Skiing week! (finally!)
|18.02.2022||Rambjøra||132m||109m||Herøy, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|19.02.2022||Røddalshorn||563m||100m||Sande, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|19.02.2022||Røddalshorn||563m||100m||Sande, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|19.02.2022||Rambjøra||132m||109m||Herøy, M&R, Norway||WCP|
|20.02.2022||Røddalshorn||563m||100m||Sande, M&R, Norway||WCP|
Monday: I was tired after work, but found the energy to take Karma up to Stedjeåsen. Enough people had been breaking trail and the it would most likely carry her weight. Perhaps it also helped that I skied this path the day before. It didn’t take long until I knew that she was alright…
The path carried my weight 50% of the time and the hike up the forest was somewhat strenuous. It was really nice to arrive at the upper meadow with the goal nearby.
Due to 1,5m of snow, off-trail was of course off no-go for the both of us, but Karma managed to find a spot where she could get a good scratch.
We stopped by the mailbox. It would be pointless to force Karma to swim across the meadow. I was there the day before. Today, I was more than happy to settle for the point where everyone else turn around.
The hike down was easier of course, although I sunk even deeper down – due to faster speed and harder impact. I made it down without using the headlamp. Days are getting longer with respect to daylight and that’s really motivating…
Trip statistics: 5,5km, 580 vertical meters, 1h:56m
Tuesday: Getting across the doorstep wasn’t that easy today either, but who can resist the eyes of a dog who has been waiting for this moment all day long…
I had a hope that enough people had taken the trip up the Amlaholten forest, so that Karma stood a chance of getting up – in the deep snow. When we got there, I only could see tractor tracks and they would surely not go very far up the forest. Oh well, let’s see how it plays out. Eenie meenie miney mo, and I chose to go skiing instead of hiking.
Karma just took off along the tractor road, only stopping for the occasional scratch and roll.
Eventually, the tractor tracks ended and there were only deer tracks ahead of us. And lots of snow. I tried to break as good trail for Karma as I could, but she struggled a lot. Never quit, though!
When we left the tractor road and got onto the ridge, it got even harder for her. The ridge is really steep, in fact so steep that if she hadn’t kept drowning in snow, I would have taken her socks off to prevent a slide off the cliffs.
On the final leg to the top, I started wondering how I should ski down the steep ridge, knowing Karma would follow my tracks. But when we got to the top, I noticed snowshoe-tracks from the other side. Yes! Steep ridge problem solved and Karma would definitely have an easier ride down the mountain.
And while Karma definitely had an easier descent than ascent, it was the opposite for me. The snow was just terrible. Snow with icy crust that constantly kept breaking. And a whole lotta trees.
But, we both made it down, safe and sound – only minutes before it would be too dark for skiing without a headlamp. Good exercise, for the both of us…
Trip statistics: 5km, 300 vertical meters, 1h:24m
Wednesday: It was snowing most of the day in Sogndal, and I didn’t have inspiration to go anywhere else than Stedjeåsen. Which meant I didn’t have to drive anywhere. I could just walk out of Anne’s apartment and be on the trail a couple of minutes later. The skis were the natural choice today.
Karma was overjoyed to be back on the trail!
The path was now difficult to ski, as it was both deep and frozen. Good for Karma, but it meant that I would have to break my own trail.
The open spaces still had wonderful snow. In the denser parts of the forest, the snow was hard as ice. OK, so not ALL of the descent would be fun. Still, I preferred this over walking.
When we got to the meadow on top, I decided to head for the high point (opposed to stop by the mailbox which everyone does). My tracks from 3 days earlier carried(ish) Karma’s weight.
She made it to the high point without too much struggle and had earned treats!
Then it cleared up! The descent was just as painful as last time in the dense forest, but twice the fun in the open spaces. All in all, good fun!
Once back at Anne’s place, I had work cut out for me. I had promised her that I would get rid of the snow from the parking lot. 1,5 hours later, I was dead meat but happy about the ski-trip and that I finally delivered on my promise.
Trip statistics: 6km, 580 vertical meters, 2 hours
Thursday: When Anne returned from work, she had energy to spare and proposed a ski-trip to Høgehaug. That was a welcomed suggestion, because I hadn’t been able to make up my mind where to go with Karma.
From my “away office” at Anne’s place, I had watched snowfall all day long. So I was somewhat surprised when I got to my car – free of snow. All the snow melted on touchdown! We knew that would not be the case at Rindabotn (600m) – our starting point for the Høgehaug ski-trip. Those who spent the day off-piste at this ski-resort must surely have had one of their best days ever.
