Kyrkjetaket (The Church Roof) is one of Norway's finest mountains for Telemark skiing, offering roughly 1000m descent from the summit. The mountain is located on the north side of Grøvdalen valley. The floor of this valley is at the eastern end of Isfjorden, one of the Romsdalsfjorden arms. The Rauma/Nesset kommune border runs across the summit.
The normal ascent route runs from Ytre Kavli, across Steinberget and up the southwest ridge. Descent directly down to Kavlisetra (490m) and then on forest road south of Steinberget. A more advanced approach is a roundtrip across Klauva S., Klauva and Kyrkjetaket. At least the ascent up to Kyrkjetaket will have to be done with the skis on your back.
In addition to the fine skiing this mountain has to offer, the views are also worth all the effort you put into this ascent. Towards the south, you can enjoy the splendid rise of Vengedalstindane, Romsdalshorn and Trolltindane, to name a few. Towards the southeast, you may recognise Juratind and Hoemtindan, as well as Skjorta towards the northeast. Plus hundreds of other fine peaks in the nearby regions.
Kyrkjetaket (M711: 1439m, Ø.K.: -, UTM 32 V 443890 6942789) has a primary factor of 209m towards the higher parent mountain Klauva (1512m). The defining saddle (approx. UTM 32 V 443506 6943677) is found along the ridge between the two tops. Ref. the M711 map (20m contours), the saddle is within the range 1220-1240m, interpolated to 1230m.
Averaged over 5 minutes, my GPS reported 1442m on top of the cairn. The summit waypoint was 27m north of the 1439m point on the Garmin GPS map, and outside the 1420m contour.
Notes: Class ratings are in reference to YDS. Click here for more information.
The trails described below are not necessarily the *easiest* trails to this mountain.
Ytre Kavli - Kyrkjetaket roundtrip (winter)
From Åndalsnes, follow highway RV64 eastbound (Molde) to the place Isfjorden. Turn right towards "Liabygda" and follow this road approx. 1,2Km. Turn right towards "Dalsbygda" and drive 1,5Km before you turn left on a smaller road marked "Måvassbu". Drive 700m until the road makes a sharp left turn. Find parking here (be early on sunny winter week-ends!). You will also see trailsign towards "Måsvassbu".
Follow the forest road (northbound) and later on path towards Loftskarsetra. Turn eastbound onto the ridge leading to Steinberget when practical. Head across Steinberget and up Kyrkjetaket's southwest ridge to the summit cairn. Be very careful on the small summit. Accidents have happened here. Be also very observing regarding cornices to your left as you head up the ridge and cornices facing north on the summit.
Enjoy the 1000m descent down to Kavlisetra after having evaluated avalanche conditions (the hill is steep enough). In addition, cornices from the southwest ridge break and fall into the west part of the descent route. Skiers normally don't ski all the way down to the cabins, but maintain the vertical gain in the forest below Steinberget, until they join the forest road along the Heiaelva river. Further down in the forest, you join your ascent route.
This Easter was to be spent with my friend Bjørn Eirik Hanssen, previous trip mate to Meneseggen, Store Skagastølstind and Opptakshaugane. Bjørn had invited me to stay at NTK's hut in Vengedalen. I had never been to Åndalsnes or Romsdalen, and the 2 hour drive from Ålesund was one of the best car drives I've ever had. Stunning landscape all around. Bjørn and I met in Åndalsnes Wednesday evening and drove up to the NTK hut.
There were 4 other climbers staying in the hut, and Bjørn and I shared the 4-bed bedroom. The view was outstanding, with Vengetindane above us, Romsdalhorn at the far side of Vengedalen and the Klauva-Kyrkjetaket-Kjøvskartinden massif on the other side of Grøvdalen.
The weather forecast promised unstable weather, but the plan was still Juratind the following day. The plans did however change, as other team members weren't able to join as agreed, so Bjørn and I decided to get the Easter started by skiing Kyrkjetaket instead.
Thursday morning (Apr 13) wasn't bad, but it was apparent that it would be a windy day in the mountains. We drove to the Ytre Kavli trailhead and would have had problems finding parking, had we come later. We left the trailhead 10:25PM and Bjørn soon faced back problems. These back problems had haunted him lately, but he got well enough to decide to take the long drive from Oslo. But now he had a set-back. We took it slow and easy up to Steinberget, yet gaining ground on the 6 skiers ahead of us.
The wind on Steinberget was strong. Gloves and other loose items had to cared for, or they would vanish into the big sky. It was a fairly cold place as well, and besides, the flat light would surely lower the quality of the spectacular descent that this mountain had to offer.
I arrived the top 14:10PM, a little ahead of Bjørn. 4 skiers were heading down at the same time, and I had the summit all to myself. I was extremely careful and stayed well away from the overhanging cornices even if it was tempting to get a good look down on the Klauva - Kyrkjetaket ridge. Bjørn and two other skiers soon arrived and it felt good to be more than 1400m above sea level.
I cannot admit I was looking forward to descend this mountain. The long and steep hill did not offer favorable skiing conditions in the upper part and the contours were hard to see. As I headed down the mountain, I practially saw nothing, except for the valley, 1000m below. Given the fact that I did not have the right skiing equipment for descent under these conditions, Kyrkjetaket will never make it to my top-10 list of ski-trips.
The hillside above Kavlisetra had softer snow, and skiing got slightly easier. The best part of the ski-trip was actually the forest road from Kavlisetra to Ytre Kavli, where we could keep full speed. The plans for an afternoon ski-trip was cancelled, as it was imperative that Bjørn's back got better. Real shitty weather sat in later in the afternoon, and it was a very open question how the next day would be.
Time spent with the other climbers at the hut was very valuable. In addition to being very nice people, I learned more about routes to the Romsdal mountains in a few hours than I could ever hope for.
Next day: Blånebba.
Ålesund - Vengedalen pictures, Apr 12
To Kyrkjetaket, Apr 13 2006
50mm panorama from Kyrkjetaket
Wide-angle panorama from Kyrkjetaket, 2 parts
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