Skopphornet wrapped in clouds
Skopphornet is a huge mountain with a Mesa-looking summit plateau, and connects to the Regndalstindane massif via Skaret pass, approx. 560m elevation. Except for this southern connection to Sunnmørsalpene, Skopphornet is enclosed by fjords; Hjørundfjorden to the west, Sykkylvsfjorden to the east and Storfjorden to the north. This area is known as Rånahalvøya - Råna being the high point on the Regndalstindane massif and the highest point north of Habostaddalen valley.
There are several routes to Skopphornet. The easiest route runs up the south side (from Megardsstøylen and described on this page). Trailheads for this route are Megardssdalen (west) and Riksemdalen (east). There are also steep routes up couloirs and ridges and Skopphornet can keep the eager scrambler busy for a long time.
Skopphornet is also skied in winter, but because of closed forest roads, the approach is longer than in summer. The normal route on the south side involves a 700 vertical meter ascent of a long, and at times, steep hill. I have no details about the avalanche hazard, but because of large boulderfields, I would assume that the snow sits firmly.
The views are good, but because of the large summit plateau, you have to move to the edges for the best views. The Regndalstindane massif steal the views to the south, but Råna is indeed a pleasant view in itself. In the other directions, you see mountains on Hareidlandet, in the Ålesund and Haram regions, on Ørskogfjellet and "countless" tops in the Stordal - Stranda region.
Skopphornet (Norgesglasset 1:50,000: 1226m, Økonomisk Kartverk 1:15,000: 1225,67m, UTM 32 V 370070 6916235) has a primary factor of 668m towards the higher parent mountain Sunnavindsnipa (1337m). The defining saddle (approx. UTM 32 V 371922 6915183) is found in Skaret (west of Dammen) Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), the saddle is within the range 555m-560m, interpolated to 558m. Ref. the 1:50,000 map, you do NOT cross the 560m contours, but I have chosen to go with the Ø.K. map.
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.
Hundeid - Skopphornet (summer/autumn)
From Ålesund, follow highway E39 towards Bergen, and then highway RV60 (Stranda) to the Magerholm - Ørsneset ferry (7,9Km). This ferry runs quite often; every 20 minutes in the busy hours of the day. From Ørsneset, drive RV60 to the Hundeidvik/Ikornes junction south of Sykkylven (4Km). Drive on toll bridge across Sykkylvsfjorden (fee is NOK 31,- for passenger cars per July 2007). At the upcoming roundabout, follow signs to Hundeidvik and drive 9,3Km until you see the "Megardsdalen" sign. This sign is 250m after you pass the ferry harbor in Hundeidvika.
Turn left onto the road up Megardsdalen. After 550m, you come to a self-serviced toll booth. The fee for passenger cars per July 2007 was NOK 20,-. Make sure you close all gates behind you. 1,7Km after you left the main road, you come to a "roundabout" (180m elevation). You can either park here, or continue driving until the road is no longer compatible with your car. Small cars may choose to park at 250m elevation, where a side road branches off to the left. 4WD vehicles can drive all the way to road end at approx. 360m elevation.
This is a very simple route. From the end of the forest road, follow a well-worn trail towards the Megardsstøylen cabins. Rise off-trail eastbound (below the hammer) until you reach Skopphornet's south side. Stay far left and you should come across a vague path before you reach the small birch section. Above the birch, the path disappears in a boulderfield, but continues on the far side. Should you lose the path, head for non-boulder areas, and you will most likely come across the path again.
The summit has several small cairns, but one is higher than the other. Surprisingly enough, this summit has no LARGE cairn. Descend your ascent route.
Opposed to the day before, I could at least see the CONTOURS of mountains when I woke up this Sunday. It wasn't raining, but it looked like it would, any second. The weather wasn't bad enough to justify a day at home, so I decided to give Skopphornet a try. The 11:00AM ferry left two minutes before I arrived Magerholm, so I had plenty of time before the 11:20AM ferry to watch the clouds "dance" on Skopphornet on the other side of the fjord. I wondered what the weather would be like by the time I got there.
At 250m elevation in Megardsdalen, I gave up any further driving. The road was steep and the loose gravel became a problem when sheep were blocking the road. The dog ("Troll") and I left the car 12:10PM, and by 12:15PM, the dog was in the backpack. He won the first round.
By the time we reached the end of the forest road, it had started to rain. But only light, and I could still see the top of Hundatinden and Skopphornet. I packed away the camera and put on the raingear. 3 minutes later, it stopped raining and the dog wanted to walk again. It didn't take long before the wet trail towards Megardsstøylen decreased his morale, and we had yet another argument about whether he should walk or not. I won the second round.
Having passed Litlevatnet, I decided to get on with the ascent of the long and "terrible" south side of Skopphornet. The raingear came off and the dog entered the backpack again. I didn't notice the path before I reached 800m elevation. From then on, things got easier, and we reached the summit 14:25PM. I had expected to reach the summit within two hours (or less), but time got lost in a moody dog, shifting raingear on and off, pictures, etc.
The wind was surprisingly strong on the summit plateau. Taking pictures wasn't easy, and I had to take the panoramas three times, just to get enough steady shots. I looked down the distinct couloir from Megardsstøylen and made a mental note about attempting this route some time. This was a tremendous viewpoint, and it felt terrible that I decided to ascend it on a cloudy day. I really wished I could see Råna from here.
It was time for descent, and when it comes to downhills, the dog is an "eager beaver". He passed the upper rocky sections in fine style, and didn't run into any other challenges than crossing a boulderfield further down the mountainside. He walked all the way back to the car, which we reached 16:10PM. The ferry was waiting at Ørsneset when I arrived, but decided to leave without me. As I hadn't eaten anything since 09:00AM, I had earned a hot-dog at the local kiosk. My advice to the owners is to have EXTRA crew on Sunday afternoons (when people return to Ålesund). 17 of my available 20 minutes were spent waiting in line. Just like last week-end. I finished the hot-dog outside, but you can't easily hide the smell of it. I got the "where's mine?" look from the dog when I entered the car. You have to be a cold-hearted, mean old man like myself to resist eyes like that.
360 deg. wide-angle panorama from Skopphornet
50mm panoramas from Skopphornet
Other summit pics and descent
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