Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal
Snøhornet & Litlehornet, Feb 7 2009
To the main Snøhornet page (maps, route descriptions, other trip reports, etc.)
Since we visited Matøskja one week ago, 10cm of snow had fallen in the mountains. Because of cold weather all week, this snow hadn't mixed with the icy crust below. Knowing this, my backpack also contained crampons and two ice-axes for my Saturday ski-trip to Snøhornet.
I had never been to the peninsula between Syvdsfjorden and Dalsfjorden before, and looked forward to become familiar with new terrain. I had taken numerous pictures of Snøhornet from all possible directions, and now the time had come to be on top of it. I discussed various routes with Åsmund - my expert on the Volda mountains. The northeast ridge was appealing, but I settled for the west ridge, allowing me to visit Litlehornet too. It was certainly a trade-off. I would be in the shadow most of the route (and it was a cold day!), but on the other hand, the snow quality would be better for downhill skiing.
After taking the Volda - Lauvstad ferry, I drove to the beginning of the Ulvestadsætra toll road, and asked for permission to park by the nearest house. I went to Ulvestadsætra on foot. There was hardly any snow on the road, which was disappointing. The only reason I had brought skis was to just glide from the top of mountain and back to the car. The skis were certainly not necessary for the ascent. On the other hand, the skis were already worn down - definitely in their final season. A few extra bruises surely wouldn't matter..
At Ulvestadsætra, the skis came on, and the next 30 minutes were a long nightmare. I had to cross a number of morraines, where the snow was hard as ice. If I fell, every gully would be like a bowling alley, and I would be the ball. Once on the mountain proper, and because of the shadow and light, it was difficult to tell how steep the mountainside was. It didn't take long before I started sliding down on the crusty surface. The snow was just powder and didn't offer any grip. I skied 3/4 up the hill towards the Snøhornet - Litlehornet pass and proceeded on foot (with crampons on). I decided to leave the skis behind. I thought I would regret this decision, but I never did.
Snøhornet's west ridge was quite rocky, and I stuck to the very edge all the way, keeping just the necessary distance to the cornices. I arrived on the summit 1pm, 2h:20m after leaving the trailhead. What a day, and what a view!
My GPS insisted that the high point (on top of all the snow) wasn't higher than 1020m, even with a minimal error margin. Map point 1025m was 60m further east, and that point was definitely lower than the point I had left. After pictures, I headed back down the west ridge, and the course was fixed on Litlehornet.
I had been ascending Snøhornet in the shadow, and it was extremely nice to plod in powder snow and sunshine. I closed my eyes down in the saddle, and didn't open them until I was almost at the top of Litlehornet. I made a mental note that the summit cairn was located considerable lower than the high point. I had already begun to plan the descent. Should I go for Kjerringa also? The time was now 1:50pm, and the ferry would leave in two hours. I wanted to be on it, as the next ferry wouldn't leave until 6:50pm. I decided to come back for Kjerringa in spring or summer instead.
Back down at the skis, I looked forward to put them on. Enough walking already. Telemarking down the mountain was seriously fun, and I wished that I was on top of Kyrkjetaket instead. Rather than crossing the morraines again, I headed for the north side of the valley and followed the north road 500m until I felt I had to cross the creek and get back on my ascent route. This crossing was a bit tedious and those who see my tracks will probably scratch their heads..
I was back at the trailhead 3pm, and down by the ferry 10 minutes later. I was quite thirsty, and looked forward to buy a cold drink at the grocery shop. But they had closed their doors 3pm, and I was very disappointed..
The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 450D + Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM F 4-5.6.
(Full size images)
(Images scaled down.
To Lauvstad and the trailhead
Wide-angle view from Snøhornet
85mm zoom views from Snøhornet
Other pics from Snøhornet
Descent + return back home
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