Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal
Spjelkavikfjellet via Nevregylet, Dec 26 2007
Back to the main Uksenøya page
Trip Report, Dec 26 2007
This hike had a nerve, and I wonder why I don't do trips like this more often. I had to walk the dog, and the weather was so-and-so. Dachshunds don't particularly enjoy mud, so I decided to find him a gravel road. The road to Langevatnet seemed proper. The problem, however, was that I would die of boredom until we reached the lake. So I decided to try a new route up.
First, steep forest
From the trailhead by Brusdalsvatnet, I headed directly into the forest. After some minutes, a very distinct forest ridge appeared high above me. It looked steep. Very steep. I was torn between seeking the west end of the ridge - the lesser steep part - and taking the ridge head on. Wisdom vs. curiosity. The latter won.
I tried to keep the straighest "line" possible, and the ice-axe was a very good friend indeed. It would have been difficult to ascend this ridge without it. I was less acrobatic with Troll in the backpack, so to speak. Reaching the top of the ridge, my first thought was; I don't want to descend this route!
Then, a steep couloir
Ahead of me was yet another ridge (even steeper), and behind, an icy mountain. In between, there was a couloir, while I couldn't see it yet. Nothing won yet, but nothing lost either. The ridge was very steep and partly icy. When I got the couloir in view, it didn't look too bad, but I couldn't picture it end in anything but a steep drop. So I decided to take on the mountain side.
That did not work out well. I tried every possible route for a 100m leg westbound, but decided to give it up. In summer, this wouldn't have been difficult at all, but here and now, I couldn't make a move without trusting my life with the ice-axe. An inner voice told me; please apply wisdom.
It was soon 14:00 hours, and since I didn't want to descend my ascent route, AND didn't know if I would run into further situations, I would have to allow some time for descent before it got too dark. I did have a flashlight, but you know..
I headed back to the couloir and figured I had time to at least see the top of it. The couloir only called for some light scrambling, and wasn't anywhere near as exposed as the mountain side. On the top of the couloir, I found a neat little snowy ledge, and I wondered; now what?
Ahead of me was a small hump. The terrain on the far side could either let me pass or force me to turn back around. I felt the nerve. That good nerve you get when all of the answers are not given. I really, really, really wanted to top out on the mountain, but I had a strong feeling that I would have to turn back around.
I ascended the hump, and I was up. Man, that was a sweeet feeling..
Now, walking the dog
I reached Spjelkavikfjellet's eastern point 14:17PM, 1h:20m after leaving the trailhead. It was a bit windy up here, and it was snowing too. The snow was however perfect for Troll. He ran around on the snow and seemed to have the time of his life.
We had a splendid walk back to the road to Langevatnet, but the road was all ice. Why didn't we stay in the forest? On the way down, I met a man and his Shepherd dog, both wearing reflex vests. He asked me I was the last one on the mountain. Huh? Was I the owner of the blue convertible car? Yeah.... He found that to be good news and wished me a safe trip back down. What was THAT all about? A Red Cross guy on patrol? On the road to Langevatnet?
In any case, this episode made me ponder about responsibility. How responsible was it to head up this icy mountain, without anyone knowing? Theoretically, on a scale from 1-10, 1 I guess. So by definition, I'm irresponsible. OTOH, I don't agree, but how can I argue my case?
C. Dundee said it best; "no worries, mate".
Slideshow, all pics on this page:
Pictures from the Dec 26 2007 hike:
Lack of daylight suggested I shouldn't have taken pictures, but it's better with a few bad ones, than none at all