Location: North 62.40548, East 007.90108 (GPS on the summit)
Difficulty: YDS class 2
Climbed April 18. 2020
How to get there:
The best starting location for this mountain
is the small place Verma, about
30 kilometer up the Romsdalen valley from Åndalsnes. Exit the main Hwy. in Verma
and drive down to and across the river. Ascend on the other side until your roaad is near
and parallel to the railroad. You will see a farmers road going through an underpass below
the railroad. Continue a short distance to some signs with information for hiking. From here,
you may park on a short, parallel road that runs back towards the underpass. This location
is N62.34272, E008.05039, elevation about 215 meter.
Hike up the farmers road crossing under the railroad line. Shortly after this, a clear
trail forks uphill to your right. You may follow this uphill or decide to just walk
onwards on the farmers road. The two routes will meet higher up. The farmers road makes
a somewhat longer route going left before turning back right, but it has a more
gentle slope. Either way, after the two alternatives merge back, you will get to
a bridge across Vermefossen waterfall.
The route continues to follow the farm road all the
way to the summer farm called Vermedalssætran.
From here, find a line that very gradually ascends while mostly staying at the
same elevation using open fields between birch trees as much as possible. You should
pass near location N62.37598, E007.95511, elevation around 940 meter. You will then
see the natural line as it follows open terrain that is less steep connecting to the
entrance of the small valley that separates Sæterhøa from
Dønttinden. Be aware that snow from the steeper cliffs above the route (on your
right while ascending) may avalanche across the route. This will happen naturally in late
spring on warm days.
Enter the small valley, but cross to the final slope just below the lake at 1210 meter.
Ascend the gentle slope directly, you will see the first summit (hump), ascend partway
up, then follow an ascending traverse going left of the summit point to reach the shallow
saddle between the two summits. A short and easy stretch
connects to the summit with a
very large cairn.
We had established base camp near Sogge Bridge outside Åndalsnes. Leaving after
a solid breakfast, we drove to the trailhead and were ready to hike by 0810. There was
no snow at the beginning. We walked along the road and stopped briefly to admire
the waterfall. Shortly after, the road got continuous snow and we could start skiing.
We skied up to the mount farm buildings, then picked our way across a mixture of birch and
open meadows, while slowly gaining elevation in the sloping hillside. Finally, getting out
of the trees, we continued uphill across a sloping section that would connect us to
the small valley at the base of the peak itself. It was warm and I noticed that the upper
15 cm of wet snow easily detached and would slide on a layer below. This caused some concern
as the steeper cliffs above us were likely to release small avalanches that could run
across our intended route. A medium size avalanche had already crossed the slope ahead.
We continued ahead keeping some distance and an eye on the cliffs above. The avalanche had stopped
partway downslope, it seemed pretty likely that we could avoid a possible slide by skiing away.
Entering the small valley, what remained was a safe ascent on the gentle slope leading to the
summit. We arrived around 1405,
almost 6 hours. A very good view all around and a well earned rest.
Leaving at 1445, we had pretty good snow skiing back
to the small valley.
Next, I skied a slightly faster line across the avalanche zone. Crossing the old avalanche, I
noticed a new, slightly smaller avalanche that had happened while we were on the peak. Eric
followed in my tracks and we were soon back into the birch trees. The remaining descent went
pretty smoothly, arriving at gthe car by 1710.
I turned my phone back on while waiting for Eric and noticed that someone had placed a bid
on my apartment in Bergen, it had been up for sale for about 4 weeks. A quick call and the
apartment was sold. Eric arrived and I told him, slightly to his surprise that I just had
completed the sale of my apartment. He had actually sold his house in Portland earlier
in the month, but the sales procedure is much more complex in the US.
We returned to our base camp near Åndalsnes, planning to ski Svarthøi the next day.