Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal
Urkedalstinden from Urkedalen, July 7 2008
To the main Regndalstindane page (maps,
route descriptions, etc.)
(Click for larger image)
Very inspired after my recent trip to
Blåbretinden, I drove to Urke with the ambition
to visit Regndalstindane.
The weather was brilliant, and I decided to visit Urkedalstinden in the
afternoon, camp over night and hike Råna and Midtre Regndalstind the next morning.
Cows and goats
The first challenge presented itself by the gate in Urkedalen. I arrived just as a
herd of cows were crossing the road on
the other side. Morover, a few dozen goats stood there, just waiting
for an opportunity to
visit the lower part of the valley. I had to deal with the cows first. Half the
herd had already crossed
the road, the other half was waiting in turn. "C'mon you cows!", didn't make a
big impact. Progress
was not made until I had clapped every cow on their behinds.
The goats were harder to move. My whooooooa voice didn't move them one
bit. On the contrary, actually. They came closer.
"Free tobacco down by the river!" didn't fool any of them. In sum, the whole
ordeal took its time.
After a while, I was able to get the car through. No more details are needed. It
was a bit embarrassing...
The beautiful Urkedalen
(Click for larger image)
I parked the car at Haukåssætra and was on my way up Urkedalen
2:30pm. 30 minutes later,
I was in Grøtdalen and
had to decide how to ascend the valley. The terrain wasn't very inviting. A
nasty birch forest was covering the entire
hillside. The river was still (for the most part) below the snow, and I
considered following it. But then I found a
boulder field at the valley entrance
and chose to follow it. That was a huge mistake.
True, I was able to follow the boulder for a
little while, but then there was just
dense birch forest all around.
My direction was also wrong. I was heading straight towards Urkedalstinden, while I
should have been heading
northeast, towards the pass between Grøtdalstinden and Urkedalstinden. But the
forest didn't allow me
to move sideways, so I had to keep on going.
It got steeper and steeper,
and I found myself
scrambling in exposed terrain. Urkedalstinden was just above me. Should I
look for a route from this side?
I chose not to. I didn't have the motivation to handle a "dead-end", and
began a traverse around the mountain. That went quite well and I ended up in the big bowl east of the
summit. The scree in this bowl
was just horrendous. I literally screamed out, while trying to make progress. Finally,
I got solid ground below
my feet and scrambled my way up to the northeast ridge.
I was now looking at a steep slope of snow ahead of me. I mounted the crampons
and headed up to the summit
ridge, which wasn't easily climbed. I was forced to traverse (still on snow) over to the
southeast ridge, where
I found snow which led me up to the ridge, closer to the top. The time was 5:35pm when I arrived at the
After all this struggle, it was very rewarding to sit on top of this beautiful
peak. And how about the views!
I had brought sandwiches (drum roll..) and concluded that this was probably one
of the best places in the world
to be, on this Monday, early in July.
Urkedalen seen from Urkedalstinden
(Click for larger image)
20 minutes after summiting, I headed back down. I tried to scramble down, but lack of good handholds made
me go for the snow. I mounted the crampons, as I would need them soon anyway.
Descending the steep snow was
no big deal, as I had lots of recent practice. Crampons and two axes were
perhaps an overkill, but I enjoyed the
feeling of added safety.
Descending into the bowl wasn't as easy as getting up. I had to search a while
before I found a route that
provided handholds. The grass and slabs were all wet from snowmelt, and even if
a slide wouldn't be that long,
I wanted to (obviously) avoid it. From the bowl, I had the luxury of sliding on snow all the
way into the valley.
The task was now to find a good route down the valley. I
concluded that I should
head for the river and
continue sliding on snow. But getting down to the river wasn't easy. The terrain
was was either too steep or too nasty.
A dangerous element was that I was moving on very slippery grass. If I slipped, I would end up in the river,
below a heap of snow. But eventually, I found a safe passage onto the snow, and could (for the
most part) slide down the entire
Back at the car (8pm), I noticed that I was missing the GPS. Bad language
could be heard in
Urkedalen valley on this afternoon, and even the goats
would have moved. The last time I remember seeing it, was while sliding on
the snow, high up in Urkedalen.
So, it was somewhere between Haukåssætra and the upper Grøtdalen valley. Now
what? Should I drop Råna in the morning and visit Grøtdalstinden instead? Or, should I do Råna and then go
look for the GPS?
I settled on
the last option.
The time had now come to find a good campsite. I knew exactly what I was looking
for; a grassy pitch very close to
running water. Some potential spots were filled up with sheep poo. After driving
up and down the valley a few
times, I settled for a spot above the Haukåssætra cabins. I had dinner and
enjoyed two beers before
I fell asleep. Big day tomorrow.