The new go-to place on Sunnmøre…
Saturday: After yesterday’s long hike to Sætrehyrna, Anne announced that this Saturday would be all about restitution. But after breakfast, she wanted to hike Saksa!
When I moved to Sunnmøre in 2006, Saksa was just “another cool peak” in the Sunnmøre alps. But thanks to Saksa Turistforening, driving forces like Bente & Egil, a natural awesome viewpoint, Facebook and Instagram, and now the “Saksa Opp” race, Saksa has become the go-to place in the Sunnmøre alps.
I am certainly not going to claim any credit regarding the rapid rise of the Saksa popularity, but a footnote is that my 2006 panorama from Saksa has been on display at the Sæbø Joker store since … was it 2006 or 2007?
Anyway … we were discussing if we should drive via Hornindal or take the Sæbø – Leknes ferry. I argued that the ferry was guaranteed to be full on a sunny weekend day. And what was the capacity again? 7-8 cars? So, we ended up taking the drive (between 1,5 and 2 hours)
Of course, I had to stop at “Honndalen Bru” to take the classical Hornindalsrokken picture…
At Urke – the starting point for the Saksa hike – we noticed a lot of people (!) With numbers on their backs. What the heck was going on? Well, it turned out to be “Saksa Opp” day. A race. First one top the top. At least we had ~40 minutes head start on the competition class. Which meant that most of the hike would be similar to a normal hike.
I could tell that Anne felt inspired by the race and kept a pace way above normal up the mountain. I admit I got inspired too, but I decided to let Anne decide the pace. I did some races like this 7-8 years ago. They went OK, then I hit a physical wall. I don’t think running mountains and hiking mountains every day without restitution is a good idea. Anway, my love for the daily hike prevailed.
Like at Kamperhamrane the day before, Sherpas have been here too – making the upper part of the mountain a bit more accessible to the average hiker. When I hiked this mountain back in 2006, I probably had never heard about Sherpas other than related to Mt. Everest, and to me – the path was perfectly fine to me back then. Steep, but fine.
With a 40-minute head start, I was curious if we would reach the top before being overtaken by the fastest guys. We didn’t stand a chance. 5 guys passed us before we passed the finish line. The fastest guy only needed 39 minutes (and some seconds) to reach the top, while it took us 1h:30m to get up. And we didn’t even start down by the harbor.
Anne was still mighty pleased about her time, and so she should be. I wondered how long it would have taken me. 5-7 years ago, I would have reached the top before one hour had passed. Nowadays, I’m not so sure. But one hour should be within reach! Maybe I just need to go there one day, all by myself and give it my best shot.
Then we moved on to the south top (1045m) – which is the top where most of the visitors go to.
There are however two more tops. And if you want to get to the higher tops, you need to challenge your fear of heights, if you have any. That said, with fixed chains the descent from the south top is less scary than it used to be.
The hike up to the 2nd top (1067m) is easy, but if you want to reach the 3rd top (1073m) – the highest point of Saksa, you have a short scrambling section to deal with. Nothing difficult, and not too exposed either.
I overheard someone justifying NOT going to the high point by arguing that the south top was Saksa. The other tops were … something else. Sorry to break the news, but Saksa means “the scissors”, meaning there is something on both sides of the gap.
I didn’t want to haul Karma down into the “scissors gap” and so I left her with Anne – busy talking to her old friend Arild – who had been part of the race.
I enjoyed the scrambling, but maybe I enjoyed it even better before they put chains up here?
On my way back to the south top, I tried to remember my 2017 hike across Breidfonnhornet and Saksa, but could hardly remember anything from it. All I knew was that Anne had a broken back, dropped me off in Urkedalen and picked me up at Urke. How is it possible to forget such a nice hike? Strange. Maybe I’m starting to… lose it?
Now it was Anne’s turn. She enjoyed the scrambling and spent a good while on top, enjoying the amazing views.
Karma was very happy when the family was reunited.
On the way down, we had company by Finn Arne Lervik – part of the race’ organizing group. We had a good talk, and we appreciated his company.
Back at the car, Anne wanted to give the ferry a try. I said on a normal sunny weekend day, that would be a stretch. On race day – forget it. But OK, let’s give it a try. It turned out that the ferry had been upgraded and capacity was no longer an issue. So, the drive back home got much shorter than I had thought it would be…
Trip statistics: 7,4km, 1140 vertical meters, 4h:30m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone 13 Pro Max) from the hike: