Summer vacation, day 10
Continued from day 9Index
After spending the night somewhere between Helland Gård and Oppeid, we arrived in Oppeid roughly one hour before Hamarøysenteret opened. I dropped Anne off and took Karma on a morning walk to Veten – also known as Vetten and/or Vettan. Early morning, it’s quite OK to just follow a mountain service road to the top.
The only obstacle on our way to the top was mosquitoes. Darn buggers, but vital in the ecosystem…
I didn’t mind starting the a fine day with a new top, albeit the effort was moderate. And the views were good!
After a short stay, we headed back down. After a little while I noticed a path going into the forest on my left-hand side. As a variation to the route, I decided to follow it. We then had to follow the main 0,5km back to start of the mountain service road, but it was OK.
Trip statistics: 3,3km, 200 vertical meters, 1 hour
Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone):
Now it was time to see if I could find Anne at the Knut Hamsun centre aka Hamsunsenteret.
But first, I decided to take a walk through “Pans skoger” (Pan’s forest). It wasn’t exactly an epic hike…
We could allow some fun for ourselves before joining Anne…
I took Karma back to the car and joined Anne for lunch. Let me be honest. The meal was a violation against the “waffle statute“. A bunch of flavors, competing about outperforming each other. But in the end, the lingonberry won the battle, with the brown cheese as runner-up.
Prior to today, we had never heard about Hatten (the hat). But when we looked at the map to find a mountain top to visit, this top caught our attention. It was fairly prominent – dominating the northern region of Hamarøy.
On the internet, we found where the trailhead was and the route description was intriguing – mentioning a ladder to get to the top (!). The description also mentioned 1-2 possible other ways to reach the top. This – we had to check out!
The parking at Tortenåsen was full (clearly a popular top!) but we found a turnout 200m up the road.
We were seemingly supposed to follow a gravel road to the foot of the mountain, but ended up taking a short-cut across wetlands – where many had gone before us.
Next followed a steep forest ascent up to the Kvanntoskardet pass.
Interestingly enough, we found sand – and plenty of it – above the forest.
Bjørnkjeften – east of the pass – looked very cool. Certainly something to take a closer look at on our way down!
But first, we had to conquer Hatten. I was very curious about what was awaiting up there.
As Anne was trailing, I took a walk around the north side to see if I could find a way up. But after a while I returned to Anne – who I reckoned would be wondering where I had gone. We could always go back here if no easier alternative was found.
We continued along the south side and found the ladder. We would certainly try any other way possible before using it!
We followed a path below the hat and found a pitch that I figured could be doable. Halfway up I decided that this was just too “hairy“.
We continued to the west side and the wall was lower here. I scrambled up a bit to see if I could find a route and discovered a huge crack that I could easily climb up along. Yeah!
I went back down, secured Karma and then Anne and I went up together.
Finding the route was a HUGE bonus to this hike.
And let’s not forget about the view…
Another fine one in the bag…
We headed down the same way, but I was curious about the crack. I followed it and after squeezing myself through a slightly narrow spot, I was able to get back on top. This variation took away any exposure that our first route offered. Anne wasn’t too keen on squeezing through and took my word for it.
Carefully, we left the crack and returned to Karma.
Next on the agenda was to see if we could get to Bjørnkjeften. I don’t think I’ve ever hiked a sandy ridge before.
Bjørnkjeften – the bear’s mouth – was a totally understandable name. The ridge from Hatten was the body and the two tops with the gap between resembled the mouth. It looked like a bear howling towards the moon.
The west top was easy to reach – not even scrambling. And the ridge up to east top looked amazingly cool. I desperately wanted to give it a try, but I couldn’t find any safe route down to the saddle. Sand on rock = slippery and there was nothing to hold on to. And from what I could see, the first pitch from the saddle and up looked like pure climbing. So, it was easy to let go of the idea to climb it. Next time, though…
We returned to the main pass and ran down the sandy slope before a slippery forest path made us slow down the pace.
It was a beautiful hike. I strongly recommend it to anyone passing through!
Once back at the car (5:10pm), we sat course for Bognes and the ferry to Lødingen. Previous news reported that there had been plain chaos on the ferries up here in July. As such, in worst case, we didn’t expect to get to Lødingen today. But when we got to the ferry harbor, it was 15 minutes to departure and only a few cars ahead of us. I complained to the ferry crew and explain we had traveled quite a distance to see the chaos up close. And what did we get? They appreciated the joke…
The trip to Lødingen was nice. The weather was OK and the sea was calm.
As we planned to hike Dronningruta between Stø and Nyksund (Vesterålen) the next day, we had a bit of driving still to do. We stopped by Steinlandsfjorden, by the Snøkolla trailhead and decided to call it a day. The drive up to Stø the next day would then not take too long.
Trip statistics: 8,9km, 850 vertical meters, 3h:50m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone):