Norwegian Mountains, Sogn og Fjordane
Nipa (867m) on skis, Mar 7 2010
To the main Nipa page (maps, route descriptions, other trip reports, etc.)
On my virtual top-5 list of "Hardest ski-trips ever!!", you will find a.o. Josten på Langs, Fresvikbreen and the 2004 Greenland expedition. And I am seriously considering putting Nipa on this top-5 list! This wasn't a very long ski-trip, and most of it was quite easy too. But I will never forget the 1,1km nightmare from Storeskar to Nipa.
Due to several heavy snowfalls in the indre Sogn region, Anne Rudsengen and me was looking for easy ski-trips this weekend. Nipa became quickly a candidate, mainly because of the forest roads that takes you close to the mountain. We drove to Indre Hafslo, and then up the curvy road to Oppheim where we parked. At 11:20am, we headed out on the Ulvongovegen (toll) road. We had Telemark equipment, and would have been the region's joke of the day, had anyone seen us...
Tracks made the ascent along the forest road easy. Still, I was mentally prepared for harder times to come. When we arrived at the fork close to Midtstølen, I noticed (to my great delight) that there were tracks towards Storeskar also. Bonus!
I was now picturing a snow struggle from the end of the road and up to Storeskar, but after a while we could claim bonus #2 of the day; someone had broken the trail up to Storeskar! Yes, yes!
On the way to Røyteholet, we overtook the father and son who had broken the trail. They suggested that we should ski up to Hestaskøyte, and then continue east towards Nipa. We parted and I took the lead up the forest. After one minute, I was completely exhausted. We had still 1km to go, and I just couldn't see how I could endure this battle. Anne wasn't too optimistic either, but I refused to turn around so soon. We took turn in breaking trail, and even if progress was slow, there was at least progress.
We decided not to ski across the top of Hestaskøyte, and traversed the steep north side instead. We made it into the valley between Hestaskøyte and Nipa, where we felt that there was a chance that we wouldn't make it out of there alive. The snow constantly collapsed around us, making terrible "sigh" sounds. But in the end, we didn't consider the slope to be that steep, so we agreed to continue.
Once past the steepest section, the rest of the trip up to Nipa got slightly easier. We arrived on the summit 2:10pm - 2h:50m after heading out. Oh great joy! Only (or; mostly) downhill from here! We were completely fogged in, and there was little to be seen. We enjoyed a short lunch before heading back down.
We skied down to Røyteholet with the uttermost respect for the snow. The flat light made it difficult to get adequate overview. We could see steep terrain on both sides, but the valley itself didn't seem too steep. But still, I had this nasty worry of being drowned in tons of wet snow...
But the descent went just fine, and we enjoyed the rest of the trip back to Oppheim. We were back at the car 3pm - 3h:40m after leaving.
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.
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