2022 Week 23

Trail maintenance week

But the week started out with a nice hike in Luster…
Date Peak/Place Height PF Location WCP
06.06.202 Hærishovden 526m 69m Luster, Norway
07.06.22 Vardaheii 900m 69m Sogndal, Norway WCP
07.06.22 Helebrandseggi 920m 90m Sogndal, Norway WCP
08.06.22 Støyvafjellet 875m 42m Gloppen, Norway WCP
09.06.22 Selsteinen 598m 90m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
09.06.22 Slettheia 553m 49m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
10.06.22 Rjåhornet 600m 107m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
10.06.22 Nakken 180m 22m Herøy, M&R, Norway
11.06.22 Nonshornet 485m 7m Herøy, M&R, Norway WCP
11.06.22 Sollia 661m 661m Herøy/Sande, M&R, Norway WCP
31.05.22 Skåla 184m 497m Herøy, M&R, Norway

Hærishovden (526m), June 6 2022

The hike from (near) Harastølen and across Hærishovden

Monday: On our way to Sogndal after skiing Veslbreatinden on Sognefjellet, we decided to drive up to Harastølen to hike Hærishovden. This was a forest top I had been thinking about for a while, one which Anne had little knowledge about. She had been below the top on a job mission and probably pictured a forest struggle of the Arnt-kind.

But first, we drove up to Harastølen – a former tuberculosis sanatorium – soon to become a hotel. For Norwegians, it’s perhaps more famous for being the scene for the horror movie “Villmark 2”.

Harastølen – scary as always

We noticed that they had closed the road (because of building renewal) towards Røssesete – a convenient trailhead if you want to hike Grånosi and Jagershaugen.

We turned around at Harastølen and parked in the first sharp left curve and followed a tractor road to the south.

Hærishovden seen from the main road

We then noticed a vague (but nice) forest path going up to the left, and a bit later, another path going northeast in the direction of the top. We stopped by the Hærishovden mailbox (trail register) before visiting the high point just behind the mailbox.

The mailbox

Then we followed the path, which took us back to the tractor road we followed in the beginning. It was a really nice walk around the top of the forest!

That’s a BIG rock!

Next, we drove to Marifjøra where we stopped at the local café for chocolate cake.

At Marifjøra

When we got back home, it was time for the last barbeque this weekend. It had altogether been a fantastic weekend with some mighty nice hikes and one memorable ski-trip!

The last barbeque – this time around
I have Arachnophobia but this is tolerable…

Trip statistics: 2,6km, 125 vertical meters, 52 minutes

Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone 13 Pro Max) from the hike:

Vardaheii (900m), Helebrandseggi (920m), June 7 2022

Our hike across Vardaheii and Helebrandseggi

Tuesday: Anne took Karma on a work-trip to Bergsetdalen (Jostedalen) today. It was a really hot day – most likely the hottest day so far in 2022 and when they returned, she reported that Karma wasn’t exactly on fire.

Karma in Bergsetdalen

The question was – should I bring her on my afternoon hike? I decided to give it a try and chose Vardaheii & Helebrandseggi in the Kaupanger forest as my destination. We would start hiking at 390m and hopefully catch some kind of breeze.

But there was no breeze at the Dalåker trailhead. Just 24,5C deg. Karma was certainly not on fire but understood that she had to come along with daddy. I mean, if she really doesn’t want to go, she lets me know.

On the nice Vardaheii path from Dalåker

She found the nice forest path a bit interesting and as we were hiking along a creek, she could satisfy her thirst whenever she wanted.

Water temperature is clearly not an issue…

It got much better when we reached Vardaheii. The breeze was distinct enough to make Karma forget about the heat.

On the Vardaheii high point with Store Haugmelen in the background

From Vardaheii, we went down to lake Grønemyrvatnet and continued up to Helebrandseggi.

On Helebrandseggi

Now what? we could head north (off-trail) and join the Vassløysa trail but then I wouldn’t have covered any new ground – which I always try to prioritize. So instead, we headed off-trail straight down from Helebrandseggi until we joined our ascent route in the forest. Not a terrible exciting variant, but at least I got myself a track from a place where I hadn’t been before.

