Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal
Sylvkallen, May 11 2008
To the main Sylvkallen page (maps, route descriptions, etc.)
Sveinung Klyve ..
from Voss was visiting me in Ålesund. The day before, we had a brilliant ski-trip to Kvitegga. We hadn't seen much of the fjords from Kvitegga, and since Sveinung had a desire to get fjord pictures, I was looking for a nice top along Hjørundfjorden. I ended up with Sylvkallen as the target for this Sunday. As Sunday's forecast wasn't all that great, I hoped the higher mountains around would attract- and hold on to the fog.
My colleague Terje Bergset joined in, and we drove his car from Ålesund. From the ferry, we could see that Sylvkallen had fog on top, but the west ridge was in the clear. All in all, the weather was better than forecasted, and we were quite optimistic as we drove from Festøya towards Standalsdalen (I'd feel better if I could write Standalen, but the map says Standalsdalen) ..
A large amount of water ..
coming out of Nøvedalen raised a good question; can we cross the river? Well, the only way to find out is by going up there. Terje had forgot skins, leaving him with a predicament. Should he ascend Sylvkallen on foot or struggle on skis? I let him have mine, although they were too narrow for his skis. I assumed my vax-free skis could get me to the top, but I wasn't too confident. It wasn't nearly as hot as the day before, and vax-free skis don't work well on cold snow.
We left the car 10:10AM. The first 100 vertical meters was done on foot before we reached snow. My skis didn't bite as I hoped they would, and I kept slipping. The skins Terje borrowed from me didn't bite good either, so he was slipping too. But Sveinung seemed to be doing OK.
The passage into Nøvedalen ..
is a bit exposed if the snow is hard. The snow wasn't hard today, but after having ascended more than 100 vertical meters straight up, I felt uncomfortable. I kept slipping, and didn't trust my balance. I took the skis off and walked across the exposed section, feeling a bit stupid. I knew that upon descent, I would blaze straight across this section without giving it much thought. Sveinung chose to walk on foot too, as did Terje, but mainly because of his problems with the skis.
Once into Nøvedalen ..
our question about the river soon got answered. A firm snow-bridge was found where we wanted to cross. A small valley/corridor could be skied. We saw a cross here, in memory of the skier that died in an avalanche in 2007. Sveinung continued to ski up the valley, while Terje and I hiked the ridge on foot until we reached snow. From there on, my skis worked quite well, and I was able to ski up to the very summit.
Sveinung and I reached the summit 13:20PM, and Terje followed some 10-15 minutes later. We arrived in the nick of time. The fog was moving in and some feathers fell from the sky. All higher mountains (except Dalegubben) were hidden in fog, so my theory about higher mountains attracting the clouds, seemed to work...
The descent ..
was just great. The snow was excellent and we could just let go. We shifted from the ridge into the valley to our left and then proceeded through the "corridor". Sveinung and Terje had to put the skins back on in order to get out of the valley, and I was yet again reminded how much I love my skis.
As expected, the exposed section was of absolutely no concern, and I really don't understand why it felt awkward on the way upwards. The steep hill towards Standalsdalen also allowed for some fun skiing, although the hill was descended in seconds. It had now started to rain, but the weather wasn't too bad. I crashed into a tree, and had no clue what was going on until I found it necessary to untangle me from this tree. 15:00PM, we were back at the car. Terje announced that his skiing equipment (skis + boots = 10,4Kg) wasn't the right choice for Sylvkallen. And especially without proper skins..
The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 300D + Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM F 4-5.6
(Full size images)
(Images scaled down.
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