A fantastic week outdoors!
|Skolma||636m||483m||Hareid/ Ulstein, Norway||WCP|
|Huldrehornet||271m||113m||Herøy, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|Røddalshorn||563m||100m||Herøy, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|Røddalshorn||563m||100m||Herøy, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|Huldrehornet||271m||113m||Herøy, M&R, Norway||WCP|
Monday: Another week and I expected more of the shitty weather we’ve had all year. I woke up to snowfall and wind. But later in the morning I decided to check the forecast and to my HUGE surprise, the week didn’t look bad at all!
Except that right now – the forecast had a huge sun for my local area while it was still snowing. But I kept my hopes up, and when I left work in Hjørungavåg we had partly blue sky. Rumors had it that Melshornet in Ørsta/Volda offered superb snow and I decided that I would go there this afternoon.
Karma and I was ready to head out from Helgatun at 5:08pm. Which is quite late in terms of daylight left. But I had brought my new headlamp and wasn’t worried about darkness at all. I was happy to see that the route had been prepared by a track machine and was now the autostrada that we like it to be.
There was a LOT of other skiers. One is never alone on this mountain with half decent weather and after snowfall. At ANY time of the day, I would say.
As this was my first Randonee-trip this year, I noticed that I wasn’t able to go quite as fast as I normally do on this route. Including a few stops for pictures, and to let descending skiers pass safely, we reached the top 5:55pm. Still – 47 minutes – not totally crap…
If anyone posted a picture from the top, showing ALL of Ørsta, they would be totally reckless. There is a huge cornice between the cairn and the regular viewpoint, and anyone trying their luck might end up as very unlucky. Or just plain dumb…
A proof of nice snow is that Karma doesn’t look like a Yeti…
We moved over to the high point, which I always do on this mountain. The usual “dip” between the high point and the cairn was totally covered by snow. It’s not often I see that up here.
I could also hear people by the cairn yelling to someone who must have been desperate for a picture of Ørsta. Dumb, dumb, dumb…
As I needed at least 5 minutes to get my things in order (skins off, skis on, headlamp on, etc…) I decided to change to a dry shirt. Even without wind, one can get pretty cold up here when standing still.
Then it was time for the descent. As there were lots of skiers on their way up the steep hill, I took Karma off-trail. Both for keeping her off the track, but also to let her blow off some steam. She was very, very eager to start running down the mountain.
At the foot of Grøthornet, Karma had released enough steam and I decided to do the rest of the route on the track. We met 4 dogs on our way down, but solved this by doing a small off-trail curve around the “potential conflicts”.
Meeting other skiers on the track is not a problem. Karma follows daddy and I did notice a lot of heads turning for this very fast creature in a red speed-suit…
A perfect start to the new week!
Trip statistics: 6,5km, 560 vertical meters, 1h:23m
Tuesday: Day two in a row with nice weather. I could get used to this. I was however not too keen on skiing, which seemed like the most sensible thing to do for most mountains today. Except for the tops along the coastline – like Storhornet on Godøya. There was snow on this mountain too, but I assumed that the good people of Godøya island already had made good tracks.
On our hike across Storhornet on Jan 28, we headed out from the school. But today, we headed out from the tunnel – saving us from the 0,5km boring walk from the school and up to “Fjellfotvegen” (the road at the foot of the mountain) – the new gravel road that runs from Gjuv and all the way to the east side of the island.
It was wonderful to get up to the high ridge. As I had hoped, other hikers had broken the trail which made hiking on the slippery snow much easier.
I do like this ridge route. It’s quite spectacular with nothing but the ocean to the west.
And then we reached the top of Sloktinden, where we got Storhornet in view. The wind was really, really cold. This was no place to hang about.
So, we moved on…
When we got to the top of Storhornet, we immediately took shelter behind the cairn – but had to step outside the “comfort zone” for the summit picture.
In any case, it was mighty nice to be up there.
We headed down the southwest ridge and while it was tempting to visit Lesten too, I decided to come back when the days are a bit longer and the wind a little less cold.
Once back on “Fjellfotvegen”, we had 1,9km along this road back to the car.
Trip statistics: 6,8km, 590 vertical meters, 1h:54m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:
Wednesday: Another nice weather day, and after work I decided to visit Skolma from Flø. It’s a pretty long walk (10,4km total) if you start at 4pm (at sea level) and plan to be back when it’s starting to get dark around 6pm.
I did the first 1,5km on bike – which helped in terms of the time challenge.
I picked the Flø route as it would give us a moderate amount of snow. There are two downsides to this; 1) you get more wind and 2) the snow can be hard as ice. I was not worried about the wind but the snow worried me a bit. But time would show.