Off-trail down from Helebrandseggi

The good news was that Karma was really on fire now. She scared up a pair of grouse just in front of us. If she had been on a leash, the birds would have been at grave risk. But off the leash, she was walking by my side (oh, the irony…) and birds had time to take off.

All in all, a good hike in the Kaupanger forest – a forest that I really love!

Trip statistics: 7,4km, 590 vertical meters, 2h:07m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Støyvafjellet (865m), June 8 2022

Our route up and down Støyvafjellet

Wednesday: Anne left early in the morning to go far away on a job. She would drive up to me (on Sunnmøre) the next day (before moving on again). Which meant I’d better get back home today.

After finishing work, I got in my car and had to endure the everlasting tunnel maintenance work in two tunnels before I got to Skei. While passing Utvikfjellet, I decided to walk the dog up there. I had been skiing westbound two times this year (Fløtravarden & Snøfjellet) from Utvikfjellet so this time we headed east towards Støyvafjellet.

The path up from the main road is quite neat!

On our way up from the Utvikfjellet trailhead

On the mountain plateau, we enjoyed the a few glimpses of sunshine and if it hadn’t been for the food I had in the car, we would have continued to Skavegga (1069m).

On our way to Støyvafjellet

But I had to get the food into the fridge, and we returned along the path from Støyvastølen before we went off-trail and joined our ascent route.

Returning to the trailhead

Of course, yet another tunnel had maintenance and we had to wait for a lead car for the 3rd time on this trip. I had to time reflect on the irony of being blessed with OK health, a darling girlfriend, a lovely dog, a good job, a good income and a good place to live and at the same time – getting annoyed about tunnel maintenance. Let’s just say that without the aggravation, we cannot truly appreciate the joy

Trip statistics: 4,5km, 285 vertical meters, 1 hour

Pictures (Iphone 13 Pro Max) from the hike:

Selsteinen (598m), Slettheia (553m), June 9 2022

Our route to Selsteinen and Slettheia

Thursday: Back from Sogndal, I was in a hurry to get back to Selsteinen and take a look at the sticks that I observed lying on the ground when I was up there one week ago. I raised them back up then and today I was going to put them firmly back in the ground.

But they weren’t there!

Karma on Selsteinen – observing my rage about missing sticks

I can guess what has happened. There is a signpost on Selsteinen pointing towards Sollia. That path is not well marked. Then there is our path towards Slettheia, with no signpost (yet) and well marked. Someone has either taken the wrong path and got pissed about it, or more likely, someone could imagine this and decided to remove the sticks for general prevention. In either case, it’s not acceptable. I’ve been putting in too much time and effort to accept that someone does this. They could have just made a phone call and we would have sorted this out. Either by a temporary signpost or marking the first section of the Sollia trail.

The good thing was that it was only the first 4-5 sticks that were missing. The rest were intact, although 5 were on the ground. I blame the snow for that. On the flat bedrock, it’s not easy to make the sticks stand firmly.

Towards Slettheia, counting sticks…

From Slettheia, I took an off-trail route back to Selsteinen (and regretted it) and took one more round on Selsteinen to see if I could find the missing sticks. I didn’t.

Karma on Slettheia

I’ll be back though, but this time with a temporary signpost and some extra sticks to send people on the right way to Sollia…

Trip statistics: 8,2km, 550 vertical meters, 2h:05m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Rjåhornet (600m), Nakken (180m), June 10 2022

Our route across Rjåhornet and Nakken

Friday: Anne (coming to Sunnmøre yesterday evening) had a working day in Stryn and so I had to figure out how to spend the afternoon. I decided to do some useful work for the hiking community and decided to check all the 155 sticks on the Djupvika – Rjåhornet – Nakken – Djupvika route.

Almost on top of Rjåhornet

The good news was that all sticks were standing. Less good was that all sticks > 300m were in serious need of fresh paint. It felt like yesterday when I painted these sticks the last time. Which was actually last summer. But the winters are rough out here on the coastline!

