An afternoon hike above the average
Wednesday: I took “walking the dog after work” one notch up today and headed for Sylvkallen above the Hjørundfjord.
I visit this top so infrequently (2008, 2010, 2019, 2022) that I keep forgetting how hard this hike really is. That is, if you hike as fast as you can. It’s a solid 1000 vertical meters (+) ascent.
The lower part (300-560m) of the mountain is just agonizing. It’s wet, muddy and a complete disaster. It’s impossible to keep a good pace up here.
Then follows a transport leg (1,2km or 0,8km depending on the route) just to get to the foot of the upper part of the mountain.
The “fun” begins at 580m. You now have 700+ vertical meters before you can stand on the top and enjoy the mighty views.
Moreover, the mountain scares me in winter. I really hate the part from Nonshornet’s north ridge and into Nøvedalen valley – which is exposed. Still, I choose to return and it’s because the summit view is just amazing!
It was not the best hike to use my brand new hiking shoes (La Sportiva Ultraraptor II GTX). They looked 10 years old already after 100 vertical meters.
It was interesting to see Karma. She has just turned 10 years old and (hopefully) been cured of a limping issue. And it’s not as if we’ve been resting lately. The vertical meters for the past days were: 760, 580, 665, 830, 690, 670, 790, 795, 710 and 780m – and 72km of hiking. This is context, not bragging. So, with all this it would not have been strange if she had given me the “you know, I feel a bit tired today” look. But no. Today, she had the “Move! You’re in my way” attitude and was in front of me all the way. That’s heartwarming. I felt so bad for her during the (relatively long) limping period.
It took me 1h:32m to get to this top back in 2019, and I was determined not let physical decline prevail and gave it my best. Again – you cannot pay attention to time vs. vertical meters on this mountain due to the disastrous path.
I felt I had a good day today, until I felt the inevitable effect of age. The feet would just not move as fast as I wanted them to.
I found comfort in the surroundings, though. This area is just breathtaking!
I met two girls coming down the mountain, at approx. 900m. It was nice to see other people on the mountain. I wasn’t recognized this time, but that was totally fine. I just made that remark because in my 2019 hike, I met two guys coming up the mountain (from Czech Republic and Slovakia) and one of them immediately pointed at me and said «westcoastpeaks!!»
Every time this happens, it’s just strange. When I blog, I don’t have any expectation that anyone is reading and I’m surprised everytime I learn that someone is following. Back in the days, when internet was young – my home page (westcoastpeaks.com back then) was widely noticed – due to the lack of information elsewhere. But nowadays, information is everywhere and my sites are no longer relevant. Still, I enjoy blogging (old habits die hard) but as said, I don’t assume that anyone is reading it. Which is fine. I enjoy doing it anyway …
Back to the hike – I kept on pushing it and reached the top in 1h:30m. That – and the views – made my day…
Now, everything was just honky dory fine. I could let the camera run “hot” and take our time.
It has been a while since Karma and I took a “selfie”, so we just had to make that happen today.
Did I mention that the views from up here is just crazy? I guess I did…
But eventually, it was time to get back home. I reckoned it would take me around 1 hour down.
I found a shorter route down in Nøvedalen (I saved 0,3km) before taking on the ultra-muddy forest path.
I caught up with the two girls 5 minutes before reaching the car. We all agreed that this path was NO FUN!
I missed on my 1-hour estimate. It took us 1 hour and 2 minutes to get back to the car. And like always after a hike like this – the drive back home was just enjoyable!
Trip statistics: 9,4km, 1055 vertical meters, 2h:45m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone 13 Pro Max) from the hike: