More skiing than hiking…
|Laupsnipa||558m||380m||Herøy, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|Sulafjellet||776m||776m||Sula, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|Røddalshorn||563m||100m||Herøy, M&R, Norway||WCP|
Monday: A new week, and I took the trip to Voldnes, hoping there was enough snow to ski up and down Laupsnipa. Unfortunately, there wasn’t so Karma and I ended up with hiking the mountain.
Wherever there was snow, there was a whole lot of it. So, the hiking part didn’t come for free. I tried to be clever in picking the route so all in all it wasn’t that bad. I’ve definitely hiked in far more snow on this mountain.
Even if I had brought skis, and skied wherever possible, the snow wasn’t of good quality. It was wet and soft and we had to climb half the mountain before Karma found solid snow to roll on…
I was quite happy when we reached the top. The descent would be FAR easier than the ascent. But now it was time to take in the views…
The descent was much more fun than I thought it would be. I wished I could just be transported back up and do it again. But, it was time to head home and get some dinner. Another nice fjord-to-peak hike was over.
Trip statistics: 4,9km, 560 vertical meters, 1h:43m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:
Tuesday: Ålesund day and the weather was stunning. The only problem was that I was dead tired and that I felt I OUGHT to make the most of the afternoon. And then I realized I had the skiing equipment in my car. Big bonus! I could ski to Sulafjellet.
The trailhead in Mauseidvågen offered skiing straight from the car. Because it lies in the shadow and the forest road has been well worn for the past week – preventing the snow from melting away.
We kept a good pace along the forest road up to Rollonhytta. I already knew that I didn’t have to put a suit on Karma, as I could see the trail up the mountain from “a mile away”. No doubt that track would carry Karma’s weight.
And it did! Combined with the dry snow, almost nothing stuck on her. There wasn’t much for her to smell, but she followed loyally. “Oh well…”
I decided to “kill time” by targeting two skiers far, far ahead of me (dots in the horizon) and “shifted gear”. I managed to catch up with them 100 meters before the summit. Yeiii…
Ah, it was nice to reach the top. I was dripping wet from sweating and changed into a dry shirt. It is always a refreshing experience to let the wind bite on a naked, sweat upper body.
Karma tried to charm herself into the lunchboxes that the skiers I had passed, had brought along. I made sure the effort was futile. She is on a diet. The heat period is coming up and she has been eating for two lately. She needs to lose 3Kg.
I made sure to enjoy the views while preparing for the descent. So many majestic mountains all around…
Then it was time for the descent. It took a little while to make Karma understand that she needed to follow the track, opposed to run towards my skis all the time. But once that was settled, I had a really nice descent down to Rollonhytta.
To me, the descent down the forest road is more fun than the mountain descent. I really enjoy going through the curves in full speed. But – I have to consider people coming up the road – and many with dogs. Today, they were all small dogs (handbag size) with too much self confidence. A bit tiresome in the long run, but not ruining the experience. This was a 9 out of 10 trip. The only thing missing was a little bit more snow on the forest road. In other words, almost perfect…
Trip statistics: 11,6km, 750 vertical meters, 2h:15m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:
Wednesday: Initially, I planned to ski Rjåhornet, but when I got to Leikong I realized I would have to carry the skis for at least 100 vertical meters. I was not up for that, so I continued up to Leikongeidet to see if it was still possible to ski Røddalshorn from the trailhead.
I had no illusion that this mountain would deliver some of its weekend magic on an afternoon. And, there had been a lot of melting and freezing since Saturday. But to experience things are often better than assuming things…
A lot of snow had melted, but skiing *upwards* was not a problem. I just hoped that ALL of the snow didn’t get “crusty” before it was time for the descent.
Reaching the top was the highlight of the whole trip. The sun hadn’t gone down yet, and I had some really nice views from up there.
