Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal
Eidskyrkja on skis via Skinnviksætra, Mar 29 2009
To the main Eidskyrkja page (maps, route descriptions, other trip reports, etc.)
The goal for this Sunday was Middagshornet (880m) - a sort of anonymous top below the mighty Eidskyrkja massif. I hadn't even given Eidskyrkja one single thought, expecting the wind on the mountain to be way above my comfort zone. When I arrived at Skinvika, I noticed that the toll road to Skinnviksætra seemed to have been plowed. It was a bit strange, though; there was 10cm snow on the ground, but the road was snow-free. At least as far as I could see. In the end, I decided to walk this road and get some vertical meters in return.
Around the next bend, I saw that the road had snow, but it had been plowed. A couple of cars passed me, and I was offered a lift. I declined. The walk was nice. I enjoyed the sun shining through snowy trees, with the mighty mountains on the other side of Austefjorden creating formidable scenery. It was just an outstanding day.
35 minutes after heading out, I arrived at the Skinnviksætra parking. More cars had passed, and I had a quick chat with two girls about to head out. Everyone was apparently heading towards Eidskyrkja. Hell if I would settle for Middagshornet if I could follow tracks up to Eidskyrkja! I had certainly planned to ski this mountain this Easter, and since Easter was around the corner, I might as well do it now.
My only concern was that I hadn't brought any food or water. I emptied the backpack and found a bottle with 0,25L of old water, and a handful nuts at the bottom of a side pocket. "That'll do", I concluded. After all, I was in a very good physical condition, and not a bit tired after the ascent to Skinnviksætra. Only 1132 vertical meters to go. Nothing to it!!
Had I been alone up here, without any tracks ahead of me, I would have settled for Middagshornet. But thanks to 3 guys far, far ahead of me, skiing was easy. It was a warm day, and I didn't have to wear any jacket. The first leg up the valley went by quickly, as I was quite busy checking out Tårnet and Litle-Eidskyrkja.
When I reached the small lake at 900m, I needed more energy. I ate my handful of nuts and drank 0,1L of my precious water. I was gaining ground on the 3 guys ahead of me, and it became a motivational factor to catch up with them. The number of switchbacks up the glacier seemed infinite, but eventually I was looking back on Kollefjellet, as opposed to looking up to it.
I caught up with the other guys at 1380m elevation. The upper part of Eidskyrkja was fogged in, and they didn't intend to head into the fog. I said that "having come this far, I'm not turning around now". Hearing my own words, I realized how stupid they sounded and I quickly added; "...knowing that it's safe to continue", while pointing at my GPS.
I continued up the mountain and reached the summit cairn 3 hours after leaving the trailhead. The distance travelled was approx. 7,7 and the vertical gain was approx. 1412m. And I finished the rest of the water, very grateful about having had any water at all.
The summit was a very, very, very cold place, and my hands were freezing. Eidskyrkja was the only mountain with a cloud on top, which was disappointing, given the potential grand view from this top. To get an impression of the views, look at the panoramas taken from the neighbour mountain Matøskja. I only spent a few minutes on the summit before heading back down.
Descending Eidskyrkja was åsåm. 1000 vertical meters of Telemark skiing in 20cm powder snow with firm snow beneath. The two girls I chatted with at the parking had also turned around, but two more skiers were on their way upwards. I assume at least one of them would make it to the top.
I've never skied so fast before. I fell, smiled, got up again, hurtled on, fell again, etc. It only took 30 minutes back to the Skinnviksætra parking (including falls, pictures and rests). It was a bit disappointing having to walk back down the road. A 1400m descent would have been super-åsåm! No complaints, though. I found water, which tasted heavenly! And the hot-dog in Volda even more so! Once back home, I hiked Huldrehornet (271m), and walked a bit funny on Monday morning...
The first set of pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 450D + Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM F 4-5.6.
(Full size images)
(Images scaled down.
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