Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal

Urkedalstinden from Urkedalen, July 7 2008

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Urkedalstinden/Søre Regndalstind

Urkedalstinden/Søre Regndalstind
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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...

To Urkedalstinden


The beautiful Urkedalen

The beautiful Urkedalen
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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 summit cairn.  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

Urkedalen seen from Urkedalstinden
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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 river.

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.


The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 300D + Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM F 4-5.6

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To Urkedalen

0. Trip tracks 1. Passing Kvitegga 2. Passing Kvitegga 3. Slogen 4. Store Smørskredtind (climbed the day before) 5. Skårasalen 6. Up Urkedalen 7. Traffic jam 8. My starting point

To Urkedalstinden

9. Urkedalstinden and my nasty ascent route 10. Grøtdalen (picture taken the following day) 11. My routes up and down Vest-Urkedalen the next morning 12. Vest-Urkedalen (Nordkopen) 13. Skårasalen 14. Sheep cooling off 15. Above the birch forest, but in steep terrain 16. Traversing around the mountain 17. The bowl east of the summit 18. Grøtdalstinden and Vellesæterhornet 19. Snow below the summit ridge 20. On the summit ridge 21. Urkedalstinden summit cairn 22. Urkedalen far below 23. The Regndalsbreen glacier

Wide-angle views from Urkedalstinden

24. Wide-angle view from Urkedalstinden 25. Peaks around Øye and Urke

85mm zoom views from Urkedalstinden

26. 85mm zoom view from Urkedalstinden 27. 85mm zoom view from Urkedalstinden 28. 85mm zoom view from Urkedalstinden


29. Down the hill.. 30. My route from the summit 31. Looking back up the steep slope 32. Looking for a way into the bowl 33. View back up to the bowl 34. Grøtdalstinden 35. Vellesæterhornet 36. The Grøtdalen waterfall 37. Urkedalstindane in evening colors 38. Slogen, evening view 39. Geithornet, evening view 40. My campsite

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