Skålbotsheia is a close neighbour of Tverrbotshornet and Gamlemsveten, located in the westernmost part of Haram. Skålbotshornet is the lowest of these mountains and connects to the even lower Litlehornet on its western ridge. The connection to Tverrbotshornet is a bit steep, but I find it less likely that you will run into problems on the easiest route, should you choose to descend this way.
The name is very "unfortunate". I'm not quite sure what the best translation would be, but the suffix "heia" (moor?) suggests that someone didn't see mountain potential in Skålbotsheia. However, there is a viewpoint 362m SW of the summit, 584m elevation, which is named (no less than) Storhornet (Big Horn).
I am not sure where the locals go when they visit the mountain. My guess is that they use the same trailhead as for Gamlemsveten and Tverrbotshornet, but go towards the shooting range and then up the Engsetskaret pass. The route described on this page is an easy off-trail route up Grønebakkane from Øvre Gryta, the same trailhead as described for Hildrehesten.
The Grønebakkane hillside offers 300m of nice skiing (upon descent), but snow is scarce on these coastal mountains. Snowshoes may be the optimal tools in winter, considering the dense forest below. In summer, this route is straighforward, as long as you pick a good route through the forest.
There is no summit cairn on the high point. Actually, there is nothing at all that marks the high point.
Skålbothsheia (M711: 611m, Ø.K.: 615,5m ~ 615m, UTM 32 V 363591 6937672) has a primary factor of 151m towards the higher parent mountain Tverrbotshornet (749m). The defining saddle (approx. UTM 32 V 363603 6938021) is found between the two mountains. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), the saddle is given through a fixed point; 463,5m ~ 464m.
Comments: My GPS recorded 612m as the average elevation over 10 minutes. I have therefore reason to believe that the M711 map is more correct than Økonomisk Kartverk. As such, I rounded 615,5m down instead of up as I normally do on this site.
Notes: Class ratings are in reference to YDS. Click here for more information.
The trails described below are not necessarily the *easiest* trails to this mountain.
Øvre Gryta - Skålbotsheia via Grønebakkane (all seasons)
From Ålesund, follow highway E136->E39 towards Åndalsnes. From the E136/E39/Olsvika roundabout near Breivka, follow E39 approx. 13,3Km. Turn left onto highway RV661 (Skodje/Brattvåg/Vatne). After 1,5Km, pay toll at an unmanned toll booth (coins + credit cards + AutoPass). Approx. 9,7Km after you left E39, you reach the RV659 (Brattvåg)/661(Vatne) junction. Turn left here. Follow RV659 4,3Km and turn left towards "Søvik/Grytastranda". Drive 7,2Km along this road and turn right onto an upper road. Drive 450m in the direction you came from, and you will see a narrow road that leads up to a farm on your left-hand side. You will also see a sign pointing to Hildrehesten here. Look for parking nearby. There is room for one small car next to the mailboxes, 100m ahead.
An alternative route from Ålesund is to drive via Ellingsøya. The Ellingsøytunnelen toll is (per Jan 2006) NOK 60,- (passenger cars, one person) thus, NOK 30,- more expensive than by driving RV661.
Follow the Øvre Gryta road westbound (in the direction you came) 270m until you've crossed Grytaelva river. Turn right and head directly up the forest. You cross a fence before you reach the actual forest. The lower forest is open and easy to ascend, but after a while you run into denser birch forest, mixed with juniper bush. Follow the terrain where you see fit. The rest of the hill is straightforward. Follow it to the summit, which is not marked in any way.
Summit notes; be careful in fog. There is a sudden drop towards the north. The same apply for winter, when cornices build up here.
After miserable weather in the morning, it cleared up during the day. The afternoon was beautiful with a mix of large, dark clouds and sunshine. I had received my new plastic boots (Scarpa Vega) and needed to try them out. I chose Skålbotsheia as the target and decided to bring snowshoes. I figured that skiing was out of the question, given the forest and the snow depth given the mountain's location. I was right on both accounts.
I headed out 16:40PM with my dog "Troll" in the backpack. It took a while before I got the boots adjusted properly and the lower forest was a bit cumbersome, with new boots and both the poles and the snowshoes in my hands. I had to switchback numerous times in the forest, in order to find a path compatible with snowshoes. Juniper bush everywhere.
Once out of the forest, things looked up. Literally. I sort of enjoy the slow-moving ascent on a long, snowy hillside. Especially on an afternoon like this. It struck me that, with the large footprint I left in the snow, the dog could probably walk all the way down.
I reached the top 18:10PM, and had splendid scenery ahead of me. There were indeed a lot of clouds, but they only added flavor. I gazed at the Hjørundfjord mountains, rising sharp and mighty from the fjord. Such beautiful mountains. I wished there was more snow and that I had skis. It would have been a tremendous, yet short, descent towards the blue Grytafjorden. On the top I got a phone call from a good friend, bringing sad news. With a new perspective in mind, it was time to head down.
I let the dog out of the backpack, and he realised that it was time to walk. The tracks were now hard and solid, and the dog easily kept my pace down the mountain, seemingly happy and enjoying the day. We were back at the trailhead 19:05PM. I don't know exactly why, but I liked this rather anonymous mountain. Perhaps it was the nice rise from the fjord, combined with the spectacular afternoon colors. The grade of the upper hillside was such that I had almost nothing between myself and the fjord, and there is something special about that.
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