A whole-lotta-weather week
|07.02.2022||Røddalshorn||563m||100m||Sande, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|08.02.2022||Leinehornet||364m||364m||Herøy, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|08.02.2022||Hornseten||190m||152m||Herøy, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|09.02.2022||Huldrehornet||271m||113m||Herøy, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|10.02.2022||Storevarden||430m||430m||Herøy, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|11.02.2022||Åberge – Fjordstien||230m||–||Sogndal, Norway|
|13.02.2022||Åberge – Fjordstien||230m||–||Sogndal, Norway|
Røddalshorn (563m), Feb 7 2022
Monday: The day started out altogether very confusing. Blue sky? That was NOT what the forecast said. “Fortunately”, things were gradually getting back to “normal”, although by 3pm – it was still not raining or snowing. I saw the opportunity and drove to Leikongeidet to ski Røddalshorn. After “floating around” on the parking lot, I finally got the car parked and headed out.
Going up, I quickly noticed that the snow was terrible. The crust was icy and the light was very flat. I *could have* brought Karma, but she would get her own trip later on.
It was quite windy on top, so I took the “technical break” on the lee side of the mountain. Due to terrible weather, I hadn’t been up here in a month and it was *good* to be back!
The descent was OK-ish. Due to the flat light, it was difficult to go for the snowy areas. Better then to stay close to turf or rock. From the pass and down, I had to ski very “actively” on the crust, to avoid breaking through and land on my face. All in all – an OK trip!
Trip statistics: 4,1km, 400 vertical meters, 57 minutes
Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the trip:
Høgåsen (240m), Feb 8 2022
Monday: I was back at the house 1h:20m after leaving for Røddalshorn, picked up Karma (overjoyed!) and drove to Dimnøya island to hike Høgåsen. It was still not raining or snowing, but the wind had picked up. Something was moving in!
We started out by SPAR (close to sea level) and took the Åsen route to the top. The path was strenuous, with mud and slippery, wet snow.
On the way down, I decided to follow a path that I didn’t know where ended. The path us took us through a really, really dark forest and finally we ended up by the Kleven shipyard. From here, we followed the pedestrian walk back to the car. 2 minutes later, it started raining…
Trip statistics: 4,4km, 240 vertical meters, 1h:05m
Leinehornet (364m), Feb 8 2022
Tuesday: I have really begun to enjoy my new morning routine. 6:20: 21km on the spinning bike (which is as far I get while watching an episode of the Magnum P.I. remake). 07:00: Walk the dog. 07:20: Shower. 07:30 Log-in at work. Bananas on-the-go for breakfast…
The weather offered everything from hail to sunshine. The only thing missing was snowfall. I was somewhat optimistic about the afternoon hike and decided to go to Leinøya island to hike Leinehornet.
There was both an upside and a downside with this choice. The upside was that I could observe the incoming weather, and take shelter if needed. The downside was that this is a “naked” mountain and there isn’t any shelter. Except for behind the summit cairn.
We had one hail shower early on, but it wasn’t too bad at that elevation and we kept on going.
The rest of the hike to the top was just windy. Not sure about the wind-speed, but when I spread my arms, I was going a little faster…
From the top, I could see another shower that had every potential to get really nasty. The question was – should we wait for it (behind the cairn) or make a run for it?
I chose to make a run for it and quickly lost the path. We were more off-trail than on the trail going down. But it didn’t matter, as the shower seemed to pass us. We were in the very outskirts of it.
Eventually, we came into the forest and followed the forest path until we had to get on the main road for the final 0,8km. I was quite happy with this hike, as I had feared that it could be quite unpleasant. This was also the first post-4pm hike this year where I didn’t have to use a headlamp.
Trip statistics: 3,8km, 360 vertical meters, 1h:07m
Hornseten (190m), Feb 8 2022
Thursday: Once down from Leinehornet, the weather was still holding up and I figured it would be good with a “bonus walk“. The hasty hike across Leinehornet felt a bit – short.
I drove up to the start of the Heida trail (on Bergsøya island). I like this trail and can very well understand why it is so immensely popular. Clearly a good investment for the public health.
We took the normal route to the top and the headlamp had to come on once we entered the forest.
The weather was still OK and I could see Leinehornet across the fjord.
We took the same route down, but just as we reached the forest, I noticed a path I hadn’t seen before. Naturally, I decided to follow it and see where it took us (I love doing that!). It took us back to the Heida trail, and the forest was so dense that no trace of bad weather will reach you there.
Before calling it a day, we went up to the top of the Heida route and took a couple of pictures of Fosnavåg.
