Still a “creepy” top…Tops and places visited
Tuesday, week 33: After a lot of scrambling and (easy) climbing this summer, I wanted to see where I stood – mentally – compared to past years. The benchmark is Liadalsnipa – a peak that I’ve been to 10 times before and I’ve done the incredibly airy traverse 2-3 times (without ropes).
Still, the mountain scares me. It didn’t use to, as the crux point on the normal route used to have a tiny safety margin (described further down). But, this margin has now eroded, leaving the crux point a place where a mistake is most likely fatal. Which makes the top even more attractive to me, I suppose.
I logged out from work a couple of hours earlier and sat the course for Halse. Karma would just have to be her own company for a few hours.
When I got to Halse, I parked the car, paid the parking fee (VIPPS) and instructed my phone to shuffle through all my Rick Ross records. I needed that type of mindset. I was on my way up the forest 2:33pm.
Once out of the forest, the peak will probably scare most first time visitors that don’t have a lot of experience from advanced scrambling or climbing. But, this was quite a familiar sight to me.
When I finally reached the ridge that runs all the way to the top, I chose to scramble the ridge instead of following the path, bypassing some exposed points. Hopefully, the crux point would feel easier by the time I got there.
When I describe the route to others, I tell them that there are three scramble points on the main ridge worth mentioning. The first two points are quite easy and the third is the crux on the route. Then the path curves around the steepest part and the final section is a long, ugly scree route where you should NOT stumble.
The below picture shows the 2nd scramble point. It is not tricky, but very exposed. Some will find good assistance from the small birch tree that seems to survive being one of the most popular handholds on the entire route.
The first two scramble points were easy as always and then I got to the crux, just as a couple came down. They were foreigners and the guy instructed carefully his girlfriend how and where to move. Once down, the guy asked me why I was hiking alone. “Why not?“, I replied. Well, in case something happened, of course. I told him that “if anything happened here, then I would be down there” and pointed down on the lake. And there wouldn’t be much a 2nd person could do for me. It still seemed crazy to him, and they moved on. I had of course left a message to Anne – in case I didn’t come home.
The crux – it’s a slab leading up to a point where you have to climb across a huge rock. There used to be a small, grassy ledge below the slab. In case you slipped, there was a good chance you could stop on the ledge. But, the ledge has eroded and there is nothing below the slab – except for some mud that only will accelerate your speed off the mountain.
As it was now, the easiest part of the slab would be the dry section. But that was also the part with maximum risk in case of a slip. The wet part was a little bit safer, but required that I found the right fingerholds (not handholds) and then cross the slab over to the rock.
I noticed that there was a sling around this rock. That might be useful for some, but not necessary for those who know this route. There is a very nice handhold in the rock itself. The crux is however not getting up. It’s the descent that can make your heart beat extra fast.
Once above this point, I moved up the scree route. There is one point along the upper route that has also been exposed to erosion and may present itself as a little tricky. It is however possible to bypass this point on the grass, further left. At least you may consider this on your way down…
And then I was up – 1h:14m after leaving the car. I took a round of pictures and headed straight down. I was eager to get home and give Karma her afternoon walk. Back in 2016, I did this route in 54 minutes (when I was a younger man!) and there is also a short video-clip showing the crux.
Back a the crux, I climbed across the rock face in, and stood firm on the slab with a good handhold in the rock itself. Then I went into spagat to get to the wet side, where I carefully looked for fingerholds that could get me safely down. I admit, it was a still bit … creepy.
Back in easier terrain, I could increase the pace and I passed the foreign couple down by the lake. I was back at the car 2h:10m after leaving. I was back home some 40 minutes later and took Karma to Løkeberget (576m) on Hareidlandet island. It was quite a busy afternoon!
Trip statistics: 4,8km, 770 vertical meters, 2h:10m
Pictures from the trip (Canon EOS RP/Iphone8):