2022 Week 9

A good week outdoors

Some mighty nice moments this week…


Date Peak/Place Height PF Location WCP
28.02.2022 Garnestua (failed attempt) 653m 415m Ulstein, Norway WCP
01.03.2022 Høgåsen 240m 240m Ulstein, Norway WCP
01.03.2022 Svarane 191m 43m Ulstein, Norway WCP
01.03.2022 Stemnehornet 190m 43m Ulstein, Norway WCP
02.03.2022 Garnestua 653m 415m Ulstein, Norway WCP
03.03.2022 Storetua 592m 249m Sande, Norway WCP
04.03.2022 Varden on Runde 333m 333m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
04.03.2022 Rundebranden 294m 141m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
05.03.2022 Saursegga 516m 93m Sande, Norway WCP
05.03.2022 Gjøna 531m 163m Sande, Norway WCP
05.03.2022 Haugshornet 431m 53m Sande, Norway WCP
06.03.2022 Sollia SE-1 598m 50m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
06.03.2022 Sollia 661m 661m Herøy/Sande, M&R, Norway WCP

Garnestua (653m) attempt, Feb 28 2022

Did not reach the top today

Monday: Not sure why I decided to go for Garnestua today. I knew the mountain would be windy as hell and the snow would be deep. Perhaps it was the lack of rain. Karma tolerates pretty rough weather, but the combination of strong wind and rain is pure dog abuse.

The first 100 vertical meters was OK. The snow was for the most part melted away. Then began the struggle. Wet and deep snow, scaling linear and up to my knees in not too long. Karma was a bit more lucky, barely sinking in. I quickly realized that reaching the top was a distant dream. I had also forgotten my backup headlamp. Which hadn’t been a problem if only my primary headlamp had was working OK. But it wasn’t. There is a cable problem. Sometimes it works, sometimes it just doesn’t.

On our way up the forest. The snow didn’t carry my weight

I am no stranger to a good struggle though. And I am not a stranger to wind either. But once we got above the forest, I could see some shitty weather moving in. And just before we reached the summit ridge, I felt raindrops. The wind (gale force, if not storm) combined with incoming rain was the exit signal.

I can see you’re not totally comfortable…

The descent was not any easier than the ascent. Because of – call it gravity or force applied – we both sunk way deeper than we did on our way up. I only hoped it wasn’t all a waste and that we could make use of these tracks when the weather got a bit better…

Heading back down

The good news was that Karma was definitely herself again. It was a big mountain and she was determined to not miss a single part of it…

Trip statistics: 2,8km, 440 vertical meters, 1h:14m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Høgåsen (240m), Mar 1 2022

Our route across Høgåsen, Svarane and Stemnehornet

Tuesday: Today, I was in Ørsta as the car was due for regular maintenance. The bill was interesting. One of the remarks was that the spare tyre had been checked and the air pressure had been adjusted. I said to the service agent: “So I have a spare tyre?You do“, he said. “That’s odd“, I replied. “I’ve driven this car since 2017 without knowing I had a spare tyre?” He went out to double check. “You don’t have a spare tyre“, he concluded”. I continued to double-check the bill…

So what does this has to with hiking? Nothing. I just take this opportunity to vent stuff that pisses me off. It helps. After all, I’m paying a considerable fee for Premium WordPress hosting…

The maintenance took more than 4 hours. Nothing was broken. Still, I paid more than NOK 6,500 for it. Living in the one of best countries in the world isn’t for free. Karma was bored to death by the time we returned home. I had to get her into the forest or on a mountain as soon as possible. The weather would decide.

It wasn’t a hard choice to make. It had to be the forest. The hail showers were just painful. So, I drove to Dimnøya island to hike across Høgåsen, Svarane and Stemnehornet. The weather was OK on our way up. There was even a blue sky with beautiful white clouds. But when we got above the forest, the weather was about to change. I only hoped we made it to the top before the next round of hail sat in.

On top of Høgåsen

We did – only to hear lightning strike above Ulsteinvik – just a couple of km away. Now I was in a hurry to get off this top. Karma understood that something was up and was on my tail.

