Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal

Melen, Dec 25 2007

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A Melen moment

A Melen moment (Click for larger image)

The mountain

Arngeir Syversen and I agreed to go for a short hike on this first day of Christmas. The choice of a top was easy. Arngeir hadn't been to Melen, and I'll gladly visit Melen over and over again. I really enjoy that mountain. I told Arngeir that we should take a quick look at the north ridge. The plan was not to traverse this mountain. I had left my dog back home, and a traverse could be time consuming. After all, it was winter.

Getting there

We agreed to meet at Reset 11:00AM. As I drove out of Gåseidnes, I concluded that I've never seen more slippery roads. It had been raining quite a lot the day before, and when the stars came out in the evening, I realised what the roads would be like. The local roads were just crazy. Highway E39 wasn't quite as bad, although they don't salt that road. The road between Brusdalen and Vatne had some snow, while the road up Nakkedalen was polished. I was sweating when I arrived the Reset trailhead 10:57AM. Arngeir arrived one minute later.

Skis or on foot?

It takes a good winter to justify skiing Melen. Since we hadn't seen a good winter so far, the trip was done on foot. The ground was perfect for walking. Hard snow with a tiny layer of snow on top. The weather was just stunning, and I was having the perfect day. I was looking forward to touch on the snowy north ridge. How would it be like, compared to dry rock in summer?

The north ridge

We left the Melen trailhead shortly after 10:00AM, and reached the top one hour later, after a fairly "lazy" walk up the south flank. After a round of pictures, we headed out on the north ridge. The rocks were slippery and the snow was covering deep holes. Caution was advised. We reached the first truly airy point on the ridge, and this is where we turned around. Arngeir had plans to do the traverse in the summer, and why not keep something unrevealed until then. In any case, the northernmost part of the ridge (corniced) would require crampons, which we didn't bring.

For the fun of it, I descended the 2,5m drop, face out. That was easy enough, but getting up was harder. The usual way didn't work, but eventually I was able to lock my hand in a crack and pulled myself up. With snow, a scrambling move turned into a climbing move.

Time to get back down

We headed back to the top and had a fun descent down the mountain. I left so uplifted from another fine day in the mountains. It is the seek after moments like these that is the motivating factor. Once back in Ålesund, I took the dog for a walk up Høgelia, just back down before dark. The rest of the year would supposedly have shitty weather. After a day like this, bring it on!


Pictures from the Dec 25 2007 hike

Slideshow, all pics

To Melen

1. On the way to Melen (275KB) 2. River crossing with cracking noises (225KB) 3. Up the forest on hard snow (191KB) 4. Wonderful Blåskjerdingen (503KB) 5. Me, enjoying the day to the fullest (281KB) 6. Arngeir looking forward to a new top (188KB) 7. On top of Melen (195KB)

Wide-angle view from Melen

8. Wide-angle view from Melen (803KB)

1 x 50mm and 1 x zoom view from Melen

9. 50mm view from Melen (1192KB) 10. Moldehalvøya mountains seen from Melen (970KB)

On the north ridge

11. Arngeir feels Melen is getting more narrow (231KB) 12. Me, back in terrain I know well by now (196KB) 13. Along the north ridge (263KB) 14. Along the north ridge (251KB) 15. Arngeir studies crux#1 (307KB) 16. Hmm... steep (217KB)

Back up and back down

17. Heading back up on slippery rocks (200KB) 18. Fun terrain! (210KB) 19. Almost back on top (149KB) 20. Descending Melen (275KB) 21. Looking back up on Melen (240KB)

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