Norwegian Mountains

Livarden, 683m

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Trip Report Mar 12 2003

I had been looking at the north ridges of Livarden for some time, and decided to try one on through an afternoon hike. After parking the car at 16:00PM, I aimed for open terrain, and was fortunate enough to find a trail that was obviously leading towards the mountain. I was a little surprised to find a cabin halfway up the mountain. Someone is having a great view with their afternoon coffee.

When I arrived the upper gully, the terrain got steeper, but by no means difficult or scary. I noticed another gully that came down on my left, and decided to take a closer look. This gully would take me to the ridge that I originally had wanted to be on. A snowfield was running all the way up the gully, and with axe and crampons, the climb started easy enough. Halfway up, I took a pause, and gasped when I looked back down. It occured to me that if I fell, I would probably slide all the way down the gully before I could even get a chance to self-arrest. And I would be pretty banged up on the way. But still the grip was good, and the axe sat firmly in the snow. I decided to continue upward.

I was quite high when I started to get the shivers. The gully turned slightly right and looked almost vertical near the top, and I decided to climb up straight ahead, on rocks. Facing a rock, slightly higher than myself, I realized that this was a point of no return. I could climb the rock, but it would be far worse if I had to climb back down. And still I had some climbing to do above the rock. I looked back down, and now my knees began to shiver. Its one of those moments when you get the sensation about having done something stupid. After a little while, I decided to climb back down.

There was no way I could climb down face out. In some spots, the axe was hitting rock below the snow, and other spots the snow was rotten. If I stepped in rotten snow, I would fall for sure. It was that steep. I decided to climb back down face in, and I was quite scared in the beginning. But it is gratifying when feel you are able to cope with a tricky situation.

Back down in the gully, I took the obvious route up, and reached the summit 17:40PM. The views are just great up there. After a round of pictures, I decided to return. Still plenty of time before sunset (18:30PM). On top of the upper gully, I decided to return via the ridge to my left. I went all the way to ridge's edge and observed the steep fall down to the lower ridges. The ridge was snow-free, but I had kept the crampons on. And suddenly I tripped. I did a full rotation forward towards the edge, and was well on the way with my second rotation when the axe got stuck in the ground. I concluded that I had my share of excitement for one afternoon, and removed the crampons. I continued down the ridge, which was extremely slippery, and full of surprises. And before I knew it, I was vertical in the air and took a bad hit in the elbow when I landed. *Then* I abandoned the ridge and moved into the gully. I was back at the car 18:30PM, and concluded that it had been an interesting hike.

Pictures from the Mar 12 2003 hike:

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Some of the thumbnails may have been cropped to fit the format

1. The route. Picture taken in Feb. (134KB) 2. The cabin and the upper gully (216KB) 3. Low in the adjacent gully where I gave up (89KB) 4. In the steep gully, which feels steeper in real life (112KB) 5. Nice view from the trail (208KB) 6. In the safe gully leading to the top (178KB) 7. Rosendal alps seen from Livarden (293KB) 8. Panorama from Livarden summit (377KB) 9. The summit cairn (81KB) 10. Bergen city mountains seen from Livarden (157KB) 11. Ocean view from Livarden (144KB) 12. Gullfjellstoppen pops out of the clouds (228KB) 13. The steep gully seen on the way down (112KB)

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