Sunday: For some years, I’ve been wanting to climb or scramble (whatever it takes) the Høystakken (the hay stack) pinnacle/outcrop (see the featured image) above Syvdsfjorden.
It’s part of a mountain plateau called Breiteigsfjella (named after the farm below) and the peaks facing the fjord are also known as “Syvdsalpane” – the Syvden alps. But first, I had to see this pinnacle up close, so I could plan the future climb (or scramble).
To do just that, I decided to see it from above. I could have hiked from Skår – that would be the shortest route. But instead, I chose to hike from Årskogkoppen and revisit Trollkoppehornet and Sandegga while at it.
The “annoying” part was that I had this opportunity back in 2017, when I skied pretty much the same route that I planned for today. I was looking down on Høystakken back then, but I didn’t think about how to get there. The best route was seemingly from above, but would I need a rope? And would I need it all the way or just part of the way?
I should also mention the hike I did with Edvin back in 2009, up from Syvdsneset and down to Skor. That was big fun! We didn’t get Høystakken in view back then, but we visited the other cliff tops – Fossenipa, Keipen, Labergsheia and Haukelandsnipa.
Back to present, it was super-hot day when we arrived at Rovde. From the main road, we had a good view towards Årskogkoppen (between Skoratinden and Storhornet), as well as Trollkoppehornet and Sandegga.
The toll road fee to Årskogkoppen was NOK 50,- and I could pay with VIPPS. I parked at the lower parking. I love my car too much to drive to the uppermost parking and so we walked up.
We followed the path up to Riddarbu, by lake Myrkevatnet.
I was considering hiking Storhornet but decided not to. Karma didn’t seem too happy about the heat and was constantly looking for water. Or snow…
Instead of hiking across Storhornet’s south ridge, we curved around point 797m, saving some vertical meters but gaining extra distance. After a while, we got Trollkoppehornet in view, joined the path and followed it to the top.
Karma had the longest tongue I’ve ever seen…
Sandegga was not a priority, but at least we had to pass Koppehorn (970m) before we could descend towards Høystakken.
Eventually, we got to the cliffs and were looking down on Høystakken. What a super-cool outcrop!
A closer inspection suggested that a rope would be useful if I ever get myself down there…
After taking a number of pictures, I found an unnamed outcrop that I decided to visit. In order to get on it, I had to downclimb a short pitch with very little handholds.
That was a bit scary, but the upside was that I got additional pictures of Høystakken.
While returning, I noticed that it was possible to bypass the steep pitch I had climbed, by following a steep, but grassy route on the north side. Oh well…
For the first time ever, I was worried about Karma. She was close to hyper-ventilating, and we had to find water soon. Fortunately, there was water at the foot of Sandegga.
I let her stay in the water until she was breathing normally again…
Now that she was looking more like herself, I decided to return via Sandegga. When we got up there, she immediately found shade and was breathing heavily again.
We needed more water, but there was no point in going back down. The nearest water was Skålvatnet – on the other side of Trollkoppehornet. I told her to be brave and hang in there.
In a little while, she would get all the water she wanted. And eventually, we got there…
Heck, even I went for a swim…
Both feeling refreshed, we hiked up to Storhornet’s south ridge, joined the path and was soon overlooking Riddarbu.
The rest of the route offered plenty of water and Karma was OK all the way back to the car.
Now I had the pictures I needed to plan the climb. I hope that Anne will come with me. We’re not climbers, but we’ve been “around ropes” a number of times and I’m sure we will figure something out.
I’m not worried about the ridge route, as it seemed to support a running-belay approach. I am more puzzled about how to descend ~130 vertical meters before getting there. Do we bring multiple ropes or do we downclimb with ice-axes and maybe crampons? Time will tell. If any of my 2-5 regular readers have an idea, please shout out 😉
Trip statistics: 13,7km, 1000 vertical meters, 3h:56m
Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone 13 Pro Max) from the hike: