Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal
Haddalshornet via Klungsgylet, Jan 13 2012
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"Klungsgylet" is the name I've given a very fun route from Klungsdalen and directly up to Haddalshornet. I've done this route a number of times, including on snow. This was however my first true winter ascent of Klungsgylet - on a windy and dark Friday evening, mid-January.
Anne had done this route once before (Dec 19 2009), and although it was winter it was very little snow in the steepest section. It would be different this time. We had brought ice-axes and crampons and we found it best to put them to use early on.
My biggest concern had been to locate the route in the darkness. Even if we had good headlamps, they wouldn't light up the entire mountainside. But once the route was found, a new concern grew - avalanche hazard.
We had just heard about a large avalanche at Bondalseidet, and we were now climbing a steep gully with 60-70cm of snow. I was not convinced that this was a smart thing to do, but the gully was only a part of the entire route. It wouldn't be long before we were climbing on the steep ridge instead. The snow, wind-packed as it surely was, actually felt solid. We decided to listen to our "inner voice" and moved on.
It felt good to leave the gully and step onto the ridge. The ridge was even steeper than the gully, and steepest part was slightly challenging as the snow wasn't firm enough for the axe to stick. On a day like this, the "crux" of the route was actually a point of no return...
The rest of the route is normally a "walk in the park", but with all the snow, the upper route was just as steep as the lower gully, and offered some icy spots too. We reached the top of Haddalshornet 6:53pm - 1h:22m after heading out from Haddal (550 vertical meters).
We descended the west flank, glissaded the steepest sections and returned to the trailhead at 7:32pm. What a most excellent way to start off a Friday afternoon...