Varden (the cairn) is located on the north side of the place Stordal, along Storfjorden. Stordalstunnelen (tunnel) runs through this mountain. Varden is the westernmost mountain on a long and dominating mountain ridge that forks along the way, and branches towards Tresfjorden and Innfjorden. It shall not necessarily be claimed that a traverse of this ridge would be "the mother" of all ridge traverses in Møre og Romsdal, but it would surely be a memorable one.
In its local region, Varden's neighbour is Midmorgonshornet (962m), and Varden can be reached both from Dyrkornvatnet (north) and Stordal (south, via Midtbustsætra). This page will describe access from Dyrkornvatnet. Refer to the Sandfjellet/Heimste Skorkja page for access from Stordal. At Midtbustsætra, you turn left, opposed to turning right towards Sandfjellet.
Varden is a nice afternoon hike from Dyrdalsvatnet, class 1 (YDS) all the way, and well suited as a family hike. You may get the feeling that you're "squeezed in" between larger mountains, which is to some extent, true. But some of these larger mountains (Medhornet, Jolgrøhornet, Ramstadvarden, Sandfjellet, etc.) can be nice to look at too! Some turn around at Vikahornet (637m). A mailbox with a visitor's register can be found here. The third distinct point on this mountain, is Stamneshornet (732m), which falls steep down to Storfjorden.
Varden (Norge 1:50,000: -, Økonomisk Kartverk: 840m, UTM: 32 V 395808 6920393) has a primary factor of 283m towards its higher parent Midmorgonshornet (962m). The defining saddle (approx. UTM 32 V 397232 6920464) is found between Omnane and Ørnedalshornet. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), the saddle is within the range 555-560m, interpolated to 558m. Norgesglasset (interactive 20m contour map, and per Aug 2006) states a saddle elevation of 557m, which in this case, overrides Økonomisk Kartverk. The 1992 edition of the 1:50,000 map has 831m as mountain height, but this is where the cairn is located, and not the high point.
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.
Dyrkornvatnet - Varden (summer/autumn)
From Ålesund, follow highway E136->E39 towards Åndalsnes. From the E136/E39/Olsvika roundabout near Breivka, follow E39 28Km to the RV650 junction just after Sjøholt. Turn right onto RV650 (Geiranger/Stordal) and continue approx. 12,1Km on this road. At Dyrkorn, just after a tunnel and in a 50-zone, turn left and follow a hairpin road 1,4Km upwards. Turn right onto a gravel road and drive 450m to a junction. Turn left again, but pay toll at a self-served booth before proceeding. The toll for passenger cars was NOK 20,- per Aug 2006. Follow the road 1,4Km upwards, turn right and drive 250m up to Vikastølen where you park.
From the parking, head up to the cabin with a turf roof and locate the forest path behind the cabin. The path is marked (per Aug 2006) by orange paint on trees and rocks. The path initially heads southbound until it meets a forest ridge, and then follows the ridge northwest up to the Vikehornet cairn.
From Vikehornet, the path gets less visible, but you should be able to follow it all the way to Varden. Head westbound for 100m, or so, then turn south through a short section of birch forest before you start ascending towards point 736m. From this point, follow the vague path in the southeast direction up to Varden high point. The high point is not marked, but is obviously higher than the cairn xxm further south.
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