Norwegian Mountains

Ulriken (a rough route), Apr 22 2005

The purpose of this trip was to find a route from Svartediket to the lower part of the Ulrikseggen ridge. The ridge is a fun route (path), but I am not crazy about walking around the dam just to get onto this path. From Svartediket, I had to cross a closed zone (construction area) before I was able to descend down to a boulder field by Svartediket. From here, I could see that there was no way of walking further along the dam. As I started to ascend, I noticed I was on the same route as back in March 2004, when I followed a steep and exposed route (off-trail) directly up to the top of Ulrikseggen. That route is described here.

Instead of following the same route, I decided to follow a straight line which would lead me closer to the tower. The lower forest is steep, but not very exposed. It's difficult to pinpoint the route exactly on a picture, but I crossed a large boulder field, free of trees. I had view towards the city here. After this boulder field, I stumbled onto a narrow gully which turned into a wall of slabs with steps. As I was carrying my dachshund Troll, I did not have the required balance to climb directly on the slabs. Instead I used the ice-axe to climb up the grass next to the slabs. It was equally steep, but I got better grips with the ice-axe. Without the axe, the route would have been very difficult.

The terrain got steeper by the minute and after a while I joined a distinct couloir that stretches a few hundred vertical meters (and is easily seen from the city). My route and the couloir merged and I was forced into a narrow corridor which had a dead end. For a small person, it might be possible to "escape" through a hole between some huge, slippery rocks. A better alternative is to climb a step to the left. This step is exposed, but technically easy (US class 3). I did not risk climbing with the dog in the backpack (he might have fallen out) and wasn't able to perform the usual "get a grip with the left hand and swing him across with the right", so I had to shove him up using a combination of teeth, head and hands. The dog has great patience, and isn't a stranger when it comes to awkward situations.

With the dog, this was a "one-way" route, and I climbed it in advance to be sure there weren't any further problems. Before we reached Hestedalen valley below the Ulrikseggen ridge, we topped out over the large couloir on a very narrow ridge. Very cool terrain. The rest of the route up to the ridge was trivial. We then hiked back down to Svartediket via Bjørndalen - this time on a trail where normal people walk...

1. Rough outline of the route (237KB) 2. Passing a construction area (230KB) 3. Dead end by Svartediket (198KB) 4. Crossing a boulder field (281KB) 5. Following this narrow gully (257KB) 6. Steep and exposed slabs (209KB) 7. I had to cross the slabs from time to time (225KB) 8. Falling is a no-no (241KB) 9. Joining up with a long couloir (243KB) 10. OK, go to plan B (155KB) 11. Above the ugliest spot (364KB) 12. View down to the city (156KB) 13. Ulrikseggen ridge (218KB) 14. Ulrikseggen ridge (227KB) 15. The tower comes into view (147KB) 16. Scrambling Ulrikseggen (88KB) 17. The route up to Ulrikseggen (165KB) 18. The goal is near (166KB) 19. Moon above Ulriken (85KB) 20. Sunset seen from Ulriken (82KB)

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