Norwegian Mountains, Sogn og Fjordane
Synnevaskjer on skis from Hodlekve, Mar 19 2011
To the main Synnevaskjer page (maps, route descriptions, other trip reports, etc.)
Close to a month after the awesome weekend in Nordfjord, another weekend with gorgeous weather was here. I was in Sogndal to visit Anne, and she suggested that we should ski to Synnevaskjer on Saturday. This was not a mountain that stood out in any particular way, but I really liked the name. I have a soft spot with mountain names that cling good. Moreover, I knew it would be an excellent viewpoint towards the high mountains between Fjærland and Sogndalsdalen, and I was more than up for this trip!
We started out from Hodlekve 10:25am and (to our delight) we could see that fresh tracks had been made in the direction of Høgehaug. This meant that we would get 5 easy kilometres without having to break trail...
I was somewhat familiar with the first part of the route. We came down this way after skiing Blåfjellet in February 2010, and we also followed this route to Høgehaug a month later (no track then). We saw a skier break away from the track at the head of Stilledalen, but we were not sure if this skier was heading for Synnevaskjer and decided to ski almost all the way up to Høgehaug before turning northwest.
We passed across Britastein (1002m) and could see that the skier was indeed going in the direction of Synnevaskjer. After a little while, the skier returned and we had a short conversation. He told us that two skiers were ahead of him. This was good news. Even if the snow wasn't very deep, we could always appreciate tracks...
After a little while, we descended into Trastadalen. There was a fatal accident here some decades ago, caused by an avalanche. The skier had told us that the route nowadays was quite safe, as long as we followed the tracks ahead of us. On the way up from Trastadalen, we caught up with the two skiers, and yet another skier had caught up with us. The mountain wasn't exactly crowded, but all the skiers that visited Synnevaskjer today were now here...
I decided to be the point man and do my share of breaking the trail. On the way up the ridge, I could see point 1570m - the top of Myrdalsbreen and Voggebreen. Anne and me had talked about continuing from Synnevaskjer and up the Myrdalsbreen glacier. I was strongly motivated for this, but for some reason, I was completely out of shape. I was very, very tired and every step was an effort. I had done a poor job with calculating the water supply, and had only 0,5 litres in the backpack. But with a conservative consumption up the ridge, I reckoned it would be enough. It was a very warm day (I had assumed that it would be quite cold) and I still hadn't put the jacket on. And I was quite happy when Anne took the lead up the ridge...
The other skiers stopped for lunch, and Anne and me continued alone up to Synnevaskjer. At 1440 meters, we stopped for lunch and all of a sudden, it was getting windy and quite chilly. A hot spring day had suddenly turned into a cold winter day and we agreed that we would have to come back for the glacier another day. When we broke up, we could see the other skiers - on their way to the glacier. Anne me skied up to Synnevaskjer and reached the cairn 2:21pm - close to 4 hours after heading out.
I was now quite confident that the glacier was out of the question. All I wanted was to enjoy the descent. Anne had chosen regular mountain skis, and I had chosen (much) heavier Telemark skis. Now was the time to enjoy the reward! The upper part of the mountain offered variable skiing conditions, but from 1360m to 990m, the snow was just great!
Back in Trastadalen, we had to ascend a short hill before enjoying another (short) downhill section. Then I had put the skins back on before we reached a small top above the track. As usual, Anne and me competed to be the first to return to the trailhead. The 4km of downhill skiing to Hodlekve was pure fun, although the milk acid from the hockey position was almost killing me. Fortunately, a "clever" tactical manoeuvre in a crowded spot allowed me to win the "race". We were back at the car 3:48pm - almost 5,5 hours after leaving.
The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 550D + Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM F 4-5.6 + a Canon Powershot G12
(Full size images)
(Images scaled down.
To Høgehaug - or close by...
Wide-angle view from Synnevaskjer
Zoom views from Synnevaskjer
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