Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal

Dollsteinhola & Dollsteinen, Jan 25 2009

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My eyes were set on Snøhornet in Vanylven for the next day (Sunday). But then my friend Åsmund called and invited me to join him and Olaug on Sandsøya. They were planning to visit the Dollsteinhola cave, which I had heard about, but knew nothing about. I figured that once there, I could also visit Dollsteinen, which was a top on my list of  Sande mountains. I really appreciated the invitation and responded with a yes immediately. I also looked forward to hike with Olaug for the first time. 

Åsmund, Olaug and their lovable dog Ronja camped on Sandsøya, and I met them along the shore on Sunday morning. It was a gorgeous spring-like day, and except for the shiny white Saudehornet in the distance, nothing revealed that we were still in January. Man, I envied them camping out! With the camera in my hand, I was like a 6-year old boy, running around, watching the waves roll in. On a day with no wind.



(Click for larger image)

Ronja made us aware that there were wild sheep and goats on Sandsøya island. Upon my first visit to this island in 2007, I couldn't recall seeing any sheep. But then I remembered that there were deer on the island. Ronja understood that she wasn't allowed to bother the wildlife, but this rule did not seem to apply to the eagles. Ronja also learned that Minks under rocks were to be left alone, but we hadn't thought of applying rules regarding sheep cadavers. Ronja got herself a good, long roll on top of one and was instantly "alienated" for the next hour.

Eagles vs. Goats & Sheep

Eagles vs. Goats & Sheep
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We arrived at the Dollsteinhola entrance, and Olaug and me went in. Åsmund was keeping Ronja company. Olaug turned around after the muddy descent. Then Åsmund came along and we went exploring the cave. We got to a point where we (literally) had to squeeze ourselves through a very narrow opening. Neither one of us is particularly fat, but we really struggled to get through. We could have, and would have managed, but we concluded that this was probably a dead end and went on to explore the upper corridors instead. This may well have been a mistake, as we never found the main chamber.

The cave was altogether fun, even if later on I had to throw away the asbestos suit I was wearing. It had been given to me by my former and excellent neighbour Pål, and I remember wondering "when will I ever be in need of an asbestos suit?". The main chamber will have to go on the to-redo list and be visited sometime in the future. At this point in time, I wanted a mountain top more than further exploring a cave.


Inside Dollsteinhola

Inside Dollsteinhola
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Once out of the cave, we noticed that Olaug and Ronja were already on their way to Dollsteinen. We caught up with them higher up on the mountain. Ascending Dollsteinen was easier than I had anticipated, and it felt a bit sad to not have been in need for the crampons, ice-axe, rope, harness, nuts, carbiners and slings that I had brought along. At least Åsmund had a good laugh about my well-equipped backpack. Humoring others is something I live and die for...

Dollsteinen was a very nice place to be. Olaug sunk into the ground and it looked as if she intended to stay for a while. The Rinden mountain obscured some of the view towards the Sunnmøre mountains, but it didn't matter. For the first time in my life, I enjoyed just looking at the ocean. Two supertankers looked tiny. We just sat there and waited to see if they would collide. They didn't...


View from Dollsteinen

View from Dollsteinen
(Click for larger image)

After a while, it was time to get back to reality, which involved ferry planning. After returning to Skare, Åsmund & Olaug had to pack their tent, and I went on my first 2009 roof-in-the-trunk drive. And humored quite a number of Sandsøya locals. Don't they know I have a rear-view mirror?

Once back home, I was a bit restless. It must have been the nice weather. So I had to go hiking again. Rjåhornet (600m) and Huldrehornet (271m) secured 1250 vertical meters on this Sunday. A weekend without at least 2000 vertical meters isn't a proper weekend. Is it?


The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 300D + Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM F 4-5.6

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To Sandsøya

1. Early morning 2. Larsnes, waiting for the ferry 3. Hallefjorden, early morning 4. A quiet morning 5. Sandsøya 6. Hallefjorden, early morning 7. Nystøylhornet, Åram 8. Skoratinden 9. Pretty much alone 10. Riste island 11. Rinden on Sandsøya 12. Sandsøya tops 13. Saursegga 14. Rivjehornet

To Dollsteinhola

0. Trip tracks 15. Dollsteinhola parking 16. Dollsteinen 17. The trailhead 18. Info sign at the trailhead 19. Path begins here 20. Waves 21. Riste island 22. The Rinden massif 23. Teaming up with Åsmund and Olaug 24. Storegjøtten cave 25. Storegjøtten cave 26. Veslegjøtten cave 27. A loner 28. A serious splash 29. Dollsteinen ahead 30. Play along the shore 31. Below Dollsteinen 32. Åsmund & waves 33. Salt & nice 34. Below Dollsteinhola 35. Olaug & Åsmund watching eagles


36. Åsmund climbing around 37. Good rock 38. The entrance 39. Cave knight in shining armour 40. Entering 41. The slope inside 42. The first I see is a boulder field 43. Åsmund comes along 44. Corridors 45. Me on a rope section 46. Tall corridors 47. Åsmund takes a look around 48. Steaming.. 49. Åsmund on the rope 50. More corridors 51. Scrambling around 52. Not so shiny anymore


53. Next stop is Dollsteinen 54. Heading up to the pass 55. Olaug on the ridge 56. Nerlandsøya 57. Olaug on the path 58. Øyna 59. Smoke from Helland 60. High on Dollsteinen 61. On top of Dollsteinen 62. A nice summer day in January 63. Even Ronja likes the view 64. Comrades

Views from Dollsteinen

65. Wide-angle view from Dollsteinen 66. 85mm zoom view from Dollsteinen 67. Sandsøya coastline 68. Sandsøya coastline 69. Svinøya

Descent + return home

70. Dollsteinen 71. Dollsteinen - nice profile 72. Eagles vs. sheep & goats 73. Eagles vs. sheep & goats 74. Eagles vs. sheep & goats 75. Voksa info 76. Waiting for the ferry 77. Skoratinden and Sandegga

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