Descending the upper part of the mountain wasn’t fun at all. The shadow, combined with the sun setting took away any features in the snow. I had to run down very carefully to avoid unpleasant surprises, such as sudden “humps or dumps”
Halfway down, an icy crust played a major role in my trip down the mountain. Again, I had to but on the brakes as a safeguard. This was simply no fun at all.
The lower part wasn’t all that bad. The snow was in the processing of freezing, but I was able to cut through it.
OK, so now I know. My assumption was correct in the first place. Now it’s time to focus on the north/northeast facing sides. The only problem then is how Karma will do in the softer snow…
Trip statistics: 4,1km, 400 vertical meters, 1h:08m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:
Thursday: Really low on energy after work in Ålesund, and looked forward to an easy hike. Well, actually I looked forward to bed, but that was “not in the cards” this early in the afternoon.
So, I decided to find something to do that would raise my interest and energy. Ever since 2006 I’ve been wondering if there is a path between Blindheim and Skåthaugen. And today, I decided to find out.
I parked at Skåthaugen and assumed that Karma would be interested, as we’ve never hiked UP from there before. She’s been low on energy lately too. I can only imagine it’s because of the heat period is upcoming. I can’t say the same for me…
We hiked up to Høgelia, where I could enjoy the usual Ålesund view.
Then we followed a perfectly well worn trail in the direction of Høgkubben. There were no hikers to see anywhere. Which was strange, given how popular this mountain is. The weather wasn’t bad – it was snowing light for less than a minute, and not enough to wind to even mention. But I enjoyed the mountain perfectly all by myself – and the dog.
From Høgkubben, we followed the “middle” path towards Blindheim. There are 3 to choose from.
When we reached the point where you descend down to the Blindheim apartments and houses, we continued straight ahead – along a vague path. This path took us back up again – to a ridge – which we descended on the other side.
Then we just stayed at the same elevation until I found a path that clearly was leading down to Skåthaugen. We arrived on the Skåthaugen road a little lower than I had planned, but I was still happy that I had been able to follow deer tracks all the way from Blindheim.
We took a couple of short-cuts up through Skåthaugen – and Karma quickly got the idea…
A very nice hike. Time to go home, have dinner and rest. A transport leg to Sogndal awaits tomorrow…
Trip statistics: 7,4km, 500 vertical meters, 2h:02m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:
Friday: “Commuting” to Sogndal for the weekend. Something I’ve done every other week since 2009. Well, not *every* week, but… The distance from my home to Anne’s home is 226km. 3h:15m of legal driving. As we have to spend that much time in the car, it helps a lot to have spectacular nature along the way – like Eggjanibba at the entrance of Våtedalen valley.
When I got to Sogndal, I said hello to Anne and aimed to take Karma for a walk up to Stedjeåsen before “winding down” for the afternoon. Not that I really *wanted* to go hiking. On the contrary. I was dead tired, but I knew it would feel SO much better afterwards.
And Stedjeåsen is an easy hike all year around. Even with lots of snow, there’s always someone who has broken the trail when you get there.
And as long as one can get the slightest of views from this forest, all is good.
We normally don’t visit the true high point, which is 240m to the southwest of the mailbox. No one hardly ever goes there. 99,9% of all the hikers have the mailbox as their target.
The signpost by the mailbox says “Stedjeåsen 620m“, but that’s not really true – if you’re into these types of details. I’d say the mailbox is at approx. 610m. But to get there, I hike across a hump that is at least 620m high, so I’m only 5 meters short of the true high point. It’s acceptable, as long as I stop by the true high point every now and then.
After a nice loop in the upper forest, we headed back down to Anne’s place – where she was preparing a delicious meal. Let the weekend begin!
Trip statistics: 6km, 560 vertical meters, 1h:46m
Saturday: As Anne was working today, I was free to go pretty much where I wanted. But as I didn’t fancy driving too far, then Tylderingen seemed like a nice target. The weather was gorgeous and the snow looked tempting.
