2020 Week 15

Easter week / Sick Week

Week 15 summarized: By the fjord or in the forest. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

Tops and places visited:

Peak Height PF Location WCP
Kjørkhovden 748m 30m Sogndal, Norway
Varpet 75m Sogndal, Norway
Rubbeskallen 16m Sogndal, Norway
Barsnes – Årøy 48m Sogndal, Norway
Fjordstien Sogndal, Norway
Røvhaugane 124m Sogndal, Norway
Amlaholten 508m 265m Sogndal, Norway WCP
Nornes 32m 24m Sogndal, Norway
Hardasleppen 620m 17m Sogndal, Norway
Røstokken 120m Sogndal, Norway
Krokagrovi 495m Sogndal, Norway
Flotshaugen 229m 9m Sogndal, Norway

Corona week? (Prologue)

This Easter, I stayed with Anne in Sogndal. My condition this week was not good. There was clearly something in my chest and after any sort of activity, I had to rest. I could really feel how my body was trying to recover from whatever was riddling it.

I strongly considered that I could have been infected by the Corona virus, as I haven’t felt quite like this for many, many years. If this was the case, I make well sure that I would stay far away from other people on the trail. And when I’m not out, stay home! These days – in Anne’s house. She was done with the virus. Been there…

Beautiful Sogndal

I also consulted my Doctor. As I my lower ribs felt sore, costochondritis was a possible option. Especially as I had no other signs typical for Corona. It could make sense after months of active use of hiking poles, carrying a heavy (heavier than normal) backpack and a working position in front of the PC that would make any physiotherapist drop their jaw.

With this background, I decided to be outdoors as much as my condition allowed me to be. Some days, I had some OK hikes, but for the most part – this week was mostly about shorter walks – exploring terrain in Sogndal that was new to me. And when not walking or resting, I was happy to help Anne in her garden…

Good music surely helped…

Kjørkhovden (748m), Apr 6 2020

The Bjella – Bjellastølen – Kjørkhovden – Åberge – Sogndal route

Easter break, Monday: The Easter week started with gorgeous weather, and under normal circumstances, we would be in a rented cabin somewhere in eastern Norway. But we stay loyal to the recommendation to stay home and enjoy the nearby nature. After all, people travel far to get here and see the beautiful Sogndal and the nearby regions. As such, staying here for the Easter break was unproblematic.

After a couple of hours of garden work, I just needed to go for a walk and looked on a map for a path that would be new to me. The path from Bjella to Bjellastølen caught my attention and I decided to follow it until snow would force me to turn around.

Sogndal seen from Bjella

Being in a new place always gives me energy, even if I’m low on it on beforehand. This is probably both a good and a bad thing. The body probably tells me to rest, but my love for new places is just too big to ignore.

The plan was just to reach Bjellastølen and return the same way. But when I noticed that the snow was more or less carrying my weight, a new plan began to form.

Bjellastølen comes into view (on top of the valley)

We reached Bjellastølen, which was NOT a nice viewpoint because of the massive power lines running straight across the valley.

Bjellastølen ahead. The power lines reflect in the snow

So, I decided to continue upwards and see what would happen. Optimally, I could reach Kjørkhovden and descend to Åberge. If the snow was too soft, I could just return the way we came.

Once we reached the upper forest, the snow was firm enough and it was such a wonderful, wonderful walk.

With 16 deg. C. in Sogndal, it was surreal that the snow carried as it did…

I felt like hiking all the way to Nuken, but that would just take too long and probably not what my body needed right now. So, we sat course for Kjørkhovden.

Kjørkhovden ahead. Karma is having a ball…

We reached Kjørkhovden, still on fairly firm snow, but I realized that going down to the Hyllsete road would mean snow soft as butter.

On top of Kjørkhovden

But as it was mostly downhill, it was tolerable. I repeatedly sunk down to my waist and Karma was “swimming” along.

We had a nice view towards Barnesfjorden upon our descent

Eventually, we reached the Hyllsete road and things got MUCH easier.

On the Hyllsete road

At 300m elevation – by Åberge, we were done with the snow.

Barsnesfjorden seen from Åberge

From Åberge, we descended via Røvhaugane and I noticed a green Woodpecker. I don’t normally pay too much attention to birds, but this one had a beautiful green color, too green to ignore. Unfortunately, I’m not a photographer and I don’t do the bird justice.

Keep on pecking!

From Røvhaugane, I found a path that I didn’t know of, and this path almost took us down to the fjord. Time to call Anne and ask her to pick us up. The stunning weather seemed to pass and tomorrow I will be kind to myself and rest

Waiting for mom…

Trip statistics: 8,1km, 625 vertical meters, 2h:49m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Varpet (75m), Apr 7 2020

The (very nice) path between Kjørnes and Eide

Easter break, Tuesday: This day was mainly about helping Anne in her garden, and her many small projects there.

But, the dog had to be walked and Anne and I took Karma for a nice and easy walk from Kjørnes to Varpet – a nice viewpoint above Eidsfjorden. The hike to Kjørkhovden the day before didn’t come without a cost, and I was more than happy to take it slow and easy today.

Eidsfjorden view from Varpet

It’s a really nice forest trail, well – more like a forest road. One day, I will bike from Anne’s house and to the top of Storehaugfjellet (1172m) – via this road.

This is a VERY popular hike!

Trip statistics: 2,9km, 100 vertical meters, 50 minutes

Pictures (Iphone8) from the hike:

Rubbeskallen, Apr 8 2020

The route to the Rubbeskallen tunnel

Easter break, Wednesday: I woke up early due to chest pain. As I couldn’t get any more sleep, I took the dog and drove down to the Stedjeberg tunnel. The walk outside the tunnel and to the far end of the old Rubbeskallen tunnel would be more than 2Km. A decent morning walk for the dog.

The old (and closed) paved road is very popular

This didn’t seem to turn out to be a nice weather day. Which was OK, as my current shape didn’t allow for any mountain projects.

Storehaugfjellet, with dark skies above

The last time I walked to this tunnel, was in September 2018. And every time I do this walk, it means I’m not well

Our turnaround point is coming up…

It’s fun terrain on the back side of the tunnel, though. I’ve tried to get to the top of Stedjeåsen from here, without succeeding. But I haven’t given up yet.

On the back side of the tunnel

I stopped by the nature reserve information board and noticed that a friend of mine had taken nearly all the pictures…

Information board near the Rubbeskallen tunnel

Trip statistics: 4,4km, 40 vertical meters, 55 minutes

Barsnes – Vikastrondi – Årøy, Apr 8 2020

The Barsnes – Årøy route

Easter break, Wednesday: Today, I decided to take the walk I had been thinking about since Sunday: hike from Barsnes, find my way across the cool Bjørgahamrane slabs along Barsnesfjorden and get to Årøy. The idea gave me lots of energy. The only downside was that it was raining.

We’re going all the way around the fjord…

Well, another potential downside was the “venomous snakes in the area” signpost. I couldn’t make up my mind whether this was for real or if the locals didn’t want hikers around. But if there are snakes in this area (which I’ve later learned there is) the rain was perhaps such a bad thing after all…

Anne told me that she had hiked this route years ago, and said that she thought there was “some sort of path“. Would I find it? And would I be able to follow it across the slabs? Finding a good route looked pretty challenging when seen from a distance.

The Bjørgahamrane slabs

I followed the trail along Barsnesfjorden for 2,9km until I got to an old  barn close to Stegen. Would I find a path?

The path along Barsnesfjorden is coming to a sudden halt

No, I did not. And now I got really curious. The first task was to get across the Sagelvi river which seemed pretty wide when seen from Barsnes. But when up close, it was negotiable and the crossing was very easy – close to the fjord.

Nothing to it…

We followed the terrain wherever it made sense and after a while, we closed in on the Bjørgahamrane slab area.

Time for the fun part!

At the foot of the slabs, I noticed a vague path that took us up and across the slabs. This was a big bonus! Now, I was fairly sure we would make it safely down to Brandskjerøyri.

On top of Bjørgahamrane

But, at one point, I wasn’t so sure anymore. We were high above the fjord and I didn’t see any obvious route down. But after searching around a little, I found the path – leading into a narrow gorge – which took us down to the fjord.

That’s the correct way, Karma!

And a few minutes later, we reached civilization at Brandskjerøyri and I could call Anne and ask her to pick us up by the Årøy tunnel. This hike was big fun and definitely one that will be repeated. It would be nice to extend the hike all the way to Solvorn!

At Brandskjerøyri

Trip statistics: 6km, 220 vertical meters, 1h:30m

Fjordstien, Sogndal, Apr 9 2020

Our walk along Fjordstien (the fjord path)

Easter break, Thursday: Plain unwell from pain in the neck and flat out all day, until late afternoon where I was able to get myself out of bed and take the dog for a walk along Fjordstien.

Walking into town and back
The footpath in the town is really nice

Trip statistics: 3,4km, 40 vertical meters, 40 minutes

Røvhaugane, Sogndal, Apr 10 2020

Our morning walk across Røvhaugane

Easter break, Friday: Good Friday started out WAY better than the day before and I decided to explore the Røvhaugane forest a bit more.

It’s early morning in Sogndal

We followed a path that I had noticed a few days earlier, and soon entered a landscape with steep cliffs and huge rocks.

“No scrambling today, Karma!”

Eventually, the path ended and I decided to go off-trail up to the other paths on Røvhaugane. I really enjoyed myself.

On the way down, Karma and I spent a couple of minutes looking at this little fellow.

Don’t mind us!

Great start of the day!

The song – “Can’t my eyes off you”

Trip statistics: 2,9km, 185 vertical meters, 1h:54m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Amlaholten (508m), Sogndal, Apr 10 2020

Our normal Amlaholten round trip route

Easter break, Friday: After helping Anne in the garden, I took the dog and drove to the Kaupanger forest to hike Amlaholten.

Amlaholten. The Kaupanger Stave Church in the foreground

As I’ve done most of the interesting routes to this top, I decided to settle for the usual round trip hike from the Festingdalen road.

I LOVE the Kaupanger forest!

The plan was actually to go here with Anne and grill sausages on top. But when the time came, she didn’t feel up to it. Too bad, as we could have had a really nice picnic up here!

This would have been a really nice picnic place!

The white, snowy mountains was hard to look at. I really should have been skiing one of them today, but I did just not have the energy.

View from Amlaholten

But, I did get grilled sausages in the end! Although it took place in Anne’s garden

Everyone is happy with the day and soon there will be sausages…

Trip statistics: 4,2km, 290 vertical meters, 1h:02m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Nornes (32m), Sogndal, Apr 10 2020

Our evening walk at Nornes

Easter break, Friday: In the afternoon, Anne and I took the trip to Nornes to enjoy the last sunshine of the day. We were here back in 2013, when Karma was a puppy. But it’s a nice place to visit, so it was due time for a return.

Aiming for the hump at Nornes

I guess I should have stayed at home, resting my body. But I wouldn’t miss out on a sunny walk with my two girls – by the fjord.

Peace and quiet…

After visiting the “high point”, we went down to the lighthouse for a photo session (picture on top of the page).

How nice it is to “chill” by the fjord in sunshine!

When we got to the cliffs, I had to (of course) find a way down.

Soooo nice!

Anne followed…

Careful now…

Finally, we stopped by the “Battle by Fimreite” memorial rock. This battle took place in 1184 and is one of the most famous battles of the Viking era.

Ending a long day with some historic sightseeing

Trip statistics: 2,2km, 105 vertical meters, 55 minutes

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Hardasleppen (620m), Sogndal, Apr 11 2020

Our route to Hardasleppen (and back down)

Easter break, Saturday: My only plan was to take the dog for an easy walk in the nice Kaupanger forest, along a path that I hadn’t walked before. A hobby project is to cover as much ground on the Kaupanger peninsula as possible, when I’m unable to get to other places. Keeping track of the … tracks … gets me motivated to discover new terrain and goals.

Still a lot of terrain to cover – on the Kaupanger peninsula

Today, we headed out from the Amlaholten trailhead in Festingsdalen, but walked in the opposite direction. It was raining when we left Sogndal, but it didn’t rain here. Big bonus! And for a minute or so, we had company.

Partly curious, but mostly shy

My target for the day was Nedste Halsane (approx. 400m) – close to where the path I was on, ended.

Once I got there, I wanted to do a round trip hike, and headed (off-trail) up the forest, to the north. The cliffs ahead were too steep to battle with, so I would have to find a way around.

I’ve found a way around the cliffs

It was easy to find a way around the cliffs and then it started to snow, but only lightly.

Eventually, we reached a forest road at approx. 500m elevation and now there was snow on the ground.

We’ve reached a forest road

There were footsteps in the snow and I was curious to see where they went. The tracks led me up to Hardasleppen, and continued in the direction of Ombandsstølen. But as the snow no longer carried my weight, I decided to turn around here.

No complaints. 300 vertical meters below us, it is raining…

On our way back, we stopped by a viewpoint but there wasn’t much to see today. Shame, as I could have been looking straight down on the Manhiller ferry.

The sign informs about the edge and tells us to enjoy the view. Another time, I guess…

Once back on the forest road, I decided to follow the marked path which took me down to the forest road that I reached just before Nedste Halsane. We followed this road until we were east of the trailhead and then hiked off-trail back to the car. I was a little worried that the road would be full of snow by now, but there was only a thin layer.

