|Sandfjellet & Storbua
Sandfjellet Kvasstinden Storbua
|Estimated net time||6-8 hours|
|Difficulty||No difficulties, but the route is strenuous and with a fair bit of boulder.|
|Drinking water||The only fairly reliable source of running water are the small streams above the lake at 930m.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route, but patchy around Kvasstinden and parts of the valley below the lake at 930m (September 2011).|
|Parking||Room for several cars by trail head.|
|Start height||388 metres|
|Vertical metres||1390 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||13.1 km|
From Ålesund drive road E39/E136 east to Sjøholt and continue approximately 20 km across Ørskogfjellet. Turn right where signed for Åndalsnes and continue 7.9 km on road E136 to the village Tresfjord. Turn right where signed for "Øvstedal" and follow this road also 7.9 km, to its end at Dalskleiva. Along the way you have to pay toll (NOK 20 per 2011). The road is a little rough towards the very end.
From the car park at Dalskleiva follow the forest road left a few metres and then turn right onto a path going uphill. This path zigzags up to the pass by lake Kleivvatnet, from where you turn left and follow the path along the ridge going north-west. At a little above 900 metres the path leaves the ridge and runs towards the small lake at 930 metres. The path gradually fades away as you get close to the lake, and you should make sure you pass the lake at its right (south) side. From the lake you will find some red dots of paint and also some wooden poles, but there is no path. From 1200 metres start turning a little left and head north to the summit of Sandfjellet across boulder. The summit is marked by a large cairn.
From Sandfjellet head south-east down to the saddle between Sandfjellet and Kvasstinden, and then climb Kvasstinden on the obvious route along the edge. The summit of Kvasstinden is marked by a small cairn. To continue to Storbua head south from Kvasstinden and find your best route up the steep north-west slopes of Storbua. You will find the summit cairn at the east area of the summit plateau.
Descend Storbua via your ascent route and turn left when you're in the Storbua-Kvasstinden saddle. Find your best way down the boulder and re-join your ascent route somewhere above the lakes at 930 metres. From here reverse your ascent route back to the car park.
17. September 2011
I had wanted to hike Sandfjellet and Storbua for quite a while, and when the weather forecast for this Saturday turned out to be good I contacted Torgeir (who was part of the Søre Sætretind team three weeks earlier) and Kjetil (who I climbed Tårnet and Storvasstinden with five weeks earlier), as they had both expressed interest in having hiking mates. Since I had only done one previous hike with each of them I didn't have a lot of references, but both those hikes had been relatively long and more or less challenging, so I was pretty sure we would do OK as a team in terms of fitness and abilities. After a couple of calls Friday night we agreed time and place for meeting on Saturday morning.
However, there was one thing that started to worry me about this hike, there was fresh snow down to 1000 metres. And when I was driving from home on Saturday morning I got more and more concerned about the snow. But since I didn't know how deep the snow would be I concluded that the best thing to do was to continue as planned.
We met at the petrol station at Sjøholt, with the sun already turning the cold morning into a beautiful day, and drove Torgeir's car to trail head in Øvstedalen, since he had brought his dog Hera. The last couple of hundred metres of the gravel road up to trail head was a little rough after the last weeks heavy rain, but we got up OK and were ready to start our hike a little after 9am. When we got up to the pass by lake Kleivvatnet at 630 metres we stopped and considered our options, since it was obvious that the amounts of snow were quite considerable. An obvious alternative would be to hike Litleskorka, but at the end we decided to go for Sandfjellet and most likely leave Storbua for some other day. We also decided to climb Sandfjellet via its south-west ridge since this would involve less snow than via the normal route.
When we got up to a little above 1000 metres, and had a better view of the route ahead of us, we could see that following the south-west ridge would be more challenging than what it looked like from Kleivvatnet. It was obvious that the ridge had a couple of cliff bands requiring scrambling, which didn't appear terribly tempting given the snow. We therefore decided to head towards the lake at 930 metres, despite the fact that we would then loose almost 100 vertical metres. From the lake we found a good route, which soon brought us up to the snow. But we soon realised the snow wouldn't cause much harm to our hike and concluded that Kvasstinden and Storbua was still on.
At Sandfjellet we enjoyed the fantastic views, both towards Sunnmøre alps and impressive Romsdal mountains. We considered having our lunch at Sandfjellet, but decided to push on and wait with food until we got to Storbua. Hence we headed back down and set our sight on Kvasstinden.
Kvasstinden is a nice little top, with a relatively small summit. We didn't spend much time there, since we were keen to climb Storbua, but at this stage Kjetil concluded he didn't feel like taking on 200 steep vertical metres in snow and boulder, and convinced us he was happy to rest at Kvasstinden and re-join us when we came back down from Storbua. His arguments seemed well thought out, so Torgeir and me proceeded down to the Kvasstinden-Storbua saddle, and then took on the strenuous climb of Storbua's north-west slopes. This turned out to be more cumbersome than we had anticipated, with lots of snow and loose boulder, but since it was only 200 vertical metres there was no way we would turn around on a nice day like this.
At Storbua we changed into dry sweaters and enjoyed some food. Torgeir also spent some time putting a sock on Hera's bleeding paw, while I was busy with my camera. We could also see Kjetil was bored with waiting and had started a relaxed descent down towards the valley. In order to catch up with him we did a fair pace down the snow and caught up with him somewhere around 1050 metres. By now there were a number of other hikers on their way to Sandfjellet, and we chatted a little with most of them.
We also met a few hikers below Kleivvatnet, hikers who had the registration point by Kleivvatnet as their target of the day. Amongst others this included a guy who were wearing clogs! I don't know whether we were impressed, stunned or shocked. When his footwear was commented he only smiled, and it looked like this was is normal footwear when doing this hike.
Back at the car we quickly got underway, eager to make a stop at the petrol station down in Tresfjord in order to get a Coke and a hot dog. Then the drive back to Sjøholt, where we parted after a very fine day in the mountains.