Hovsnebba from Sunndalsøra


Estimated net time 6-8 hours
Difficulty There are three sections of advanced scrambling in the lower section (on the route to Flaggnuten), but made easier by permanent metal chains and ropes.
The climb between Bjønnalauvet and the summit ridge requires some use of hands, but no difficulties.
The crux of the summit ridge is located almost immediately after getting onto the ridge. On ascent you have to drop down close to two metres, and the hand holds are very poor. Getting back up here during your descent can be difficult, but by standing on some stones it will be easier. If you bring a rope or slings it might be worth putting them in place here during your ascent and leave them until you come back.
There is a fair bit of exposure along the ridge, and a couple of sections of slab require attention when the rock is wet. But there are good hand holds in these places, so there is no real danger even on wet rock.
Note that the summit ridge comes to an abrupt end in two places, requiring you to back a few metres and then drop a few metres down to the right (south) of the ridge before proceeding.
Drinking water There are two small streams below 400 metres, in addition to the stream you follow between Bjønnalauvet and the summit ridge.
GSM coverage Coverage throughout the route (June 2009).
Parking Room for many cars at the car park at trail head.
Start height 2 metres
Vertical metres 1610 metres for the roundtrip
Trip distance 7.0 km
GPS-file X
Route photo  Hovsnebba trail head by road 70.


Assume your starting point is Sunndalsøra centre. Locate the round-about where roads 62 and 70 intersect. From here drive 1.1 km on road 70 in the direction of Kristiansund (north), until you see a car park on your left hand side. Park here.

From the north end of the car park (furthest out into the fjord) cross the road and locate the start of a path at the other side of the road. Follow this path uphill. It is very steep, and contains three sections where advanced scrambling is required. All these three sections are made easier by metal chains and ropes being put in place.

When the path starts to traverse the hill-side you will first see a vague path exiting to your left, marked with yellow paint; ignore this exit. A little later another vague path forks left, going up-hill. Follow this path, which is marked by red paint. After a while you get to a short section of boulder. Cross the boulder by going a little to the right. Locate the path above the boulder, which will soon take you to yet another short section of scrambling. After this the path starts to move north and north-east. Approximately 750 metres after leaving the path to Flaggnuten you get to a horisontal section at around 780 metres. Walk another 100 metres, horizontally, and locate a distinct gully up to your right. Aim for this gully, and try to locate the path that runs first on the left hand side of the gully and later crosses to the right hand side. If you don't find the vague path there is no need to worry; just make sure you get across to the right hand side of the gully when you get high up. If so, you are bound to find the traces of a path, which will bring you all the way to the summit ridge.

When you get to the summit ridge turn right, and after a few metres you are faced with the crux of the hike. Here you will have to lower yourself down a couple of metres to a col. On dry rock this is not difficult, but be aware that you need to climb back up this point when returning. Proceed along the ridge, and when the ridge seems to stop in front of a 3-4 metres high vertical drop back track a few metres, descend down in the right hand side of the ridge, and proceed. You will soon meet another vertical drop, and also this time you can back track a little and descend a few metres down to the right of the ridge before proceeding.

You will now see the summit, which has a small cairn and a post box with a registration book. Be careful across the slab before the summit if the rock is wet.

When descending follow your ascent route across the ridge. At the crux of the ridge traverse, where you have to climb up onto a rounded piece of rock, you can make life easier if you stand on some stones located in the col. Note that the hand holds here are very poor so you need to heavily rely on friction, which makes dry rock almost a prerequisite. After this reverse your ascent route all the way down.



21. June 2009

Sunday, and time to drive back home from Sunndalsøra, after a very nice week-end with Tore and his family, and the other guys coming out for the throwing competitions on Saturday (and the post-competition socialising). But the weather was fine so I decided to do a hike to one of the fantastic Sunndal mountains before hitting the road. I didn't really have anything planned (originally I had planned to do Smisetnebba, but since road 70 was closed due to avalanches I couldn't be bothered with the boat and hitchhiking required to get to the trail head), but I knew that the route to Hovsnebba started with the enjoyable scramble towards Flaggnuten, where I had been on Friday night. I therefore decided to have a go at Hovsnebba, knowing nothing about what to expect.

After a couple of small de-tours to find the correct route, once taking the wrong exit before Flaggnuten, and then also continuing all the way to the registration book by Bjønnalauvet, I found something that looked like an acceptable route up the steep western slopes of Hovsnebba. When I got close to the summit I got a little disappointed when I realised that what I thought was the summit was only a small peak on the west end of the ridge leading east towards the summit. I turned right, towards east, aiming for a higher point that I assumed would be the summit. After only a few metres I got to the crux of the route, and hesitated before proceeding; getting down to the col in question wouldn't be difficult but there didn't seem to be any hand holds for climbing back up. I then saw a small pile of stones in the col and figured I could use them to build a small cairn that would help me to get enough height to be able to drag myself up from the col. I therefore let myself slide down to the col and proceeded along the ridge.

Soon I got another disappointment; the peak I had seen was not the summit, as there was yet another point further east that was higher. Well, no need to hesitate when you're close to the goal. But there were more problems along the route; twice the ridge abruptly stopped, with 3-4 metre vertical drops down to the next section of the ridge. But after analysing the options of the first drop I found a route that went down the south side of the mountain, onto a shelf, and from here it was no problem to continue. When I got to the second drop I chose the same tactics as on the previous drop. Now it was only a few metres up to the summit, and this time I was sure since I could see a post box. The last few metres passed a section of slab, but there were good hand holds and dry rock so this gave no problems.

The views from the summit were slightly distracted by clouds, but were still impressive, and the almost vertical slopes down to Sunndalsøra made sure you would be 100% concentrated both on the small summit itself and when starting the descent.

For the descent I found what I assume is the best route, with traces of paint, and thoroughly enjoyed the scrambling, both along the ridge and further down. When I got down to the car park I met a guy, and we chatted a little. He was on his way to Flaggnuten, and told me that he had been to Hovsnebba four or five times. But he had never been there solo, and wasn't sure he would feel comfortable in the very exposed terrain without having company. I told him I didn't feel it was that exposed, but in hindsight I must admit I was very concentrated along the ridge.

A truly enjoyable hike, making the three hours drive back home much better than if I'd driven home directly after breakfast.

Photos 21.06.2009