The weather was not bad when we headed out. The light was flat but it was only snowing lightly.
But already after the first hill, the weather changed. Anne chose to put on her alpine goggles.
I must have purchased mine for a different kind of light, and they were no good to me. They never came on. The light was so flat that if it hadn’t been for the sticks, I would have had no chance to follow the track. Which – was probably prepared this morning but now there were only contours left of it.
But eventually (the final leg felt longer than usual) we reached the top. When looking at Karma, I thought it would take hours to de-ice her. But she was still in good spirit. We all were.
We were not totally alone on the mountain. We could see two skiers trailing us and we passed them on the way down. Those women turned around shortly after we passed them. They must have confused this weather with bad weather. They’re probably not from the coast. Otherwise, they would have been familiar with my postulate – “There’s no such thing as truly bad weather if there is no wind“. Lightning excluded…
Another postulate – also related, is – “If the weather is to crappy to go anywhere, you can still go to Høgehaug“. If not always true, at least partly true…
In Stilledalen (Silent Valley), one of my poles just broke in half when I was trying to skate a flat stretch with randonee gear. That was only annoying while on the flat stretch. One we had downhill ahead of us, poles were not needed. The snow was delightful. I wished we could ski like that forever.
Back in the car, Anne told me she had planned dinner. “Taco?” I said, well knowing it was Thursday. “No, vegetarian“, she responded. Silence followed. Then she said – “you know, as you’re are leaving Sogndal tomorrow…”
So we had a nice Taco evening, watching two episodes of the Magnum P.I. remake. Beer included! That’s how a nice Sogndal stay should end!
Trip statistics: 9,1km, 385 vertical meters, 1h:48m
Friday: My week in Sogndal had come to an end, and I sat course for Sunnmøre after work. I enjoyed driving most of the distance in daylight. I could have gone on Saturday but chose to drive in good weather, as the forecast for Saturday wasn’t so good. I also enjoyed blue sky and sunshine. It gave me hope that all the snow and rain HAS to come to an end…
When I pulled up in front of my house, I was truly dead meat. I just wanted to go to bed! But, first the dog had to be walked and afterwards I would have to clean up a mess at work. My colleagues at work had exercised “damage control” while I was driving (I was the on-duty person) and so it was only fair that I had to clean up the mess once back home.
But, the dog first. We took the usual route up to Rambjøra. And of course, it began to rain/snow once I passed the Eiksund tunnel. It’s just the same ol’, same ol’.
Instead of going on the normal round trip hike, I decided to take a short-cut down the forest. I promise I will never, ever do that again. That was NOT fun.
Back home, a quick dinner for me and food for the dog. Then, onto the mess. At 10pm on Friday evening, the mess was sorted out and I could finally relax…
Trip statistics: 2,8km, 130 vertical meters, 50 mins
Saturday: When I returned from Sogndal yesterday evening, there was no snow around my house. When I woke up this morning, there was a 2-3cm layer of snow which would mean perfect skiing conditions higher up, with a solid base. Besides, the weather was fairly OK. I decided to bring Karma and go to Røddalshorn.
But, as I started driving, the weather turned unpleasant and when we got to Leikongeidet, I just figured that we could go as long as Karma felt comfortable. It wasn’t very windy, so the hail (or was it rain?) didn’t feel so bad – at this elevation.
After a few minutes, I felt a weather change – to the better, and was now very optimistic. Not about reaching the top, but to have an excellent run down the mountain.
And sure enough – as we reached the top, everything got better. The light wasn’t flat any longer and I looked forward to a delightful run! It was very, very windy though. But only on top.
Thanks to the solid base, Karma didn’t have any problems in following me down the mountain.
I think Karma had a mighty good time, too!
Trip statistics: 3,9km, 405 vertical meters, 1h:02m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the trip:
Saturday: After the nice ski-trip to Røddalshorn, we went home. Karma found her comfy bed and I treated myself with a hot chocolate drink and really felt the day was missing something crucial – one more trip back up! The sun was shining so strong outside that it would be a crime to call it a day already now. But this time, without Karma!
I didn’t drive for very long before another snow shower came in. After parking the car and starting my journey up the mountain, the weather was so unpleasant that I had to put my skiing goggles on.
Halfway up, it began to clear up and I could almost smell the finest ski-descent since I moved here in 2008. Not that the previous one was bad, but I had to stop several times to wait for Karma. This time, there would be no stopping!
