Standalhytta via Kvanndalen (ski)
|Estimated net time||5-6 hours|
|Difficulty||There are a number
of potential difficulties related to this route.
- The road from Standal to trail head by Standalhytta is not open during winter so it is only possible to drive to trail head from some time around April, depending on amount of snow in the mountains.
- One needs to be aware of the avalanche danger through Kvanndalen, but by staying in the middle of the valley one should be safe.
- The snow through Stretet can be very hard. Crampons might be considered.
- After having passed through Stretet you will have to ski around the glacier. By doing that you will be safe from any crevasses. However, if skiing late in spring there might be an issue getting from the glacier onto the rocky summit point of Kolåstinden due to the gap between the glacier and the mountain.
- The final ascent to the Kolåstinden summit is very steep, and if the snow is hard/icy an ice axe and crampons should be considered.
- The summit ridge of Kolåstinden is very exposed so a head for height is required, but there are no difficulties.
|Drinking water||During spring there is easy access to drinking water from the river at the Kvanndalen valley floor.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage only in the very beginning of the route, and at the summit (May 2008).|
|Parking||Room for many cars at trail head.|
|Start height||374 metres|
|Vertical metres||1070 metres for the roundtrip|
|Trip distance||11.5 km|
This route description assumes the road through Standaldalen valley is open and
free of snow.
From Ålesund drive to Solavågen and take the ferry across to Festøy. From the ferry at Festøy take left and drive towards Standal. 20.5 km after leaving the ferry you will arrive at the trail head by Standalhytta (a cabin owned by the Aalesund Ski Club).
Start hiking (whether you can ski or not from the car depends on the amount of snow) by aiming for the narrow opening of the Kvanndalen valley a little to your right, between the foot of Kolåstinden and Sætretindane. There are several possible routes to get up to Kvanndalen, but if there is no snow down here then it is probably easiest to follow the service road that runs on the left hand side of a field. Alternatively you can ski across the field or follow a low ridge on the right hand side of the field (this ridge has a path).
When you get into Kvanndalen you should stay in the middle of the valley, where you avoid the sideways slopes. You need to cross the river in a few places, and should evaluate the snow bridges crossing the river. At the north end of the valley you should gradually turn left (west) up a moderately steep hill, up to the place called "Appelsinhaugen" (the place where you would eat your orange), which is around half-way to the summit in terms of time. Continue turning left and aim for the left-most gap in the pointy ridge you have in front of you. This is Stretet. The snow here can be hard in the last steep section, so crampons might be an option.
Once you are through Stretet you will see Kolåstinden ahead of you, on the other side of the glacier. This glacier shouldn't be crossed, but circumvented on the right hand side (west). Ski relatively close to the small peaks on your right hand side all the way to the foot of the final steep hill up to the summit. If there is a gap between the glacier and the rocky summit you will need to find a suitable place for crossing, most probably at the far side (south). At what point you take off the skies to get to the summit is something that is decided by the amount of snow and you skiing abilities. This section is steep, and might require crampons and an ice axe.
When you get to the summit ridge you have to scramble along a few metres in order to get to the highest point. Be careful since this is a very exposed area, but there are no technically difficult sections.
The descent is done via the ascent route.
24. May 2008
This Saturday hike had been planned for several days, including gathering information from Arild (has 16 visits to Kolåstinden) and Arnt. I decided to start early in order to avoid any issues with respect to parking, and also in order to be back home while there was still a bit of day-time left. After having crossed Storfjorden on the 07:10 ferry I was ready to start skiing at 08:05. The temperature was then 11°C, but I assumed it would feel much hotter during the ascent since it was no wind and the sun was shining from a clear sky.
I headed up the service road on the left (west) side of the field below the entry to Kvanndalen, and from the end of this road aimed straight for Kvanndalen, carrying the skies on my rucksack. There was just the wrong amount of snow from the end of the road to the start of the valley; too little snow for skiing, but too much rotten snow for comfortable walking. It therefore took med half an hour before I got to the point where I could put on the skies.
From the start of Kvanndalen it was trivial skiing all the way up to Stretet, on firm snow. Through Stretet the snow was hard, but not icy, and on the south side of Stretet the snow was starting to get wet from the shining sun.
When I got to the final steep section up to the summit I decided to take off the skies, not because the snow was hard but simply because I didn't fancy skiing down this steep slope. The last few vertical metres up to the ridge were straight forward as there was hardly any snow left, and moving along the ridge to the highest point was also done without any problems.
I spent quite a while at the summit, taking photos and enjoying my lunch; even at the summit there was no wind, and the sun was working wonders in generating heat.
By the time I started the descent the snow was really wet and heavy, and doing Telemark turns proved quite hard work. I assume someone with a better technique than me wouldn't have had the same struggle. I met in total 13 other skiers between a little below Stretet and trail head during my descent.