Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal

Mohns Topp & Bladet, Aug 4 2008

Mohns Topp is approx. 1359m and Bladet is approx. 1300m.

To the main Molladalstindane page (maps, route descriptions, etc.)


On top of Bladet

On top of Bladet
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To me, "Bladet" (The Blade) is not about showing off rock climbing skills or being bold and brave. It's about being with good mates and having pure fun on a very cool pinnacle in a spectactular landscape. This August '08 trip to Bladet had also other elements that made the trip an unforgettable one, or epic, as I'd like to call the unforgettable ones.

My friends from the UK; Anna, Matt and Joe had a wish to climb Bladet during their summer vacation in Norway. I shared the same wish, and with Matt as the natural lead climber, it was just a matter of finding a good day. The forecast for this Monday evening was mixed. The weather symbols were clouds and sunshine above Molladalen, although the animation revealed some rainshowers. But as this Monday was quite sunny, we decided to take the trip in the afternoon. I also invited my friend Terje (who also was most keen on this pinnacle)

I worked out a detailed execution plan, starting backwards. I wanted to be down by 11PM, mostly because of darkness, but also because of the ferry. I estimated 2 hours for descent, which meant we needed to end the climbing at 9pm. I estimated 2 hours for 4 or 5 persons to climb Bladet, which meant we would start the climbing 7pm. The final estimation was 3 hours to Bladet, with 4pm as departure time from Molladalen.

We met at Festøya, 3:30pm, and the trip had a troublesome start. Putting stuff of value on the car roof is only acceptable if this stuff is removed from the roof before the car goes into motion. However, thanks to honest and helpful people, this episode got a happy ending.

Only slightly behind schedule, we were on our way up Molladalen in light rain and fog. Looking back towards the sunny Ålesund wasn't very helpful. We had not really dressed for this kind of weather, and morale was a bit low when we reached Lake Storevatnet (slightly ahead of schedule..). Not a single peak could be seen, and we were getting slightly cold. It wasn't tempting to put on jackets now, as we had several hours ahead of us on this mountain.

But suddenly, the rain stopped and the fog began to lift. The great peaks of Molladalen appeared one by one. The sun came out and there was blue sky above. Morale was rising by the minute. Without any further stops, we continued up the Mohnsrenna couloir, which was a bit more awkward, now that the snow had melted.  As we were 15 minutes ahead of schedule ("that bloody schedule!"), we had time to visit Mohns Topp. Anna and Matt had become familiar with "Sunnmøre exposure" on Hundatinden, but Joe was a bit surprised about this new type of terrain. "Blimey!" was frequently heard along the ridge to the summit.

Arriving on Mohns

Arriving on Mohns
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On Mohns, we could see a mix of white and dark weather moving towards us. Thunder was heard not too far away, but right there, we didn't let the thunder affect us. We decided to get on with the climbing and moved down to Bladet.

It didn't take long before we got organized. Matt was leading and sat two running belays before reaching the top. He enjoyed the climb, but decided to climb back down after clipping the rope into the carabiner found at the top (we knew the carabiner and one sling had recently been put there).

I was next. "You'll fly up", Matt said to me as he belayed me. Well, I didn't fly, but man, I enjoyed this climb. I reckoned grade (4 on the Norwegian scale) was very generous, although I'm really not too familiar with these grades. I had to stand on top, of course. Matt didn't want me to, but let me govern my own business up there. Falling the wrong way could have meant taking the slings and the carabiner along with me, so I could see his point.  But if I thought there was a resonable chance of falling (not taking lightning into the equation), I never would have stood up.

Once Terje had taken the mandatory picture, it was time to take a GPS waypoint. I thought I heard Anna say "he's taking waypoints..." down below. My "scheduled stay" on top had come to an end, and I announced to Matt that he should lower me down. That went quite smooth and easy, and shortly after, I could claim a successful climb of Bladet.

