then we went back to the skiing centre to do some skate skiing.
The lower round (lit) is approx. 4,5km. My first lap was just about learning the route and getting the hang of skate skiing again. Make no mistake, I suck at this. I don’t master the technique and I don’t have the condition to skate fast.
My second lap was not good either, but I decided to do a benchmark round so that I would have something to beat if or when I get better than this. Preparing the skis properly is also on the “must be done better” list. Anyway, the second lap took a little less than 20 minutes – 14km/h. It should be noted that the track has some vertical ascent – around 100 meters in total. So it’s definitely not flat terrain.
All in all, quite fun.
I had barely seen Anne during my two laps and waited a while for her to finish her 2nd lap. By now, it was too dark for skiing and the track was not lit. And – it had started to snow. No reason going for the 3rd lap. As we left the track, we learned that there is a switch that will put the lights on.
Trip statistics: 9,8km, 230 vertical meters, 1h:03m
Lingesetfjellet (1002m), Jan 19 2020
Sunday: Finally – an OK weather day, and Anne and I decided to ski to Lingesetfjellet – from the Sogndal airport Haukåsen. This would be my first ski-trip to Lingesetfjellet. I’ve been there two times before – biking most of the way.
The snow in Sogndal wasn’t good – it had an icy crust after rain and sub-zero temperature during the night. As such, I was slightly skeptical about how fun this trip would be. But when we got to the airport, all my worries were put aside. The snow was perfect.
This time, I had prepared my mountain skis and looked forward to a smooth journey DOWN from the mountain. I had short and wide skins under my skis, Anne had long and narrow skins. She normally is a “wax-girl” (do not get an image of a girl in bikini – waxing the hood of a car – in your head), but chose the easy way out today.
I soon realized that the trip would be much longer than I remembered to be. But that was just a bonus, as long as Karma could cope with the snow. The amount of snow grew proportionally to the elevation and I was slightly worried that she would get exhausted. But, she’s a strong dog and never showed any signs of discomfort. On the contrary. With the outlook of a hare or a forest bird around the next corner, she stays very optimistic.
We were fortunate enough to have 4 + 2 skiers ahead of us. This didn’t help Karma, but gave Anne and me an easier “ride” up the mountain. 2 of the skiers only went to Lingesete and we almost caught up with the group of 4 before they prepared a “lunch place” on top of the tractor road.
The summit is not too far away from the top of the forest road and it didn’t take us long to reach the top. On the summit ridge, the snow was hard and easily carried Karma’s weight.
After a short stay, it was time for the descent and I had high hopes that my skis would glide well, after having been prepared (glide wax, ironing, scraping) and they DID!
We were also able to make sure nice Telemark turns and life was just darn good!
What a nice end to a week that for the most part offered shitty weather!
Trip statistics: 13km, 550 vertical meters, 2h:41m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone8) from the trip: