2020 Week 51

The final walks on Sunnmøre in 2020

Karma’s Christmas card from Hornseten
Date Peak/Place Height PF Location WCP
14.12.2020 Hovdenakken 474m 176m Hareid, Norway WCP
15.12.2020 Kiberget 438m 65m Ulstein, Norway WCP
16.12.2020 Blåtind 697m 697m Ulstein, Norway WCP
17.12.2020 Hornseten 190m 152m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
18.12.2020 Høgskjerva 317m 9m Ulstein, Norway WCP
19.12.2020 Holstadhornet 531m 98m Hareid, Norway WCP

Hovdenakken (474m), Dec 14 2020

Our round trip hike across Hovdenakken

Monday:  Another week and I wanted to get the week started by doing something “radical“. In this context, that meant taking on a route I considered to be totally obnoxious with respect to the terrain.

But time would show. For starters, I decided to hike Hovdenakken from the Golf Course – a nice route.

Heading out from the Golf course

If work had been normal these days, I would have been visiting the Sunnmøre alps more often this autumn and winter. But work is far from normal and now I’m happy just to get a look at those mountains…

Sunnmøre alps in the distance

Instead of the higher peaks around, I have to settle for lower tops with green, old and nice forests

On our way to Hovdenakken

On top of Hovdenakken, I needed 10 attempts to take a picture that didn’t show a double highway (windy) but eventually got a picture that passed inspection.

Ulsteinvik view

Now was the time to decide if I was up for my radical idea or not. The “safe” alternative was to head straight south and enjoy a nice birch forest (off-trail) and get onto the road from Kvammen. The “radical” alternative was to follow the foothills of the mountain – on the west/north side.

On Hovdenakken

I had gone a couple of meters in the “safe” direction when I said “…. it!” and aimed for the enormous meadow below Hovdenakken.

If the ground hadn’t been semi-frozen, this would have been just as terrible as I had feared. But, the ground carried my weight for the most part. Here and there, we followed deer tracks – making things even easier.

Eventually, we were forced down from our elevation at around 200m and had to descend a steep forest. In the bottom was a forest that seemed impossible to get through without losing my mind. But – just as I got down on my knees to start crawling, I noticed a tractor road 20m ahead. Hallelujah!

I can’t remember having been this happy along a tractor road before…

Trip statistics: 6,7km, 485 vertical meters, 1h:47m

Kiberget (438m), Dec 15 2020

Our hike across Kiberget

Tuesday:  I had some things to do in Ulsteinvik in the afternoon, and decided to walk the dog nearby. I drove up to Varleitet to hike Kiberget. And hopefully – able to do an interesting variation to the route.

At Varleitet, heading for Kiberget (background) – straight up

The variation turned out to be approaching Kiberget head on. As the ground wasn’t frozen anymore, the terrain was just terrible and I will never ever take this route again.

Ulsteinvik view from Kiberget

It was pure heaven to get on the ridge path and reach the top. I swore that the rest of the hike would NOT include any form of off-trail.

On top of Kiberget

We continued across Nevstadnipa – the cool ridge with the trees. I could remember that Anne and I skied across here a couple of years ago, but then descended to Nevstad.

Today, I just kept on going until I reached the path from Risesætra. This path took me – as I had expected – down to Nedre Rise – where we had 3km (in light rain) back to the car. Fortunately, not all this distance was along the main road and I was happy when we got on the lit trail.

Along the lit trail next to the highway

I was quite happy when we returned to the car. Dog walked. Mission accomplished. Not very memorable.

Trip statistics: 7,8km, 410 vertical meters, 1h:53m

Blåtind (697m), Dec 16 2020

Our hike across Blåtind

Wednesday:  This was the most hectic birthday I’ve ever had. I had end to end meetings from 8am to 3pm, and observed that I had numerous congratulations on text, Messenger and FB. I wanted to take the time to reply to all of them, but that meant that the afternoon hike would be in darkness from start to finish. And since I was in serious need for some daylight, that would just have to wait.

I drove to Ringstaddalen to hike Blåtind. Karma was overjoyed, as she had seen a hare on this mountain many years ago. There are things a dog will never forget. Seeing a hare is one of them…

Blåtind – seen from close to my place

I wanted a hard work-out and sat the course straight up the mountain, in what I call “the monster hill“.

It is steeper than it looks!

Karma kept constant look-out for the hare, but it was nowhere to be seen. Might have been shot. Some locals like to shoot the hares. For the life of me, I cannot understand why that is a satisfying thing…

I could respect the hunt a bit more if they chased the hare on foot

Darkness was on its way, but we would reach the top without turning the headlamp on.

The summit ahead

The summit was cold and windy, and we stayed in shelter below the cairn.

Coastal view from Blåtind
Vartdalsfjorden view from Blåtind

For descent, we took the southwest ridge. It’s been a while since I hiked here. Back in January, I think. It looked altogether different in the dark, but I DO know this mountain and had no issues with route finding.

