Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal
With Sogndal Turlag across Saursegga, Gjøna and Runde - June 23-24 2012
Saursegga & Gjøna/Nipa, June 23 2012
It has become an annual tradition for Sogndal Turlag to visit the coastline. This year, they chose to visit Sunnmøre and Anne Rudsengen and myself were asked to assist as pathfinders although they had persons in the group who knew their way around the coastal side of Sunnmøre.
It was decided that we should do
a hike across Saursegga and Gjøna (aka Nipa) by the Gursken
fjord on Saturday and visit the Runde mountain on Sunday. Anne and me met
the group (counting 12) from Sogndal near Gursken. Torbjørn Hasund would join us
at the trailhead and onboard the pathfinder team came Bjørn Skoge
(on just a couple of hours notice). If
there is something one needs to know about this area, Bjørn is the guy to talk
to. He has also documented this route on morotur.no.
The group was now counting 16 persons in total and we headed out from the Haugsbygda trailhead just past noon. It was a glorious day, and I was glad that those from the faraway land got to see this region in its finest dress.
The group ranged from 17 to 79 (!) in age, but the younger ones were seriously outnumbered by more senior team members. As Sogndal Turlag was lacking their usual group leader, Anne's role was upgraded from pathfinder to trip coordinator. Bjørn was doing an excellent job as the local storyteller, I had assumed the role as photographer while Torbjørn was the group's ornithologist.
Torbjørn had issued eagle warranty for Sunday's visit to Runde, but I assumed that the majesty of the skies would present itself already today. And sure enough, it didn't take long before a Golden Eagle came sailing along - just as aesthetic as they come. Our visitors seemed to have a very good time...
In addition to my photographer role (self-nomination), I felt it was important to inform everyone about everything they could see in the horizon. So, in addition to being that $€(&#! guy with the camera everywhere, I probably managed to annoy most of the group with my continuous "see that dark peak behind the grey peak to the left of the snowy peak and just to the right of that sharp peak? There you have ..."
I decided to spare them for the horizontal distances, the primary factors and the peaks' rank within their respective municipalities....
Bjørn was far more entertaining and his stories were well received. Particularly amusing was the story about the human Ostriches from Gjerdsvika...
We reached the top of Gjøna (it's very important to always also say Nipa - as that's what the mountain is called on the other side..) at 2:27pm. We were now 531 meters above the Gursken fjord, and at this point, I found it necessary to repeat the name of every mountain top in the horizon, just in case someone had forgotten...
After a long stay on top (at least it was a long stay for me...) we returned the same way we came, except for a small detour via Hanen (414m). Amazingly enough, neither Bjørn nor me had been to this little top before. We managed to return with the same number of participants that we started out with. That's always a criterion for success in my book!
By 4:50pm, everyone was accounted for at the trailhead, and the plan was now for the group to go to Runde and check in at Christineborg. Anne and me would join them later for Midsummer's Eve barbeque. But four of us got tempted by the sour creme porridge served at the Haugsbygda school and arrived on Runde a bit later on...
Runde mountain, June 24 2012
At 9:30am the next morning, Anne and me returned to Christineborg to be pathfinders on the Runde mountain. Not a very difficult task! Especially when some in the group knew Runde well from previous visits. However, the main person of the day would be Torbjørn - the group's ornithologist. I had a nice and long chat with the manager of Christineborg, unaware of that I was speaking with the Mayor of Herøy...
We made sure to leave a couple of cars on the Goksøyr side, before driving to our starting point near the Runde bridge.
We headed out just past 10am and followed the path up to Trepet, where Torbjørn gave us a crash course on Runde's birdlife.
Not long after setting course for Sandshornet, we were so fortunate to discover an eagle nest. And two parents feeding their two younglings! How about that for an eagle warranty?
We had a nice walk in the direction of Rundebranden, but witnessed drama when we reached Kaldekloven. Desperate cries caught our attention and we could see two sheep - seemingly stuck on a ledge. All we could do was to call it in, and we were told that the owner would be notified. However, I was not so sure that their chances of making it back up on the plateau were too good. A puffin also caught our attention...
We arrived on Rundebranden (294m) 10 minutes past noon and had lunch. The weather forecast promised rain, but the sun was still shining. Our friends from the longest and deepest fjord in Norway were swimming in good luck and fortune!
To my own delight, I noticed a few tops to the north that we hadn't seen the day before and explained each and every one of them to the group. Afterwards, they all looked tired...
Next stop was Runde Fyr (the lighthouse). Two in the group decided to head directly down to Goksøyr, while the rest of us continued to the northernmost point of the island. On our way, we passed a good viewpoint towards the Northern Gannet colony on the island. The path to the lighthouse was under repair, and a large number of flat rocks had been flown in.
I had previously visited Kvalneset, but I had never been inside any of the buildings. We went into the main building, owned by the Norwegian Tourist Association (DNT) and had a look. This is a nice place, and I am considering spending one night there - on a dark and stormy night. Who knows what could happen...
It was due time for our friends to return to Sogn and we began the hike back to Goksøyr. We returned to the main parking just past 3pm, and one car with the drivers went back to the starting point to pick up the cars, while the rest of us walked to Christineborg where we had the rest of the cars.
The time was 3:22pm when I turned off my GPS. The little device told me that I had been walking for 10,5km, and some witty tongues suggested that that was at least 0,5km more than the rest of the group. I related my small escapades along the way to my role as a photographer, but I did hear someone in the group whisper ADHD...
In any case, Anne and me hope and trust that our visitors from Sogn had an enjoyable stay on Sunnmøre and that they all return for more beautiful coastal scenery some day.
The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 550D + Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM F 4-5.6
(Full size images)
(Images scaled down.
Saursegga & Gjøna/Nipa, June 23 2012
Panorama view from Gjøna/Nipa
More pics from top + descent
Christineborg (Runde), June 23 2012
Runde, June 24 2012
Panorama view from Rundebranden
To Runde Fyr and then Goksøyr
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