Evil is lurking in those showers…

The sensible thing to do lightning strikes is to get off the mountain. Instead, I continued towards Svarane, hoping the lightning strike was a one-off event. It seemed to be so, as I didn’t hear any more thunder. But, we got hail and rain.

We hurried towards Stemnehornet, where we at least would be in the forest. My original plan was to do the long round via Uglesætra, but I felt more for returning home and do the extra distance on the spinning bike.

Stemnehornet ahead

Trip statistics: 4,6km, 330 vertical meters, 1h:09m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Garnestua (653m), Mar 2 2022

Our hike across Garnestua

Wednesday: The forecast today was just glorious. Then it started to rain. I checked the forecast again. It now said “OK weather“. I started to get a suspicion about not looking at a forecast but live reporting

But after work, the weather was OK plus. I decided to give Garnestua another try. I really wanted to go skiing, but a) I didn’t fully trust the weather and b) I really wanted my Monday effort to count for something. Like, giving us an easier hike up the mountain today.

It started out quite easy, then it got more strenuous. The Monday tracks didn’t carry my weight but it was OK. I really don’t mind a good struggle.

Finally above the forest. Easier hiking from here on

I really enjoyed coming out of the forest and lick the sunshine. There has (for sure) not been a lot of it so far this year.

Karma was all over the place. It was just like she didn’t want to miss out on a single thing. It’s so heart-warming to see her well again. I only hope she stays that way once I stop the Cortisone treatment.

Karma is back in business…

Slogging up to the top, I was wondering if I should have been skiing. But, the plan was not to descend the same way and I knew that the north side would be totally different.

Hard to tell. Good weather? Bad weather?

It was nice to reach the top. Garnestua is one of the tops I hike “all the time”, but the weather has been so bad this year that the local 600m tops have been out of reach.

Sunny view north

I expected to see tracks up from Løset (the other side of the mountain) but found none. Well, OK. I don’t mind breaking trail *down* a mountain. And I was right about not bringing the skis. The snow was awful and the light was really bad. I would not have had any fun skiing down here.

Heading down the north side. Amazing cornices (compared to normal)

Halfway down, the snow turned rotten and it got strenuous again. But eventually, we reached the road at Løset and could enjoy an easier walk the remaining 4km back to the car…

Trip statistics: 9km, 620 vertical meters, 2h:24m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Storetua (592m), Mar 3 2022

Our route up and down Storetua

Thursday: This was a beautiful day and it would be a crime not to make the most of the little daylight we have left after work – in addition to enjoying the snow. It’s not like we can go skiing every day during winter here on the coastline.

I chose to go to Storetua in Sande today (Gurskøya island). It offers a skiing route I know rather well. The descent is not as nice as from the neighbor top Røddalshorn, but it’s fairly close. The trailhead is by Vassverket, Holtane. Maybe it comes as a surprise to people familiar with the island and the mountains that the trailhead is a few meters higher (~170m) than the Leikongeidet trailhead. As such, the skiing opportunity is just as good here.

Heading out from Vassverket

The lower part was in the shade, which was excellent for Karma. But once in the sunshine, the snow didn’t carry her weight. She struggled a lot, but showed no signs of wanting to turn around. On the contrary.

About to enter sunshine. Karma’s luck was about to run out…

The higher we got, the firmer snow we got. Another skier came down and said skiing higher up was just wonderful and encouraged me to don’t waste time so I could enjoy the same snow. Before it got hard. He wasn’t too happy at the snow where we were. “Too soft“, he said.

Closing in on the summit ridge

On the summit ridge, the snow was hard as ice. Karma was running around happy up there.

It was nice to reach the top, not because I was tired or bored but because I was in a hurry to feel the snow the guy was talking about.  

On top of Storetua

But first, the usual rituals. Treats for the dog, GPS waypoint and some pictures

Sunnmørsalpane seen from Storetua

Time for descent and when I got to the part the other guy was talking about, I didn’t share his enthusiasm. The snow was a tad too hard. But when we got to the “too soft” part, I was in OMG mode. I really, really enjoyed myself while Karma was struggling and trailing behind me. I didn’t feel bad because I knew the situation would soon be the opposite.

