|Saksa and Leknesnakken
from Leknes to Urke
|Estimated net time||5-6 hours|
On your way to the saddle between
Leknesnakken and Saksa the path traverses the steep west side of
Leknesnakken and a minimum of care is required in a couple of places.
When you ascend Saksa from south you have to climb two smaller tops before you get to the summit. The descent from the first top down to the col between the first and second tops requires some care and use of hands. If there is snow in the col you have to be very careful on where you put your feet since the col is narrow and there is danger of cornices. Also, the snow might be steep and hard.
The col between the second and third tops is much easier to get down to, but again care should be shown if there is snow in the col.
|Drinking water||There are a couple of small streams below the saddle between Leknesnakken and Saksa. There is also running water a little above the saddle.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route (July 2009).|
|Parking||Room for many cars at the car park at trail head.|
|Start height||5 metres|
|Vertical metres||1325 metres for the roundtrip|
|Trip distance||9.5 km|
|Route photo||The route down from south top to the saddle between south and middle tops. Approximate route from Leknesnakken-Saksa saddle to Saksa south top.|
From Ålesund drive towards Magerholm and then take the ferry across to Aursneset. From the ferry drive road 60 across Strandafjellet to the T-junction above Stranda centre (there is an Esso petrol station here per July 2009). Turn right at this junction, towards Hellesylt and Stryn, and drive 31.5 km. Turn right onto road 655, signed for "Øye". Drive 25.0 km along this road, all the way to the ferry port at Leknes. Park on the small car park on the right hand side of the ferry area.
From the car park walk a few metres back towards the road and locate a gravel road that goes west and north up to a house. Continue north-east past this house, and follow the gravel road to its end. Just before a small house you turn right and follow the path that runs along the western slopes of Leknesnakken.
When you get up to the saddle between Leknesnakken and Saksa proceed east through the saddle before you turn left and follow the path in a northern direction. Follow this path all the way to the southern most (and lowest) of the three tops of Saksa. This top is ascended on the left (west) hand side.
From the southern top descend a little towards west, before starting the climb down to the col between the southern and middle tops. The route down the ridge is obvious, but you need to be careful since it is both steep and narrow. From the col proceed up to the top of the middle top, before descending down into the second col. From here it is straight forward up to the summit.
The return down to the saddle between Leknesnakken and Saksa is done by reversing the ascent route. When you get to the saddle proceed all the way to the steep northern slopes of Leknesnakken before turning left (east). The path here is a bit vague, but if you traverse more left than ascending you will soon find the path that runs up the north-east ridge of Leknesnakken. Follow this path all the way to the summit.
From Leknesnakken summit descend back down to the saddle and turn right (east), following the path that runs on the right hand side of the stream through the forest down towards Urke. In the lower section the path crosses to the left hand side of the river, and will bring you down to a gravel road. When you hit the gravel road turn right and follow this road down to road 655 and Urke.
29. July 2009
I had wanted to do Saksa for quite a while, and after a closer study of the maps I saw the opportunity to make this a family hike. So Njål, Sigurd, Elisabeth and me left our cabin at Fjellsetra after breakfast, with the intention of Sigurd and me doing Saksa while Njål and Elisabeth did Leknesnakken.
We left trail head a few minutes before noon. The sky was grey, but it looked like a fair chance that we would avoid rain. Already from trail head Sigurd and me walked quicker than the other two, which was according to plan so we could re-join in the saddle between Leknesnakken and Saksa after we had visited respective mountains.
When Sigurd and me got to the saddle between Leknesnakken and Saksa we lost the path, and a call to Elisabeth (who had the route description in form of the book "Fotturar på Sunnmøre") didn't produce any guidance on where the path continued. Next was then of course to call Arnt, who had visited Saksa a couple of years earlier, and after a lot of discussions we finally went for the scientific method on getting us on the correct track: I looked up my exact location on my GPS, and Arnt then plotted these coordinates into his Saksa-tracks on his PC. Through this he was able to tell me that if I headed north-east approximately 180 metres we would hit the path. And sure we did! Thanks, Arnt. The reason for our problems was that we didn't know that we had to walk far east in the Leknes-Saksa saddle before heading north, as this seemed illogical since it was perpendicular to the direction we would walk if heading straight for the summit.
After the navigation issues, and after having got ourselves back on the path, we had no problems proceeding in a good pace up to the south top. From here it was obvious where to descend down into the col between the south and middle tops, and this was where my concerns came creeping, related to whether Sigurd would cope with the exposure or not. The good thing was that there was no snow in the col, and the rock was dry. We decided to move slowly down the steep north side of the south top, and as it turned out Sigurd didn't have any problems at all. The ascent of the middle top, and then onwards to the summit didn't cause any problems at all.
After having taken photos and enjoyed a light snack at the summit we proceeded back down to the Leknesnakken-Saksa saddle, where Elisabeth and Njål were waiting for us, after successfully having visited Leknesnakken. Elisabeth showed me where they had found the vague path to Leknesnakken before all three of them headed back down to Leknes. We also agreed that I would descend to Urke after my hike to Leknesnakken, and that they would pick me up by the grocery store at Urke.
The path up to Leknesnakken was a bit vague the first few tens of metres, but once on the north-east ridge the path was easy to follow all the way to the summit. By now it had started to rain lightly, so my summit stop wasn't longer than the time I needed in order to take a number of photos. I then headed back down to the saddle before following the steep path through the forest down towards Urke, and then along the gravel road down to the main road.
By the time I got to Urke it was raining quite heavily, and I went to the store both to get cover from the rain and treat myself with a coke and a chocolate. Unfortunately I didn't have any money, but I asked the lady if it was OK she got money in a few minutes time when my wife arrived, which she kindly said was no problem. I then found out that she was about to close the store for the day, but also this she said was no problem; she would keep the store open a little longer. Very kind indeed. When Elisabeth and the boys arrived we all had some snacks and refreshments, and it made me happy to leave some money behind in this most welcoming store.