Sjurvarden, Melen and Bollen are three independent tops located on a long plateau in the Fræna/Eide region, 21-26Km north/northeast of Molde. Stemhesten is a lower top, connected to this plateau. The Fræna/Eide kommune border runs across Melen and Bollen, while Sjurvarden and Stemshesten belongs to Fræna kommune.
The terrain on this plateau is not at all typical for Norwegian mountains. The forest doesn't run high (a typical coastal consequence) and the plateau looks very much like the plateaus on Gurskøya, Hareidlandet and Sula. One's thoughts go towards the British coastal regions.
The are (of course) several ways to get to the mountains. Melen is frequently visited from Eide. This page will describe access from (near) Farstad and up Rødalsdalen. You arrive the plateau between Sjurvarden and Melen. Then you can go for either, or both.
The views from these tops aren't bad, but the Talstadhesten - Sandnestindan/Trolltindan range block most of your views towards the south.
Melen (Norge 1:50,000: 768m, Økonomisk Kartverk: Highest contour is 768,06m, UTM 32 V 410688 6981140) has a primary factor of 705m, towards the higher parent mountain Trolltindan (832m). The saddle (approx. UTM 32 V 410576 6976979) is found near a road junction, east of Lake Frelsvatnet. Ref. Norge 1:50,000 (20m contours), the saddle height is is within the range 60-65m, interpolated to 63m.
Sjurvarden (Norge 1:50,000: 667, Økonomisk Kartverk: Highest contour is 666,84m, UTM 32 V 408249 6983899) has a primary factor of 194m, towards the higher parent mountain Melen (768m). The saddle (approx. UTM 32 V 409708 6982821) is found between the two tops, SE of Skottenvarden. Ref. Norge 1:50,000 (20m contours), the saddle height is within the range 470-475m, interpolated to 473m.
Personal GPS measurements read 668m on Sjurvarden and 768m on Melen. Both waypoints were taken on the ground, averaging over a couple of minutes.
Google's interactive map. You can zoom, pan and click on the markers.
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.
Rødalsdalen - Melen - Sjurvarden (summer/autumn)
(all distances are approx. distances)
From the city of Molde (E39/RV662 junction), head westbound 4,3Km on E39 until you see the "Eide/Elnesvågen" sign.
Turn left by the "Eide/Elnesvågen" sign. After 6Km, you pass a served toll station (NOK 15,- for passenger cars per May 2007). 12,2Km after you left E39, you enter a roundabout (after having passed Sylteosen). Follow sign towards Elnesvågen.
After 6,2Km, shortly after having passed Elnesvågen, turn right onto RV663 (Farstad). Follow this road 15,2Km. Locate a gravel road going up to your right. You should see a wooden sign with no text on it. At least there was no text per May 2007. Follow the gravel road, first up to some houses, then left towards the trailhead, which is 650m from the main road.
Common for Melen and Sjurvarden:
From the trailhead, follow a tractor road until you see the Bjørnerem sign. Take a forest path to your right and follow this up through Rødalsdalen valley. At approx. 420m elevation, you reach the Melen/Sjurvarden trailsign.
Locate a low rock fence up to the right behind the trailsign. Follow this fence (a short section has no fence) all the way to the top, which is marked by a summit cairn. Easy terrain.
From the trail fork, go left and head up the hill. You'll pass the remarkable Olavsbu stone hut (made by Olav Hansen), descend slightly, and then ascend the final hill to Sjurvarden. The summit cairn is a continuation of a cliff. Very cool.
Both tops have canisters that may contain a visitor register.
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