How to get there:
Drive E-6, north of Kvam and make a left at Sjoa onto
Hwy. 257. This is about 9 kilometer north of Kvam and about 11 kilometer
south of Otta.
Cross over to the west side of the river near Ekre (farm), one may also cross
earlier as there is a parallel road running on the west side. Turn left (if
crossing near Ekre) and locate the mountain road (toll road) with signs for
Kvernbrusæter. Follow this road to Kvernbrusæter (approximately 950 meter)
or if the conditions permit, higher to its highest point and park at any suitable
turnout. From this area there are several trails leading south towards the north
ridge of Heidalsmuen. Route description:
This route is pretty straightforward. Unless you have fog, the mountain is clearly visible
to the south. The main thing to observe is that the river Berdøla has made a pretty deep
canyon that one should stay clear of. This means that the initial direction if starting low from
Kvernbrusæter should be a bit north of the mountain. I followed a clear trail that cut across
this canyon fairly high up, but still with a noticable dip into the upper valley before resuming
the climb on the opposite side.
The north slope of Heidalsmuen is pretty gentle and one may ascend it along different lines. As you
get higher, the slope levels out and gently climbs the last few meters before you arrive at a very
impressive cairn. Comments:
This mountain was climbed solo on an early November morning.
I started out before sunrise from my cabin near Lillehammer and
parked my car near Kvernbrusætrin just before the morning broke.
The snow cover was very poor at this elevation and I started out with my skis
on my small backpack. I followed a pretty nice trail towards the mountain and
progress was pretty good. Soon, I could continue on skis and I quickly gained elevation
until I again ran into an area filled with larger rocks and too little snow.
Winter had not quite arrived as I again had to carry the skis fairly high on the
mountain. Things returned to more normal and the climb was completed in reasonable style.
As I approached the summit cairn, the wind speed increased much beyond what one should
expect. The wind was so strong that its cooling effect made any prolonged stay impossible.
In fact, just taking a few pictures without a glove made my fingers freeze in seconds.
I hurried back off the summit plateau and after only a slight descent, the wind again almost
vanished. An incredible effect, just like the summit just barely penetrated a very fast
moving layer of air while the air just below was completely stationary.
The colors and the beauty of the landscape is very special in this transition time from
fall to winter. I skied, then walked back to my car and returned to Lillehammer, still
with most of the day ahead of me.