Saksa seen from Skårasalen
Saksa ("The Scissors", and it looks just like that when viewed from the place Øye) is located above the place Urke by the beautiful Hjørundfjorden and Norangsfjorden. The peak is among the lower peaks that surround Hjørundfjorden, and as the peak is snow-free already June, it is among the more popular peaks.
Saksa has 3 tops. A path takes you safely up to the south summit. The descent to the col (the scissors' pivot point) between the south and the center top is airy, but easily scrambled (YDS class 3 at one point). In spring, the remaining snow in the col can be razor sharp. Ice-axe and crampons is recommended.
Moving on to the north top (the highest) is easy. A class 2+ point is the only place where your hands come into use. If you don't have a head for heights, don't try the route over to the highest top. The views are just as nice from the south top.
Saksa is foremost a tremendous viewpoint, where you can view nearly all of the central Hjørundfjorden and Norangsfjorden peaks. Slogen stand out among the very finest of peaks. Skårasalen dominates on the other side of Hjørundfjorden. As do Dalegubben, before you set your eyes on Molladalstindane further north. Hornindalsrokken is barely seen from here, but from north to east, you have a front row seat towards the Regndalstindane massif. It is truly a view you will never forget as long as you live.
Saksa connects to Regndalstindane via Breidfonnhornet and Elsandtinden. While it seems fairly easy to reach Breidfonnhornet, Elsandtindane is advanced mountaineering. For the regular visitor, the trip ends at Saksa or Breidfonnhornet.
Saksa (M711: 1073m, Ø.K.: 1072,94m, UTM 32 V 372698 6902306) has a primary factor of 123m towards the higher parent mountain Breidfonnhornet (1084m). The defining saddle (approx. 32 V 372884 6902636) is found between the tops.. Ref. the 1:50,000 map (20m contours), the saddle is within the range 940-960m, interpolated to 950m.
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.
Urke - Saksa (summer/autumn)
From Ålesund, follow highway E39 towards Bergen, and then highway RV60 (Stranda) to the Magerholm - Ørsneset ferry. This ferry runs quite often; every 20 minutes in the busy hours of the day. From Ørsneset, drive RV60 to Stranda (34,3Km). Turn southbound (right) and continue on RV60 to the Norangsdal junction (30,8Km). Make sure you turn right towards Stryn when you pass Hellesylt. Drive Norangsdalen to the grocery store in Urke (23,1Km). Just before Urke, you pass the famous Hotel Union at Øye. Stop by and a take a look into Norwegian mountaineering history.
From the grocery store at Urke, follow a forest road southwest and then nortbound until you are close to a stream (approx. 650m from the trailhead). Turn west onto a forest path that takes you to a meadow north of the Leknesnakken hill. The path continues northwest until it switches to northeast at 540m elevation. Chances are that you pass running water (to your left) at 630m elevation. The local top to your right is also a good viewpoint, so this may be a good place to rest.
The rest of the route is mixed rough path and boulder. The route is straight up (!), northbound. When you are below the south top, stay left and find a convenient route up the south top's west ridge. You can also approach the south top from the east, but this is a more *slightly* awkward route, as you run into small sections of slab rock which can be slippery. The south top has a white container for a summit logbook.
Descend north on grassy ledges until you stand above the ridge towards the center top. Scramble down an exposed step (class 3) and proceed down the ridge to the col (class 2+). This col (pass) is exposed when there is remaining snow. Continue up the hill to the center top and descend an easy step (class 2+) before you cross the ridge to the north top. The north top is marked by a trigonometric point.
|My colleagues Torill and Einar had decided to join Stranda Turlag for a this trip
to Saksa. It had been a while since the last hike with Torill, and this was also a
good opportunity to get familiar with the east side of Hjørundfjorden. I had never
been to Øye or Urke, and I had only watched Slogen from miles away. And besides,
I had never attended a Turlag trip (except for a ski-trip with Bergen Turlag Fjellsportgruppen).
Torill and I took the 07:20AM ferry from Magerholm and joined Einar at his cabin on Strandafjellet (quite a place, by the way). Along came Grete and her flatcoated retriever Emma. As I had also brought my dog Troll, the group now counted 6 heads and 16 feet. We met others participating the Turlag trip in Stranda and then we headed towards Urke. We stopped by Lygnstølvatnet in Norangsdalen valley and took a look at the results of the 1908 rock-slide (see article to the right).
On May 26th 1908 a rock-slide came down from the mountain Keipen on the south side in the valley. The slide was so large that it made a rock-wall across the valley and thereby created a dam which later became this lake. Before the rock-slide, there was a "seter" or a mountain dairy farm where the lake is.
The "seter" had nine "Sel" or small rock huts where the milkmaids stayed overnight. The old road through Norangsdalen, a rock fence with a gate and the remains from hut-foundation can still be seen on the bottom of the lake. By the road further to the west, you may see nature's own monument over the rock-slide; the rock Gangerolvsteinen.
Source: Information poster by Lyngstølvatnet.
Confusing instructions sent us to the wrong trailhead, and we arrived the correct trailhead just to see the group leaving from Urke 10:25AM. We soon caught up with the rest of the group and took the lead. I was carrying Troll due to the amount of people (the group counted 31, not including dogs). If he set his mind to keeping the group together, it would have been a mess on the narrow path. Besides, he could surely benefit from the backpack today. We "warmed up" the day before with a 6-hour traverse across three 1000m mountains in the Ørsta region the day before. My feet were sore and I guess his were as well.
To the south top
On the way up the forest, we received several complaints about moving too fast. I was carrying an 8Kg dog, and walking as slow as I possibly could. The complaints annoyed me. The problem was NOT that we moved too fast, but because people pause on the narrow path to drink water, remove clothes, take pictures, etc. This is an undisputed fact in a group of this size and is best solved by stopping at regular intervals and drop the kindergarden mentality. A gap emerged in the long line of hikers. Probably because of the heat and the steep forest, the complaints faded and from there on, the hike was nothing but enjoyable.
We took a rest at a fine viewpoint with running water at 630m elevation. The folks in the front group were all nice people and there was a good atmosphere. The others must have paused further down because they didn't show up until we started to head up the final section of the mountain. This mountainside was a real "killer". It was a tremendously hot day and the mountainside was steep. The boulder didn't make it any easier. We approached the summit from the southeast, but should have ascended from the southwest. The final yards weren't difficult, but we found ourselves in steep and awkward terrain. A fall would have been painful.
Our group reached the south top 13:10PM. The others followed in smaller groups during the next half hour. The view was truly awesome, but as the The Turlag trip ended on the south top, the hike wasn't "complete". We were of course free to visit the main top at our own risk. I went down and took a look at the route ahead. It didn't look difficult, but the narrow snowy ridge in the col didn't look very tempting. I didn't want to be the only one heading across, so I went back up and joined the others.
To the north top
A few minutes later, one of the other guys decided to head across. We didn't notice him until he was on the way up the center top, moving light and swiftly. When I saw him reach the main top, I decided to follow. On the way down to the col, I turned around and noticed 3 others following. Altogether, approx. 10 out of 31 decided to go for the north top.
The route was technically easy, but exposed. I was very focused when crossing the snowy col. A fall here would have ended in disaster in either direction. The rest of the route up to the north top was trivial, and I felt that the day was just perfect when I reached the top 13:45PM. On my way down, I met Torill and Einar who had decided that it was unbearable to stay behind. I was quite impressed with Torill, as I suspected that this terrain would be on the border of her "comfort zone". But they both moved swiftly down the airy ridge and across the col. While we were "hopping" between the tops, Grete was looking after Emma and Troll, both fairly exhausted from the heat.
We headed down a bit before the others and followed a better route down from the south top. After a break of water at the place we stopped on the way upwards, we continued downwards and reached Urke 16:10PM. We stopped by Hotel Union hoping we could get something to eat. We arrived between lunch and dinner, but they quickly(!) managed to serve us tasteful sandwiches. Complements to the hotel for their extra service on a busy Sunday. I was back in Ålesund 12,5 hours after leaving. A great day in the mountains.
View from Einar's place on Strandafjellet
To Saksa's south top
360 deg. wide-angle panorama
Other panoramas from Saksa's south top
Towards the north top
Torill and Einar's traverse to and from the high point
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
westcoastpeaks.com Other Møre & Romsdal mountains Other Norwegian mountains