|Blåstolen from Måndalen
|Estimated net time||Approximately 4 hours.|
|Drinking water||Several sources of running water along the route.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route (May 2013).|
|Parking||Depending on far you drive the forest road you will find a few places where one car can be parked. At the top of the forest road you will find room for 2-3 cars.|
|Start height||210 metres (assuming you don't drive the forest road to its end).|
|Vertical metres||975 metres for the roundtrip (assuming you don't drive the forest road to its end).|
|Trip distance||8.3 km (assuming you don't drive the forest road to its end).|
|GPS-file||X (ascent only)|
From Ålesund drive road E39 to Sjøholt and continue across Ørskogfjellet. Leave E39 onto E136 and drive approximately 40 km in the direction of Åndalsnes. Turn right just before you cross the river as you enter Måndalen; this is 800 metres after you exit the Måndalen tunnel.. Drive this road 1.6 km into the valley, making sure you stay on the main road. Turn right when you get to the "Ungdomshus", and then turn right onto a forest road after a few tens of metres. Drive the forest road as far uphill as you and your car are comfortable with. The road is definitely not suitable for sports cars, but a 4WD should cope well. This route description assumes you drive 1.1 km uphill, and park on the left hand side of the road just before a steep hill.
If you park anywhere below the end of the forest road walk uphill to its end, at 290 metres. Note that this forest road is marked with red paint on a number of trees. Turn right from the forest road and follow the well defined path uphill. Turn left in the path junction after less than 100 metres, and then fork left towards "Høgsetra" after another 600 metres. The path now runs north-west to the cabins at Høgsetra, where the path ends.
From Høgsetra walk uphill (north) to the false summit at just under 1000 metres. From here turn a little left (west) and pass the small top Urhaugen on its left (west) side, and then continue in the same direction to Blåstolen. The summit is marked by a couple of cairns.
Descend by reversing your ascent route.
05. May 2013
I was due to attend a workshop at Bjorli the following two days, and given the fact that colleague Mark was coming across from the UK for this workshop, and the fact that he's very much a mountain man, I picked him up at Ålesund airport Sunday afternoon with the intention to do a hike on our way to Bjorli. I didn't have any particular hike planned, except that I had one of the smaller Rauma tops "in my back pocket", so the plan was just to drive along road E136 and see if anything interesting showed up. When we got towards Måndalen I got the idea that we could have a go at Blåstolen and Trollstolen since I knew these two tops are very much doable from south, but I didn't know anything else about the route. Hence we stopped at the petrol station in Måndalen, where we got a pretty good description of the normal route. This route was confirmed by a guy we spoke with around the "Ungdomshus" (youth centre), and he also informed us that it should be OK to drive the forest road with my car. But he was very adamant that we shouldn't take on this hike now, arguing that it would be dark before we got down. I thanked him for his advices, but didn't pay much attention to his concerns about the risk of darkness.
The forest road was very rough, and at the 210 metres I decided to park at the bottom of a steep hill. In hindsight I know that I could have driven up this hill, but we didn't loose much time by walking these 500 metres. At the end of the forest road we were pleased to find a nice path, which took us all the way to Høgsetra, where we got to snow and decided to put on snow shoes. And bringing snow shoes was definitely the right thing to do since the 400 vertical metres ahead of us had a lot of snow, which was partly rotten in the lower sections. But from the small top at 1000 metres there was no need for snow shoes, and we proceeded to the summit mostly on rock.
We reached the summit at 20:45, which was definitely within the limit we had set in order to make sure we were back down before darkness set in. But we didn't spend much time on the summit, and after having taken a few photos we started the descent. This was much quicker than the ascent, in particular down the slope with snow. Mark did this section without putting the snow shoes on, and on a few occasions fell through the snow, making the descent a little cumbersome, but also partly fun.
After the hike we took on the one hour drive to Bjorli, where a frozen pizza and a beer was just the thing we needed.