Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal
Sylvkallen (1310m), Sep 3 2010
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The background for this trip was that I was asked by the Ålesund police to suggest a hiking goal for a group of 20 students from the police academy, and their tutors/instructors. This event would be part of a kick-off at Standalhytta, and as last year's hike to Slogen became a success, Trond Arne - responsible for the students' practice year on Sunnmøre - defined a mountain trip as a new kick-off tradition.
My immediate suggestion, considering Standalhytta as base-camp, was Langenestinden (Standalhornet). This would be a very steep, but not technical ascent, and the plan was a go until questions were raised (inside the police department) about the sanity of taking a group of almost 40 people up Langenestinden. My plan had been to keep a tight row in places where rockfall was a potential danger, but I had no interest in raising a debate on this. As such, I suggested Sylvkallen - a straightforward walk - without any objective dangers and with views just as good as from Langenestinden. The decision was made, and the hike was on for Friday, Sep 3 2010.
Having been on Sylvkallen once before, I was asked if I could be interested in being the pathfinder (Kjentmann). I considered this to be a fun project, and accepted gladly. But as my trip to Sylvkallen was on skis, I had to go up on Thursday evening to become familiar with the path. Finding the path wasn't easy, and after walking back and forth in bush, I found the path near the entry into Nøvedalen. Now that I was here, I figured I could hike a top and went up to point 1306m - southwest of Sylvkallen. On the way down, I made sure to remember the path in full detail. It would be on the border of embarrassing if I lost the route the next day..
Well prepared, I met the group at Standalhytta early Friday morning, and it was a gorgeous day. Even if Sylvkallen was a straightforward hike, the group would at least get some phenomenal views...
We drove our cars to the Sylvkallen trailhead and headed out 9:10am. It soon became apparent that this group was diverse, like most groups are. As we wanted to keep the group together, we made several short stops on the way up the mountain. Some were very experienced mountaineers, while others had barely been up mountains before. My job as a pathfinder went quite well, and after agreeing with Trond Arne that I could a pitch on westcoastpeaks, my role got extended to photography...
We crossed Nøvedalen, then the Nøvedalselva river and began the ascent of Sylvkallen. We headed towards the edge where we could see straight down into Hjørundfjorden and get a view towards the wild and rugged peaks on the other side of the fjord. For those who haven't done any particular hiking, and especially on Sunnmøre, this must have been a memorable experience...
The first group reached the top of Sylvkallen 11:37am - 2,5 hours after heading out. The others followed shortly after and the summit team consisted of 34 people (me not included). We didn't get everyone up, mainly because of one dog who found the mountain too cumbersome. We had a good and long stay on the summit, and before leaving, I was at liberty to take a 360 deg. panorama of the group. The result was far from perfect (sun flares, movement, etc.), but it was still a fun thing to try out.
Upon descent, a few minor groups left ahead of the rest. It was a bit discomforting to see them go in the wrong direction from Nøvedalen, but we had faith in that they would correct their course in due time. The main group stuck together, and we found our ascent route without any difficulties.
We returned to the trailhead in Standalsdalen 2:10pm - exactly 5 hours after heading out. The "stray" groups had found the path and everyone was accounted for.
I was very happy about being asked to take part in this. Meeting new people is always nice, and it's also interesting to observe the dynamics in a group of this size. Some will be leading, some will be trailing, some will want to move on, some will want to pause, some feel good, some feel bad, etc. In that respect, this group was like most other groups. The "hard core" group climbed Fingeren the evening before and hiked Slogen the following day. 3 fine tops in one weekend must surely be a good way to begin their practice year in the Sunnmøre region...
The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 450D + Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM F 4-5.6
(Full size images)
(Images scaled down.
Other pics from Sylvkallen
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