|Søre Smørhylla from
|Estimated net time||3-3½ hours|
The route up to lake Jutevatnet is likely to have machine made skiing tracks. From the lake you climb up the fine western slopes of Søre Smørhylla. Note that the western ridge has a lot of boulder, so if little snow it is better to descend the slightly steeper north-west slopes.
|Drinking water||The river draining south from lake Jutevatnet is a fine source for water if it is not frozen. This is the river you cross on the small bridge.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route (March 2011).|
|Parking||Room for many cars at trail head. At times there is a parking fee.|
|Start height||315 metres|
|Vertical metres||575 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||13.1 km|
Assume your starting point is the Ålesund area. Drive road E39 east towards Sjøholt, and from the large petrol station at Sjøholt (Shell, per 2011) continue 10.6 km on road E39 to the large car park on the right hand side of the road at Ørskogfjellet. Park here.
Normally there are well prepared cross country skiing tracks from this car park and all the way up to the west end of lake Jutevatnet. From the car park ski approximately 1.0 km south, and then turn left and continue east along the southern slopes of Varguraksla. When you get to the cabins by Måslia continue north-east up to lake Jutevatnet.
A few tens of metres before the lake you should cross the river on a wooden bridge, and then continue up the west slopes of Søre Smørhylla where you feel comfortable. The summit is marked by a large stone, and you are also likely to find a registration book in a small wooden box attached to a pole.
Descend by reversing your ascent route.
26. March 2011
The weather forecast for this Saturday was acceptable, and I had volunteered for driving Sigurd and two friends to the Ørskogfjellet ski-centre. After having left them there I continued to Tresfjord and Vikebukt in order to ski Helsetnakken. When I got to Vikebukt and found the mountain road leading up to Vikesetra, I noticed that the road hardly had any snow at all, so decided to drive uphill as far as the road was suitable for driving. Major mistake. Major, major mistake. The road was actually very OK to drive, with not more than 5 cm of snow, and not very steep. But at approximately 240 metres there was suddenly a lot more snow on the road. I therefore stopped, and planned to reverse back down to a suitable parking place. Then hell started. As I began to reverse the car started to slide sideways, but luckily it stopped before I was off the road. I got out of the car, which now had a considerable heel, and inspected my position. It didn't look good; I was 10 cm from a one metre vertical drop with my right front wheel, and the small amount of snow was not sitting on top of gravel but on top of a thick layer of rock solid ice.
I immediately concluded that making an attempt at reversing out of the trouble was not an option. I also concluded that I needed help. Hence I called for a car rescue company, and they promised to call me back when they had located a local rescue company. After ten minutes a friendly man called, and told me he would be with me in 30 minutes. While waiting for him I killed the time by walking up and down the forest road, which made me nervous for the descent as the upper few hundred metres of the forest road had a thick layer of ice.
My help arrived as promised, and after inspecting the situation he concluded that the back of my car was relatively safe so all we had to do was to secure the front from sliding sideways. The whole operation of getting my car properly back on the road took a full hour. But this was only the first part of the rescue operation; I now had to carefully reverse down to where I could turn around, something like 500 metres. We did this by first driving the rescue vehicle some 100 metres down the road, before reversing my car down to the rescue vehicle. While I was reversing my rescuer walked along the car with chains in his hands (they were not the right size for my car), ready to throw them under my wheels if I started to slide. This process then repeated itself until both cars were down in "safe" territory, and I could drive back down to the main road. The whole operation cost me a few hours and NOK 500 (that's all, thanks to insurance), but no damage to the car nor me. Back at the main road I was very happy to have come out of the trouble, and I was very grateful of the first class help I had got from my rescuer from Straumen Bil at Vestnes!
After the car rescue operation I had no motivation to start my planned skiing, and instead headed for home. But for some reason, at Ørskogfjellet, I decided to stop. In hindsight I think my main intention was to just look at the skiing tracks, and then continue home, but having also cross country skis in the car I gradually started to convince myself that some easy cross-country skiing might be a good idea. I asked some skiers who had just finished their skiing about how far the tracks would take me, and when they said there were fine tracks all the way up to lake Jutevatnet I decided to bring my snow shoes. After all, lake Jutevatnet is quite close to Søre Smørhylla, which I hadn't visited before.
I set out at 14:25, with very poor motivation, and the only plan was to do a little skiing. But skiing was OK, despite grey and a little windy conditions, so I decided to ski up to Jutevatnet. When I got there I crossed the bridge and started to head for Søre Smørhylla. By now I was getting more determined about climbing this mountain, and when the terrain got steeper I changed from cross country skis to snow shoes. And snow shoes were definitely called for; an alternative would have been crampons. But my snow shoes have crampon-like grips, which were critical on the icy upper 200 vertical metres.
At the summit it was very windy, and the visibility was at best poor. I therefore didn't spend much time at the summit; only taking a couple of photos and signing the summit registration book. This was the first entry in the book since February.
The descent, all the way back to the car, was suffering from poor visibility and
poor light, but staying in the cross country tracks allowed for OK skiing.