Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal
|Fylke/Kommune :||Møre og Romsdal/Ørsta|
1119-I Ålesund (Statens Kartverk, Norge 1:50 000)
1119-II Volda (Statens Kartverk, Norge 1:50 000)
|Primary factor :||
|Hiked :||June 2008|
|See also :||
|See also :||Other Ørsta mountains|
Hesteryggen is a classic, airy traverse which does not require the use of a rope. The main mountain is Tverrfjellet, which can be reached from no less than four trailheads; a) Årsetdalen via Risaskaret, b) Årsetdalen via Skorgedalen, c) Lystad via Skorgedalen and d) Liadal via Liadalsdalen. Reaching the top of Tverrfjellet does not involve any airy points, if the top is your only goal. The Hesteryggen ridge traverse is classified as YDS class 2+, which means that it is mostly walking (partly off-trail), some use of hands for balance, but concentration and focus is mandatory.
This web page will describe a traverse from Vartdal (Årsetdalen) via Risaskaret with descent to Årsetdalen via Skorgedalen. A bicycle at the other end (or two cars) can save you from a long walk along the road in Årsetdalen. Note that crossing of the Risaskarelva river can be very difficult in the snow melting period (or after heavy rain).
Hestefjellet (Norge 1:50,000: 801m, Økonomisk Kartverk: 801m, UTM 32 V 348864 6906810) has a primary factor of 31m towards the higher parent mountain Tverrfjellet (856m). The defining saddle (approx. UTM 32 V 348923 6906653) is found between Hestefjellet and Tverrfjellet. Ref. Norge 1:50,000 (20m contours), the saddle is within the range 760-780m, interpolated to 770m.
Tverrfjellet (Norge 1:50,000: 856m, Økonomisk Kartverk: 856m, UTM 32 V 349155 6906160) has a primary factor of 186m towards the higher parent mountain Hyningane (1018m). The defining saddle (approx. UTM 32 V 347992 6906030) is found west of Ørstamunnen. Ref. Norge 1:50,000 (20m contours), the saddle is within the range 660-680, interpolated to 670m.
Google's interactive map. You can zoom, pan and click on the markers.
Notes: Class ratings are in reference to YDS. Click here for more information.
The trails described below are not necessarily the *easiest* trails to this mountain.
Route 1: Vartdal - Hesteryggen - Årsetdalen (summer/autumn)
(all distances are approx. distances)
Ålesund is the nearest large city. From Ålesund, follow highway E39 towards Bergen/Volda to the ferry at Solavågen. Take the ferry over to Festøya. Turn right in the direction of Volda and follow the road 16Km to Vartdal. Turn left onto a smaller road, signed "Skytebane/Knutegården". At the first Y-fork (after 100m), turn left. Drive 1Km and turn right onto a gravel road. Drive 700m up to the trailhead by the pipeline.
From the parking, cross the river on the bridge and locate the forest path. The path crosses a creek and head back towards the river and joins the pipeline. Follow the pipeline all the way up to Risaskaret.
Pass Risaskarvatnet on the west side and head for the Grøthornet-Hestefjellet saddle. In the saddle, turn left (obvious..) and head up to the Hestefjellet cairn.
Tverrfjellet and Hesteryggen:
Descend 30m before taking on the gentle ridge to Tverrfjellet summit, which is marked by a small cairn. To gain the ridge below you, you must descend slightly to the left (faint track) before rejoining the ridge. This section is exposed class 2+ (YDS).
The rest of Hesteryggen is also exposed class 2+ (YDS) walking/easy scrambling. There is one point on the ridge where you'll make a short bypass on the left-hand side. After having passed the eastern top, the exposed ridge continues a little longer before you end up in a grassy hillside.
If you think you're able to cross Risaskarelva river, you can
head for Risaskaret. Otherwise, descend into Skorgedalen. By Lake Heidavatnet, you'll
find a path that goes to Skorgestøylen. From here, follow a well worn path
towards Årsetdalen. At 370m elevation, you reach the
car road. Follow it down to
the valley and walk along the road back to your starting point.