|Skåla from Skålsetra to
Vesleskåla Skåla Skålaksla
|Estimated net time||5-7 hours|
|Difficulty||No difficulties, but the ascent of Skåla is a little steep, and the last few hundred metres of the hike is boggy.|
|Drinking water||Access to running water from the stream running close to the path through the forest towards Vesleskåla, but access is a little cumbersome until you get above the forest. The next chance to get water is down at Trollvatnet (504m) during descent from Skålaksla.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route (August 2014).|
|Parking||Room for several cars at either end of the route.|
|Start height||184 metres|
|Vertical metres||1195 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||10.4 km|
Skåla trail head at Skålsetra.
NOTE: This route description assumes two cars; one at Skålsetra, west of Vesleskåla, and one at Tjørhjellhaugen, north of Skåla.
Start measuring from the round about east of Molde centre where roads E39 and 662 intersect (this is approximately 0.8 km along E39 from the ferry port). Drive E39 east in the direction of Trondheim:
- At 3.2 km, in the round about, turn right towards Åndalsnes on road 64.
- At 13.6 km turn left towards "Kleive".
- At 25.8 km turn right onto "Nakkevegen".
- At 26.8 km turn right where signed "Bomvei Skåla" and pay toll (NOK 20 per 2014) in the unmanned toll booth.
- At 28.5 km fork left
- At 29.1 km park one car on the car park on the left hand side of the road.
Drive back to the Kleive exit, turn left, and start measuring:
- At 5.2 km turn left onto "Bergsvikvegen".
- At 6.2 km fork right and pay toll (NOK 20 per 2014) in the unmanned toll booth.
- At 10.6 km park on the small car park at the end of the road.
Start your hike by continuing approximately 100 metres along the grassy road towards the cabins and then turn right onto a path after the cabin. Follow this path uphill through the forest and continue up to the flat section at approximately 860m, south of Vesleskåla. Walk a few metres along the flat section and turn left up through the boulder where you find it find. This will take you up to Vesleskåla's summit cairn, where you'll also find a summit registration book.
From Vesleskåla continue off-path in a north-east direction across the large plateau. Aim for a cairn at the far end of the plateau, and from here head down to the saddle between Vesleskåla and Skåla. Locate the path heading up Skåla's west slopes, and if you don't find it just aim for the grassy patch on the west slopes, which has a narrow strip of grass below it; this is the general direction and should lead you to the path if you didn't find it further down. When you get above the grassy section continue through the boulder and use the cairns to guide you. This will take you up to the large cairn at Skåla, which is definitely not the true summit. The summit plateau is a big area and the very highest point isn't straight forward to locate, but is probably a point marked by a much smaller cairn a little east of the large cairn.
From Skåla continue east and down to the saddle between Skåla and Skålaksla, and then follow the edge up to Skålaksla and its summit cairn. From here head north, noting that if you stay left towards the edge you're most likely to pick up the best path when you get below the boulder. Follow the path down to 700m where it makes a sharp left (west) and takes you steeply down to lake Trollvatnet at 504m. Cross the small dam at Trollvatnet's north end and turn right to follow the path on the left (west) side of the stream. The path crosses the stream at around 400m, at the north end of a pond, and from here stay close to the stream on its right (east) side. When the terrain gets flatter the path gets more boggy, and will take you down to a forest road. Turn right onto a path a little before you get to the forest road, and after less than 100 metres you will be at the car park where you parked your first car.
03. August 2014
The main objective of this Sunday was to hike Skåla, the highest point in Molde. Amund and I had already hiked Horga, and consumed more energy than originally planned, but we were still highly motivated for this longer hike.
Amund guided us to the path heading up to Vesleskåla, which included a small de-tour to get down to the stream to fill the water bottles, and it also included us becoming three in the party since a guy caught up with us and from here on kept us company all the way to Skåla. He estimated his number of visits to Vesleskåla to be 150, and clearly knew the mountain well. At the summit we caught up with his parents, and all five of us headed across to Skåla.
Navigating to Skåla was pretty straight forward, but the steep hill up the west slopes was quite strenuous so the pace was at best moderate. At the summit we ran into another three hikers, with whom we shared thoughts about mountains, before Amund and I continued across to Skålaksla.
After Skålaksla we were starting to feel the effect of warm weather, a long hike, and probably too little water, and I started to get problems with cramps. And it was cramps "everywhere"; calves, thighs and hamstrings, and even my hands when I was unscrewing the cap on my water bottle.
Down at Trollvatnet I dipped my head into the lake and filled the water bottle, before we took on the final, and slightly boring, path through the forest and down to our car. We then drove back to Skålsetra to pick up the other car, and managed to find a petrol station on the way to get some calories. After having picked up the car I couldn't resist the temptation to hike also Bjørnlihaugen.