Summer vacation, day 8
Continued from day 7
Tops and places visited
After a very pleasant night below Steigbergtinden on Engeløya, we moved on after breakfast. We had to get to Hamarøy and be ready for tomorrow’s climb. But we had the whole day to get there, and so we decided to hike to Prestkona – “just up the street” from where we were.
We found the Prestkona trailhead between Solheim and Laskestad and parked the RV.
The trail ran through the forest for a while before the terrain opened up. Anne was extra happy, as we now had entered a nature reserve.
From this point on, the true ascent began and the forest trail felt extra steep because of the slippery soil.
Eventually, we reached the small valley below the Hanekamtinden – Prestkona saddle. Another forest section was still ahead of us.
As Prestkona is the highest point on Engeløya island, that would normally be the main attraction for me. But I couldn’t get the awesome looking Hanekamtinden off my mind. It was impossible to say if it would be an easy or difficult ascent. But I knew that at least I would have to give it a try before we left this mountain.
We followed the trail upwards, as it zig-zagged steeper and steeper. The views were tremendous. And the colors!!!
Once having reached the summit ridge, we had nice and short stroll over to the high point.
Another nice one in the bag!
And the views… holy macaroni!
Eventually, it was time to move on.
I told Anne that I wanted to give Hanekamtinden a try. Or that we could do it individually, the other one looking after Karma. She said she would wait down by the trail or down by the car and wished me luck.
The first part was just a transport leg up the ridge and two eagles kept me company.
Then it got a bit rugged, but fortunately I found a vague path that took me into the forest and past two steep humps along the ridge.
The path led me back up to the ridge below the summit block. I have to be honest and say that I didn’t particularly LIKE what I ahead of me.
The ascent had three notable sections. The first was a short scramble up rotten and broken slabs. I moved like a ballet dancer as the rock sometimes crumbled on contact. But this was not the worst part. The next section was really steep grass. I could easily see where people had gone before me and I could also feel the holes that fingers had dug to get holds. I did not particularly look forward to go down the same way. The final section was a firm slab where friction was my best comrade. The ascent route looked overall as the below picture.
And then I stood on top. I had absolutely no information about this top, whether it was rated as difficult or not. Personally, I would rate the route YDS 4. Climbingwise 3, but 4 because of the overall severity. I imagined it would be easier from the other side, but could not say for sure.
I decided to take a couple of minute to enjoy the stunning view before worrying about the descent.
The descent started with going down the upper slab in the wrong direction. Anne followed my progress from the trail and was appalled when she saw my direction. When I saw the abyss below me, I understood that I had to adjust my course…
The grassy section was NOT FUN going down, but I was far too concentrated in making the right moves to sense any discomfort. When the rotten slab section was passed, I had a sigh of relief and looked forward to rejoin the others.
Anne told me that she had talked to a guy who said the ascent is considered to be a “karstykke” – in modern language translated to something bold. This clearly lifted my spirit, but then she told me that folks use or used to go up here, drunk after the party. That was NOT what I wanted to hear, although it was difficult to imagine someone drunk in the section I had just climbed down.
I later also learned that parts of the mountain broke off in 2007. Let that be a reminder about the overall rock quality on this mountain!
See pictures from the drive to Hamarøy below the gallery.
Trip statistics: 6,1km, 910 vertical meters, 3h:25m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone):
Back at the car, we now sat course for Hamarøy. Which meant that we would have to go through the Steigen tunnel one more time, hit the E6 and follow it to Ulvsvåg before turning west and locate the Hamarøyskaftet trailhead.
We had gotten quite accustomed to driving the RV, no longer constantly looking in the mirrors to check we were inside or outside our lane. Still, I hated driving into towns and look for parking in crowded parking lots.
But it was nice to stop wherever we wanted, grab something to eat, walk the dog or just check out something.
My general shape and form was overall good. I had not felt any of the fatigue that has been haunted me in periods since January. I had a feeling that this holiday would be ranked “up there” if the weather and the experiences continued this way…
Eventually, we were approaching the place where we would meet our guide in the morning. Hamarøyskaftet looked impressive and I really looked forward to climb it the next day.
I didn’t feel like driving the RV up the gravel road to the Hamarøyskaftet trailhead and so we got permission to park for the night down by Halsen. It wasn’t the most epic place to spend the night, but we wanted to secure this spot for the next day, as we would have to leave Karma in the car. And this spot looked like it offered more shade than any other place around.