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It was rather obvious what kind of weather we would have this Sunday; the same as the day before with wonderful sunshine, winds, clouds, snowfall and hailshowers. I had actually planned to do Tverrbotshornet the day before, but changed my mind and went to Haugtua instead.
I don't personally have a big problem with rugged weather, but I tend to feel sorry for my little buddy Troll, who is forced into the backpack when the snow gets too deep, and is not able to generate much bodyheat back there. As I simply *had to* do a peak this Sunday, the solution was to leave the dog back at the house. The total trip would only take 5 hours, and that would pose no problems for the dog.
I dreaded driving the 50Km (+) to the trailhead, as it was snowing quite heavily in periods, but I just had to get on with it. I left fairly late in the morning, hoping all roads had been plowed by then. Instead of driving my normal route via E39, I drove along Ellingsøya. I had not yet driven that road, and I expected it would be far less traffic. This turned out to be very true.
When I arrived Søvik, I didn't drive up to the normal trailhead, as kids were playing in the hill. I'm not even sure if I could get the car up the hill, as that road had not been plowed. I was on my way 12:05PM, with my ice-axe in my hand and my crampons on the backpack. There were several people out by the trailhead, and they gave me a look or two. I figured that several hikers and skiers were already on the way to Gamlemsveten, given the number of ski-tracks. But they all turned left onto a meadow above Søvik, and I had to break trail upwards. It was all powder snow, and breaking trail didn't consume any energy.
The first snowfall hit me half-way up to the Tverrbotshornet junction. It wasn't even remotely pleasant, and I put on a face mask and goggles. My head was now 100% protected, but it was difficult to get enough air... The snowfall faded away as I left the service road and headed across the meadow, towards the southwest ridge. Another snowfall came along when I began the ascent. The light was flat, and I felt "blind". The weather improved as I gained elevation and by the time I reached the summit (13:50PM), the weather was quite good.
After a round of pictures, I checked my GPS, which had been averaging the summit elevation for 10 minutes. It read 747m, which was 5-6m lower than the height on Øknomisk Kartverk. This leads me to believe that the summit elevation is closer to 749m (as stated on the 1:50,000 map). Next, I headed over to Tverrfjellet to make sure that Tverrbotshornet truly was the highest point. It was.
On the way back to Tverrbotshornet, a truly nasty hailshower came along. The hailshower followed me all the way down the ridge. I was hoping I could follow my tracks and make a fast descent, but all tracks were gone. As I didn't see much, I chose to follow my GPS tracks, only to get off this ridge as fast as possible. Back down at the meadow, the weather improved and I got some great pictures of the mountain. One bold skier had went up and down Gamlemsveten (don't know if the skier went all the way to the top), and there were no other tracks, beside mine. People stayed in the lowlands on a day like this.
It struck me that I hadn't seen the Haram mountains from their best side yet. First out was Blåskjerdingen early january. The wind was strong and cold. Next mountain out was Grøtshornet, and it was a wet and windy experience. Gamlemsveten was an inferno, one my toughest hikes ever, and Skulstadhornet was mostly about rain. The weather on Hildrehesten wasn't all bad, but ascending the upper mountain was a truly unpleasant experience.
I was back at the trailhead 15:05PM and was stared at by folks down by the trailhead. A major snowfall hit just as I was leaving Søvik. Visibility was low. Close to Eidet, I was out of the snowfall, and it seemed like entering a new world. As I was driving through Ellingsøya on the way back, I headed back right into it, and I was relieved when I reached the Ellingsøya tunnel. The dog was happy to see me, and I tried to explain to him that he should be glad he stayed at the house today. One can only hope he understood...
Upper ascent - on the ridge
Wide-angle panorama, 3 parts (annotated)
50mm panorama, 3 parts (annotated)
Other summit pictures + Tverrfjellet visit
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