Blåbredhornet from Hjortedalen (ski)
|Estimated net time||4-5 hours|
There are not really any difficulties, but
there are some factors to consider;
- there might be an issue to get across the stream at the beginning of the hike
- stay in the centre of Blåbreddalen valley as the sides are avalanche prone
- it might be a good idea to have some distance between the skiers where you leave Blåbreden below top 1575m as this stretch doesn't offer the opportunity to ski in the centre of a valley.
|Drinking water||Late in the skiing season there will be access to water from a stream in the valley Blåbreddalen.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage at the start of the route and high up (May 2012).|
|Parking||Room for several cars along the road in Hjortedalen.|
|Start height||510 metres|
|Vertical metres||1240 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||15.0 km|
From Ålesund drive road E39 south towards Bergen, and then exit onto road 60 just south of Ålesund. This road is signed for Stranda. Follow road 60 to the Magerholm ferry port and get the ferry across to Aursneset. From Aursneset ferry port follow road 60 for approximately 35 km, across Strandafjellet, to where you get to a T-junction. There is an Esso petrol station on the right hand side of the road (per 2012). Turn right here and continue 48.7 km along road 60 in the direction of Stryn, and turn right where signed for "Engebø". Drive this road uphill 1.0 km and pay toll at the unmanned booth (NOK 20 per 2012). Continue another 1.9 km, fork right, and drive another 500 metres to a small car park on the left hand side of the road. Park here. Note that the road above Engebø is not likely to be ploughed.
Start skiing by following the road a couple of hundred metres uphill and then turn left into the valley Blåbreddalen. Stay in the centre of the valley if there's any avalanche danger, and after approximately 2.5 km of easy skiing start the climb from 760 metres up to the glacier Blåbreden at 1200 metres. Continue north across the glacier, up to 1270 metres, and then turn a little right in order to climb the wide ledge on the west side of top 1575m. From the top of the ledge continue north and find your best route to the final south slopes of Storhornet. The summit is a large plateau and care should be shown if the visibility is poor.
From Storhornet ski back down to the glacier at 1250 metres and gradually turn right (south-west) in order to skirt around the two small tops on the west side of the glacier, and you will soon be at Blåbredhornet's summit, which is marked by a small cairn (might be hidden inside the snow).
From Blåbredhornet ski back down to the glacier, and from here reverse your ascent route in order to get back to Hjortedalen.
28. May 2012
Storhornet had been on my wish list for a couple of years, and when hiking mate Kjetil agreed to join me (or vice versa?) on this Whit Monday I was all set. Unfortunately the gorgeous weather of the previous couple of days had changed dramatically, with a temperature drop of ~15°C overnight, and clouds down to 1300-1400 metres. We still decided to have a go at Storhornet, with a plan-B of skiing Gjura if visibility dictated it and the road up into Hjortedalen was covered with snow. Kjetil picked me up at our cabin at Fjellsetra a little after 08:30, and when we arrived in Hjortedalen we were able to drive to a little above 500 metres, which was good enough for us. And the low clouds were predicted to disappear during the day according to weather forecasts, so we agreed to go for Storhornet, and to include Rokkekjerringa and Blåbredhornet.
Skiing Blåbreddalen from Hjortedalen means you have to cross a river at the beginning of the hike, and fortunately there was still a sufficient snow bridge to allow crossing, but it wasn't one which you would like to stop in the middle of and do fancy jumping. After successfully crossing the river it was 2.5 km easy skiing through the flat section of Blåbreddalen, before we took on the 500 vertical metres up to the top of Blåbreden glacier. This part of the hike was uneventful, and even if it was some avalanche danger the valley is wide enough for safe skiing if staying in the middle of the valley.
From the top of Blåbreden we got a glimpse of Storhornet's summit, but it soon disappeared in clouds. However, Kjetil knew the route from a previous hike, so navigation wasn't an issue. What was a small issue was the steep west slopes of the 1575-top, where the snow was yet to avalanche off the mountain side. Because of this we agreed to cross this section with some distance between us, and through that at least improve the odds if one of us were caught in an avalanche. This safety measure proved to be redundant, but didn't have any cost associated with it so nothing lost in terms of time nor distance.
The final climb to the summit was easy skiing, but longer than I had anticipated from below 1575m, and with an awkward crust. Adding to this we had practically zero visibility from the summit. Despite this we were both reasonably happy, and for me it was at least a good feeling to have bagged this fine mountain.
While enjoying our sandwiches and taking a few photos we agreed that there was no point continuing to Rokkekjerringa, which had been the original plan. We also agreed to leave Blåbredhornet for some other time. And since the thick clouds didn't make any intentions of lifting we soon agreed to start our descent, and in order to cope with the crust we descended back down to the glacier with the skins on, with the intention to remove the skins once we got to the better snow at the glacier.
Descending to the glacier with skins on worked much better than expected, and when we reached the glacier my spirit had risen quite considerable, and with slightly better visibility I suggested we should do the relatively short de-tour to include Blåbredhornet. Kjetil didn't have any objections, and we skirted around the two small tops north of Blåbredhornet and found the summit cairn just sticking up from the snow.
We made the summit stop at Blåbredhornet just long enough to take a few photos, drink some water and rip the skins off the skis. I expected the descent to be a little tricky, but despite the snow being fairly soft it was very nice skiing down to Blåbreden, and just as nice all the way down Blåbreddalen valley. And down in the flat section the snow was just firm enough to allow some skating in the short sections which have a slight incline. So despite poor views and missing Rokkekjerringa it turned out to be a nice day of skiing.
Back at the car we changed into dry clothes before heading back towards
Sykkylven. We both had the usual post-hike urge for a Coke, and were happy to
find that a small kiosk by Horndøla bridge had opened for the season. Then with
a Coke each it was just the drive back, and by now it was pouring down as we
drove through Strandadalen valley and across Strandafjellet.