Once we reached the car, it began raining. Then came the wind and later on – the howling wind and hail showers. It’s a bit depressive. I’m going to Sogndal at the end of the week. The weather isn’t much better there and they’ve got a monstrous amount of snow. Which means I can’t hike and I can’t take Karma on ski-trips. We’ll figure something out, though…
Trip statistics: 2,6km, 160 vertical meters, 44 minutes
Huldrehornet (271m), Feb 9 2022
Wednesday: Today, the hail showers may very well have been the worst we’ve seen so far this year. I had my car door open for 5 seconds, and the inside of the car was plastered with hail. To crown it all, we had thunder and lightning too.
So, this afternoon’s hike would be a game of cat and mouse. Hail showers being the “cat” and us being the “mice“. I’m OK of course, but the dog is exposed to some serious pain. I decided to stay in my neighborhood and hike across Huldrehornet.
To make the hike a bit more challenging, I chose to ascend off-trail in very deep snow. And break trail for the dog while at it. I had never hiked in this part of the forest before – mainly because this is deer territory, aka tick territory.
We were also in shelter for the ongoing hail shower, but as the showers were “racked and stacked”, we just had to get up and endure them. I felt a little sorry for Karma – until she rolled over and “did her thing”. She’s OK…
It was really windy on the mountain. Strong wind combined with hail is not a good thing, but we were in the clear on the final ridge to the top.
But just as we reached the top, another shower came in. Fortunately, shelter was close by.
We continued across the mountain and down the steep south side.
Then we took a short-cut (off-trail) and Karma had to “swim” again …
It was nice to finally reach the valley path, where there was less snow. We also visited Djupvikhaugen on the way back and there was hardly any snow in this forest.
Normally, a hike across Huldrehornet is “effortless“, but today – it was a proper piece of work. Very happy afterwards…
Trip statistics: 6,3km, 350 vertical meters, 2h:06m
Storevarden (430m), Feb 10 2022
Thursday: The “M.O.” today was short and intense hail showers. “Short” – meaning that I could get a little bolder in terms what I could expose the dog to. Like hiking Storevarden on Nerlandsøya. There’s nothing but the Norwegian sea beyond and it’s pretty “naked” up there. Not many places to run for shelter.
We started out from Teigane (sea level) and waited a few minutes for a hail shower to pass. Then we headed up the mountain road.
I have a ambivalent relation with hail showers. I love watching them, but hate to be inside them…
Higher up, the top came into view and the big question was if we would get another shower before getting there. The only place to seek shelter is behind a huge rock at the foothills. I decided to “pace it” and hope for the best.
But first, a panorama picture…
It was much less snow out here than back home – just a 15-20 minute drive. I appreciated that!
We were in the clear when we reached the top, but seemingly not for long. Again, the question was – should we hurry back down or wait by the building on top? As the showers didn’t seem to last very long, we made a run for it.
We weren’t fast enough and soon we were in the middle of another hail shower.
We made it down to the aforementioned rock and waited the shower out before moving on.
The shower was nice to look at, though…
This was my 26th visit to Storevarden and this time, I discovered a forest path that I didn’t know about. Big bonus!
This was also my last hike in my parts of the county for a little while. Heading for Sogndal tomorrow.
Trip statistics: 6,4km, 440 vertical meters, 1,5 hours
Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:
Åberge – Fjordstien, Feb 11 2022
Friday: This was a hectic day. I was up early, did 20km on the spinning bike, walked the dog, cleared the snow from my front yard, worked 4,5 hours and then began my journey to Sogndal without knowing if I would get there.
There had been a massive avalanche by Frudalstunnelen (20 min outside Sogndal) and the road had been closed a couple of days. There would be an assessment if the road could open at 3pm, but as I wanted to drive in daylight, I left home 12:30pm. I stopped a couple of times to check status, and finally the decision came – the road would open at 3pm.
I got to Fjærland just after 3pm and waited in line until 3:30pm before the line began moving. I was quite happy then…
Sogndal had huge amounts of snow and there was no way I would go skiing or hiking, tired as I was. But I had to walk the dog and proposed to Anne that we could walk the town streets, and make the plan along the way.
We took a short-cut through the forest to get to the streets. Karma had to swim through the forest and was very happy when we finally picked up a path.
Soon, we agreed to hike up to Åberge and descend via the Røvhaugane forest.
It had – more or less – been snowing since I left home and it was snowing at Åberge too. Normally, going from Sunnmøre to Sogndal normally means trading rough weather with good weather. But this was not the case today.
But on our way down the forest from Åberge, it cleared up. Very nice!
We headed down to the popular Fjordstien path and I was glad I had brought my camera.