It was just as windy as earlier in the day when I reached the top, but it was sunny and the light was good. This looked very promising!
I decided to record this descent, knowing it would be epic. As said earlier, we’re just not accustomed to snow like this, so close to the ocean. True, we get a good “dump” every now and then, but the wind makes sure to rapidly pack it in, or the light is too flat to just let go.
And man, how wonderful it was! On my way down, I considered going back up for a 3rd time but deep down I knew that it wouldn’t be the same as this ride.
Feel also free to check out the video from this descent (on top of the page)
Trip statistics: 3,9km, 405 vertical meters, 54mins
Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Hero5) from the trip:
Saturday: Coming home from the Røddalshorn trip, Karma did NOT come running down to greet me. Which probably meant that the morning trip had left its marks. She’s not a young stud(ess) any more. So, I had to call her down. When she saw the snow socks (again) she was very skeptical.
But when she realized that we were heading to our local forest top (she knows these things, somehow) she was more than eager to come along.
There was not so much snow at this low elevation and I didn’t even have to put gaiters on. The weather was still nice and I looked forward to do this hike and call it a day.
From the top, we could see a big shower moving in from the ocean. But without the strong wind, the shower would be nothing more than … a shower.
Which meant we were in no hurry to get off this “mountain” and we could do the “long round” that I had planned.
The snow shower reached us just before we passed the Dragsund bridge. It only lasted for 10-15 minutes and then it was all good again. In terms of exercise, I felt really good when we walked through the front door. Almost 1000 vertical meters and close to 13km (on skis/on foot) today.
Trip statistics: 5km, 170 vertical meters, 50mins
Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:
Sunday: I woke up to a good dump of fresh snow and so shoveling snow for an hour would be my first activity today. After breakfast, I took on the task of giving Karma her long overdue haircut. That took 1,5 hours. While at it, I took my beard also – not having shaved since before Christmas.
The weather was nice, but I wasn’t in a hurry to get out. Nice weather + Sunday means lots of skiers at Leikongeidet and I was sure that someone would break trail for Karma up to Røddalshorn.
“Again?”, you may ask. So, what’s so special about this mountain in terms of skiing? There are several factors. First, the trailhead elevation (~160m), which means that if there is snow on the island, it’s probably good snow here. Which means you can ski from the car, and all the way back without dealing with rocks, bush, etc. Next, it’s a fairly short trip. 2km to the top and 400 excellent vertical meters of descent. The view from the top is also pretty good and this is why the mountain is so popular. For my part, this top means tracks for Karma! With all this snow, she’s helpless without a track and a solid base.
She was not herself today. She’s been struggling with vomiting for a month. She’s on prescription and I actually thought this had helped. She hadn’t vomited since she started on the medicine. But yesterday, it happened again and today she was just acting strange. She skipped breakfast, which was very unusual. I would let her decide if she wanted to go to the top, knowing she would stop if she didn’t feel like it. But, she came along all the way but without the usual “energy”.
The excellent snow conditions from the day before was gone. The wind had done a solid job with packing the snow on the upper part of the mountain. Below, it was still nice.
I am OK with skiing on wind-packed snow and it was overall a good trip. Karma ran like she always does, but again – without the usual energy.
Trip statistics: 4,1km, 405 vertical meters, 59mins
Sunday: Back home after the Røddalshorn trip, I was still keen on more skiing. I decided to ski Hasundhornet from Garsholhaugen. I’ve never skied from there before. But Karma would not come along on this one.
As expected, there were no tracks and when I saw the amount of bush above the snow, I realized this was a bad idea. Someone had told me that this was a nice skiing route. I had strong doubts about that back then, and now I just now…
The snow was deep and I had to find a route parallel to the path, where melting water made rocks surface. It was a struggle, but eventually I got above the bush and could start planning my descent route. The snow was wind-packed, but I knew I would be able to ski down here.
Eventually, I reached – the very windy – top, but found shelter behind the cairn for the regular rituals…
The first part of the descent was quite fun. Well, it felt like skiing on a bumpy road, but at least I was on top of the snow and didn’t go through it. But at 300m, I had to plan every turn. I was not so worried about hitting rocks as much as getting my skis under a juniper root and do a dive with my feet stuck.
I made a solid promise to never ski here again, after returning to the car safe and sound.
Trip statistics: 4,2km, 480 vertical meters, 1h:29m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the trip: