|Estimated net time||8-9 hours|
|Difficulty||This is a long hike with one very difficult section. When you get to the first top on the Brunstadhornet ridge you have to climb down a 5-6 metres vertical corner in order to get down to a col. This corner has good hand-holds except for the lower couple of metres, but it is recommended to bring a rope or some slings for this descent. Climbing back up is easier.|
|Drinking water||Plenty of access to running water all the way up to the south end of lake Gullmordalsvatnet.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage below Gullmordalsvatnet, and the upper couple of hundred metres (August 2009).|
|Parking||Room for several cars at car park at trail head.|
|Start height||110 metres|
|Vertical metres||1500 metres for the roundtrip|
|Trip distance||16.7 km|
Fork right onto forest road 1.3 km after crossing bridge.|
Approximate route up Gullmorbrekka.
The route down to the col between first top and summit.
From Ålesund drive to Magerholm and take the ferry across to Aursneset. From the ferry continue 16.9 km on road 60, towards Stranda. Turn right where signed for "Brunstad", and then turn left 500 metres later, again signed for "Brunstad". After another 800 metres turn right, and drive a little over 200 metres along this road until you see a small car park on the right hand side of the road. Park here.
Start walking by following the road past the farm. After 250 metres turn right and cross the bridge. Then turn left and proceed along the service road that runs on the right hand side of the river. 1.3 km after the bridge the road forks, with the service road continuing along the left leg and the forest road to Velleseter a little to the right. Follow this forest road up to Velleseter.
From Velleseter continue along the Vellesætredalen valley in a southern direction, on a path marked with red "T"s. When you get to the end of the valley the path turns left (south-east), and will bring you up Gullmorbrekka to Gullmordalen. Proceed into the valley, and you will soon be at the north end of lake Gullmordalsvatnet, From here you get a good view of Brunstadhornet's summit. Here you need to make a decision on what side of the lake to follow. The marked route follows the left hand side of the lake, but there is likely to be snow along these eastern shores, and in some places the snow is quite steep down towards the lake. If so, it might be better to follow the right hand side of the lake. If so, be aware that there is a short section right at the start of the lake that might require some scrambling. If the level of water in the lake isn't very high you can pass this section down by the lake, but else you need to scramble up above the rock.
At the south end of the lake you continue uphill, following the red "T"s. When you get up the first small hill you turn left into the short valley. From here there are several routes up to Brunstadhornet; you can walk directly up the steep hill from the start of the valley, or you can proceed into the valley and turn left to get a less steep ascent. Either route consists of boulder.
When you get to the first top of Brunstadhornet you will need to walk a few metres to the left in order to get down to a shelf a couple of metres below the top. Follow this shelf a few metres, until it ends below the top. From here it is possible to climb down the almost vertical corner. If you have a short rope or some slings it is a good idea to secure them at the rock on top of the corner. The upper 2-3 metres of the corner offers plenty good hand-holds. When you get further down, to your last climbing move, things get a little more difficult; the hand-holds are not as obvious and good, and the places to put your feet are hidden. When you get past this point the rest of the climb down to the col is trivial. From the col proceed up the steep slopes to the summit, which is marked by a cairn.
The descent is best done by reversing the ascent route. Climbing back up the corner is, as usual, easier than climbing down.
01. August 2009
I had been looking at Brunstadhornet for a long time, and for some reason I suddenly got the idea that if good weather on Saturday then I'll give Brunstadhornet a try. So when I woke up this Saturday morning and saw that there was a clear sky there was no question about what to do. After breakfast I packed my gear, and included also some slings.
When I drove up to the trail head by Brunstad I got a small surprise; major work was being carried out around the trail head and a new road was being built into the valley. Also, one was not allowed to drive as far as had previously been permitted, so I had to go back a little to a small car park. This only added around 300 metres to my walk and didn't make much difference.
Up at Velleseter I could see that people had been staying overnight in the DNT (Norwegian Tourist Association) cabin. I considered going inside to ask if anyone where on their way to Brunstadhornet, but decided they would probably not be ready to start hiking anyway. Instead I proceeded along the valley, on a most beautiful morning. Up Gullmorbrekka I got a first class view of all of Brunstadhornet and its rugged ridge, and I started some small mental preparations for the climb I knew I had to deal with just below the summit.
At the north end of Gullmordalsvatnet I had to make a decision about what side of the lake to follow. Based on the amount of steep snow on the left hand side I decided to have a go at the right hand side. I believe this was a good choice, since I was able to pass the rock section at the start of the lake by walking along the shore. Further along the lake I found a good route by following a vague shelf most of the way to the end of the lake, and I was ready for the final climb up to the summit ridge. But before starting these final 500 vertical metres I had a short stop, eating a sandwich and making sure the water bottles were full. I also brought out the camera, but got a major disappointment when I saw that the camera was reporting low battery power. I wasn't sure how much power was left so I decided to play safe and not take any more photos before the summit. As it turned out I had plenty of power left, but that was of course something I found out later.
I went for a pretty direct line up towards Brunstadhornet, in steep terrain, but the ground was fairly easy to hike and the boulder was stable enough for comfort. The hike up to the first top of the ridge was strenuous, but by resting for a few seconds every couple of minutes I was able to keep a good pace. When I got to the first top I spent a couple of minutes analysing the route down into the col. I didn't immediately see where the climbing section was, but after having dropped down to the shelf below the top I could clearly see what would be the obvious route down. To me it looked steep, but knowing that others had climbed down here before gives a mental boost and the required confidence to take on the climb. To be safe I pulled out the slings I had brought along and found a very good rock to secure the top sling to. I started the climb without using the sling, and found it easy to descend the first three moves. After this I was a little stuck as I wasn't able to find proper hand-holds nor a good crack to put my feet. So I moved back up a little to try a slightly different approach, and this time I was able to lower myself sufficiently to find a good place to put my foot. By now I was using the sling, but in hindsight, knowing where to put my feet, I would have managed the climb without using the slings. But my recommendations to other first time climbers of Brunstadhornet would be to bring some kind of rope or slings for this section.
The climb from the col to the summit was straight forward, with some use of hands in a few places. And then I was there! Or was I? When I got to the cairn I could see another top further along the ridge that might be as high as where the cairn is located. I considered climbing across to this point, but soon decided not; it didn't look easy at all, and I had left my slings where I descended into the first col. And post-hike it is clear that if this other top is the highest point then all maps are wrong.
After taking photos and having lunch at the summit I climbed back down to the col. The climb back up the corner was pure joy, and then started the long walk back down to the car. At the north end of lake Gullmordalsvatnet I met a foreign couple on their way across to Urke. I chatted a little with them and ended up convincing them that it would probably be better to walk on the right hand side of the lake if they didn't have crampons. A couple of phone calls during my descent of Gullmorbrekka made me loose the path, but I soon got back on track and started to run slowly. Further down I picked up the pace even more in order to be able to get to the grocery store by Brunstad before 15:00 (in case the shop closed then). I got to the car at 14:55, and a couple of minutes later I was at the store, which turned out to be open until 17:00 during the summer.