Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal
Skardsettinden is the northwestern top on the large Skalten mountain, located north of Frænfjorden. Steep cliffs that rise up from the sea are a common sight along the Romsdal and Nordmøre coastline, but they have all more gentle sides that one can ascend. Skardsettinden has no gentle sides, but it can be scrambled from the northwest by experienced hikers who has a head for heights. The steep north, east and south faces attracts climbers, and paragliders are known to fly off this mountain.
There is no established path up the mountain. Those who enjoy visiting this mountain have various routes up through the forest, but they all join at the base of the summit block. The summit block has a couloir facing west - Geitaslågå. The easiest route seem to come from the northwest, traverse this couloir and reach the summit through the ridge south of the Geitaslågå. A more or less visible path can be followed from the base of the summit block. This path leads to sections which are more complicated than necessary, which may suggest that there might have been fixed ropes. Per May 2008, there were no fixed ropes on this route.
The overall terrain on the summit block is YDS 2+ (move with caution), but two points before Geitaslågå has been rated YDS 4 on this site. The move from Geitaslågå onto the ridge leading to the top has been rated YDS 3. Two of these points are exposed (long fall). If you feel slightly dizzy on mountains such as Slogen and Jakta, you should consider not heading up this mountain alone. See the route description section below for further details.
Skardsettinden (Norge 1:50,000: -, Økonomisk Kartverk: 554m, UTM 32 V 402909 6975512) has a primary factor of 91 towards the higher parent mountain Skalten (682m). The defining saddle (approx. UTM 32 V 402902 6975452) is found just south of Skardsettinden. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), the saddle is defined through a fixed point - 463m.
Personal GPS measurement on Skardsettinden read 555m (2,7m error margin) as average over 5 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.
(all distances are approx. distances)
From the city of Molde, follow highway E39 eastbound to the "Eide/Elnesvågen" junction (4,1Km from the roundabout near the Vestnes-Molde ferry). Turn left and follow RV64, pass the Tussen tunnel and pay toll on the other side (NOK 15,- for passenger cars per May 2008) and continue to Sylteosen (11,6Km) where you turn left in the "Bud/Eide/Elnesvågen" junction. Follow highway RV663 15,5Km and turn right towards "Hustad". Drive 5,1Km until you have a farm on your left-hand side and a cabin to your right. This is just after the 60 km/h zone begins. Find parking where appropriate.
Note: The normal starting point may be Bergtun or Fjelltun, 700-1200m before the starting point described above. The parking opportunities are better.
Up the forest
Go to the cabin on the other side of the road and enter the forest. The forest is easier than it looks, and there are no difficult sections. Don't follow deer tracks, as they go sideways. Aim for a distinct grassy field below a steep cliff. Pass the cliff to the right. The terrain is much steeper now, but the birch forest will give you the necessary handholds and protection. Maintain your direction towards the summit block, and you will sooner or later cross a visible path that comes up from your right. Switchback between the cliffbands until you reach the summit block entry point.
Ascend (YDS 2+) the summit block at the obvious place (also marked by red paint) and follow a narrow ledge westbound (airy). An easy forest section follows until you reach a more difficult point (YDS 4). This point is easily bypassed by going around on the right-hand side. Rising above the birch forest, you see the Geitaslågå couloir rise ahead of you. Another climbing point follows (YDS 4). There is an easier option for descent to your right. The route now turns slightly northbound before it heads towards Geitaslågå. The northbound pitch (YDS 2+) is airy, but offers a less exposed alternative upon descent. Next, you reach a cairn and look into the Geitaslågå couloir.
To the top
The path takes you into the couloir and if you continue upwards, the couloir transforms to a narrow gully. The path leads you into this gully, but it is far from easy to proceed from here. The crux point is harder than normal YDS 4, and you risk falling longer than you climbed. The slab section to your right offer easier climbing in the beginning, but this section quickly gets very exposed and the handholds get worse the higher you go.
Instead of pursuing the gully, head back down to the point where you entered the centre of the couloir, and follow a moss route that takes you up to the ridge. The moss is loose, so caution is mandatory. This is easy climbing - YDS 3. Once on the ridge (next to a cairn), you're "home free". Follow the ridge up to the top, which is marked by a cairn and a canister holding the visitor register.
Descend your ascent route. It pays off to remember places where the path changes direction.
Pictures and Trip reports: