|Melen from Austheim to
Sjurvarden Melen Bollen
|Estimated net time||4-5 hours|
|Drinking water||Several sources of running water at the start of the route, and also some towards the end, but nothing higher up.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route (January 2014).|
|Parking||Room for many cars at both ends of the hike.|
|Start height||37 metres|
|Vertical metres||1140 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||13.5 km|
NOTE: This route description assumes you have two cars, one at the start of the route and one where you come down from Bollen.
Assume your starting point is the round about east of Molde centre where roads E39 and 662 intersect. Drive 4.1 km east on road E39 and turn left in the round about, towards Eide. Follow road 64 5.8 km and pay toll (NOK 20 per 2014) when you exit the tunnel. Start measuring from the toll booth.
- At 5.9 km fork left in the round about, onto road 663 in the direction of Elnesvågen.
- At 11.8 km turn right towards "Farstad", continuing on road 663.
- At 21.5 km turn right towards Eide.
- At 24.2 km fork left and drive uphill.
- At 26.7 km park one of your cars on the right hand side of the road; you will be coming down here at the end of your hike.
Drive 5.2 km back to road 663 and turn right towards Farstad. Follow road 663 12.4 km and turn right where signed (not very visible) for "Fjellvegen". Follow this gravel road 1.0 km to the car park by the shooting range. Park here.
Start your hike by following the mountain road uphill. Turn right onto a signed path after 1.0 km, and follow this path, which is marked by high wooden poles, up to the saddle between Sjurvarden and the small top Stemshesten. Turn left a little before the saddle and head up the north-east slopes of Sjurvarden. The summit is marked by a large cairn, which holds a summit registration book.
From Sjurvarden continue south-east on fine path, first across the small top Skottenvarden, and then up along the old stone fence to the summit of Melen. This summit is also marked by a large cairn, and also holds a summit registration book.
From Melen continue off-path south towards Bollen, and climb Bollen where you find it most suitable. The summit cairn is located in the south end of the summit plateau.
To descend down to your car at Eriklia head north-east and then east along the wide ridge. You can stay on the ridge in an eastern direction as it gets more defined, and will take you down to the cairn (and registration point) called Mjølkberget. From here continue east and south-east, and you might pick up a vague path. When you get down to a forest road turn left and follow this forest road 150 metres to a junction. Turn left and follow this forest road, which gets less defined after a short distance, down to the paved road. Turn left onto this road and walk 670 metres back to your car.
04. January 2014
I had agreed with Amund to do a hike north of Molde this Saturday, and with nice conditions we decided to take the benefit of two cars and do something that would have been a long hike if having to start and finish in the same place. We met in Molde just before 9am and drove two cars to Eriklia, where our hike would finish, and from here continued in one car to the shooting range north-east of Sjurvarden.
Most of the terrain allowed for easy hiking, but a small accident just before we got to the saddle between Sjurvarden and Stemshesten almost put a stop to the hike; I stepped on something that looked like a suitable stone for crossing a wet section but ended up drowning my foot almost up to my knee. Fortunately I pulled my foot up quickly enough to avoid the boot being completely filled with cold water, but considerably damage was made and my first thought was that I was going to have a very cold hike. But after having squeezed as much much water as possible out of my sock things didn't feel too bad so there was no reason to consider going back down to the car. And the fact that Amund had a pair of extra socks in his back-pack made me confident that I would be able to complete the hike without much ganger of freezing.
The north slopes of Sjurvarden had some icy patches, but there were not really any problems. And after a short summit stop in the slightly windy conditions we continued towards Melen, now meeting and overtaking a considerable number of hikers. It actually felt like a nice autumn day.
Melen had considerably more ice than Sjurvarden, and the summit plateau was mostly covered by a film of polished ice. Hence our descent towards north was quite time consuming for the upper 20-30 vertical metres. And unfortunately the sky was now getting quite cloudy so the expected nice views were far from perfect.
The rest of the hike, via the summit of Bollen, was quite uneventful until we got down to a little above the road leading back to Eriklia. Here we had some navigational issues, and since I hadn't marked a GPS way-point of where we had parked our first car we weren't quite sure where to descend. But after a small de-tour and some studying of a poor map we concluded about the direction and found our way back to the car in fine style.
Next on the agenda was the drive back to our trail head in order to pick up the other car. After a quick stop in Farstad to buy a Coke and a chocolate we ended up chatting with a woman at the trail head, and my assumption was that I had plenty of the time for the next ferry I could catch. But for some reason I decided to double check the ferry time tables and found that the ferry would leave Molde 15 minutes earlier than I had anticipated. The woman with whom we were chatting, and Amund, quickly concluded I could still make it if I left immediately, and I was very happy for that advise when I rolled onto the ferry a couple of minutes before it was due to leave.