Out of my comfort zone…Tops visited
|Hatlelifjellet (Haslelifjellet)||781m||421m||Høyanger, Norway|
Saturday, Week 53: My dream when I woke up in Sogndal this morning was that it would be a lovely day, then I would take the long way home to Sunnmøre via Vadheim, enjoying the drive and get my first new top in 2021 after a nice hike in nice weather.
The reality was that it was snowing (this was NOT what was forecasted) and I had to go several rounds with myself. Was I willing to take an (considerable) extra long drive on snowy roads, probably before the snow plough drivers got out of bed, to hike a mountain where I had never been before in bad weather – just to get a new top?
I let that answer sink in. It didn’t feel good. Am I getting stuck in my comfort zone?
Within the hour, the car was packed and I was on my way on snowy roads, hoping the snow plough drivers would get going soon. At least I was lucky with the ferry. I hadn’t looked at time time table and had to wait only 15 minutes at Hella.
The drive to Vadheim and then to Myra by Avsnesstrand was not fun. Not by any measure. But, I took it slow and easy and got there ~3 hours after leaving Sogndal. The weather on the mountain was surely not good, but I would be more on “home turf” here than on the road.
We followed the forest road upwards, then got onto a forest path after 0,5km.
The forest path was nice, heading gently towards the Teigaelva river. We were quite sheltered in the forest and I decided to enjoy it while I could.
Eventually, we reached Teigestølen (~450m) and now that we were rising out of the forest, we were also exposed to the weather. But while it wasn’t “pleasant”, it still wasn’t BAD.
I was a little “edgy” about the GPS, who reported total loss of satellite reception in the forest. It seemed to be back on track now, with some spikes here and there. The last thing I needed heading up an unknown mountain in gradually worse weather was an unstable GPS.
Fortunately, the path to Nordrestølen (ruins) was marked and there wasn’t a lot of snow on the mountain. And the visibility was OK so far.
Arriving at Nordrestølen brought us on the lee side of the wind. Still, it was “not pleasant” to be here, but now we were really closing in on the top.
The last part of the hike was *really* windy and Karma looked for shelter behind me. But to be fair, we’ve been out in much worse weather than this. Add 5 more m/s and no visibility, then this would have been quite something else.
After a short stay on top, we headed back the way we came up. The descent posed a new challenge that I didn’t have on the way up. The path was icy almost all the way, and the snow covered it all. It was simply not possible to stick to the path on the way down, but I got down without falling.
When we got back to the car, the old road I was not on had still not been ploughed, but it hadn’t fallen a whole lot of snow there since we left. Now, the last challenge was the 250km drive back home.
The drive was very tiresome until I got to Skei. From there, the roads were more or less free of snow and I was SO relieved and tired when I pulled up in front of my house 6:05pm – close to 10 hours after leaving Sogndal.
But – I had my first top in 2021 to show for it. I hope it doesn’t take 3-4 months before I get the next one…
Trip statistics: 7,5 km, 780 vertical meters, 2h:17m