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A hike to Gullfjellstoppen is never bad. This was my 9th visit in 2004, including 2 visits to S. Gullfjellstoppen and 1 visit to Kuftofjell. The main purpose of the evening hike was to revisit an old route I did up to Ronamanen, and at the same time, have a look at the Pilatusgjelet couloir.
Next to Pilatusgjelet is another couloir, and since it doesn't have a name on the map, I have called it "Pontiusgjelet" for reference on this web page. I'm sure those who like to scramble in these parts of Gullfjellet have a name for it. The sharp ridge defining Pilatusgjelet is known as "Anton Berges egg". Both the ridge and couloirs are serious routes, and are typical winter climbs.
I had brought along the dog, expecting to carry him most of the way. I was very pleased when he walked up to the foot of Ronamanen. I had left the trail from Osavatn to Redningshytten just above lake Svartavatnet, and followed a trail straight eastbound along a stream to the foot of Ronamanen. I put him in the backpack, as I wanted to scramble up a small gully. On top of this gully (where I had to bypass one obstacle), Troll continued walking. I sought towards the center of the Ronamanen west side, as I wanted to scramble the rock upwards. Troll did most of the walking on his own, except for a few airy places where I lifted him from rock to rock.
From Ronamanen cairn, I headed towards the north end of the mountain and took a look at Pilatusgjelet. I parked the dog while I descended into the couloir. The couloir consisted of scree and soil. The small pieces of rock were loose and could not be trusted. A big chunk of snow blocked further access down, but I was able to force my way around by climbing below the snow and the mountain above. Then the ground became very slippery due to the snowmelt, and I didn't want to proceed without an axe. I headed back up. I scrambled down Anton Berges egg a few short pitches, concluding that the rock was loose, and the grass was slippery. In addition, it was steep!
Next stop was "Pontiusgjelet". This couloir had a lot of snow left, and I only walked down the upper part. No reason for further exploration without proper equipment. We continued upwards towards Gullfjellstoppen and Troll spotted a hare. Troll scrambled up the cliffs in a tremendous speed. I had to run to keep up with him. I was never worried about the hare, who stopped now and then to check how the dog was doing. Eventually, the hare disappeared in a different direction and I had to convince Troll that we were not heading that way.
During the quick break on the summit, I was stunned over all the smoke I could see all around. Troll's whining for his lunch-box caught my attention, and I thought nothing more of it. I took a direct route down towards Glamragjelet (not via the lake), crossed over and headed down Gullfjellhalsen. I then took the Kinndalen route back to the trailhead. The hike took 3h:45m and was a very pleasant evening hike. Except for a short pitch below Ronamanen, Troll walked all the way. Not bad for a small dog, 10,5 years old. When I arrived lake Osavatn, the mystery about all the smoke was revealed. The parking was full of people, and there was a giant bonfire. Then it occured to me that it was Sankthansaften (Midsummerday). Please excuse me. I'm a bit slow sometimes...
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