2022 Week 11

Sogndal and a very nice skiing week!

Monday – a good way to start a new week!
Date Peak/Place Height PF Location WCP
14.03.2022 Nipa 867m 154m Luster, Norway WCP
15.03.2022 Tylderingen 1104m 241m Sogndal, Norway WCP
16.03.2022 Stedjeåsen 625m 123m Sogndal, Norway WCP
17.03.2022 Vikane – Eide 140m Sogndal, Norway
18.03.2022 Skardsbøfjellet 700m~ 0m Sogndal, Norway WCP
19.03.2022 Lingesetfjellet 1002m 184m Sogndal, Norway
20.03.2022 Store Haugmelen 1172m 974m Sogndal/Luster, Norway WCP

Nipa (867m), Mar 14 2022

The route up and down Nipa

Monday: I was working out of Anne’s place in Sogndal and it was brutal to watch the gorgeous weather outside. I gave some thought to where I should go skiing after work and decided on Tylderingen (1104m). I sent Anne a message and she replied that it was pretty darn nice in Indre Hafslo – where she was out skiing – as part of her park ranger job.

I normally have to go to a top, of course and found that a revisit to Nipa would be quite nice. If Anne was in the nearby area, perhaps we could meet.

I drove to Høgi trailhead (350m) where I found Anne’s car. I sent her a message that Karma and I were on our way.

On my way to Høgi – in centre

We followed a snowmobile track upwards, which made Karma’s ascent up the forest a whole lot easier than if she would have to follow my tracks in the deep snow. Still, she was really energetic today and spent as much time off the track as on it.

Heading into the forest

The track took us to Raudgotemyr, and then on the forest road from Ulvungo – the route we have taken the two times Anne and I skied and hiked Nipa. Both times, the weather was not very good. Third time lucky!

At Raudgotemyr

The forest road took us to the foot of the Storaskar pass and the track continued all the way up to the pass. Here we had a nice view towards the Røyteholet cabins.

Storaskar pass ahead

This is also where we met Anne, who came in from the southwest. We now had to make our own tracks up the mountain. Which – was just plain wonderful – on this snow and in this weather…

Making our own tracks towards Nipa

Karma was literally all over the place, and it made me very happy. Hopefully, the stomach issues are behind her.

Karma – on fire!

Eventually we reached the top and could enjoy the mighty scenery.

On top of Nipa

A top doesn’t have to be 1000m to offer great views!

View from Nipa

We had some really fun skiing in the wonderful snow on the upper mountain. But back on the track, the snow was hard as ice and snow next to it had an icy crust. As I had Randonnée equipment, I was OK. But Anne had a tougher time on regular mountain skis.

Descending from Nipa

Trip statistics: 9,1km, 550 vertical meters, 2h:17m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the trip:

Tylderingen (1104m), Mar 15 2022

Our route up and down Tylderingen

Tuesday: It was sunny most of the day, except when my working day was coming to an end. By then, it was overcast, and the light was really bad for skiing. Unless you have top notch goggles that offers an alternative reality. I do have some expensive goggles, but they don’t provide that. Maybe it’s just my eyes going old and bad…

In any case, I decided to ski Tylderingen. If the light is bad, then it helps to pick a mountain that you know inside and out. As long as there are no surprising humps and bumps, it normally goes well.

Heading out from Fretland (500m elev.)

On the way up, I decided to head into the forest. Mainly because I’ve always wondered how it looks in there, and now I know. It’s steep and full of trees! Definitely not a place you want to go skiing.

Bad idea…

On the bright side, I’m a rebel and never listens to good advice. Once out of it, I enjoyed having been there, although I’ll never do this route again.

We’ve never been HERE before…

 After seeing a part of this mountain for the first time, we joined the normal route just at Kvikksås (near the huge, standalone rock) for a brief moment before I turned to the summer route up the ridge.

The upper mountain comes into view

The weather was pleasant and I didn’t have to wear a jacket or gloves until we reached the top. I could feel the wind for the first time on this trip.

On top of Tylderingen

On the way down, we followed the main tracks. The snow on the upper mountain was hard as ice. The challenge was not to run into any Sastrugis, pointing the wrong way. At Kvikksås, the snow was getting  OK-ish and looking for virgin snow was just not possible. I have never seen so many skiing tracks on this mountain before.

Descending Tylderingen

At Stokksete, the snow was slushy and wonderful. I decided to take the steep hill straight down, knowing that Karma would have a bit of a struggle. But, she is a fighter and didn’t complain once. The final leg (from Tråna was pure delight).

