Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal

Urdfjellet / Kaldbaken, Dec 15 2007

This route is described on the Urdfjellet main page


The route from Melsetra

The route from Melsetra
(Click for larger image)

I wasn't ...

100% sure that I had time to be on a mountain this Saturday. It was an intense work period, but I anticipated that I was on track with my ongoing project, even if I paid the mountains a short visit on this beautiful day. The weather had been great ever since I visited Tussen a week ago. It was quite cold, so I decided to limit myself to 1000m, or thereabout. Actually, I think the dog that I had to carry in the backpack was the primary limiting factor. A trembling backpack only makes me feel guilty.

Where to go?

As I'm "saving" peaks in the Ørsta/Volda region for when I move to Gurskøya next summer, my choice of a mountain would be to the east or the north. Good candidates for this day only seemed to be found on the other side of Romsdalsfjorden, Urdfjellet and Kvannfjellet being the strongest candidates. A bit shame, really, as I had been to Tussen recently, thus documenting the views quite well.

I drove to Skaret and made inquiry about the road to Malmesetra. It was closed, but I was told that people skied Urdfjellet straight on. A fellow skier named Alfred pointed out the route for me and told me that he was heading up there too. The choice was made. The route seemed to be short, steep and practical.

The "race"

I headed out from Skaret 11:00AM. Troll walked one kilometer until I left the road by the first farm. The forest was just as steep as it looked, and I chose to ascend the lower section on foot. Troll was now firmly secured in the backpack. I joined Alfred at the point where skiing had become practical, and we headed out together. Another skier was slowly coming up behind us.

The snow just above the forest seemed OK, and I looked forward to the descent. I had chosen narrow skis and leather boots, which turned out to be a really bad choice. Gradually, I drifted ahead of Alfred. Once I find a rhythm, I like to stick with it. The third skier (with heel support) took a direct course up the mountain. I had to zig-zag in order to keep the momentum. Soon, the third skier was ahead of me.

This was however a good opportunity to find out how good shape I was in. I had recently been down with the fever and the flu, and energy had been low. I felt much better this Saturday, so I decided to try to follow the skier's pace. Having a 10Kg backpack (dog ++) and having to make zig-zags meant that I would have to raise the pace in order to keep up.

I'm WAY over those years where I couldn't let anyone outwalk me. This was just a research on my current physical condition. The "findings" were optimistic. I kept up with other skier, and arrived the summit 1 minute after him, 12:40PM.

Bad descent

It was quite chilly on top. I chatted some with the other skier and took my pictures before deciding that the dog and I would be better off down in the hillside. Alfred arrived at the top as we were heading back down. I dreaded the descent. The combination of my downhill skills, my current equipment and the snow which now had got a hard crust, wasn't a good one. Skiing down with Troll in the backpack was simply not possible. Couldn't do it. There was only one solution - Troll had to walk.

After this descent, Troll will not send in a nomination request for "Most considerate dog owner, 2007". The snow was either sharp or icy, the hillside was steep and the dog was utterly miserable. I told him "there's nothing I can do for your paws, but try to keep your pecker as high as possible". He didn't reply.

Things went better further down the hillside, but the forest was rough. Outside the ski tracks, the snow was too soft and deep. The ski tracks were all icy, and even I had problems walking. It was good to finally be back down on the road. I made it all-time-high comfortable for Troll in the passenger seat, with blankets, heating up the seat and all. He was in deep sleep before we reached Molde.


Slideshow, all pics on this page:

To Urdfjellet

1. Urdfjellet and my route seen from Skaret (190KB) 2. Approaching the forest (371KB) 3. Alfred (256KB) 4. View down. Steep forest (345KB) 5. Finally in good skiing terrain (352KB) 6. View back down (365KB) 7. Closing in on the top (174KB) 8. On Urdfjellet summit (282KB)

Wide-angle view (w/compass) from Urdfjellet

9. Wide-angle view from Urdfjellet (1170KB)

50mm view from Urdfjellet

10. 50mm view from Urdfjellet (1372KB)

Zoom views from Urdfjellet

11. Zoom view from Urdfjellet (Trollheimen, Eresfjord peaks, etc.) (1645KB) 12. Zoom view from Urdfjellet (1539KB) 13. Zoom view from Urdfjellet (2349KB) 14. Zoom view from Urdfjellet (735KB)

Other pics from Urdfjellet

15. View down from Urdfjellet (476KB) 16. Skier leaving Urdfjellet (328KB) 17. Tussen - visited one week earlier (486KB)


18. Descending Urdfjellet (281KB) 19. Back at Skaret (358KB) 20. The moon, now back in Ålesund (84KB)

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