Oh, that was fun!

Moving into the shade, Karma was in OMG mode while I was counting my teeth. Still, no complaints. I’m well used to skiing on icy snow by now. I don’t really mind that much.

I was a happy man when I returned to the car. And I hope the dog was a little bit happy too. Even if I don’t think they have lasting sensations. Her life seems very binary. Hungry. Not hungry. Bored. Not bored. Happy, not so happy. Sick. Not sick.

Trip statistics: 6km, 460 vertical meters, 1h:27m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the trip:

Varden (333m), Rundebranden (294m), Feb 4 2022

Our route across the Runde island tops

Friday: I was really tired after work. In fact, I quit work at 3pm and took a short nap. I assumed it was because I was out 4 times last night, allowing Karma to “relieve herself”. Poor dog. She was really struggling. The previous night, we were out 3 times. I called the vet of course. He faxed (yes, faxed) a prescription the local pharmacy. There, I had to wait 20 minutes only for the pharmacist to go to the shelf, pick a non-prescription drug and put the sticker on it. “So the next time …“, I started. “You can just get it yourself” he responded. Oh well…

It was a short nap. I felt the pressure to get the dog outdoors. I was a bit tired of the snow and decided to go to the end of the world – or “Runde” as it says on the map. Guaranteed (almost) free of snow.

I decided to head straight up (off-trail) from the Goksøyr parking. Given that I was really tired, I just wanted to get to the island high point (Varden) as quick as possible and the rest of the walk would be relaxing.

Overlooking Goksøyr

Eventually we reached the top. Actually, we were just halfway in terms of total vertical meters but it felt like the hardest work was done.

On top of Runde – Varden, 333m

The off-trail ascent was now finished and we had the best part ahead of us.

Our route ahead

We moved on and descended down to the lakes (Holmevatnet, Sandvatna) and continued towards Frøystolen. The wind was cold and chilling. But as long as we kept moving, it was alright.

Karma in front of Frøystolen

The next stop was Sandshornet. Then, only one top to go before we could begin the descent.

Karma on Sandshornet

I felt I was alone on the mountain, but then I passed a guy above Kaldekloven (the pass between Sandshornet and Rundebranden), taking selfies.  

Trail repair work in progress

Only one top to go, and I really pushed it in the final hill. Finally, Rundebranden was in the bag and there would only be downhill from here on.

Karma on Rundebranden

It was a good walk. We go to Runde several times per year and it’s “just another hike”. But if I got a visitor from abroad, I’m sure that person would really enjoy this round trip hike. The terrain is quite spectacular!

When I got back to the car, Anne had sent me an image from a beautiful, prepared track above Haslo. Oh, skating tracks! I have to get to Sogndal soon…

At the same time – in Sogndal…

Trip statistics: 7,9km, 580 vertical meters, 1h:58m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the trip:

Saursegga (516m), Gjøna (531m), Haugshornet (431m), Mar 5 2022

Today’s hike across Saursegga, Gjøna and Haugshornet

Saturday: As the weather outside wasn’t too inviting, I spent the morning hours working. Around 11am, I decided it was time to go outdoors, just after a big rain shower. I really wanted to go skiing, but decided to go hiking instead. My very first thought was Saursegga above the Gursken fjord. This mountain gets more sunshine than any other mountains on Gurskøya island and hence the snow melt happens much quicker here.

When I got to the Gursken fjord, I could see there wasn’t a lot of snow on the mountain. But there was snow on the ridge – which was exactly what I wanted. I could feel that we would have a great hike ahead of us.

Saursegga seen from the fjord

I drove up to the Haugelia trailhead. There is now a parking lot up there. Due to construction of a new house, I didn’t quite understand where the trail was. But it was very next to the new house. In the forest, there was a fork. Left for Saursegga/Gjøna and right for Vikelva. We headed left – and would come down from Vikelva some 3 hours later…

The path was almost snow-free up to the power line at ~350m. On our way towards Saursegga, we crossed patches of snow and noticed that it carried our weight. This was both good news and bad news at the same time. The good news was that it carried our weight. The bad news was that the steep ascent up to Gjøna could be problematic. Time would tell…

Heading for Saursegga

After a little while, we were on the snowy Saursegga ridge and I enjoyed myself to death. Blue sky, blue fjord/ocean, white snow on a narrow ridge. Can it get better?

