Storbua and Sandfjellet are two half-domes, defining the centre of a long mountain range stretching between Stordal and Måndalen. To the northeast, the range continues across Nonstinden, Middagstinden and Skjervan. To the southwest, the range continues across Rollsbotnskorka, Grytavasstinden, Lauparen, Storbotnshornet and Sandegga.
A few interesting satellite peaks belong to the Sandfjellet and Storbua massif. Geitemjølktinden (1361m) to the north, Kvasstinden (1376m) between Sandfjellet and Storbua, Månvasstinden (1468m) southeast of Storbua, and Dyrdalstinden (1371m) south of Månvasstinden. Aksla (approx. 1179m) is a pointy top on Sandfjellet's soutwest ridge.
The Rauma/Stordal kommune border runs across Geitemjølktinden, Sandfjellet, Kvasstinden, Storbua and Månvasstinden. Sandfjellet also belongs to Vestnes kommune. Dyrdalstinden belong to Stordal kommune.
Storbua and Sandfjellet are tops that primarily should be visited on skis (because of the boulder terrain). In winter, the tops are normally visited from Øverøye. In summer, Øvstedalen / Dalskleiva (Tresfjord) is another trailhead which gives quicker access to the mountain. This web page describes a round trip hike from Øvstedalen, across Storbua, Kvasstinden, Sandfjellet and Aksla.
With neighbouring tops such as Rollsbotnskorka, Lauparen, Nonstinden and Middagstinden .. to name a few .. good views are found all around. Nonstinden is perhaps the best viewpoint in this range, but only marginally. You see most of the "important" tops in the Sunnmøre and Romsdal regions, although Romsdalshorn is an exception.
Storbua (Norge 1:50,000: 1498m, Økonomisk Kartverk: -, UTM 32 V 409988 6927862) has a primary factor of 651m, towards the higher parent mountain Nonstinden (1573m). The saddle (approx. UTM 32 V 411845 6927494) is defined as point 847m between Månvasstinden and Trollvasstindan. Ref. Norge 1:50,000 (20m contours), the saddle height is within the range 610-620m, interpolated to 615m (the Lake height is 612m).
Sandfjellet (Norge 1:50,000: 1470m, Økonomisk Kartverk: -, UTM 32 V 408943 6929399) has a primary factor of 160m, towards the higher parent mountain Storbua (1498m). The saddle (approx. UTM 32 V 409416 6928790) is found between Sandfjellet and Kvasstinden. Actually, it might also be between Kvasstinden and Storbua, but one saddle has to be chosen. Ref. Norge 1:50,000 (20m contours), the saddle height is within the range 1300-1320m, interpolated to 1310m.
Kvasstinden (Norge 1:50,000: 1376m, Økonomisk Kartverk: -, UTM 32 V 409775 6928690) has a primary factor of 66m, towards the higher parent mountain Storbua (1498m) The saddle (approx. 32 V 409611 6928409) is found between Storbua and Kvasstinden. Actually, it might also be between Kvasstinden and Sandfjellet, but one saddle has to be chosen. Ref. Norge 1:50,000 (20m contours), the saddle height is within the range 1300-1320m, interpolated to 1310m.
Personal GPS measurement read (as average over a 10-minute period): 1505m on Storbua (on top of the cairn, 1.5m), 1482m on Sandfjellet (on top of the cairn, 2m), and 1376m on Kvasstinden (on top the cairn, 1m). Error margin was +/- 2 meters. Given the GPS reading on Storbua, it would have been interesting to learn how reliable the map heights are, especially when there are no trigonometric points found on Økonomisk Kartverk.
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.
Øvstedalen - Storbua - Sandfjellet roundtrip (summer/autumn)
(all distances are approx. distances)
From Ålesund, follow highway E136->E39 towards Åndalsnes. From the E136/E39/Olsvika roundabout near Breivka, follow E39 47,1Km (passing the place Sjøholt along the way). Turn right towards "Åndalsnes". Drive 7,7Km to Tresfjord, then turn right towards "Øvstedal". Follow this road until road end at 380m elevation. Pay toll (NOK 20,- per June 2007) at a self served toll booth down in the valley. Make sure you lock a gate down in the valley. Sheep and horses are up in the hillside.
The Aksla - Sandfjellet - Kvasstinden - Storbua route
From the trailhead in Dalskleiva, follow a visible and marked route up to Kleiva pass (633m) by Lake Kleivvatnet (612m). Turn left (northeast) and follow a marked (red paint) path up Sandfjellet's southwest ridge. The marking stops after a while, but the direction should be obvious. At 1080m, the terrain gets rougher. Scramble the ridge crest (easy class 3) up to the Aksla cairn. One can possibly scramble the slabs up to the top using friction, but the ridge crest is safer, with good handholds. A head for heights is a requirement here. If you don't have it, then ascend your descent route (read on..)
From Aksla, the ridge is narrow. After some minor scrambling (class 2+), you walk upright all the way to Sandfjellet (class 2). Sandfjellet's summit cairn is located in airy surroundings, but you can easily reach it on the left-hand side. From Sandfjellet, follow easy small boulder terrain towards Kvasstinden. The Kvasstinden summit cairn is also found on an airy spot, but there are no problems involved.
Continue along the ridge crest towards Storbua. The boulder gets larger and walking is more cumbersome. Storbua's cairn is located on the east side of the large summit plateau. Choose your descent route towards the "bowl" between Storbua and Sandfjellet. Maintain your vertical gain as you head over to Sandfjellet's southwest ridge (your ascent route) and join it at approx. 840m elevation. Continue descending your ascent route.
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