Norwegian Mountains, Nordland

Sætertinden, July 20 2007

For Information, maps, trailhead and route descriptions, click HERE.

It was day four..

.. of our holiday week in northern Norway. Prior to arriving Harstad, Torill and I had spent 3 days in the Kjøpsvik area, climbed Stetind as part of a guided group, and hiked Stefjordnestinden and Mulbukttinden.

Our primary goal was Nona (1012m) on Grytøya, but we wanted OK weather (not low clouds) before going over there. And as this Friday morning was a rather grey one, we chose to visit Sætertinden instead. Being the high point in two different kommuner, located in two different counties, were favorable parameters. The fact that Sætertinden was also a superb viewpoint was of less importance, because we wouldn't see anything from up there, anyway.

Tops in the morning..

.. and civilization (ok then - beer) in the afternoon, is a type of holiday that I can enjoy from time to time. Cities such as Harstad and Narvik certainly offer enough nearby mountains to keep busy for a week or two. If the weather is not so good, pick a lower top. Otherwise, pick a high one. 5 minutes of planning in morning is all that is needed. A low-key kind of holiday...


.. was draped in fog, as expected. But it wasn't raining, which was a bonus. The drive from Harstad to Årbogen was fairly short, and by 09:25AM, we were on our way up the forest road from the sports field. We met a guy who explained the route. There were several forks, so the information came in very useful. We kept a fair pace up the forest and passed Årbogvatnet after half an hour of walking.

Approaching 600m elevation, we entered fog. We had no problems following the visible path, and there were bamboo sticks, most likely to outline the skiing route. At approx. 740m, we passed a barrack, and that was the end of the visible path. From here and up to the summit, we had to walk on boulder. Slippery, from the fog.

The bamboo sticks gradually faded (torn down by the weather), but tall poles, most likely from an old powerline, led the way up to the top. We reached the top of Sætertinden 11:20AM. I couldn't really say for sure that it was raining. But the humidity, combined with the turbulence and wind on top, made us soaking wet.

Lunch, here????

Torill, I guess from old habit, was looking for a place to sit down for lunch, but that was not an option to me. I wanted to get out, just as quickly as we had arrived. She didn't mind terribly, and off we went.

Once we were out of the fog, we found a sheltered place to have lunch. We have this agreement, Torill and I. She agrees to climb rocks and cliffs with me, and I have to bring my own lunch. She thinks I'm a dumbnut, going on hikes without food. So here I was, with a lunch-box for the 4th day in a row! I had gradually decremented the number of slices since Stetind, and today, I had only 3 slices that needed processing. Once done, we were all happy and could proceed down to the trailhead :)

In this weather?

Down at the forest road, we met two ladies looking for berries. They seemed very surprised about us having been on the mountain, in this weather. Even the guy we met earlier in the day, shook his head about or plans. It's interesting to see how different people consider a mountain, and at the same time, it's a reminder to myself as I try to describe mountains from a general point of view. On Sætertinden's main page, I have described Sætertinden as a fairly easy mountain. But who are those who consider it fairly easy? Those who often hike mountains, surely. But what about these two ladies? They've probably lived here all their lives, but they had never been on the mountain. Would they consider it fairly easy? What about their physical condition? How do they handle boulder? What about the fact that one passes a slightly narrow section? What about the distance, the vertical gain, a sudden shift in weather, etc.

Given all these parameters, it's impossible to describe a mountain. It's easy for me to describe Sætertinden as YDS class 2 (easy walking, off-trail, boulder, etc.). It's not class 1, as there's no trail all the way to the top. And it's not above class 2 either, as you don't have to use your hands to get there. But for these ladies, class 2 wouldn't mean anything. To them, Sætertinden is a tall mountain, and perhaps scary too. I don't know. That's just how different we are. And it's a good reminder to myself, helping me to truly appreciate the fact that I can go on these journeys, visit all these places and mountains and bring home memories to last the rest of my lifetime.

By 13:05PM, we were back at the trailhead, safe, sound and soaking wet. Time to return to Harstad for a good shower, a small rest, a nice dinner and an even nicer beer. The next day, we hiked Middagstinden.

Pictures from the July 20 2007 trip

1. Sætertinden trailhead (268KB) 2. Årbogelva (413KB) 3. Up the southeast ridge (375KB) 4. Last view before the fog (463KB) 5. The trailhead, zoomed in (310KB) 6. Above the barrack, following the poles (169KB) 7. Entering Sætertinden summit (121KB) 8. A tower pops up (contrasts have been modified) (142KB) 9. One of the two summit cairns (194KB) 10. Torill on Sætertinden summit (148KB)

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