The parking at Fretland was almost full, but I was able to squeeze my car in there, and a few minutes later we were on our way.
I always keep thinking that Karma will be happy about the broken trail, but it seems like life is best outside it…
The trip up the mountain was just beautiful. I enjoyed myself big time!
And the snow was just perfect. I could not have asked for more.
Higher up, I could see that clouds were moving in. If we had been here one hour later (or less), the light would have been quite flatter. But right now, it looked OK. Enough contours in the snow to just let the skis flow.
The summit was a cold place, but it always helps to get a dry shirt on.
And as always – a zoom picture towards the Hurrungane range.
The descent was just beautiful. Karma ran like a blizzard down the track while I enjoyed myself in the awesome snow. The only downside that the descent only lasted for 600 vertical meters. I would gladly have taken 600 more.
We returned back to Anne’s house, and she came a few hours later. Along with some colleagues and later followed more colleagues. After a little while, the living room was smack full.
At 7pm, we were at the Malin restaurant, along with a dozen other colleagues of her. 8:20pm, the owner told us that they would be unable to deliver our orders and suggested a discounted buffet instead. As we had tickets for a show at 9pm, we didn’t have much of an option. The buffet was probably more inviting a few hours earlier, and what I got on the plate didn’t look like a NOK 378,- meal.
Just before 9pm, we moved over to the Are Kalvø show (in the same building). This popular fellow had written a book – and this show – about how totally overrated the outdoors life is. You have to have a solid set of Cahoonas and good communication skills to meet a Sogndal audience with this theme. But, he got away with it.
Quite a content-rich day…
Trip statistics: 7,6km, 600 vertical meters, 1h:39m
Sunday: The weather forecast for this Sunday was not good. But at least it didn’t rain when I looked out the window after breakfast. Which was quite late, as we had friends sleeping over. I think Anne got a small shock when we were all by ourselves and I proposed a trip to Molden. She would be happy with a modest forest trip.
The good thing is that the first part of the Molden ascent goes through the forest! And if the weather was too grim or the shape and form not too good, we could turn around. This was a good selling point and Anne decided to come along.
When we got to the trailhead at Mollandsmarki, there were only two other cars. One belong to a cabin owner and the other belonged to a skier who just came down from the mountain. Normally, this trailhead is half full on a decent Sunday and smack full on a gorgeous Sunday.
The skier reported about very strong winds on top and unpleasant weather. Quite a contrast to the conditions at the trailhead. Oh well. We could always turn around. I said to Anne that it would be nice if we could get to Svarthiller and assess the situation there. She agreed.
The snow was soaking wet – clearly the worst skiing condition possible.
When we got to Svarthiller, the weather wasn’t much worse. There was more wind, of course – but as long as we had visibility, we decided to continue.
We did another assessment when we got on the summit ridge. There was no change in the weather and the summit wasn’t too far away.
It was really nice to reach the top – something I didn’t think we would, given the weather. I’m pretty sure Anne was a bit proud too!
We didn’t stay long. As I didn’t have goggles, Anne had to take the lead. Once we got off the summit ridge, I could see again as there was no longer whipping snow hitting my eyes. Just light rain.
Skiing down the mountain would surely qualify on my top-5-worst-descents-ever list, but given the fact that we had reached the top, I didn’t complain. I was just happy.
When we returned to the trailhead, our car was the only car there. Very strange on a Sunday, regardless of season. The only challenge now was to get safely down to the main road, as the Mollandsmarki road was really icy – and melting. Double trouble. I stayed in 1st gear most of the way and we made it safely down to the main road.
The evening was “celebrated” at our favorite Sogndal restaurant La Pergola, and this was probably our last restaurant visit for the unforeseeable future. Because from next week, Covid-19 was the main focus – all across Norway. And in many parts of the rest of the world, for that matter…
Trip statistics: 7,8km, 630 vertical meters, 2h:12m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the trip: