2020 Week 16

Rising from “the dead”

On the way to Kjeringi above Leikanger

Tops and places visited:

Peak Height PF Location WCP
Skjeggen 738m 25m Sogndal, Norway
Tylderingen 1104m 241m Sogndal, Norway WCP
Blåfjellet 1401m 151m Sogndal, Norway WCP
Kjeringi 1314m 202m Sogndal, Norway WCP

Skjeggen (738m), Apr 16 2020

The route up and down Skjeggen

Thursday: After 3 days of resting my body, I finally felt ready to go outdoors again. I had clearly been sick, but from what was a mystery. I hold Corona as most likely, but I’m open to anything. At least, it didn’t resemble anything like a flu. Good thing it was raining those 3 days. If there had been sunshine, I *might* not have gotten the rest I needed. But now I felt ready.

My first walk after 3 days of resting would be up to Skjeggen – above Sogndal

After work, Anne and I drove to Røvhaugane for a small birthday celebration for Ane – Karma’s breeder. Social distancing for 10 people in a small front yard is a logistical challenge. I soon decided to make things easier for the rest by taking the dog for a hike.

The target was Skjeggen. A forest hill just south of Kjørkhovden – which I visited 10 days earlier. I knew that there would be a fair amount of snow left in the upper forest, but that didn’t seem like a problem today. All I wanted was to get OUT, UP and enjoy the sunshine.

Karma and I walked from Røvhaugane up to Åberge and then got on the path towards Bjellastølen.

Passing Åberge

We left this path after 0,6km and headed up the forest, along a fence. We soon ran into cumbersome forest and rotten snow.


In the upper forest, the snow reached up to my knees in the soft spots, but it wasn’t that bad all of the way. Karma was “swimming” at times, but didn’t seem to mind one bit.

That looks like one happy dog…

Eventually, we reached the top and Karma could celebrate.

On top of Skjeggen

It was tempting to take a different route down, but then Anne called me and said she was her way up to Åberge to meet me. So, we took the same route back down.

Heading back down

Once below the snow, we had a very nice hike through the forest…

A nice moment in the forest

At Åberge, we met Anne and then we returned to Røvhaugane. That is – I went to pick  up the car, and Anne walked down to the fjord – where I picked her up.

Little did I know that this was just the first of 10 (!) wonderful sunny days in a row.

Meeting up with Anne at Åberge

Trip statistics: 6,3km, 735 vertical meters, 2h:06m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Tylderingen (1104m), Apr 17 2020

The skiing route across Tylderingen

Friday: The stunning weather continued, and after work I was soon on my way to Fretland to ski Tylderingen.


As  I began my journey upwards for the 16th time, I felt that I needed some other inspiration than just the normal route. So instead of following the ski-tracks, I continued straight ahead, crossed the Spøna river and was curious what kind of forest I had ahead of me.

About to cross Spøna

I was able to follow a good route up the forest and after a while, Vardafjellet came into view. I decided to ascend up the east ridge.

Vardafjellet comes into view

Because, a direct approach seemed out of the question…

That cliffband looks tough…

As I was about to pass Høgafjell, I found a safe route up towards Vardafjellet.

En route to Vardafjellet – looking back on Høgafjell

But then the snow changed. The snow got hard and icy. And as I ascended the final meters of Vardafjellet, I was … focused. If it hadn’t been for that the ice broke when I stomped the skis, then the top of Vardafjellet would have been out of reach.

Up Vardafjellet

Next up was Tylderingen. I seriously hoped that the snow wouldn’t be that bad. I didn’t want to slide all the way down to Sogndalsdalen…

Tylderingen. Note the snow in front of me. Pure ice!

The snow was hard as ice, but a number of previous visitors had left a soft track that took me safely up to the top.

On top of Tylderingen

From the top, I had a nice view towards Blåfjellet. In this moment, I didn’t know that I would be standing on top there – the next day…

Hodlekve skiing centre with Blåfjellet above

But when I looked closer, I could see a massive slab avalanche just below the summit. Very scary.

That’s quite an avalanche!

With that in mind, I decided I wouldn’t approach steeper terrain in a while…

Oksli in center. Frudalsbreen further up to the left

I took the normal route down and once I reached the forest, I could enjoy butter-soft snow on a hard sole. 7 out of 10 on my scale.

Passing Stokksete on my way down

Now, I looked forward to get home and enjoy Enchiladas from Ellevilt, with Anne.

Trip statistics: 7,4km, 630 vertical meters, 1h:36m

Blåfjellet (1401m), Apr 18 2020

My route up and down Blåfjellet

Saturday: Another marvelous weather day. Too bad I had to work from 7:30am to 3pm. But once my work was completed, I drove straight up to Hodlekve to ski Blåfjellet. I didn’t bring Karma, as she had been with Anne on a ski-trip above Leikanger earlier in the day.

Hodlekve skiing centre, Rindabotn

The snow was perfect as I headed out from the Rindabotn trailhead. I just hoped the snow wouldn’t start freezing until I was back down. Time would show.

Heading towards Blåfjellet

On my way up the mountain, I noticed that I wasn’t my usual self. I had to stop several times, not to catch my breath but to protect myself from something I couldn’t put my finger on. There was still something in my chest and I was careful not to make my blood bump go at maximum level.

