Skopphornet from Erstad (ski)


Estimated net time 4-6 hours
Difficulty Getting through the forest from Dammen up to 600 metres can be cumbersome. Between 600 and 800 metres there are some steep sections.
Drinking water A number of streams below 600 metres that might have running water, at least during spring..
GSM coverage Coverage throughout the route (April 2009).
Parking There are a number of small places where you can find room for a car around the trail head. Make sure you don't block for tractors.
Start height 62 metres
Vertical metres 1165 metres for the roundtrip
Trip distance 11.2 km
GPS-file X  -  Use the descent route also for ascent (southern-most track from Dammen to 560).
Route photo  Parts of the skiing route above Dammen.


From Ålesund drive road 60 towards Magerholm and cross the fjord on the ferry to Aursneset. From the ferry port at Aursneset drive 10.2 km towards Stranda on road 60, to Straumgjerde. At Straumgjerde turn right, drive across the bridge (crossing Norway's shortest salmon river), and continue north. Drive 3.9 km from road 60. You are now at Erstad, and turn left onto a gravel road. There is a not very visible sign on the right hand side of the road pointing towards "Riksheimdalen". Follow this gravel road uphill for approximately 600 metres. You now get to a gate, and could in theory continue to drive uphill. But most likely the gate is locked, and if it isn't you might well risk that it is locked when you get back down. You therefore should find parking somewhere close to this gate; there are several places where a car can be parked along the road, but you need to make sure you don't block access for tractors etc. to the fields.

Depending on the amount of snow either ski or walk past the gate and up the mountain road. This road zigzags its way up to lake Dammen, approximately 1.9 km and 260 vertical metres. Follow the road past a small red building until you see some direction signs on the left hand side of the road. From here turn right and follow signs for "Hundeidvika". You should aim for a col to the south-west, located between point 607 on the left and slopes of Skopphornet to the right. The route from Dammen to this col goes through partly dense forest, but the direct route is less cumbersome than it looks from below.

From the mentioned col do a sharp right, and head north-west. The first part has some steep sections, mixed with a bit of bush, but once above this you can proceed up the south slopes of Skopphornet all the way to the summit. At first the hill-side is steep enough to require a bit of zigzagging, but further up you can ski directly uphill.

Your descent follows the ascent route.


9. April 2009

I have had Skopphornet on my to-do list for a long time, and it has to some extent been nagging me that I haven't bagged this mountain. One thing is its fairly dominating position amongst the costal mountains, being very visible from a lot of the mountains I tend to visit on a regular basis. Another thing is that I have made an attempt at Skopphornet once before (failed because of fog), together with Stig in August 2007, so I felt I had unfinished business with this piece of rock. A top priority for this Easter was to change this.

This Maundy Thursday started as most of the other mornings this Easter, with an hour or so of easy cross country skiing at Fjellsetra. The weather was fair, and in my view good enough to make an attempt at Skopphornet. After the morning-XC I packed my gear and headed towards Straumgjerde, and at 10:30 I was on my way up the mountain road. There was no snow down here so I was carrying my skis. At Dammen I paused a little in order to try to figure out the correct route. I noticed the col between point 607 and the south slopes of Skopphornet, and knew I should head up to that area, but I didn't know whether I should aim for the col or the area above and to the right of the col. I decided to go for the latter, which proved to be a mistake. In hindsight I can say that my ascent went through much denser forest than the direct route up to the col. I also had to descend a steep section in order to get back down to the col, which I by now realised was the place to be, based on all the old ski-tracks I could see.

From the col I had to carry my skis in a couple of places due to lack of snow. There were also a couple of short sections with very difficult skiing because of rotten snow combined with steep incline. It was so bad I considered calling it a day a couple of times. But I decided to move on, and as expected things got much better as soon as I got the steepest sections, with the rotten snow, behind me. The rest of the ascent was relatively hard work, but there were nothing else than a long climb.

The summit was a windy place, and by now there were clouds everywhere. I therefore didn't stay long, but before I had taken the skins off my skis and had my sandwich another eight skiers had joined me at the summit. They had skied up from Megardsdalen, and were going to descend the gully back down to Megardsdalen. Obviously a bit more experienced skiers than me ...

My own descent was for the most parts very enjoyable. In the flat section above 1000 metres the snow was hard with a tiny layer of fresh snow. In the long steep descent the snow was wet and fairly heavy, but not at all rotten. In total I don't think I have ever had more continuous telemark turns than what I had between the summit and 700 metres. From then on it was more difficult down to 600 metres, and approximately 50 of these vertical metres I did on my feet. No points for style, but comfort also counts! From the col below 607 metres I was able to ski something like another 50 vertical metres before there was no more snow. I now walked down to the small red building in a direct line, and didn't have any problems of any kind. Then the extremely boring walk down the mountain road to the car, before driving to Brattvåg to pick up Sigurd. And while he was getting ready for a return to Fjellsetra I managed to squeeze in a quick hike across Heimste Synnalandshornet.

Photos 09.04.2009