Terje was next. His job was to eject the two nuts that Matt so firmly had placed. His climb to the top went well too, and stood upright while smiling from ear to ear. His descent was tougher than the climb, as Matt slipped on the snow and Terje had a 5m "free fall". If the summit wasn't thrillseeking enough, I bet the free fall was. He was never in danger, of course. The rope never ran through the ATC/stitchplate.


Anna descending from Bladet

Anna descending from Bladet
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Anna and Joe were the last ones to climb. As expected, they got up and down quite nicely. The setting was just brilliant; we were on a glacier, with view down to a blue Hjørundfjord and the green valleys. Black rainshowers and white fog moved in, resulting in marvellous rainbows and evening light. The continuous sound of thunder justified in the "let's wrap this up" message. We were half an hour ahead of schedule, and everything was just great.

Mohnsrenna was a bit of a scare. A medium-sized rock broke loose and reminded us all of the danger of rockfall. The scrambling sections were extremely slippery after the rain, and great caution had to be applied. Away from the couloir, it was a delight to "ski" down the remaining slopes of snow. Some bloody bruises were the outcome for the one who chose to glissade summer snow on the butt. Fortunately, this episode ended good, but it had potential to end much worse. There were lessons to be learned for everyone. 

The light in Molladalen was spectacular. This mind-boggling mix of evening shades and colors, painted on these majestic rock features, peaks and pinnacles was something I'll never forget. I don't thing I've ever seen nature this beautiful before. Except for Utah. Nothing beats Utah. And I'm rather confident that my friends from the UK will remember Molladalen for a long time to come, too.

We were back at the trailhead 10:50pm, 10 minutes ahead of schedule and just before dark, and were in good shape for the 11:15pm ferry from Festøya (the next one leaving one hour later). A "schedule" really isn't what you want on a trip like this, but sometimes it may be of use... 


Mohns Topp and Holtanna

Mohns Topp and Holtanna
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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 the Randers - Mohns ridge

0. Trip tracks 1. View from Solavågen 2. Heading out 3. Light rain and fog 4. A bunch of grouse chicken 5. The fog is lifting 6. Mohns Topp appears 7. Blue sky and sunshine! 8. Terje likes what he sees 9. Towards Mohnsrenna couloir 10. Lake Storevatnet 11. Steam 12. Rock features seen from Mohnsrenna 13. In Mohnsrenna 14. Rock features 15. In Mohnsrenna 16. Soon on top 17. On the ridge. Bladet appears

To Mohns Topp

18. Hundeidvika 19. Bladet 20. Entering the summit ridge 21. Airy entrance to the ridge 22. The crux point on the ridge 23. The crux point on the ridge 24. The crux point on the ridge 25. Joe considers his future 26. The final leg 27. On Mohns Topp

View from Mohns Topp

28. View from Mohns Topp 29. Molladalen 30. Slingsbys Topp, aka Ytstenestinden

Matt climbs Bladet

31. Matt gets onto the rock 32. Life on the glacier 33. Matt is climbing 34. Easy going so far 35. Matt evaluating the final pitch 36. Matt goes for the kill 37. The final move 38. Matt on top 39. Matt on top 40. Great background

I'm next

41. VERY good handholds 42. Me, on top 43. Me, on top 44. Me, on top 45. Me, descending Bladet

Terje's turn

46. Terje climbing Bladet 47. Terje going for the last push 48. Terje on Bladet 49. Terje on Bladet 50. Terje descending Bladet 51. Terje descending Bladet

Anna, and finally Joe

52. Anna, almost up 53. Anna on top 54. Anna descending Bladet 55. Anna in silhouette 56. Joe is climbing 57. The final move 58. Joe descending Bladet 59. Joe descending Bladet


60. Mohnsrenna, very slippery after rain 61. Caution in Mohnsrenna 62. Nice light in Molladalen 63. Fun on snow 64. Fun on snow 65. Fun on snow 66. Mohns Topp and Holtanna 67. Mohns Topp 68. Svinetindane 69. Deep colors 70. Mohns Topp and Holtanna 71. Storevatnet

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