Norwegian Mountains, Nordland
N. Høyholmstindan, Aug 23 2008
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This was a trip I had been wanting to do, ever since I visited the southern Høyholmstindan peaks in June 2001. The northern peaks had not looked difficult at all, so I assumed the mountain would be easy street. On the fourth (and last) day of my short 2008 vacation up in northern Norway, the weather wasn't directly bad, and I decided to give Nordre Høyholmstindan a go.
I left Brønnøysund in the morning and took the Horn - Andalsvågen ferry. Fog was covering the Vevelstad mountains, and I prepared myself mentally for a hike in fog. But by the time I reached Andalsvågen, there was a change in the weather. For the better. I drove until I could see the peaks up to my right, then I parked the car and headed towards the mountain. I hadn't looked at the map (I didn't have one either) and I didn't assume I was missing any vital information. I was here. The mountain was there. I go to the mountain. Easy logic...
I had a bit of a forest to ascend before I would be on the mountain. From the road, the ascent didn't seem like a difficult task. Cumbersome, possibly. But not difficult. I headed upwards and followed the terrain wherever it seemed logical. I stayed close to the river, just to have a reference point for descent. As I gained the upper part of the mountain, I had no clue where the summit was. I had a very distinct ridge up to my right, and I assumed that I should be on it.
This ridge wasn't of the easy kind. I did my utmost best to get on it, but the ridge was just too exposed and slippery. Over to plan B. I was in some kind of a horseshoe, and the ridge up to my left didn't look inviting either. But a small gully provided access to higher ground, and soon after I was standing on top of the west top. I had an amazing view from this point, and the east top was just down the road.
I moved on and got a bit of a shock when I gazed down the ridge towards the east top. This didn't look trivial at all! I got the distinct feeling that the west top was the only top I would visit today, but I would at least have to take a closer look.
Little by little could be a way of describing the descent. It never really got difficult, but I felt the adrenaline. Not from the exposure, but from whether I would be able to make it down or not. But I did, and I was quite happy when I reached the saddle between the two tops. And in not too long, I was standing on the east top. The time was 2:08pm, and it had taken me 2h:35m to get there (incl. the ridge attempts)
The fog was now quickly moving in, and I decided to leave shortly after. The northwest ridge was quite trivial until I reached a pointy point at approx. 610m. I did some rock balancing for the pure fun of it, before descending in the direction of my ascent route. A flock of sheep took an interest in me. I guess they don't see many hikers up here. I left the mountain with a very positive feeling, knowing that Nordre Høyholmstindan would make it on my top-10 2008 list. Many factors contributed; the futile (and slightly dangerous) efforts on gaining the ridge, the total lack of knowledge about the mountain, the ridge between the east and the west top, the fabulous views and the shear luck with the weather. I was back at the trailhead, 4 hours after leaving it.
My must-visit-before-I-die list for the Helgeland region (God, I have many lists..) just got a bit shorter. Høyholmstindan and all of the Seven Sisters are in the bag. Now I will focus on the island tops, such as Trænstaven, Lovund, Dønnamannen, etc. I just love this part of Norway..
The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 300D + Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM F 4-5.6
(Full size images)
(Images scaled down.
To the trailhead & up the forest
To the west top
To the east top (the highest)
Evening drive w/mom
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