|Estimated net time||4-4½ hours|
|Difficulty||The route to Åvasstinden is not difficult, but you will be using your hands the last 20 vertical metres as you traverse into the east slopes. There are several ledges and plenty of hand holds, and there are no technical difficulties. The exposure is modest, but a fall is likely to hurt.|
|Drinking water||Several sources of running water up to 700 metres.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route (August 2013).|
|Parking||Room for many cars at the car park by trail head at Høgebakken.|
|Start height||405 metres|
|Vertical metres||900 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||8.2 km|
Åvasstinden trail head at Høgebakken.
From Ålesund drive road E39 south towards Bergen, and get the ferry from Solevåg to Festøy. From Festøy continue on road E39 11.9 km in the direction of Ørsta, and turn left where signed "Årskog". Turn left after 100 metres, cross the bridge, and then turn right. Drive another 1.7 km and pay toll (NOK 25 per 2013) at the unmanned booth, and then drive 3.6 km to the car park at Høgebakken (Vardalsætra on most maps). Park here. Note that you will have to pass to gates, and you should make sure you close the gates properly after having passed.
Start your hike by following the mountain road in amongst the cabins, and then on path another 500-800 metres, before turning right. Find your best route up or around a small top 350 metres south of the path, and then continue south towards the left (east) side of a very distinct couloir. You might find traces of a vague path along the couloir, but there's little point searching for it. When the terrain levels out continue south between the two tops Litle Kuven (on your left) and Store Kuven, and then up towards a flat section where you're likely to find snow well into the summer. Turn right and head uphill a little before the snow, which will take you up to Åvasstinden's north-east ridge. You will soon find a vague path, which runs all the way up the ridge, to some 20 vertical metres below the summit.
When the ridge gets steeper you will find a small cairn on the ridge; turn left here and traverse 40-50 metres in Åvasstinden's east side. This will take you below the summit, and a fairly obvious path will guide you to the summit, which is marked by a small cairn.
Descend by reversing your ascent route.
14. August 2013
The weather forecast was promising for this Wednesday so I decided to bring hiking gear to work, and potentially hike Åvasstinden directly after work. I knew this wasn't the most loyal thing I could do since Kjetil and me had spoken about doing this top together, and he was on fire duty this week so not able to hike. So it was with a touch of bad feelings I sent him a text message and informed about my plans, and hopefully he'll soon find an opportunity to visit this nice top. Hence the plan was to do this hike solo, but at the end of a chat with Arnt, late in the working day, I sent him a "BTW, are you interested in Åvasstinden after work?". He was quick to give a positive response, so we agreed to meet at Høgebakken around 17:30.
When we started from Høgebakken it was more mist than not, but since we would be following a ridge through the mist navigation shouldn't be a problem. And since I had been in the area before, and Arnt had been to Åvasstinden earlier, I wasn't that concerned about the views. As we took on the north-east ridge we met 2+1 other hikers, and the single guy told us he had waited 40 minutes at the summit for the mist to clear, but in vain.
As we approached the summit we left the ridge a little earlier than the normal route, but the difficulties associated with this are not any bigger than the ledges a little higher, for humans. However, Arnt had brought his rather large dog, Karma, and we agreed to have a go at getting all three of us to the summit. This proved a little tricky, and Arnt had to try a couple of different routes before he found something he was comfortable with. At the end it worked out well, with a little bit of collaboration, and we all made it without any problems the last few vertical metres to the small summit.
The summit views were very limited because of the mist, but there were some shorter spells with some view towards south. And while descending the mist cleared a little more and we got some nice views towards Molladalstindane and the mountains towards east.
Back at trail head I realised I had a chance to catch the 21:15 ferry, saving me from a 30-minutes wait, so I jumped straight into the car and headed down the valley. Along road E39 I was lucky not to have any old aunts in front of me and made good progress towards the ferry, and was definitely on track to catch it. This, as well as my general habit to slow down in the 50 and 60 km/h zones, saved me from a potential considerable fine from the uniformed guys with lasers in the 60-zone through Barstadvika. And being the last car onboard the ferry before it left is what I call perfect timing.