|Storhovda from Gravset (ski)
|Estimated net time||1-1½ hours|
|Drinking water||No access to running water during winter.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route (February 2012).|
|Parking||Room for many cars at car park at trail head (NOK 40 per 2012).|
|Start height||840 metres|
|Vertical metres||270 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||5.4 km|
From Hemsedal drive south on road 52, approximately 4 km to Ulsåk. Turn left towards Lykkja and drive 5.3 km uphill, making sure you fork left after 3.5 km. Turn right and park on the car park on the right hand side of the road, making sure you pay the fee (NOK 40 per 2012).
Start skiing by crossing the road and follow the prepared tracks 350 metres and fork left. Continue another 120 metres to another track junction and fork right onto "Ingridløypa". Follow this track (might not be prepared) 200 metres and then turn right onto an unprepared route marked by red ribbons. Follow this opening through the forest 150 metres to an open area, and turn sharp left. You will now see a route through the forest in a west/north-west direction. This route can be followed 1.2 km to a flat and open area. Turn sharp right and ski more or less directly east, all the way to the summit. At the summit you will find a summit registration book.
Descend by reversing your ascent route.
22. February 2012
Another day with risky weather, but I decided to drive up into Mørkedalen to ski Bakkestølnøse. This would be a short hike and I assumed I would stay below the roughest winds. But arriving at trail head, after having driven through dense snow drift, I immediately concluded that I wasn't desperate enough to take on this hike. Hence I drove back to our rented cabin at Huso for plan-B; Storhovda.
Back at the cabin I picked up cross country skis and snow shoes, and drove to Gravset. From here I had an idea about the general direction to the summit, and for once I had plotted the summit way-point on my GPS. I decided to ski "Ingridløypa", but was a bit unsure when I saw that it hadn't been prepared, potentially all season. However, another couple of skiers had used this route within the last few days so I had some kind of tracks to follow. And when these tracks left "Ingridløypa" after a couple of hundred metres I decided to keep following the tracks. When the route started to get a little steeper I decided to leave my narrow cross country skis behind and continue on snow shoes.
The tracks continued all the way up to approximately 1020 metres, at the far west end of the route. Here the tracks vanished because of wind swept open areas. A quick check on my GPS told me I had to head east, but unfortunately I didn't turn as much right as I should and ended up having to climb a steep hill of 20 vertical metres, in very deep snow. Some negative thoughts started to creep in, but at the top of this hill I could see the summit approximately 600 metres away, so the spirit was soon back on track. I descended the steep hill and continued towards the summit, having to dig a little deep in terms of motivation because of the deep snow.
The final hill to the summit was easier than anticipated thanks to a hard crust, and at the summit there was hardly any snow at all.
From the summit I had some limited views because of fog, but I concluded that this would be a nice top on a nice day. And I also concluded that the hike would be a good hike for mountain skis.
The descent was much easier than the ascent, both thanks to going down hill, and
also thanks to my own tracks. Back at the car I drove straight back to the cabin
and enjoyed some pasta left over from yesterday, preparing myself for some
evening cross country skiing.