Karma was not her usual self. She vomited on yesterday’s hike and given her recent struggle I hope that this one was explainable – like her chewing on a carcass or something the stomach doesn’t approve of. We’ll see. Maybe it’s the temperature. It was close to 20 deg. C. today and she is overdue for a haircut.

Karma tried stretching for treats before mobilizing to stand up

It started to rain lightly when we ascended the mountain, then it stopped, began again and this kept repeating.

When we headed down on the Leikong route – and eventually breaking away onto the Nakken route, we had some sunny moments.

Why we need to return with a paintbrush…

I didn’t have my best day on the track either. Dog tired for some reason…

Trip statistics: 7,7km, 660 vertical meters, 2h:11m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Nonshornet (485m), Sollia (661m), June 11 2022

Our route across Nonshornet and Sollia

Saturday: After a work session early morning (system maintenance at work), I decided to continue with trail maintenance and got Anne to drive me to Tjørvåg – from where Karma and I first would go to Nonshornet. She had important business in Ulsteinvik (I call it shopping…) but would pick us up at whatever destination I chose.

My tasks were: 1) count # of sticks, so I can get the total for the entire trail network, 2) take pictures of all signposts so I have the complete overview, 3) GPS tracks to verify that distances are correct and 4) check that every stick is firmly seated.

Heading out from Tjørvåg, with Nonshornet in the background

This started out as a wonderful day, but when we got to Nonshornet, the wind was terrible. I had to put the jacket and hood on.

On Nonshornet

Then we continued to lake Holmavatnet and went onto the final leg towards Sollia – the highest mountain on Gurskøy island.

Karma on Sollia

The wind was just the same as on Nonshornet and we didn’t stay up there for long. In addition, there were light rain showers coming and going.

We took the normal route in the direction of Leikongeidet and here I met the only other hiker I saw throughout my hike. Along the way, Anne called and said she was at Leikongeidet and if that’s where we planned to go then she could meet us.

Windy on Sollia today

But first I wanted to cover both sides of lake Holmavatnet, so when we got to the trail fork, I went back to Holmavatnet and all the way to the point where we came up from Nonshornet.

The good news was that the vast majority of sticks were firmly in the ground. Of the 201 sticks I checked, only 1 was on the ground.

We then returned to the Leikongeidet trail and met Anne just below Sletteheidane. On our way down, we got a long and proper rain shower. But I was really happy with the trip and the findings. Once home, I filed a report to the trail group and asked if anyone could bring a lopper and clear some branches on the Tjørvåg – Nonshornet route. I can’t do everything myself…

Karma picked up the scent of Anne from far away.

Trip statistics: 13,8km, 900 vertical meters, 3h:56m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

Skåla (184m), June 12 2022

Our route across Skåla – twice…

Sunday: I woke up 6am and my first thought was to get myself Adobe Lightroom Classic. Fiddling around with a combination of other tools (like Canon DDP) was just too tedious. 6:30am, I had purchased it and one hour later I had taught myself the necessary functions I need for producing pictures for my blog.

It was raining a lot and when the time had come to walk the dog, I asked Anne if she wanted to join me on a trail maintenance session on Skåla at Tjørvåg. Keeping busy with trail stuff is a good way of not noticing the rain.

I wanted to cover all paths on Skåla, which meant we would have to go across it twice. We parked in Sandvika and went up to the top, ripping some bush along the way.

Ongoing project…

Then we hiked down to Trolldalen. We spent a whole hour on the 750m leg. We removed a lot of branches sticking out on the path. In addition, we ripped a whole lot of bush.

Doing good and honest work on the Trolldalen route

From Trolldalen, we went over to Stokksund, where we went back up to Skåla. Part of the job was not only to make sure the sticks were firmly seated, but also to count them. I had a problem with the counting, as my brain insisted of keep on counting as I walked. Anne had a good tip – let the brain continue counting, but in decimals. So, when we passed stick 15, we counted 15.1, 15.2, etc. Very clever! In the end, we agreed that there were 59 sticks on the Skåla paths.

The Stokksund – Skåla path got an upgrade…

Trip statistics: 13,8km, 900 vertical meters, 3h:56m

Pictures (Canon EOS RP) from the hike:

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