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I had felt cheated for days now. Severe winter storms had beaten on western Norway the last week. Heck, I was even passed by a plastic bag while I was out driving the other day. A visit to one of the locals tops would have been just excellent, but then there was the thunder and lightning part. But this Saturday was a quiet day. That is, the rain wouldn't set in until 13:00PM. At least, that was what the forecast predicted. I had limited time, and decided to visit Grasdalsfjellet.
The road to Engsetdalen was OK, but the road UP Engsetdalen was horrendous, because of undercooled rain. I pictured a possible roundtrip, and decided to park down by the road. The dog ("Troll") and I left the car 10:40AM, and while there was asphalt, I had to walk the grass. The road was just that icy. After a while, the road turned into a gravel road, and got less slippery. We headed up to Grasdal and followed a tractor road to the stream that came down the forest.
We crossed the stream and continued on a forest path that apparently began at Beite. So either trailhead would have been fine. This path was marked by red paint on trees, but I lost it once we were out of the forest. There was now enough snow on the ground to cover any paths on the ridge.
The terrain was a bit more cumbersome than I had expected. There were lots of small local ridges, and it wasn't apparent what the best route would be. I bypassed a very distinct ridge to my left, crossed a birch forest, and then found open space. I headed up to the ridge, so I could get some views into Vatnedalen valley, and then aimed for the top.
The summit ridge was somewhat steep, and I grabbed the opportunity in picking the least obvious route to the top. We passed the viewpoint cairn and reached the top 12:25PM. That said, I wasn't quite sure *exactly* where the high point was, as there was no cairn. The light started to turn "flat" and I didn't get a clear overview. The snow had piled up on the summit ridge, and in places, reached to my knees.
From the ridge, I looked straight down to a convenient forest road (leading to Eikrolsætra), and I decided to descend directly to it. This is not a route I would recommend to anyone. The upper part was easy, but the lower part was a frustrating combination of slippery boulder, holes and juniper bush.
Once down on the forest road, Troll was free to walk again. He entered the backpack when we entered snow during the ascent, and except from a short section on the ridge, he had stayed there until now. We had a nice stroll down the forest road, ended up at Eikrol before getting back on the Grasdal road. By 13:30PM, we were back at the car. A quite uneventful, but nevertheless nice hike had come to an end. And 13:35PM, it began to rain.
Note; Poor picture quality, as I had forgot to reset my ISO setting after some tests.
Wide-angle view from the viewpoint cairn
Other pics from the top + descent
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