Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal
Melen & Oterfjellet ski-trip, Mar 12 2006
Back to the main Melen/Oterfjellet page for maps and information.
I had bad conscience about not going to a higher mountain this beautiful Sunday,
but I really wanted to visit Melen, which I can see from my home. A couple of blisters from
yesterday's trip to Høgsvora, and sore shoulders from
carrying the dog all winter, may have been influencing factors.
In any case, I was going to include Oterfjellet on the trip, so the outcome would
be quite good. I started out from the Reset trailhead 09:10AM. A snow-scooter had broken
trail all the way to Vatneskardet. Just like on Vaksvikfjellet (the day before), I had a feeling that
this area would get crowded during the day.
Even with the broken trail, my dog "Troll" wanted to enjoy the ascent in the backpack.
I had decided to go for Oterfjellet first, being furthest away. I guess there was some
psychology behind this decision. Skiing up the ridge was marginal, as there were rocks all
over the place, and there was hardly any snow left. Skiing conditions improved on the final
hill, and 10:20AM, I was standing on top of Oterfjellet. I signed the visitor's register and noticed
that the last (registered) visitor had been here Oct 16 2005 (!) That was almost 6 months ago,
and I found that a bit surprising.
I love this area. Dramatic landscape all around. It doesn't matter how "insignificant" a
top gets around here. The views are nevertheless awesome. I looped three times around the
summit area - a 100x50m square. First, with the wide-angle lens, then with the 50mm lens
and finally with the zoom lens. There was clearly the opportunity for getting by with one
loop, but old habits die hard. After serious complaints from the dog (no lunch), we moved out.
I should have taken the skis off when I reached the ridge, as walking would have been faster.
I still hadn't seen a soul around, but now a snow scooter broke the silence. I watched
it for a while, to see if they were playing around or breaking trail. It was hard to tell,
but I was relieved when they eventually left the area.
Back on the meadow, I let Troll out, and he walked to the foothills of Melen. Melen was full of
rocks, and skiing would be marginal here as well. It was steep, but not that steep. I figured I
could ski down this mountain, and it would be much easier ascending it. Halfway up the mountain,
I ran into tracks that came directly from Reset. I arrived the top 11:55AM and signed the visitor's
register. A woman had been up here the day before, and it was probably her tracks in the snow.
Melen summit was an interesting place. A long, narrow and exposed ridge stretched in the direction
of Moldefjorden. From what I could see, it looked like a doable and interesting ridge walk,
and made a mental note that I should consider an ascent up this ridge one summer's day.
Troll would earn his lunch on the way back to Reset and I gave him a lunch-box while taking pictures.
A couple of skiers had found their way into the area.
There were few tracks towards Frostadtinden, no one is visiting Oterfjellet and Melen didn't offer
skiing conditions. That only left Vatneskardet as the last option, a very short trip from Reset.
This area puzzled me. On my way down Melen, more and more people was heading up from Reset.
I should have stopped and asked where they all were going.
Descending Melen wasn't fun at all. I decided to put on the skins as ski-protection. This proved
to be a good idea, because there were only pieces left of one of the skins when I arrived the cabin
below the mountain. Troll was happy to run again, and we were back at the trailhead 12:55PM.
The parking was full of cars. A senior lady approached me BEFORE I reached the parking and
asked if I was on my way out. I asked if there was time to take the skis off, but she didn't
catch the "hidden message". As I drove away, I noticed in my mirror that a young and aspiring
gentleman (with a fine BMW) snatched the parking space right in front of the senior lady.