A small reminder about the snow quality…

After a while, I got the huge slab avalanche below the summit in close view. While it was big in size, it no longer seemed so dramatic as when I watched it from Tylderingen the day before.

Wow – that’s a biggie!

I could easily imagine that if it was skier who set it off, then that skier would most likely get out of it alive. Still, it was a clear wake-up call. The upper layer (15-20cm) could not be trusted in steep slopes!

Doesn’t look good, but probably shallow enough to survive it

Eventually, I reached the summit plateau, but instead of aiming for the cairn top, I sat course for the high point. Which – used to be in Leikanger municipality before Sogndal, Leikanger and Balestrand merged.

On top of Blåfjellet, with Synnevaskjer in the background

The views were well known to me, and few peaks really stood out. But the Hurrungane massif always stands out from the crowd…

Hurrungane. Store Skagastølstind (240m) left of center. Norway’s 3rd highest top.

And so does Bleia

Bleia – across Sognefjorden

I stopped by the cairn top (the gap between has surely never been smaller?) and had a chat with a skier from Italy. He was quick to point out that he lived in Sogndal, so I didn’t have to wonder if he was a ski tourist, straight from northern Italy. That would be kind of sending the wrong message, in these Corona-times.

The cairn top, seen from the high point
Iphone8 panorama from Blåfjellet
Iphone8 panorama from Blåfjellet

On the way down, I stopped by Kambafjellet, before preparing for the main run down the mountain.

My (careful) tracks from Blåfjellet seen from Kambafjellet. There were a lot of Sastrugis up there

Unfortunately, the snow had just started to freeze, and so my descent from Kampafjellet was OK, but FAR from epic. Just a little too much ice. But the final pitch down to the skiing centre was perfect. Very happy to have skied Blåfjellet again.

An icy run down Blåfjellet

This was my 9th visit, and I’ve been an annual visitor since 2014.

Anne-cam: Field trip to Leikanger with Karma while I was on Blåfjellet

Trip statistics: 9,9km, 850 vertical meters, 2h:11m

Kjeringi (1314m), Apr 19 2020

My route up and down Kjeringi

Sunday: Finally, I could go skiing in the daytime. Which was a requirement for enjoying perfect snow. Originally, I planned to drive to Grindsdalen and ski Hest (1340m), but the avalanche I saw on Blåfjellet the day before scared me a little. And the routes up from Grindsdalen can quickly get a bit steep. So, I decided to play it safe and ski Kjeringi above Leikanger instead.

Kjeringi massif above Leikanger

It was yet another gorgeous weather day and I was a bit “moved” when I saw lambs for the first time this year…

Aaah – that’s nice…

Then I drove up to Kleppa (approx. 400m elev.) and parked the car. Based on the amount of available parking, we seemed to be early although the time was 10:44am when we headed out.

Heading out from Kleppa

The first part of the route follows the cross-country trail and isn’t too exciting. And Kjeringi seemed very far away. The signpost said 6,2km, but it felt longer. And based on my GPS, it turned out to be 8,2km!

Kjeringi seems quite distant

Not that it mattered much. It was just darn lovely to be outdoors!

I didn’t seek permission for this picture, but hope I am forgiven…

Karma seemed happy too, at least as long there was a bush nearby. Higher up, there was little to explore.

You can’t really fake happiness…

The mountain was busy today. No wonder, with this weather and a prepared trail all the way to the top.

Eventually, we had Fagreggi on our right-hand side and a 300m climb ahead of us. This was the steepest section on the route, and NO FUN if the snow is hard as ice (I’ve been here twice before, first time in 2010). But today, the sun had melted the upper layer of the snow and the conditions were just perfect.

The steepest hill ahead

When we got on the summit ridge, I got a good view towards Hest – which was my plan A for the day. And now I could see a fairly safe route to the top. Which I will enjoy some other time.

Hest – in center. Anne and I had a great trip to Stav (right) a few years ago

Right now, I only looked forward to get to the top. More on that below…

The summit ahead

What I didn’t remember was that there was a building just below the summit. All snowed and frozen in.

A building just below the summit

The view was outstanding. First, towards the Sognefjord


… and then towards Hurrungane – an amazing massif with 2000m peaks on Sognefjellet.

Hurrungane massif in center

And THEN it was finally time to take care of my foot. I call this blister an effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. Far too little skiing this year. My boots require to be worn on a frequent basis…

I’ve got to admit that this was hurting…

After a good stay on top, it was time to head back down. The skiing was delightful, but Karma was not in her best shape and I had to wait a lot for her. Is she getting old (she’s 7,5 years old) or just lacked inspiration to run as fast as daddy skied? At least, she could not complain about the snow not carrying her weight.

What? Retirement house next?

But, we got back down eventually and returned to Anne’s place in Sogndal. Anne was busy in her garden and signaled that a “male contribution” would be welcome. And after a lot of moving rocks around, I was quite happy with the result. This section was just a pile of soil and rubbish before I went to work.

I didn’t build a house, but very happy with the rock work…

Trip statistics: 17,1km, 970 vertical meters, 3h:14m

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