Oh yes, I can like this…

Then Gjøna came into view. It was still difficult to tell if we would get up. We would just have to get to the steep part and see how it was. I was annoyed with myself for not bringing crampons. I just forgot.

Gjøna ahead

The lower part of the steep side was free of snow. And then we were able to avoid snow and ice while – more or less – following the normal route.

On our way up the steep section

And then we were on the summit ridge! Yes!

On the summit ridge

It was nice to stand on top of Gjøna (aka “Nipa”) again – for the 15th time. Each hike up here has been very nice, but today was above average nice…

On top of Gjøna

After a short stay, we headed back down and across Saursegga. The plan now was to continue to Haugshornet and Vikelva.

Heading down from Gjøna

There was lot of movement in the sky and I didn’t assume that the nice weather would last for very long.

View towards Syvden

We hiked across Hanen (414m) and reached the top of Haugshornet.

On Haugshornet, looking back on Saursegga

From Haugshornet, we followed the marked route down to Vikelva, where we would follow the forest path via Arskotet – a route I’ve only done once before. I like this route.

At Arskotet

Down in the forest, I could feel raindrops. Still, when we reached the car, there was no raindrops on it. But that changed within the next 5 minutes. A massive rain shower came in from the ocean. The triple-speed on windshields type.


Trip statistics: 11km, 900 vertical meters, 3h:09m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the trip:

Sollia (661m), Mar 6 2022

Today’s route – on skis, on foot and on bike

Sunday: The weather did not invite for going on a ski-trip. It was a bit unpredictable and the light was flat. Still, the snow was wonderful and I just had to get a taste of it. As I had been thinking about Sollia – the highest top on Gurskøya island – I figured it would be a nice ending to the week.

Karma and I headed out from Leikongeidet, and although Karma has struggled with the stommach for the past month, she was on fire. There was not a single bush that she didn’t check out. Seeing her made me happy. The snow was firm, just perfect.

Karma on her first roll already at the trailhead

We made good progress, thanks to the snow. It was a little windy but not very windy. If we only had blue sky…


We went across point 598m and had a good view towards Sollia from here.

Sollia comes into view

And then we were back on top of Sollia. My 83rd visit…

We reached the top without getting bad weather. Bonus!

Now what? While I like going up this mountain, I don’t enjoy skiing back down – due to two uphills. They’re too long to skip the skins and too short to warrant the effort of putting the skins back on. Nope, I don’t like descending this route. So, I decided that this trip would have a big twist to it, and I decided to ski down to Tjørvåg. No uphills, just continuous skiing!

On our way to Tjørvåg

The snow was absolutely wonderful, but I found myself skiing defensive due to the flat light.

Not very proud of those turns. But, safetly first…

I stopped skiing at ~160m – the same elevation as Leikongeidet. I could probably have skied down to ~60m, but that meant we would end up far away from the path.

Finally – off the mountain

Now we had a 5,2km walk back home, where I would take the bike and pick up the car. On the way home, we met the neighbour kid – Karma’s #1 fan outside our family. He loves spending time with Karma and so we stopped by the … “fotballbinge” (I have no idea what this is called in English). Karma got some additional exercise (she LOVES running after and with the ball) and the neighbor kid had big fun.

Not part of the plan, but big fun!

Back home, I had to get some air into the tyres before I could get going. I had a 7,3km trip ahead of me. And almost 200 vertical meters.

Car – here I come…

On my way home, I forgot to pick up the skis and boots that I left in Tjørvåg. Instead I got on the spinning bike and did 20km before calling it a day. It wasn’t until I sat down in front of the PC, looking at the GPS track I remembered the skis. By now, it had started to rain and they were quite soaked when I finally picked them up…

Trip statistics: 20,5km (8,1km on skis, 5,2km on foot, 7,3km on bike), 820 vertical meters, 3h:47m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the trip:

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