Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal

Trollstolen from Måndalen, Dec 9 2006

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

This Saturday had (as usual) an unclear weather forecast, but the forecast seemed more uplifting in the Romsdal region, so I decided to go there. I was looking for a "hit-and-run" mountain, and Trollstolen came up as a good candidate.

To Måndalen

In the latest couple of weeks, I've learned that if the Ålesund temperature is approx. 7 deg. C, and it has been raining during the night, then I have to be extra careful in Brusdalen and along Skodjevika. I kept a steady eye on the thermometer, and when it *suddenly* dropped from +6 to +1.5 along Skodjevika bay, I was able to reduce the speed before anything bad happened. The road was "polished" by undercooled rain. Three cars ahead of me pulled out, and in the mirror, I saw them turn around. From the Skodje exit, and all the way to Måndalen, the road was OK.

To Høgsetra

I drove towards the Høgsetra trailhead, and when I was in the very neighbourhood, I asked a passing fellow for further instructions. He pointed me directly to the trailhead, and by 10:45PM, the dog and I were on our way up the forest. Troll didn't want to hike. OK, so I carried him halfway up the forest.

Halfway up the forest, he still didn't want to walk, and then I got really pissed off. The dog understood that the line had been "crossed", and began walking. After a while, things got slower and slower (the forest was steep and cumbersome for a small dog) and I picked him up again. We reached Høgsetra 11:50PM, and I noticed that the snow was hard, and would carry my weight.


Then along came Odin, a Beagle-looking dog, carrying enough gear around his neck to resemble a mobile transmitting unit. He was obviously following Troll's scent, but being in the backpack, Troll was out of sight for the other dog. But Troll was howling from the backpack, and Odin was sitting in front of me, giving me the strangest look you ever saw. "What model are you?", I could picture him asking.

I tried to get rid of Odin, but no matter what I did, he kept on following. "OK, so follow then", I thought to myself and headed up the mountain. I tried to let Troll walk on the crusty snow, but then came Odin and "buried" Troll immediately. Odin just wanted to play, but you don't "bury" a 13-year old dachshund and get away with it. This situation didn't get us closer to the mountain, and I had to carry Troll again.


Just as I entered the Trollstolen foothills, a cold, cold wind came blowing in. I had 250 vertical meters of ascent ahead of me, and my shoulders were aching a bit. I considered leaving my snowshoes (attached to the backpack) behind, but wasn't sure if Odin would chew on them. A little further ahead, I had to put on crampons. It wasn't ABSOLUTELY necessary for getting to the top, but eased the ascent quite a bit - and the descent considerably.

Halfway up the hillside, Odin was out of sight. I sighed, thinking we were rid of him, and looked forward to letting Troll out of the backpack. We reached Trollstolen summit 13:20PM. The wind was much colder up here, and the only sheltered spot behind the cairn, was full of snow. I decided to keep Troll in the backpack while taking pictures. He was howling back there. I had probably forgotten to tie the loose ends, and they might have been whipping him in the face.

The original plan was to hike Blåstolen on the way back. I would probably need 2 hours for the descent alone, and in case I ran into Odin again, I would have to get him back home. Wherever that was. I decided to abandon my Blåstolen plan, and headed back down. The thought of the cold winds up there wasn't tempting, either.


Troll managed to walk 5 minutes down Trollstolen before Odin caught up with us. Again, Troll was "buried", and I had to pick him back up. Odin followed me - so close - that he felt like a natural extension to my trousers. Back at Høgsetra, I waited a while, listening for any whistles or shouts. Nothing.

As we entered the forest path, I figured I could have Troll in front and keep Odin behind me. This proved to work, but not without a fight. Troll didn't want to lead, so he laid down. When I tried to shove him ahead, he bit me. Not a very hard bite, and besides, I was wearing gloves. But then I flipped. Troll realised that he was so far "across the border" that he got up and took the lead immediately.

Keeping Odin behind me was a different matter. Wherever the path would allow him, he went past me, and "buried" Troll from behind. Troll was getting more and more pissed off. I was getting more and more pissed off, and Odin just wanted to play. "You're wearing antennas - USE THEM", I shouted to Odin, hoping he would grasp the sincerity in my message. Instead, he jumped past me and "buried" Troll once again. This scenario repeated itself many times down the forest..

Odin's home

We reached the trailhead 15:20PM. I couldn't just let Odin stay behind, although I had a feeling he lived nearby, and would find his way home. I put him in in the front seat, and Troll in the back. As I was getting in, Odin jumped to the backseat and "buried" Troll once again. Or "floored" him, as that's where Troll ended up.

I placed Odin on the floor in front of the passenger seat, and finally got the car moving. I couldn't leave both dogs in the car, so I had to stop people out walking or driving. The first woman I talked to lived just below the trailhead, and had never seen him before. She suggested that he might belong to someone in Våge. Christ..

I stopped another car. They volunteered to take me to someone who had a dog. Perhaps he would know. We met this guy further down the road, as he was out driving. He recognized the dog, and I shouted "YES! YES! YES!", while banging my hands into the car-roof. He looked at me, and when I finally calmed down, he asked me if I was from Åndalsnes. Was my behaviour symptomatic for Åndalnes people?, I thought to myself.

Finally, we pulled up in front of Odin's home, and the woman took care of the dog. Her husband was out hunting, and was probably looking for him. I didn't stick around to chat and just wanted to get back home. Having overslept in the morning, I had no breakfast, and hadn't eaten all day. I hadn't had anything to drink either, and had a terrible headache. Mostly because of sore shoulder, I guess.

I called the owners the next day to go through the details. I was told that Odin does this "all the time", and even if I wanted to let them know that THIS WAS VERY AGONISING, AND THAT THEY SHOULD KEEP CONTROL OF THE DOG, I didn't. The conversation was done in a civil manner, and the owner was kind enough not to be angry with me, for the trouble I'd caused him...

Pictures from the Dec 9 2006 hike

To Høgsetra

1. The trailhead (240KB) 2. Through the gate (240KB) 3. Trail begins here (275KB) 4. Nice forest trail (361KB) 5. Trail junction close to Høgsetra (301KB) 6. Høgsetra (569KB) 7. Old and tired building (277KB) 8. And along came Odin (360KB)

To Trollstolen

9. Corridor through the birch forest (231KB) 10. Valley view (625KB) 11. Trollstolen ahead (142KB) 12. Odin does strange things (217KB) 13. Blåstolen (208KB) 14. Blåstolen (283KB) 15. Troll walking (164KB)

Wide-angle view from Trollstolen

16. Wide-angle view from Trollstolen (1064KB)

50mm views from Trollstolen

17. 50mm view from Trollstolen (1257KB) 18. 50mm view from Trollstolen (1632kB)

Zoom views from Trollstolen

19. Zoom view from Trollstolen (1514KB) 20. Zoom view from Trollstolen (644KB)


21. Blåstolen (284KB) 22. Valley view (611KB) 23. Evening sun (220KB) 24. Troll walking - for a few minutes (172KB) 25. Oh no ... (221KB) 26. Burial (292KB)

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