Svartefjellet, July 2 2023

Back on the Sunnmøre – Nordfjord border

Approaching the top of Svartefjellet


Date Peak Height PF Location MAP
02.07.23 Svartefjellet 1327m 118m Stranda/Stryn, Norway MAP

The route

Sunday: Now that the sticks had been repainted, the weather being OK and I was not on-duty week at work, I figured I could spoil myself by getting a brand new pf100 top.

After studying the map, I landed on Svartefjellet (Black mountain) on the Stranda – Stryn border. In other words – a dual-county top! Two “tick offs” for the price of one…

I knew the Frøysadalen trailhead after hikes to Bustegane and Fedalsnibba in 2019. Now that 4 years had passed, I hoped the area would both seem familiar and new at the same time.

Heading into Frøysadalen

When we got to Frøysadalen, I had to decide which side of the cow fence I should park the car – still remembering the “cow problem” back in 2019. Then a couple came driving down the road I was planning to hike up. They said they hadn’t seen any cows, so I might as well park on the inside of the fence. Which I did.

Our starting point (picture taken after coming down the mountain)

We had only hiked for a couple of minutes before I had cows on my left-hand side. So much for local information. But these ones didn’t seem to be in a hurry to leave the field they were grassing on. And I didn’t bother taking detours in the forest. I just walked straight up with the dog alongside and hoped that they would stay put. Which they did…

We’re in the clear…

After the road end (I could have driven here but didn’t bother), we got onto the path to lake Vatnedalsvatnet.

On the path to Vatnedalsvatnet

While driving from home, I listened to a program about Alzheimer. What is “interesting” about this decease is that you don’t really know that you’re sick. This inspired me to put my brain to work while hiking up the valley.

I decided to list all the 50 US states, forwards and backwards. As I had been to them all, this should be a doable exercise. But no matter how much I tried, I could only remember 49! I tried all the tricks from visualizing the US map and do the Aa, Ab, Ac (etc.) routine.

Bustegane above

The good thing about this was that I got up to lake Vatnedalsvatnet in no time at all

Arriving at the lake

Now we had ~2km of hiking alongside the lake before we could start thinking about ascending the mountain. The path was vague, but still easy to follow.

We had to cross some snow along the way and one of the snow fields was steep enough to make me pull out the ice-axe. I had no interest in slipping and ending up in the lake.

Snow hard enough. Angle steep enough…

A rule of thumb when hiking in the Møre og Romsdal mountains during summer – bring an ice-axe. You never know when it comes in handy…

Eventually we got to the point where I could start looking for a route up the mountain. And I was still on 49! Darn. I was wearing a cap, but why didn’t I bring my 49’ers cap today?

Planning our ascent

The ascent to the high ridge was less painful than what I thought it would be, seeing the mountain from the lake. I was quite happy when we arrived on the ridge.

Arriving on the ridge

The hike to the summit would be a stroll in comparison… The ridge also offered snow that wasn’t steep!


Eventually, Karma was good to go, and we sat course for the top.

Moving on…

We weren’t on the clock, which was a good thing. Because the dog took its good darn time…

OK… You have 10 more seconds…

But 2,5 hours after heading out, we reached the top!

On top of Svartefjellet

With this top, I had now been to all of the Sunnmøre – Nordfjord border tops between Hornindalsvatnet and the Volset – Flo valley.

Looking down on lake Vatnedalsvatnet

Happy as can be, we turned around and descended along our ascent route while I was desperate to remember #50.

Descending from Svartefjellet

Back at the car, my brain was on the border of cooking and when we reached 4G coverage, I had to google. It turned out that the missing state (Minnesota) was one that I had visualized on the map repeatedly. So how come I hadn’t counted it?

It was a technical counting error. I could list the states by their alphabetic order, but when I got to M and N, I just said the number. I was confident that there were 7 states starting with ‘M’ and 8 starting with ‘N‘. So, I went like: Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, 7, 8, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, etc. But it was 8 states starting with ‘M’ and that’s where I went astray.

On the positive side – if I had nailed them all on the first attempt, it wouldn’t have been much of a brain exercise

Always look at the bright side of life…

The forecast had mentioned rain in the afternoon. But when we got to the trailhead, the weather was better than it had been all day! However, 15 minutes later, the rain came. Good timing!

Trip statistics: 15,7km, 1100 vertical meters, 4h:23m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone 13 Pro Max) from the hike:

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