|Estimated net time||3½-4 hours|
|Drinking water||No access to stable sources of running water.|
|GSM coverage||The coverage down in the valley is very patchy, before getting better and better as you ascend, with good coverage above 700 metres (August 2012).|
|Parking||Room for many cars at the car park by trail head at Høgebakken.|
|Start height||405 metres|
|Vertical metres||765 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||11.6 km|
|GPS-file||X (descent only)|
From Ålesund drive road E39 south towards Bergen, and get the ferry from Solevåg to Festøy. From Festøy continue on road E39 11.7 km in the direction of Ørsta, and turn left where signed "Årskog". Turn left after 100 metres, cross the bridge, and then turn right. Drive another 1.7 km and pay toll (NOK 25 per 2013) at the unmanned booth, and then drive 3.6 km to the car park at Høgebakken (Vardalsætra on most maps). Park here. Note that you will have to pass to gates, and you should make sure you close the gates properly after having passed.
Start your hike by following the mountain road in amongst the cabins, and then on path another 750 metres. Turn left, leave the path and head uphill once you've passed the shoulder coming down from left, and head uphill where you find the best route. When you approach the saddle at 670 metres turn left and follow the path up Trongegga's south-east ridge.
From the summit of Trongegga continue north-west towards Masdalhornet's summit, which is marked by a cairn. The distance from Trongegga is approximately 3.1 km, and you will find some tracks, but no proper path guiding you all the way.
Descend by reversing your ascent route.
17. August 2012
Masdalhornet had been on my list of post-work hikes for this August, and when hiking mate Kjetil called and asked for a hike this Friday evening we quickly agreed that Masdalhornet would be a perfect candidate. I had brought hiking gear to work in order to get as early start as possible, and part of the time optimisation is to get changed on the ferry across to Festøy. I left my car at Solevåg, knowing that Kjetil would pick me up at the other side of the fjord crossing.
The road up to Vardalsætra was quite "busy" this Friday afternoon, with four cars in a row, which was practical in terms of the first car opening the gates and the last car closing them. The persons in the other cars were on their way to their cabins in the area, so Kjetil and I were the only ones continuing into the valley on the slightly wet path.
I had expected it to be a path heading up towards the saddle south-east of Trongegga, but couldn't find any. It might be that there is a path heading up to the saddle east of point 717m, but that would be a considerable de-tour, and to us the terrain up south-west of 717m looked easy enough so we headed straight up here. In hindsight it had looked easier than it actually was, as there was a short section of boulder covered by grass and small bushes, but this section was only a few tens of metres wide and certainly didn't justify the much longer route to east of 717m.
Once we had reached the south-east slopes of Trongegga hiking was very easy, but unfortunately the slightly grey weather now included also some fog. I had stopped at Trongegga because of thick fog the last I was here, but today I was determined to cross the plateau to Masdalhornet even if it was poor visibility. But as we started our descent of Trongegga towards Masdalhornet the conditions slowly started to improve, and by the time we left Masdalhornet, after a fairly long summit stop, we had very nice conditions with fine views in most directions.
Thanks to the sun the crossing of the plateau back to Trongegga was quite enjoyable, and we stopped here for some more photos, before heading back down the way we had ascended. Unfortunately we didn't find the very best route down the slopes and ended up with some more boulder and bush than when ascending, which also made me take a beating when I accidentally stepped into one of the hidden holes, but with no more damage than a small cut on my left shin bone.
The drive home was as expected for me, and the timing of the ferry was good, but for Kjetil it was a longer drive since the last ferry of the night to Hundeidvik had gone, and he had to get two ferries in order to get back to Sykkylven.