This was a very enjoyable walk, but back at Anne’s house, I had to continue shoveling snow. It was really, really nice to finally call it a day, settle in and enjoy a well-deserved beer!
Trip statistics: 7,3km, 340 vertical meters, 1h:58m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:
Skjeggen (738m), Feb 12 2022
Saturday: The weather was not great by any measure, but there was one very significant difference from home (Sunnmøre) – the wind. There was … like none! As Anne would look after Karma, I was pretty much free to go wherever I wanted. As I wasn’t interested in a longer drive, it had to be a local top and I chose Nuken – a top I hadn’t skied in a long time.
I started out from Røvhaugveien (~110m elev.) and skied up the forest (where we walked down from Åberge the day before). The basket on one of my poles had broken and I had forgotten to replace it. This turned out to be a problem in all this snow. Plus – when I got to Åberge, it was no longer possible to ski on my plastic skins. Plastic was supposed to be a good idea on wet snow, but today it was just not working. The snow stuck like glue! Fortunately, I had an extra pair (synthetic) and the trip up to Hølsete (570m) got a bit easier. Still strenuous, though. Because of the missing basket and the fact that I’m not in randonee-skiing shape and form yet.
At Hølsete, the track ended and I just felt that Nuken was totally out of reach. The broken pole just disappeared in the deep snow.
Plan B was to ski across Skjeggen. I skied 0,3km back the way I came and followed ski-tracks leading up to some cabins. Here, I met a guy digging out his cabin. He told me he had measured the snow depth to be 2 meters.
From here on, I had to break my own trail for the remaining 1km to the top of Skjeggen. It was hard work!
I’ve been to Skjeggen 3 times before and I thought I would be fairly familiar with the forest on my way down to Åberge. But everything looked so much different with all the snow!
The avalanche danger in general was sky-high and while I was in a forest, avalanche danger still applied! Perhaps even more dangerous was falling into a hole-of-some-kind and not get up! While the GPS could tell me where I was, I really didn’t know where I was. I had a steep forest ahead of me. Should I go left? Should I go right? Or – should I just try to get down without f…ing it up? I chose the latter and parts of this descent was both a bit scary (I never jump stuff!) and big fun, because of the wonderful snow.
Finally, I was out of the forest and could enjoy some super-nice skiing on the way down to Åberge. The rest of the descent to the car was more about survival, as the route across Røvhaugane not skiing terrain at all!
Trip statistics: 8km, 650 vertical meters, 2h:49m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the trip:
Stedjeåsen (625m) + Åberge – Fjorstien, Feb 13 2022
Sunday: The weather was not any better than the day before. Worse actually, because it was raining (and probably snowing higher up). As much as I longed for higher mountains, I decided to ski Stedjeåsen – primarly to help make the forest path a bit better so I could bring Karma on afternoon walks the following week. With this amount of snow, Stedjeåsen is one of very few Sogndal tops where I can bring Karma and still call it “dog welfare”
The trail was already broken quite nicely, but needed a skier to make the path a bit wider.
I noticed an unusual amount of treefall, most likely because the amount of snow. Certainly not because of wind, which is rare in this part of Indre Sogn.
Higher in the forest, it was no longer raining and it wasn’t snowing either. I could see glimpses of blue sky but the top of Stedjeåsen was hidden in fog.
It was really nice to reach the high point (for the 110th time) and look forward to the descent. A hike to Stedjeåsen is never strenuous, but I admit that this ski-trip made me sweat. A lot! But the skiing shape and form will probably get better week by week. Because, turning 60 next year can certainly not have anything to do with it…
The descent was … holy moly … almost as crazy as the descent from Skjeggen. There was no avalanche danger here. Nor pits to fall into. But this is a dense forest and people typically do not ski here. For a reason…
But I made it down, safe and sound and met Anne and Karma further down in the forest – coming to meet me.
Åberge – Fjordstien
I only stopped by Anne’s place to change clothes. Karma had to get her trip too. Anne came along, now that the most exciting part of the Winter Olympics was over for the day…
I planned to do a repetition of Friday’s route, with as many variations as possible where we had options.
We hiked to Campus Sogndal and followed the Åbergevegen upwards. The weather was certainly improving!
Still, we had fog on the forest route down Røvhaugane.
At Fjordstien, the weather was nice again and we had a nice walk through “Sogndalsfjøra“
Back at Anne’s place, I was really pleased with the amount of exercise and as it was Mother’s day too, I invited Anne to Vågal – serving the best burgers in western Norway.
For some reason, this felt like a really LONG week. Skiing Røddalshorn on Monday felt like weeks ago. Strange…
Trip statistics: 6,8km, 330 vertical meters, 1h:44m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the trip: