Veirahaldet, Mar 27 2010
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A dinner invitation limited our time for outdoor activities on this beautiful Saturday just before the Easter holiday. Anne Rudsengen and me wanted to ski one of the peaks in the Sunnmørealpane mountain region, and looked around for candidates. Thanks to the ski-lifts at the Bondalseidet skiing centre, access to Veirahaldet is quite easy (during the skiing season) and that's where we decided to go.
For some reason, I strongly dislike being anywhere near skiing centres, but today I would just have to deal with it. Perhaps it has something to do with falling off the chair at one of the Geilo ski-lifts when I was a young lad. Who knows. But in any case, Bondalseidet offers lifts where you can have your feet firmly placed on the ground, all the way up to 870m. The lower lift runs up to 700m, and I managed to talk Anne into skipping the upper lift. "The exercise will do us good", "get into the rhythm early on" - stuff like that.
On the way up from 700m, Anne stated that it felt ridiculous to ski below a ski-lift. I couldn't really blame her...
Above 700m, the ski-lifts were all forgotten about, and we enjoyed the day, the mountain and the stunning scenery around us. A group of skiers were on the way up Blåtinden, where the avalanche had gone days ago. We talked to one in the group at the trailhead, and it was cool to watch them ascend Blåtinden's west ridge. One person was seriously voiding the don't-walk-on-the-cornices rule, but lived to tell about it.
We reached the top of Veirahaldet 12:45pm - 1h:30m after heading out from the lower ski-lift. Anne's WOW! fell nicely into the line of expressions that many visitors have uttered before her. And I could proudly present my favourite peaks in the Sunnmørsalpane mountain range - Vassdalstinden.
More skiers arrived at the summit, and soon Veirahaldet was slightly "crowded". It was time to get going, and I looked very much forward to the descent. Unfortunately, the snow was a bit too soft to allow me to descend in Telemark style, but parallel turns were quite in order too. Anne, being a much better Telemark skier than me, had most likely a very memorable descent from Veirahaldet...
During our trip to Veirahaldet, the dinner got cancelled and we had spare time on our hands. We agreed to take a short bike trip. We rode our bikes from Myrvåg up to Leikongeidet, and the plan was to return the same way. But according to my memory, the trip around Gurskøya wasn't really long. I remember telling Anne that "now it's just a long downhill, and the rest is just flat". She said OK, and off we went.
But the total distance was altogether 47km, which is .. not directly short .. especially after skiing a 1200m mountain, and not bringing anything to eat or drink on the bike trip. Passing Gjerdsvika, I could see that Anne wished this trip would soon come to an end, and I felt a bit guilty for leading her into this.
At Moltustranda, she got a flat tire, and we had no way of fixing it. She parked her bike and started walking while I biked the Moltustranda - Myrvåg distance in record time. I picked her (and then the bike) up just before dark. It turned out to be a long - but memorable outdoors day.
The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 450D + Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM F 4-5.6.
(Full size images)
(Images scaled down.
Wide-angle view from Veirahaldet
Zoom views from Veirahaldet
Misc. pictures from Veirahaldet
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