The steep hill below Stokksete. It is steeper than it looks…

It’s a bit of a paradox: I really, really hate winter and everything it brings (including the snow). On the other side, skiing down a mountain is probably my #1 favorite thing to do in life. If I could choose, the snowline would be never go under 500-600m.

Trip statistics: 6km, 600 vertical meters, 1h:34m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the trip:

Stedjeåsen (624m), Mar 16 2022

Our route across Stedjeåsen

Wednesday: After a hectic working day, I was a little washed out and settled for walking the dog to Anne’s local forest top Stedjeåsen.

Passing “Dagsturhytta”

It was on the day 1 month since I visited this top, on my last trip to Sogndal. Then it was snowing. Other than that, little had changed. Except for the old barn in the forest, which had 1,5-2m snow on top.

The snow is shrinking…

Karma – now seemingly fully recovered after the stomach issues, was high and low. And seldom on the trail!

Life is best off the track, it seems…

When we got to the mailbox, I didn’t see my skiing tracks to the high point from earlier in the year and I had no intention to make new tracks. Instead I followed tracks from someone who didn’t know the usual round trip in the upper forest very well. This route crosses a ridge which is only 1-2m lower than the high point, so I didn’t really feel like “cheating”…

At the mailbox – where 99% turn around (or continue on the loop)
A glimpse of Sogndalsfjorden on our way along the loop

Back at Anne’s place, homemade pizza was in the oven. Not our typical Wednesday dinner, but we were off to the cinema and Anne didn’t feel like cooking. The local theatre was showing “The Batman” and 2 minutes before the film started, we were the only ones there! That was a bit weird! But just as the film started, two others entered. Too bad, really. We were so close of having the theatre all to ourselves!

Storsalen, Sogndal Kino. Weird…

Trip statistics: 5,8km, 590 vertical meters, 1h:36m

Vikane – Eide – Vikane, Mar 17 2022

Our round trip hike

Thursday: It was quite a miserable, rainy afternoon and I didn’t feel any inspiration to go to any local Sogndal top. But, the dog had to be walked and Anne suggested we could hike from Vikane.

I sighed. The forest trail (it’s actually a very old road) above the fjord is truly nice and I know Anne  likes this walk. Still, I find it a bit boring. I did however find motivation in getting some kind of variation to the usual route.

Nice, but…

It started good. Already after 5 minutes, Anne wanted to check out a vague path leading down to the fjord. And then we were on!


We stayed off-trail for a little while longer until we decided to get back on the trail. Then we continued to Fimretevegen and followed it down to Eide.

We had to find snow so Karma could get her daily roll…

We always think of something fun to do when we visit Eide and today was no exception.

Come on! Be a waterdog! Take a dive!

At the beach, I let my creative talents shine…

Darn, I forgot to sign it…

We then followed the forest trail (returning to Vikane) for a little while before we headed into the forest again. This part of the forest was very enjoyable.

Briefly on the trail from Eide

I decided then and there that some time, I would try to hike off-trail all the way from Eide and back to Sogndal without touching any trails or roads. In other words, stick to fjord all the way.

Fun terrain!

When the forest got a bit too steep and cumbersome, we returned to the trail. And by now it had stopped raining and it was clearing up. I was very happy with this walk afterwards and look forward to return for more “escapades“…

Forest fun…

Trip statistics: 5,9km, 310 vertical meters, 1h:52m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the trip:

Skardsbøfjellet (700m), Mar 18 2022

Our route up and down Skardsbøfjellet

Friday: Today, Slakkafjellet (855m) was the goal. The 3,5km to top of the power plant on Skardsbøfjellet would be a straightforward transport leg – maybe on a ploughed road and then the deep snow struggle would begin. But I had faith in that my tracks would get Karma up the mountain.

Slakkafjellet ahead

The road wasn’t ploughed, but the tracks (tractor) were good, and things were looking up. However, Karma decided to focus her energy outside the track…

Oh, Karma…

Then, we were in for a surprise. The tracks went up to Flugheimshaugen and not along the mountain road. This was a game changer because once we left the track and got back on the mountain road, it got tough for Karma. The fresh snow from the day before didn’t make it easier, either.

Pure, rotten snow

The goal was now the power plant and while that may have been a stretch also, Karma looked OK so far.

My little hero…

Eventually we reached the plant, and I wasn’t the least disappointed about not making it to Slakkafjellet.

Turnaround point!

The descent was just as hard for Karma as the ascent.

Descending from Skardsbøfjellet

Wherever I felt it was safe – the avalanche danger was sky high – I took shortcuts. Even if we were in even deeper snow, Karma was able to swim down. I was very happy when we returned to Flugheimshaugen and she got firm snow under her again.

Good girl!!!

Trip statistics: 6,4km, 515 vertical meters, 1h:43m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the trip:

Lingesetfjellet (1002m), Mar 19 2022

Our trip up and down Lingesetfjellet

Saturday: The day started out with a phone-call to my mom – turning 77. She’s out hiking every day of the year, really setting a benchmark for what’s achievable in that age and serving as inspiration for many others.

Anne decided to decline my invitation for a ski-trip today. She’s been skiing almost every day in her job for a week now and now that the forecast is good, she will be skiing for days to come (she’s a park ranger) so one can sympathize

I decided to go to Lingesetfjellet. I assumed there were ski-tracks all the way to Lingesete, making life a little easier for Karma. The chance was good, albeit not guaranteed – given the recent snowfall. But when we headed out from the Sogndal airport, things were looking good!

Heading out from the airport. Karma has just finished her first roll

2,4km later, we arrived at the Lingesete – Storehaugfjellet junction and I was happy to see that the tracks continued in the direction of Lingesete.

Enough snow! (the signpost)

This is long trip for Karma – if conditions are not favorable. After all, she’s turning 10 this year. But she looked 3 years old today. She’s officially well again, after months of stomach trouble!

Lingesetfjellet in the distance (above the masts)

The tracks continued past Lingesete, and we would definitely reach the top today!

Passing Lingesete

When we got on the mountain, we left the tracks but there was a solid base under the fresh snow, and Karma didn’t drown.

A little bit later, we were on top. The light was flat but as long as I could see my tracks, the descent would be OK.

On top of Lingesetfjellet

The snow on the mountain was just wonderful! I should have brought my mountain skis, but because of issues with the skins I took my Randonnée skis. That was not the best choice today, but all in all a very nice trip!

Oh yeah, this was nice!

In the afternoon, we returned to the Sogndal cinema theatre. This time, we didn’t have the theatre to ourselves, but it was OK. It was way more fun to watch “12 Gode Råd” (12 Good Advice from two persons past 50 with low education) with two of Norway’s funniest comedians together with a crowd and our friends Liv and Rein Arne.

My first meeting with a crowd since Covid came along

Trip statistics: 12,4km, 520 vertical meters, 2h:11m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the trip:

Store Haugmelen (1172m), Mar 20 2022

Our route up and down Store Haugmelen

Sunday: Today we decided to take a ski-trip to Store Haugmelen – on the Sogndal/Luster border. When we got to the Dalåker trailhead, we met our friends Bente and Knut. They were planning for a trip in the forest, but at least we could start out together.

Heading out from Dalåker

When it was time to split up, Anne said she would join Bente and Knut, as she didn’t feel she had the energy to go for the top. And she would have some long days (tracking wolverines) in the mountains in the coming week, given the beautiful weather.

So, then it was just me and Karma…

Me and Karma – on our way to Store Haugmelen (background)

Today, I was skiing on mountain skis with short skins. With the fresh snow and solid base, I was hoping to leave some nice Telemark tracks on the mountain.

Nice snow!

When we got to the Vassløysa cabins, I was overwhelmed by the amount of snow. True, it’s still early spring, but …

Holy moly…

We followed tracks up the mountain. Well, I did. As the snow pretty much carried Karma’s weight, she was everywhere.

We actually passed the skier (upper left) long before reaching the top…

The skis had been perfect so far. But now, big chunks of snow were piling up under the skis and skiing was not so fun any longer. It wasn’t a bombshell, moving from wet snow to dry snow…

Eventually, we reached the top and could enjoy a terrific view in all directions. Store Haugmelen’s  primary factor of 974m indicates that no nearby mountain is blocking the views.

On top of Store Haugmelen

The best view is always the Hurrungane mountain range, of course. With Store Skagastølstind (2405m) in centre – Norway’s third highest peak. 38,6km from Store Haugmelen.

Hurrungane range

Then it was time for descent. I’m not sure if it was the snow or because I had put fresh glue on my skins this morning. In any case, the descent was terrible. The stop-and-go kind. Telemark style would for sure mean face buried in snow. I had to switch to slalom style, which I didn’t have the skis for. If I had my Randonnée skis, I would have KILLED that hillside…

Descending Store Haugmelen

But no complaints! After the most miserable Jan and Feb as long as I can remember, days like this are most welcome. The bad news was that I had forgotten my phone in the car and was unable to communicate with Anne. So, we just aimed for the car. When I got there, Anne was calling. They were not far from my descent route and had a cozy campfire going. Oh well…

Returning to Sogndal

Trip statistics: 15,1km, 830 vertical meters, 3h:22m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the trip:

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