Liadalsnipa-traverse, Bjørnastighornet and Eggja from Halse
Liadalsnipa  Bjørnastighornet  Eggja


Estimated net time 5-6 hours
Difficulty This hike is not suitable for those who are afraid of exposure. However, a lot of people take on this hike every year, so it's not that difficult.
The first section, from Halse to Liadalsnipa summit along the steep north ridge, has a little bit of exposure, but no difficulties.
The second section of the hike, the Liadalsnipa traverse, offers a great deal of exposure and several sections requiring climbing moves. This traverse is not recommended if the rock is wet.
The first part can be described as exposed scrambling, with no difficulties. You then get to the first crux, which has a steel chain to aid the descent. Then some more scrambling down towards the col, before you get to the second crux, which is about as difficult as the first crux but without any usable man-made features to aid you.
From the col you have to climb back up a steep wall. A lot of people will feel more comfortable if they have support of a rope here. This is the most difficult part of the hike.
After the Liadalsnipa traverse is completed the rest of the hike is without any difficulties.
Drinking water Access to running water when you cross a small stream, both on ascent and descent, a little north of lake Nakkevatnet at around 450 metres.
GSM coverage Coverage throughout the route.
Parking There is room for a few cars at the farm at trail head, but you ought to ask permission from the owner of the farm.
Start height 135 metres
Vertical metres 1110 metres for the roundtrip
Trip distance 8.9 km
GPS-file X
Route photo   The route across Liadalsnipa
  The route from east of Liadalsnipa to Bjørnastighornet


From Ålesund drive road E39 towards Solavågen and take the ferry across to Festøy. From the ferry port continue on road E39 for 28.3 km. Turn left here where signed for "Halse" and continue uphill for 1.2 km. Find parking around the farm, but do ask for permission to park.
From the farm aim for the north ridge of Liadalsnipa, crossing the fields before you get into the forest. The path through the forest is well defined, and will take up to lake Nakkevatnet. Just before you get to this small lake you turn right (following the path), and start the ascent of the steep north ridge. Follow the path all the way to the summit.

From Liadalsnipa summit follow the path east across the summit ridge. The ridge will soon be narrow and steep. The first problem area is equipped with a steel chain that aids the descent down a 4 metres high vertical section. There is a narrow vertical cut into the rock and you start the descent by getting as far down along this cut as possible. After this you just have to find the best places on offer for hand holds and support for your feet. A fall down to the right (assuming you climb down facing the rock) will definitely kill you.

Almost immediately after this is the next crux, a slightly rugged steep section with less than ideal hand holds. There are at least two good routes down this section, both on and to the right of the centre of the ridge as you look down on it, and you need to find your own preferred route. After you have climbed down to the col you are faced with an almost vertical wall; definitely the hardest section of the traverse. This wall should be climbed slightly to the right of the centre, where there are a number of good hand-holds, but not good enough to make life easy. After you have climbed the difficult section in the lower half it turns into an easy scramble in the upper half. You have now completed the Liadalsnipa traverse.

From the east end of the Liadalsnipa traverse continue south-east towards the small top ahead of you, which will give you a nice view of Ørsta. From here continue east, following the ridge down to the south side of lake Nykkjavatnet, and then follow the west ridge of Bjørnastighornet to its summit.

From Bjørnastighornet find the best route north, down to the saddle between Bjørnastighornet and Eggja, heading directly north from the bottom of the saddle. Then ascent Eggja a little east of its south ridge, and continue along to its summit, which is assumed to be the point around the centre of the long plateau.

From Eggja descend west and gradually turning south. East of the north end of lake Nakkevatnet you will find a path that will take you back down to the car.



03. July 2008

This trip to Liadalsnipa was organised by Arnt. Initially we were supposed to be around five people taking on this hike, but for various reasons we ended up being only Arnt and me. We drove straight from work in Ålesund and met at the Solavågen ferry port, then the ferry across to Festøy, and the drive to Halse in Arnt's convertible. At 17:05 we were ready to start our hike.

This was a very warm Thursday so we were happy the first part of the hike went through the forest, making things a little less warm in the shadows of the trees. But we were soon above the forest, and felt the drain from the combination of the steep hill and the shining sun. When we passed a small creek we both submerged our boiling heads in the cool water.

After having passed lake Nakkevatnet we were faced with the very steep north ridge of Liadalsnipa. I didn't know what was in front of us, but was prepared for a very difficult scramble to the summit. As it proved ascending this north ridge was easy going, with very little use of hands.

The views from the summit of Liadalsnipa are of the sort you really want; you have the larger Ørsta mountains inland, and the sea and islands to the west. Very nice. While at the summit a group of three other hikers, whom we passed up the north ridge, eventually made it to the top. Arnt started chatting with them, and got an opportunity to excel with his fantastic knowledge about Møre & Romsdal mountains, pointing out mountains throughout the horizon.

After the stop at Liadalsnipa's summit we proceeded across its ridge; something we knew would be much more demanding than the ascent of the north ridge. The scrambling across and down the first section of the ridge proved easy. When we got to the first crux, the one with the metal chain, Arnt descended first, in fine style. I'm not sure about my style but I got down OK, and felt relatively comfortable.

When we got to the last section before getting down to the col, Arnt wanted to play safe as well as getting some experience with using rope in a real environment. He secured the rope, and then descended. I felt comfortable not using the rope, and didn't want to have to deal with more factors than necessary. When I got down Arnt asked the group that came behind us if they got unfasten the rope, but after some attempts they gave up. Arnt therefore climbed up, unfastened the rope, and climbed down again. I'm sure he got to know this crux pretty well.

We let the other group pass us in the col, and they took quite some time to get all the four hikers up the steepest part of the wall. We were now in practicing mode, and agreed to use a rope also up this section. Arnt climbed up first, securing the rope as he climbed. I then followed, getting the opportunity to practice active participation in the art of climbing. After having struggled to get the first key released I eventually got the hang of it, and was able to make my way up the difficult section in a proper way. In hindsight I think I climbing this section without a rope would have made me feel very uncomfortable; this was definitely much more difficult than any of the sections I climbed the day before when ascending Romsdalshornet via Hall's gully.

After having completed the traverse we walked fairly fast across to Bjørnastighornet, and then made our way across to Eggja. On our way across to Eggja Arnt made a couple of phone calls to get someone to check where the highest point on Eggja was located, but none was able to tell us the exact location, and after having studied maps as well as observations while at the plateau, I'm still not sure where the highest point actually is. Anyway, we decided to call it a day when we got to the point marked as Eggja on the maps, and from there descended back down towards Nakkevatnet, and back down to the car.

It was now quite late, and I still had a long drive (and a ferry) before I was home. But this had been such an enjoyable hike, on a fantastic mid-summer evening, that I think I could have been out for another several hours, if it wasn't for the fact that there was work tomorrow, again ...

Photos 03.07.2008