Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal
Liadalsnipa (924m) - normal route, Sep 8 2010
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Three weeks after the hike to Liadalsnipa with Ansgar, Jakob and Terje, I was back at Liadal. This time with Hilde and Trond Arne. More than 6 months had passed since Trond Arne and me talked about this hike for the first time, and now that the splendid weather period was coming to an end - we felt it was "now or never" (at least for this autumn) and the hike was on for the next day.
On this fine Wednesday afternoon, I met up with Hilde and Trond Arne in Ørsta. We drove to Halse and were ready to leave the trailhead at 3:40pm. Trond Arne looked at the mountain and expressed some concerns about the evil ahead. I had told him that it would altogether be a very different from Sylvkallen - the trip that he organized for the Police Academy students on Sunnmøre. Liadalsnipa would be steep, it would get airy, but it would not get difficult. Hilde seemed however very positive, and I was quite confident that we all would get up and down in a safe manner.
Close to Nakkevatnet, we met two hikers who had done the traverse across Liadalsnipa. One of them admitted that even if he had been to many steep mountains, he found Liadalsnipa particularly steep. At this point, it was important to point out that it was the traverse they were talking about, and not the normal route. My fellow hikers seemed relieved...
When I asked the two hikers if they had climbed unroped, one of them pulled out a short piece of rope. It seemed that the rope was nowhere near climbing specifications. In Norwegian language, the rope was a "taustump" (short piece of rope), and I had a good laugh. Finally, I could see the famous "taustump" that Norwegian climbers joke about. "Yes, it's a bit steep and exposed. You might want to bring a "taustump"...."
After some minor scrambling above Nakkevatnet, we reached the ridge and had the fierce-looking Liadalsnipa right in front. We reached the first climbing (or scrambling) section after a few minutes, and I suggested to my fellow hikers that they should climb this point up and back down, just to get comfortable with the terrain. Not a single point on the rest of the route would be steeper or more difficult, so this point was setting the standard. If everyone was happy here, the rest of the hike would go well. They followed my suggestion and climbed up and down before moving on. I think this exercise was useful.
I could see that Trond Arne found the ridge more overwhelming than Hilde did. Not that the terrain was difficult, but he did not seem to trust his balance. This also happens to me from time to time, especially when skiing up a long, steep slope. I get this feeling that there is an abyss behind me. But upon descent, everything is just fine and I can ski straight down. I told Trond Arne that the descent would be much easier, but I don't think he believed me. The balance nerve (or the perception of dimensions) can play tricks on most of us from time to time.
Climbing points 2 and 3 went well, and now we were heading into a very exposed landscape. The lake - several hundred meters below - reminded us where a fall would end. We were all strongly motivated to stay on the path!
We reached the top 5:21pm, and my fellow hikers seemed more than pleased by the view and the fact that they - finally and actually were on the top of Liadalsnipa. Trond Arne had told me that he had been looking at this mountain so many times. And now he was here, having overcomed a challenge or two along the way. His "Dævven!!" (a good Norwegian expression with a Sør-Trøndelag accent) seemed to be an eloquent and accurate way of describing the situation. Hilde had displayed a high degree of comfort during the ascent, although she had respect for the mountain. She also made frequent comments about the view during the ascent, and I'm confident she wasn't disappointed when she got the 360 deg. panorama from the summit...
After a nice stay on top, it was time to move on. After a few minutes, Trond Arne stated that descending the mountain was of no concern at all (didn't I say so...). I was happy that he could enjoy the scrambling, as this mountain offers a lot of it...
On the way down, we met 3 girls on their way up. They had never been up here before, and asked about the route ahead. That's the spirit! The rest of the descent went just fine, and when we reached Nakkevatnet, Trond Arne went for a swim. I knew exactly how cold the water was, and there was not a chance that I would follow. So OK; pathfinder vs. first-timer: 1-1.
We returned to the trailhead at 7:02pm - 3h:22m after heading out. It had been a superb hike, and I can only assume that both Hilde and Trond Arne were relieved about getting the answer to the big Liadalsnipa question: "Do I belong up there?". The answer is indisputably YES!
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 ridge
Up the ridge
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