On our way down the southwest ridge

Back home, I had to continue working for an hour. Then I enjoyed two small Christmas beers along with dinner before I a) responded to all congratulations and b) kept on working. Although not an epic birthday, it was an OK one…

Trip statistics: 5,8km, 650 vertical meters, 1h:59m

Hornseten (189m), Dec 17 2020

Our route across Hornseten

Thursday:  There was little energy in my body after a hectic day. I decided to take it a bit slow today and drove to Eggesbønes to take a walk across Hornseten. The lit trail from Heida is always nice to walk.

Heading out from Heida

After a little while, we left the lit trail, took a short-cut through the forest and rejoined the lit trail by the “Gapahuk“. I stopped for a couple of pictures of Fosnavåg.

Fosnavåg (I)
Fosnavåg (II)

Next, we went to the top. It was quite windy up there and I wasn’t able to keep the camera still.

Eggesbønes view from Hornseten
On top of Hornseten

Now what?

I decided to try to find a route down the west ridge. Initially, there was a path but it got more and more vague the lower we got. I had forgotten my new headlamp and had only the backup lamp with no extra batteries. At 80m elevation and only 80 distance meters to go, I decided to turn around. The terrain was complicated and the bush was terrible. Between us and the lights below was only “dark matter” and I knew that the ridge was steep all the way. Another time…

Trip statistics: 5,3km, 305 vertical meters, 1h:40m

Høgskjerva (317m), Dec 18 2020

Our route across Høgskjerva

Friday:  After work, I had to go to Ulsteinvik to pick up one of Anne’s Christmas presents. And while there, late as it was – I decided to go hiking from Bugarden.

Having several options, I chose the trail leading to Høgskjerva. Primarily to figure out how to take after dark pictures. I have basically no clue, but every failed attempt at least tells me what NOT to do…

Ulsteinvik seen from Høgskjerva

Pictures are one thing, but the most rewarding thing is to see a happy dog checking both sides of the path. At the same time…

Karma on Høgskjerva

Høgskjerva was not the high point on this hike. We continued upwards and were on the very foothills of Kiberget. But as I had been up there previously this week, I chose to head down to Gamleeidet and follow a gravel road I hadn’t done in years.

Saunesmarka above Ulsteinvik

When the gravel road ended, we continued into a really nice forest and I think I’ve figured out that if I am to compensate for the strong light from my headlamp (at 50%), I have to drive the ISO considerably more down than what I did today.

No wonder the headlamp is called “Bright as day”

Back at Bugarden, Karma noticed ripples in the pond and froze like Trolls do. I let her stare at the pond for a good 5 minutes while I played around with my camera. Then, I had to snap her out of her spell.

She didn’t move one muscle…

After the hike, we went back to town. I decided to take a couple of more pictures and on the one below, all the cars slowed down when passing 😉

Downtown Ulsteinvik
The “everything” house – cinema, theater, restaurant, hotel…

All in all, a nice hike!

Trip statistics: 7,2km, 300 vertical meters, 1h:42m

Holstadhornet (531m), Dec 19 2020

Our route across Holstadhornet

Saturday:  I woke up in the middle of the night with tension headache (way, way too stressful working situation lately) and went to bed with tension headache. The part in-between was somewhat OK, and mainly consisted of getting organized for Christmas holiday in eastern Norway.

It was already late (with respect to daylight) when I found time to walk the dog and chose Holstadhornet above Hareid as the target.

I drove up to Hovlid – the usual trailhead – but today I decided to do a variation to the normal route which I hadn’t done before.

On our way up from Hovlid

Once we passed Håbakknotten, we had a nice above Hareid.

Hareid view

From here, we had Holstadhornet right ahead of us. We could have just continued on the path we were on.

Holstadhornet ahead

Instead, turned right onto a path that gives a detour if you’re aiming for Holstadhornet, but you’ll get some additional views along the way. Like Sula island…

Sula island

And then the moon came up…

Sunnmøre alps and a half moon

We also had a good view towards Skolma and the adjacent tops.

Skolma in center

And I had never seen Brandal from this viewpoint before…


Today, as many other days this winter – the goal was to reach the top without using the headlamp. And once again, the timing was impeccable.

Towards the top

It was really windy on top and it wasn’t pleasant to be there. I only stopped for one picture and took the Gjerdet route down the mountain.

Hareid, seen from Holstadhornet

Once we reached the first  farm fields, I tried to be clever and find a route between the forest and the fields. That didn’t work well, due to sheep fences, both stone fences and barbed wire. And eventually we had to aim for the roads – but only for a short bit.

This was the last hike on Sunnmøre in 2020. The next day, I would head for Sogndal – to Anne, work from down there for a couple of days before setting the course for our rented cabin at Vaset (Valdres) the day before Christmas Eve.

Trip statistics: 7,2km, 550 vertical meters, 1h:45m

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