For Information, maps, trailhead and route descriptions, click HERE.
For quite some time, Terje and I had been discussing a visit to Hundatinden. Things never get done unless someone says let's go, and we agreed to make the trip this Thursday afternoon. Olav also found this project interesting, and then I asked Torill to come along. Now we were the same group that visited Bergetindane back in Aug. 2006.
I brought along enough climbing gear to get us up the mountain, but I had no idea if we would ever need it. Various information suggested that this would be a difficult climb, but a friend of mine that had been on this mountain, suggested otherwise. I decided to rely on his description of the route - Very exposed, but not very difficult.
A cumbersome couloir
We took the 15:10PM ferry from Magerholm, and after passing a self served toll booth and two gates, we arrived the Megardsdalen trailhead. Fog was enclosing the mountains, but there was no reason to NOT be optimistic. storm.no had forecasted rain, while yr.no suggested this would be a nice afternoon. But as we left the trailhead 16:00PM, I wondered where we should ascend. The Hundatinden ridge was completely covered in fog.
We just had to make a guess, and picked a route. This route took us through a boulderfield, before the terrain got steep. At one point, I volunteered to take a short scouting trip upwards. No point for the whole group to move in this terrain if we were running into a dead end. It seemed natural to seek right, and finally, I found a route. But it was a little too exposed for my taste. I went back and headed left (south). Here, I noticed a couloir that seemed to get us on the ridge. Terje got bored from waiting (I don't blame him, but at least he didn't get soaking wet from the grass..) and he headed up the couloir.
I went down and picked up my backpack, and after a hike up a short gully (with SLIPPERY grass), we crawled through a hole and surfaced by the couloir. The couloir was steep, but straightforward. We entered the ridge at 880m (elev.), next to a large snowfield. If the normal ridge entry point is just south of Keipen, we entered the ridge almost 600m southeast of this point.
It was now raining, and after a long walk up Hundatinden's north ridge, we arrived the specactular gap that separates the ridge from the summit. Terje, who perhaps in his wildest dreams imagined it was possible to jump the gap, quickly accepted the opposite. Being wet from the rain, the fog and the slippery mountain were factors that suggested that 1222m would be the target for the day. We headed southbound until we reached point 1222m 18:15PM.
The celebration was "modest". Those who set out for a high point, will never be thrilled about the second best thing. The least thing we should do, was to have a look at the terrain below the high point.
We found the Baklidalen entry point and set up "a base". We put on climbing shoes (except for Olav, who hadn't any), before I climbed up the nearest gallery of ledges. The target was a small boulderfield that was obviously part of the route. The ledges offered a doable route, indeed, but I didn't feel comfortable. I noticed an alternative entry point a little further down, and went back down to check it out.
The others weren't still quite ready. If I was going to lead a climb on this mountain, I wanted to get to know it a bit better. In "no time", I was up by the boulder, and after gaining another ledge, a "crack" was passed before I arrived some airy slabs. I took a quick look, passed the slabs, and a minute later, I was on the top. Whoo!, was the only reflection that came to mind, and I turned around to inform the others about the route.
Terje was now on his way. As the route was quite obvious, and his head for heights is better than mine, I didn't have to tell him anything. Then Torill and Olav came along. As Olav only had hiking boots (of the soft kind), I tied together a bunch of slings together, and put them across the slabs, secured by hex-nuts and carabiners. Working with a 50m rope here was overkill, but Olav decided that he would come back for this mountain on a sunny day, with better footwear. While Olav waited at the "crack", Torill followed us up to the summit. She was focused. Very focused. And quiet. But doing just fine by herself. The time was 19:10PM when we stood by the summit cairn. The celebration was still in orderly fashion, but if you'd seen the smile on our faces.
We didn't stick around long. It was still raining, and Olav was waiting. Being the last one across, I brought along the slings, and as I didn't want any last-minute accidents, I suggested that Olav and Torill could use the slings as a safety device when climbing the hardest corner, just above Baklidalen.
With our hiking boots back on, we descended the north ridge, intending to descend our ascent route. No point in looking around in the fog for a better route. Going down was at least twice as hard as going up. The rock and the grass was extremely slippery, and now there was rockfall (caused by ourselves) to worry about. Even if we stayed close together, there was still a good chance that someone could get hurt from one of the .. several .. rocks that we set off.
The transit from the couloir to the smaller gully involved several minor "accidents". Terje ran his ice axe into his leg, and I ran my knee into a rock. Actually, I find it remarkable that no one fell during the steep and slippery descent. Even back on the Megardsdalen path, we still had to focus. Every single rock on the path had potential to make someone's summer a misery.
We were back at the trailhead 21:05PM, after 5 hours "on the road". Dripping wet, perhaps a little cold too, and without not having seen much, you still couldn't wipe the smiles of our faces. It was a GOOD trip, guaranteed to be found on the top-10 2007 hikes when I compile that list at the end of the year. I was NOT happy about not getting Olav to the top, but there was no point in pushing. I've been in his shoes many-a-time, and I know how it can be. One fine day, he'll be standing on top of Hundatinden, no doubt about it. And I hope I'm along too. I still want to see the view from this mountain.
Note 1: The pictures do not have good quality. Steam, fog, rain and poor daylight were contributing factors...
Note 2: 10 more pictures have been added since the page was first released.
To the ridge
Descent from 1234m
Descent from the mountain
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