Back at Anne’s place (which I call home whenever I am in Sogndal), Anne was in the midst of preparing a delicious lamb steak. She’s a darling!


Trip statistics: 7km, 420 vertical meters, 1h:54m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Stedje/Røstokken, Sogndal, Apr 12 2020

Exploring new parts of the Stedjeåsen forest

Easter break, Sunday: While taking the dog for the morning walk, I decided to go in the direction of Røstokken – where I’ve never been before. In other words, at the northeast corner of the Stedjeåsen forest.

Sogndal still looked the same, although seen from a slightly different angle.


I then discovered this neat hut, which belongs to the local Kindergarden.

Lucky kids!

I then aimed for the Stedjeberg tunnel, aiming to return home via roads. But when I got down to the main road, I was not able to climb the fence, and had to return all the way up to the hut.

Aiming for the main road, only to have to come back the same way

And on our way up, the local sheep wanted to stay with us – as long as physically possible. Very stressful, as Karma doesn’t like sheep. She doesn’t hunt them, but she thinks they will attack. Which has happened several times before, and so she wants to protect her master.

Just ignore them. They are friendly…

Trip statistics: 3,2km, 190 vertical meters, 50 minutes

Krokagrovi, Sogndal, Apr 12 2020

Our hike up Krokagrovi and down the forest

Easter break, Sunday: After the morning walk, I had to rest. My body was very clear on this! But a couple of hours later I was fed up from resting and prepared myself for a new walk. This time, Anne wanted to come along. I had targeted Krokagrovi as my hiking goal. Not a top, just a river running down a narrow gorge in the forest. But, as I hadn’t been there before I wanted to go there…

It was raining quite a bit when we left Sogndal, but it wasn’t raining when we reached Hovland – our starting point. We followed the forest road up to the first bend.

Heading out from Hovland

Then we headed off-trail into the forest, adjacent to the the river.

Steep forest!

After a while, the river got interesting enough to head towards it.


Anne was not in her best shape after recovering from the Corona virus and didn’t appreciate the hike as much as she normally does.

It was all good *afterwards*
Sunshine would have been nice!

Just before we reached the forest road at approx. 500m elevation, we crossed it and started talking about where to go from here.

On top of the interesting part of the river. Above here, it’s just a creek

Going any higher was out of the question because of the rotten snow.

We’re NOT going higher now…

So, we decided to just head down the forest and see what would happen.

Did I already say that I LOVE the Kaupanger forest? We had two deer right ahead of us…

The Kaupanger forest is my favorite forest and I LOVE walking around in it.

I need a pre-programmed BIRD button on my camera…

We then got to a felled area, where we had a fantastic view towards Kaupangerskogen.


Further down, we came across a tractor road that we followed back to the river and minutes later, we were back at Hovland. A very fun round trip hike!

Trip statistics: 4km, 285 vertical meters, 1h:41m

Flotshaugen (229m), Sogndal, Apr 12 2020

Our hike from Barsnes and across Flotshaugen

Easter break, Sunday: After the Krokagrovi hike, I had to hit the bed again. The body begun its repair work and I went into a light “coma”. But after a few hours, I got restless again and decided to end the Easter week by visiting Flotshaugen. I hope there are no Doctors reading this blog. They would probably shake their heads in despair…

Flotshaugen seen from Sogndal

I drove to Barsnes and parked the same place as when we did the Barsnes – Årøy hike a few days earlier.

Flotshaugen is just a small forest hill, but it offers a really nice round trip hike.

A nice path leading up to Flotshaugen

On our way up, we stopped by the only point (marked as “Utsikten“) where you can get some views.

View towards Sogndal

I was mostly interested in spotting a future route up to Hesteggi. And I noticed some balconies that deserved some further investigation. When the ice has melted…

Looks like an interesting route…

From the top, we followed a tractor road down to Barnesfjorden, where it was much more pleasant now than on Wednesday, when the rain was pouring down.

Down by Barsnesfjorden

Trip statistics: 4,4km, 290 vertical meters, 1h:12m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Corona week? (Epilogue)

My condition clearly deteriorated during the week. Not that I was physically sick, but I needed more and more rest after activity. And then there’s this “chest thing“. Just the fact that I’m not taking on any higher tops is a sign in itself. So, as I’m writing this, I try to find some “peace” with the fact that I probably have the virus, although I don’t have issues with my airways, no fever, no coughing and no running nose. The most disturbing thing is not knowing if I’m at the peak of this damned thing or if things will get worse. Is all this walking just prolonging the situation? Well, only time will tell…



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