When I got the final hillside in view, I got a bit worried. I knew that the snow would be hard as ice, but it seemed like we could follow a route with a lot of rocks. But how safe would it be?
And the wind worried me a bit too. It was freezing cold already down here and I wondered how it would be like on top. It felt like the wind blew straight through my Gore-Tex jacket. And Karma didn’t seem to be too happy either.
But it was nice to look at Godøya – where we were the day before…
The rocky part of the hillside offered a new challenge; the rocks were in the process of being glaciated. However, the ice broke when I stepped on it. Still, it felt far from safe. I was soon in a spot where a fall would send us (Karma was on leash) straight off the mountain in the event of a fall. I put on spikes for my boots and wished I had proper crampons instead. It helped, but I still didn’t feel safe. Then came a section of ~10 meters near the top of the ridge, which was a critical section. To feel somewhat safe, I was relying on finding a line with snow that hadn’t frozen yet. And I did find the only line with soft snow and got up to the summit ridge. Pu-ha!
And a few minutes later, we could celebrate reaching Skolma!
The summit cairn provided some shelter, but not much. Karma didn’t have a lot of ice on her, but her hair (she does not have a fur) had frozen. I don’t think I’ve seen that before.
We were both eager to get off this windy mountain and we carefully followed our tracks down the critical part before I could unleash Karma and feel safe.
The rest of the walk was just enjoyable, despite the cold wind. The river crossing required some focus, as the rocks were glaciated.
It was really dark when we reached the car at Flø, and if the hike had been any longer I would need to use the headlamp. I was a bit surprised to see that the time was 6:30pm, which meant that we’ve got a whole lot of extra daylight the last week. Not really surprising, but …
Trip statistics: 10,4km, 630 vertical meters, 2h:25m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:
Thursday: Ålesund day, and after work I put my money on that eager walkers had broken a nice trail all the way to the top of Geitnausa on Uksenøya island. This is a quite strenuous route if you have to break the trail yourself.
But the first 1,2km – along the gravel road is always easy. You need to get up pretty early in the morning if you want to break that trail…
The upper forest always offers much more snow, but today – the trail was just perfect. And with no wind and sunshine – more than perfect!
When we got above the forest, we could feel the cold, cold wind. But the summit was close, so we wouldn’t be exposed for very long.
It was nice to reach the top! It was the 49th top I’ve visited in 2020. In 58 days. 64 tops, if I could the ones I’ve visited more than once. A good start to the new year, even if the weather has – for the most part – been miserable. If I had known that winter would come in full strength the next day, I would have appreciated it even more.
The Ålesund view from up here is always nice…
And the Sykkylven peaks aren’t bad to look at either…
I decided that I would hike all the way to Høgkubben if the trail had been broken (I didn’t pay attention in the fork upon the ascent). But no one had gone in that direction, so we followed our own tracks down the forest.
This route would give me only 400 vertical meters, and as I try my best to reach 550m in average I decided to visit Høgelia (the top of the slalom hill) on our way back. That detour gave us the “needed” 150 vertical meters and I was quite content when I reached the car.
I had felt tired throughout the whole hike. It was an undefined feeling, close to feeling sick without being sick – if you know what I mean. I was curious about how I would feel the next day.
Trip statistics: 8,9km, 550 vertical meters, 2h:15m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone8) from the hike:
Friday: I have 1 of 3 reasons for going to Huldrehornet: 1) the weather is shitty, 2) I feel shitty, 3) I need some extra vertical meters. Today, 1) and 2) applied. Snow had been falling all day and winter hit the coastline with full strength. I wasn’t surprised. Nowadays, winter come around March timeframe.
And after an OK working day, I felt totally washed out at 4pm and had to rest for an hour. It took all I had got just to get out of bed one hour later. Now I felt really sick – but without being sick. No headache, no fever, no sneezing, no running nose. But the body just wanted to stay in bed. Perhaps I should listen to it every now and then. I hear people say that’s a smart thing to do…
But, I decided that we ought to at least go to Huldrehornet.
Karma was a bit reluctant in the beginning, but after a while her nose was more under the snow than above it.
I had only put socks on her. No suit. Probably a mistake. Because when we reached the top, she had so much snow on her that she decided to lie down. She never does that…
A round trip hike was out of the question. The snow was deep, weather not good and it was pitch dark. So, we followed our tracks down the forest. Back at the car, I spent a good 10 minutes untangling snowballs from her body and back at the house, I took her into the shower for the final phase of de-icing. We didn’t accomplish 550 vertical meters today, only 250m, but it still felt like a victory. In any case, I’m in “good shape” with an average of well above 600m for February. So my February goal will be met in any case.
Trip statistics: 2,9km, 250 vertical meters, 50 minutes
Saturday: This was a weird day. I woke up before 8am, not feeling good at all. My body just wanted to rest but my head wanted to get up. I took up Karma and had breakfast, really felt crap afterwards and went back to bed again.
I got back up at 10am, as my head felt a need for being outdoors. My body was sad from leaving the bed. I chose to ski Røddalshorn, which seemed like Mt. Everest just thinking about it. I got dressed, drove up to the Leikongsætra trailhead.
There I met my good friend Trond Arne and his dog Arco. He was just planning to take a short ski-trip, but I proposed that they could join Karma and me. And so they did.
A big bonus was that someone with snowshoes had broken a trail up the mountain. Not that it mattered to Arco, but I’m sure Karma appreciated it. There is a certain weight difference between the dogs…
The trip up the mountain was just wonderful.
Then Trond Arne finally gave up. He lost a skin early on, and the final hill was just too cumbersome with just one ski providing grips. He decided to turn back around.
Karma and I continued to the top, where I was really looking forward to the descent. The blood pump and endorphins from being on a mountain in nice weather totally masked whatever was going on with body (I’m currently investigating if it could be food allergy). In other words, I felt just fine…
And the descent didn’t make things worse. The snow was totally awesome.
And Karma got a “run for her money”.
Back home, I had lunch and totally collapsed. I went to bed and slept on and off for several hours.
Trip statistics: 4,1km, 400 vertical meters, 1h:16m
Saturday: No, this isn’t a copy/paste error. At 3:30pm (still in bed) I had to go to the bathroom – still feeling completely washed out. And there I found myself thinking – now that I’m up – I might as well take one more trip to Røddalshorn. I laughed because the idea was so ridiculous. But I’m as plain dumb as they come and was ready to go at the same trailhead as earlier in the day at 4:10pm. Without Karma. I didn’t think she would *need* this 2nd run the same way I did.
The light was now quite flat and the mountain was clearly more windy.
37 minutes later, the 400 vertical meters were done and I was on a quite windy summit, not overwhelmingly happy about the descent with wind-packed snow on top and a flat light. Still – it was pretty satisfying to bag 800 vertical meters on a day which seemed like a “bed day”.
The descent wasn’t hopeless, although visibility was a bit limited.
Once home, I took Karma for a walk and was able to stay up for the rest of the evening. I went to bed very curious about how the shape and form would be on Sunday. These “downs” seem to last between 3 and 5 days.
Trip statistics: 3,9km, 400 vertical meters, 56 minutes
Sunday: I woke up feeling relatively OK and got to do a couple of hours of work before I texted Trond Arne, proposing a trip to Storetua. He replied that he was already on his way (it’s one of his favorite tops) and so I was in a hurry if I wanted to tag along. Good thing I’m pretty organized and I was out the front door 5 minutes later.
I drove to the Vassverket trailhead (above Haugsbygda) and Trond Arne had hardly gotten his skis out of the car when I arrived.
And after a little while, we headed out…
Karma was not her usual self today, only following my tracks and not taking the lead. She’s on cortisone, which could explain it. So I was happy to see that she could enjoy herself a little…
The snow was a mix of wind-packed, icy and soft. On our way up, we wanted wind-packed, although our preferences would be different coming down…
Eventually we reached the ridge…
…and a few minutes later, we were on top of Storetua.
My new camera has a very limited zoom (105mm) but Sprovstinden on Ørskogfjellet (78,5km away) was perfectly clear.
And then it was time for the descent. It was certainly not epic, but we had good fun.
I’m glad I suited up Karma today. Otherwise, who knows what she would have looked like.
Skiing down the forest was also interesting. The forest route doesn’t allow for any turns so it’s just a matter of trying to plow when possible and otherwise let go and keep the faith.
All in all a brilliant trip. Very nice to go skiing with buddy Trond Arne again.
Trip statistics: 5,6km, 470 vertical meters, 1h:39m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone8) from the trip:
Sunday: I just couldn’t end a nice Sunday with just 470 vertical meters, so after a couple of hours of more work I drove to lake Djupvikvatnet to hike Huldrehornet. I didn’t bother to put a suit on Karma, hoping there wasn’t all that much snow left at this low elevation.
When we reached the summit, we had 720 vertical meters in total that day. I felt that we should at least get 800 on such a nice day and so I decided to do a round trip hike across Lidafjellet and Dyrkyrkja – which would give us the additional 80 meters.
Good for Karma, someone had broken the trail towards Lidafjellet – which prevented her from looking totally Yeti.
Above Dyrkyrkja, we took a final look at Huldrehornet before starting our descent.
Dyrkyrkja offers the best view towards Myrvåg – where I live. It’s a nice place to live.
Trip statistics: 4,7km, 330 vertical meters, 1h:26m