|Estimated net time||3-4 hours|
|Difficulty||No technical difficulties, but the section above the boulder, from 1140m, has some steeper sections with slightly loose gravel. There is one short section of slab on Søre Grøtdalstind which is likely to require the use of hands, but there's minimal exposure and good hand holds.|
|Drinking water||There's stable access to running water from the stream at trail head and where you cross the stream at 900m. The lower half of the route runs close to a stream but it's slightly cumbersome to get to it.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route (August 2014).|
|Parking||Room for several cars around trail head.|
|Start height||277 metres|
|Vertical metres||1090 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||6.5 km|
From Ålesund drive road E39 south towards Bergen, and get the ferry from Solavågen to Festøya. From Festøya ferry port turn right and drive road E39 in the direction of Ørsta. Measure from the ferry port:
- At 36.5 km turn left in the round about in Ørsta centre and drive road 655 in the direction of Sæbø.
- At 41.2 km turn 90° right and continue on road 655.
- At 58.2 km turn left where the road to "Kvistad" goes right. Be prepared to open and close five gates over the next couple of kilometres.
- At 60.5 km park on the right hand side of the road just before a small bridge.
Start your hike by continuing 180 metres along the gravel road and then turn right onto the signed path to Grøtdalstindane (an old wooden sign a little bit away from the road). Follow this path up through the forest and make sure you fork right and follow the bigger of the two paths from 510m. Continue up to 600m and cross the dry river (or avalanche gully), and proceed on path up to the stream crossing at 890m. From here turn right (east), where the path gets much vaguer, and follow small cairns. From 980m the path completely disappears but the route onwards is marked with many small cairns. The cairns will lead you up to the path above the boulder, from 1140m, and leads you left (north-east) up through the 5 metres wide gap called "Himmelporten", and from there onwards up loose gravel to the saddle between Midtre and Søre Grøtdalstind. If you head left from the saddle you will get to the lower Midtre Grøtdalstind, which is an easy walk. To get to Søre Grøtdalstind, which is the highest point on Grøtdalstindane, descend back to the saddle and then descend a few more metres before you head up left on a path. Note that the start of this path is marked with one dot of red paint. This path has a short section of slab which is likely to require the use of hands, at least when descending. The last few metres are easy walking, up to the summit which is marked by a cairn and a trigonometric point marker. There's also a larger cairn a few metres below the summit, where you'll also find a summit registration book.
Descend by reversing your ascent route.
11. August 2014
I rushed off to Solavågen after work this fairly nice Monday and just managed to catch the planned ferry. Then the slightly long drive towards Sæbø, and finally through five gates that all had to be tackled by the same procedure: stop the car and get out, open the gate, drive the car 12-15 metres, out of the car, close the gate, back into the car and drive to the next gate. And all within approximately 1.5 km. There are times when you really wish you were two persons in the car ...
At trail head I spoke a little with a party of four who had just completed their hike to Grøtdalstindane, and apparently had spent the day doing so. The man who spoke most told me I could expect a steep route, but if I walked all the way up to the south ridge after having crossed the boulder I shouldn't get into any difficulties. But it was "steep like hell". This last comment made me compose myself a little extra, and maybe that's why my experience was that this was a straight forward hike.
When I got up to the saddle between the summits Midtre and Søre I didn't actually know I was between these two tops, and decided to head left to see if that was the highest point. When I got up there I saw immediately that the top right of the saddle was the highest point, and concluded I was standing on Midtre (later verified). I also got a good view of the dark clouds coming in so didn't hang around for long before making it across to Grøtdalstindane's highest point; Søre Grøtdalstind.
By the time I got to Søre the wind was picking up considerably, and I also got a few drops of rain. Unfortunately the views towards south were considerably reduced by the dark clouds, and I expected heavy rain to set in. But the weather didn't get any worse so I took my time to take photos and sign the summit register, before heading back down the very nice route.
My impression after this hike was that it was much shorter and easier than expected, and that I'm likely to come back here on a nice day to enjoy the excellent views.