Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal
Meraftafjellet through the forest, Mar 1 2008
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forced me to stay in the local region this Saturday. I decided to visit Meraftafjellet, and given the experiences made on the walk to Høgekubben the day before, I knew I would be in for a struggle in the snow.
I couldn't make up my mind about the route. At first, I considered hiking from Magerholm. Then I drove to Glomset, which had snow along the road. I ended up driving back to the forest road above Rogneneset. I started out here on my very first trip to Meraftafjellet, on New Year's Eve in 2005. Back then, I left the forest road and headed off-trail through an inconvenient forest, and ended up on the ridge route from Glomet. I descended via Heggebakksætra, so if I didn't want to retrace those steps, I had to think of something else.
As I headed up the forest road, I noticed a distinct ridge (Kopphaugen, ØK) and I decided to follow it. I put my dog Troll in the backpack and tasted the sweet feeling I get when I head into unknown terrain.
I found a vague path on the ridge, frequently traveled by deer by the looks of tracks and poo. This ridge would surely lead me to Meraftafjellet's east ridge, and as such, I wasn't really on a new adventure. The steep forest below Meraftafjellet looked interesting, and I wanted to be there instead. Once the terrain allowed for it, I got off the ridge, traversed the valley basin and headed up the forest.
was not as steep as I had anticipated. Passing the 300m contour, I noticed a marked path that I suspect went between Gudmundsetsætra and Heggebakksætra. I scared up numerous big birds, and felt that I had deer all around.
The snow was getting deeper and deeper, and I traded a small meadow-crossing-nightmare for a steep scramble up a cliff. More and more, I found myself with snow up to my waist, and a couple of times I tumbled backwards, on top of the dog. The walk was now quite exhausting, but I enjoyed it a lot. I had just passed the point where I knew this route would take me to the top, and I could enjoy focusing on the top rather than worrying about having to turn around.
1 hour and 40 minutes after leaving the trailhead, I reached the top. Troll walked the last bit, but the rotten snow didn't allow him to enjoy it. The nice weather we had earlier in the day was disappearing. All the mountains were now draped in fog or snowshowers. My thoughts went to everyone at an higher elevation.
Being uplifted after having "conquered" this forest, I went for a direct descent. I aimed for a small hump called Rysdalshaugen (404m, ØK) and descended in parallel to my ascent route. This route was trivial, without any type of obstacle along the way. The descent was swift. It only took 30 minutes from I left the summit ridge and until I was back at the car, 13:48PM. Troll walked the forest road, of course, but he can't claim physical exhaustion from this Saturday.
See also pictures from snow hike to Meraftafjellet, Apr 4 2007.
Slideshow, all pics on this page:
Up the forest road
Up the forest
Wide-angle view from Meraftafjellet
Limited 360 deg. 50mm view from Meraftafjellet
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