Norwegian Mountains, Sogn og Fjordane
From Veitastrond to Fjærland, through Supphelleskaret. With Sogndal Turlag, Sep 22 2013
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The route from Veitastrond to Fjærland through Supphelleskaret is one of several that used to link the valleys surrounding the Jostedalsbreen ice cap. On Sep 22 2013, Sogndal Turlag organized this classic hike which included shuttle service from Fjærland to Veitastrond and from Fjærland to Sogndal. Anders Bøyum and Anne Rudsengen were guides on this trip.
That was the intro. Now, as this is a personal trip report I have to add that I have absolutely nothing against organized hikes such as this one. In fact I find it extremely positive that this type of offering exists and that people in general embrace it.
However - I do not normally attend these organized trips as I like to find my own way in the mountains. And besides - large groups are moving a bit slow for my taste. But since my girlfriend was one of the guides, I felt obl... err ... really willing to come along. And besides - and this is for sure; I love any hike that is connected - or even remotely connected to Jostedalsbreen. So the decision to come along was easy enough...
Those living in or near Sogndal met at Almenningen at 9:30am. It was indeed a grey morning. The bus from Fjærland arrived on time and included 10 hikers. In total, the group consisted of 33 souls and 2 dogs. Anders welcomed us over the speaker system and promised us sunshine by noon. It took a long and winding road to get us to Veitastrond, but roughly one hour later, we arrived at our destination. After a short brief from Anders and Anne, we headed out at 10:50am.
The weather was gradually improving as we made our way into Snauedalen. The fog was clearly lifting and we could see blue sky above Kaldakari. The pace was modest, as one could expect with a group of this size. But I had nothing else to do besides being outdoors and enjoyed myself. And it seemed that Karma enjoyed herself too. Unleashed, lots of friendly humans and last but not least - another dog!
A bit more than halfway into Snauedalen, we stopped for lunch. The time was now 1pm. I found a good rock to sit on, a bit away from the others. They probably wondered what kind of an oddball I was, who couldn't join them for lunch. Humored as I was about this assumption, the primary reason was to get a picture of the group. The secondary reason was that I was actually sitting darn good!. But once I had finished lunch, I went over to the others and said that it was OK to move on now that I was done. I heard scattered laughs and felt some sort of redemption...
We moved on after half an hour and had a river crossing ahead of us. I crossed the rivers and made a mental note about having never, ever encountered more slippery rocks. The rest of the group continued up to Skarbotn and had a much easier river crossing.
Next stop was Supphelleskaret which had a bit of snow left that posed a small challenge...
The descent into Supphelledalen was just magical! The fog - which came and went - only added flavor to everything. And so did the Vetle Supphellebreen glacier. Once we had completed the steepest descent (without kicking loose rocks around), we stopped again for some food. And this time I was a bit more social...
The walk throughout Supphelledalen was altogether enjoyable. What an amazing area! I explored my social skills even further through small talk with several of the others. We reached the road at 6:28pm and I volunteered to run the 550 meters up to Fjellstølen to alert the bus driver - who was waiting there. The bus took us back to Sogndal after a short stop in Fjærland. One of the hikers came on the bus at Hafslo and had no transportation waiting for her. I volunteered to drive her to Hafslo while Anne prepared a nice meal...
All in all - a very enjoyable hike in amazing terrain! Many thanks to Anders and Anne and especially Anders - for sharing his local knowledge with us.
(The total distance was 15,6km and the total hiking time was 7h:38m. Total vertical gain: 650 meters)
The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 60D + EF-S 18-200mm F3.5-5.6 IS
(Full size images)
(Images scaled down.
Pictures from the trip
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