Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal

Råna and Midtre Regndalstind, July 8 2008

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The route to the Råna plateau

The route to the Råna plateau
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4:15am, I woke up in my tent at Haukåssætra in Urkedalen. My first thought went to the GPS I had lost while descending Urkedalstinden the day before. Today's project would be to ascend Midtre Regndalstind and Råna, and then head back up Grøtdalen to see if I could recover the GPS.

5am, the tent was tucked away in the car, and I was on my way up Urkedalen. The weather was nowhere as brilliant as the day before, but I didn't expect any rain. I was able to follow the path well into Nordkopen, but then I lost it. The original plan was to head up to the Regndalstindane - Elsandtindane saddle and gain the ridge from there, but now I was focused on saving energy for my Grøtdalen hike later in the day. So I just picked a random route along the small waterfalls. Besides, I couldn't quite see where the Nordkopen route ran. There was still a lot of snow, and the slab rock looked steep.

Soon, I was up in the basin (or plateau) below Midtre Regndalstind and had a strenuous walk on snow ahead of me. For every step, I sunk in a little and this was exhausting. Arriving at the foot of the steepest hill, I pulled out the ice-axes, mainly to poke in the snow to see it was firm.

This was not a place I wanted to be in for long. Huge chunks of snow up to my right could come down at any given time. The primary exposure to these chunks was further down in the basin. Right now, I was just focused on not falling through a lurking hole and disappear under the snow. I aimed for the leftmost of the two rock features on the ridge and the ascent of the ridge was quite trivial. I then followed the route towards Råna until I got a good overview of Midtre Regndalstind.


Midtre Regndalstind

Midtre Regndalstind
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I chose to ascend along the snow, and put the crampons on. The snow was quite hard here in the shade.  High up on Midtre Regndalstind, the snow got very steep, and I felt uncomfortable. Rather than to descend and find a better route, I traversed the steepest section and didn't enjoy it one bit. To get the axes properly into the snow, I had to lean backwards. But this pitch didn't last very long and soon, and it was mainly my lack of experience on steep snow that made me uncomfortable.

Soon, I was on safe ground, just meters away from the summit. I arrived on the summit 7:50am and the weather was now back to brilliant. In one direction, I could study the beautiful Urkedalstinden, which I visited the day before. In the opposite direction was Råna, my next stop. The Regndalsbreen glacier laid white and shiny before my feet.

I have this thing for descriptive mountain names. Regndalstindane (Rain Valley Peaks), Vintervindskaret
(Winter Wind Pass) and Synnavindsnipa (Southern Wind Peak). All seen from my little spot
on Midtre Regndalstind. Also close were Hundatinden (Dog Peak), Blåbretinden (Blue Glacier Peak), Slogen and Jakta (not easily translated). And the view wasn't bad either..

It was time to visit Råna, and I slightly dreaded the descent. I was about to descend the west ridge (towards my ascent route from Urkedalen), but something made me take a closer look at the steep  snow. I discovered a narrow passage that had melted away, between the snow and the steep drop towards Regndalsbreen. With great care, I maneouvered myself down to safe ground.


Scrambling along the humps of Råna

Scrambling along the humps of Råna
(Click for larger image)

The walk towards Råna was a plod on rock and wet snow. I arrived on the Råna summit 8:45pm. I was already aware of some humps along the east ridge, but I had to blink twice (at least) when I saw the exposure. As Råna's high point may be on one of these humps, I had to go there too.

I descended a few meters, left my backpack and headed up to the first hump, which was surprisingly trivial (just a walk, really). I had to scramble down to the next saddle. The ridge up to hump #2 was indeed sharp, but there was a fissure on the left-hand side that I could follow. It reminded me very much of Slettmarkpiggen's summit (Jotunheimen). I still couldn't figure out which was the highest point, but after a careful study, I decided not to visit the third hump. The risk was simply not worth it. I couldn't see a cairn, and there was probably a reason for it.

Back on "the mainland", I left Råna and headed back down towards Urkedalen. Down by the Grøtdalen junction, I was now strongly motivated to search for the missing GPS. While descending Grøtdalen the day before, I had constantly been trying to get to the river in the upper part of the valley. Thus, it wasn't difficult to retrace my steps. I was pretty sure that I had left, and not lost the GPS. I looked through the pictures in the camera and saw that I had been taking pictures of the waterfall, which was still high above me.

At 670m elevation, I arrived at a spot which I remembered taking a picture from. And sure enough - the GPS was right there on the ground. It had stopped logging tracks 5am in the morning. All alone. The poor thing.  Having ascended two splendid peaks AND recovered my GPS, I remember yelling "What? What?" all over the valley, as if anyone had claimed I couldn't find it. I probably picked up that intelligent phrase from Martin Lawrence in one of the
Bad Boys movies. Not 100% sure, though.

My less-than-24-hour stay in the Urke region couldn't end in any better way. 11:50am, I was back at the trailhead and had a nice drive back to Ålesund. Next stop was Næremstindan on Ørskogfjellet. Report will follow..


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 Midtre Regndalstind

0. Trip tracks (borrowed from a friend) 1. Heading out, early morning 2. The sun shines on Elsandtinden 3. At the foot of Midtre Regndalstind 4. Råna is just up the road 5. Råna seen from Midtre Regndalstind 6. Urkedalstinden seen from Midtre Regndalstind 7. Urkedalen far below

Wide-angle view from Midtre Regndalstind

8. Wide-angle view from Midtre Regndalstind

Selected zoom views from Midtre Regndalstind

9. Slogen region seen from Midtre Regndalstind 10. Storhornet region seen from Midtre Regndalstind 11. Skårasalen region seen from Midtre Regndalstind 12. Dalegubben region seen from Midtre Regndalstind 13. Kolåstinden-Molladalstindane region seen from Midtre Regndalstind 14. Urfjellet region seen from Midtre Regndalstind

To Råna

15. Descending Midtre Regndalstind 16. The ridge towards Elsandtindane, where I came up 17. My tracks in the snow 18. Råna and Regndalsbreen 19. Midtre Regndalstind 20. En route to Råna 21. Arriving on Råna summit

Misc. views from Råna

22. Blåbretinden seen from Råna 23. Midtre Regndalstind seen from Råna 24. Urkedalstinden seen from Råna 25. Trandalsdalen seen from Råna 26. A cool pinnacle, northeast of Råna 27. Nonshornet/Drivdalstinden below Råna 28. Sykkylven 29. Regndalsbreen 30. Elsandtindane seen from Råna 31. Dalegubben seen from Råna 32. A small avalanche seen from two sides

The Råna humps

33. The humps along the east ridge 34. The first hump is trivial 35. The main summit seen from the first hump 36. The second hump is airy, but easy 37. The third hump seen from the second 38. The saddle between humps two and three

Wide-angle view from Råna

39. Wide-angle view from Råna

85mm zoom views from Råna

40. 85mm zoom view from Råna 41. 85mm zoom view from Råna 42. 85mm zoom view from Råna 43. 85mm zoom view from Råna

Descent + Grøtdalen project

44. View down towards Urkedalen 45. View up to the ridge 46. My route up and down 47. Water in motion 48. View back up the valley 49. Taking on Grøtdalen 50. The GPS, recovered!! 51. Meanwhile, the weather deteriorated

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