Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal

Ådalstinden from Seljebotn, Dec 22 2007

This route is described on the Ådalstinden main page


The route from Seljebotn

The route from Seljebotn
(Click for larger image)

A good combination is ..

an off-duty Saturday with stunning weather. I had been "crawling" around in the lowlands for far too long. It was time to rise a bit higher now that my good neighbour Pål would look after my dog. I had been wanting to visit Ådalstinden for quite some time now, and to get more information about the mountain, I called Hildegunn who has been on the mountain a number of times (Hildegunn was part of the group ascending Store Brekketind last summer). Not only did Hildegunn describe the route (from Seljebotn), she wanted to come along too.

Svein Myhre ( was also looking around for a mountain to ski this Saturday. We emailed the night before and Svein told me that he would start earlier and ski a different route. He had done the normal route from Seljebotn earlier and sought a variation. He wrote that we would probably meet on the mountain, but as I assumed he would be skiing from the north, I figured the chance was quite slim.

This Saturday ..

was a cold one. Generally, the temperature was around -5/6 degrees C., with some highs (-9) and lows (-1) as I drove from Ålesund to Seljebotn 09:50AM. I am always very focused while driving on winter mornings, as some parts of this region are known to have exceptionally icy roads. I met Hildegunn and her dog Balder at Seljebotn 10:00AM, and we were on our way 10:15AM.

Hildegunn had "lightweight" gear - ordinary skiing boots and mountain skis. After the miserable descent from Urdfjellet one week earlier, I chose to wear plastic boots and wider skis. No snow had fallen the last week, and given the temperature, I expected the snow to be hard in the shade and treacherous where the sun reached.

Awkward forest

The lower birch forest was dense. The type of forest where you use your hands instead of poles upon descent. The upside was that the snow was perfect. A thin, soft layer on top of the hard snow. I realised that my skins were on their very last trips, giving me only 50% grip on the snow. Hildegunn had similar problems. Balder had disappeared early on. He took off in advance, but forgot to ask where we were heading. After a while he showed up, with the "I've been looking all over for you guys" face.

As the forest got easier, it also got steeper. But eventually, we rose above the forest and got the summit in view. The sun was shining on the upper part of the mountain, and it was a wonderful view. 

A "mysterious" skier..

was ahead of us, on the way to Løfjellet. That could very well be Svein, but I hadn't expected him to start from Seljebotn. I did notice that there was another car at the trailhead, but assumed it belonged to the farm and paid it no attention.

We had still 600 vertical meters to go, but skiing was easy. As we reached the sunny part of the mountain, the snow was just as "rugged" as I had expected. Hildegunn was skiing just as fast as she is walking. I had to keep up with her, which was a bit unusual for my part. Balder was running around us in circles. The energy in that family...

The summit

We decided to leave the skis at 1300m. Skiing was cumbersome as the skins gave us little help, and this was the steepest part of the mountain. The distance to the summit was only 500m, so it wouldn't be a long walk.

We reached the summit 12:30PM, and it was a glorious, glorious moment. What a day and what a view! There were mountains absolutely everywhere, as far as the eye could see. I already started to look forward to working on the pictures once I got back home. The December light is second to none. It's a pity that my camera (or perhaps my skills) aren't able to fully capture this beautiful light. Balder kept on running in circles on the summit. Given the steep drop to the north, I asked Hildegunn to please put him in a leash. She had brought none, so I handed here a long sling (thanks to my good friend Petter for teaching me the value of always bringing a sling..)

12:40PM, the "mysterious" skier showed up. Yup, it was Svein. Excellent timing, especially since he headed out before we even got to Seljebotn. It was quite cold up there, more caused by the wind than the temperature, so 12:47PM, we began our descent.

Interesting descent

Descending the upper mountain was no big fun.  There were pockets with soft snow, and while they were quite fun to ski, the encounter with harder snow was evermore brutal. But back at the forest, skiing became big fun. Once I got rid of Balder, that is. After sharing a sandwich with him on top, I became his friend. Balder showed his gratitude by never leaving my side (which is not practical when you try to do Telemark) and giving my leg a good hump until my crystal clear voice told him that he should seek other company. 

The snow in the forest was perfect for slalom. The trees were natural gates, and the challenge was to not to get beheaded or something of that sort. Hildegunn had lost the tip on one of her boots high on the mountain, so she was running down the forest.

The lower section was hilarious. I dropped using my poles and passed trees and bush using my hands only. Good training, though. 14:00PM, we were back at the trailhead. Almost four "lazy" but yet intense hours had gone by. I felt highly uplifted as I drove back to Ålesund. This is living.



Slideshow, all pics on this page:

Through the forest

1. The Seljebotn trailhead (713KB) 2. Great sky (115KB) 3. Hildegunn (190KB) 4. Intense light on Auskjeret (170KB) 5. Dense birch forest (441KB)

To the summit

6. Svein on Løfjellet (189KB) 7. The summit comes into view (300KB) 8. View towards Seljebottinden (481KB) 9. Hildegunn (123KB) 10. Hildegunn on the way to Ådalstinden (290KB) 11. Balder running in circles (141KB) 12. Balder - a good dog (170KB) 13. Seljebottinden (161KB) 14. On foot to the summit (228KB) 15. Ådalstinden summit ahead (379KB) 16. The final hill (192KB) 17. Svein joins us at the summit (245KB) 18. Svein documents mountain too (216KB)

Wide-angle view from Ådalstinden

19. Wide-angle view from Ådalstinden (866KB)

360 deg. 50mm view from Ådalstinden, 2 parts

20. 50mm view from Ådalstinden, part 1 of 2 (1625KB) 21. 50mm view from Ådalstinden, part 2 of 2 (806KB)

Zoom views from Ådalstinden

22. Zoom view from Ådalstinden. Sunnmørsalpene (1074KB) 23. Zoom view from Ådalstinden. Lauparen region (1201KB) 24. Zoom view from Ådalstinden. Storbua region (1184KB) 25. Zoom view from Ådalstinden. Rauma peaks (1145KB) 26. Zoom view from Ådalstinden, part 1 of 2 (954KB) 27. Zoom view from Ådalstinden, part 2 of 2 (597KB)

Descent + trip back home

28. Waiting for Hildegunn, who has a damaged boot (220KB) 29. Auskjeret (182KB) 30. Fog starts to cling to the mountain tops (158KB) 31. The moon, seen from my front door (119KB)

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