Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal
Søre & Midtre Grøtdalstind (1331m) from Frølandsdalen, Sep 25 2010
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After days and days
of rain, the forecast predicted a weekend with perfect weather. The time had
come to visit Grøtdalstindane - the rugged peaks that make my neck twist
every time I drive to Sæbø. We (Anne Rudsengen and me) chose the route
from Frølandsdalen, after consulting the local bible ("Fotturar på
Sunnmøre"). The route seemed straightforward, except from a vague promise of
airy terrain near the summit.
At 880 meters, we met Esther, who was in doubt about the route ahead. She might have been a bit disappointed when she learned that we were first-timers on this mountain. And from our position, it wasn't easy to tell where the route went. But it normally helps to move on and figure out things along the way. At least, it seemed clear that we should head for the southwest ridge.
We could see snow from 1200 meters and up. This didn't concern me too much at the time, but when we reached frozen ground already at 1100 meters, my concern increased some. But I managed to arrest myself from this kind of thinking. There is no problem until there is a problem!
Two climbers on the way up Søre Blåtind's southwest pillar caught my attention. This pillar seemed to be a beautiful climbing route, and if I am not mistaken, it's a classic route too. I have never been on Blåtindane, and look very much forward to one day stand on top of these two stunning peaks.
The "Fotturar på Sunnmøre" book mentions "Himmelporten", and we soon identified this feature - an opening between the southwest ridge and a pinnacle. Because of the frozen ground, we were already threading very carefully, and now we had reached snow. Would we make it all the way up? I enjoyed a small touch of "tension".
We found a marked route that led us onto the ridge, and we were now facing a slightly exposed section before the terrain turned more gentle towards the summit. Esther stated that she would never have gone up here all by herself, but also said she felt comfortable in our company. She must have guessed that we've been up a steep mountain or two in the past...
After checking out a few alternative routes, we found one that Esther seemed comfortable with. And a few minutes later we were on top of Søre Grøtdalstind. The time was now 2pm and it had taken us 2h:15m to get here. Esther was overwhelmed by the fact that she was actually here, and Anne and I could celebrate our first alpine Sunnmøre peak together. And what a view!
After enjoying a nice lunch on a fine peak, it was time to move on. Esther expressed some concerns about the descent from the summit, so I pulled out two slings from the backpack. They were more for comfort than for use, and when we began the descent, she was quite comfortable.
We returned to the col and walked up to Midtre Grøtdalstind. This was an easy walk, and although I don't consider Midtre to be a real peak, it has at least a name, and was definitely worth a visit.
By the time we were ready to head back down, the sun had melted enough of the frozen ground to make the descent easier than the ascent. Esther entertained us with stories from the Volda region, and the climbers on Søre Blåtind had already celebrated their summit ascent. They were either on their way down, or on their way to Nordre Blåtind. And I promised myself to return for Blåtindane and Nordre Grøtdalstind. Perhaps not this autumn, but definitely next year!
After the hike, Anne and I took a drive to Sæbø and Hustadneset. The view across Hjørundfjorden is always phenomenal, and more so on a gorgeous day like this. We stopped and talked with a man who had crabs on the pier, and then he offered us as many as we wanted. How about that for generosity? There were cabins for rent (external link) on Hustadneset, and as I knew that a friend of mine was looking for a cabin to rent a weekend, I sent him a message. He acted quickly, rented one of the cabins for the following weekend and had a very nice stay along with his family. And I'm confident they all enjoyed the views...
The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 550D + Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM F 4-5.6
(Full size images)
(Images scaled down.
To the Grøtdalstindane trailhead
To Søre Grøtdalstind
Wide-angle views from Søre Grøtdalstind
Zoom views from Søre Grøtdalstind
Other pics from Søre Grøtdalstind
To Midtre Grøtdalstind
A trip to Sæbø and Hustadneset
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