Skåla

  • Skåla
  • 1848 m.
  • Primary factor 330 m.
  • Near Nordfjord and Loen in Norway
  • Location: North 61:52.387, East 006:58.728
  • Climbed May 23. 2002

Information:

How to get there: Skåla is a very distinct mountain that dominates the view from the innermost part of Nordfjord. The road to the trailhead starts right next to the (luxurious) Hotel Alexandra in Loen, a small village between Olden and Stryn. Follow this road (the sign may read Kjenndal and/or Bødalsseter), for about one kilometer and look carefully for a small (dirt) road that goes left just passed a farmer's field. There should be a small sign at this road saying "Skåla". The road ends after a few hundred meters, this is the trailhead. There is limited parking along the upper part of this road, make sure that your car does not block the road and that it does not cause any other problem for the private (farm)land in the area.
Route description: The trail climbs through forest on the left (west) side of the creek Fosdøla and passes a small seter (summer farm house) at about 300 meter elevation. The trail continues up the main valley on the left side of the main creek until about 640 m elevation, here the trail crosses the creek and heads north-east, later south up to a small lake, Skålavatnet (1142 m) with Vesleskåla (1238 m) on your right (west) side. From here the trail is well marked with cairns leading towards a very distinct saddle at about 1400m (note that one shall not ski all the way to this saddle, only to the point where the steep climb gives way to more moderate terrain.) The trail makes a 90 degree turn left just as the slope levels off and climbs the broad Skåla ridge. This ridge narrows as one approaches the summit with the hut Skålatårnet itself.
Loen Rundt:
We have travelled from Bergen and put up camp at Tjugen seter. This is only a short hike up from the parking, perhaps 45-60 minutes depending on the load. This is the start of this trip. The description above is valid. The next leg describes how to get near Bings Brekuppel.
Comments: The highest (rock) point on the ridge is at the far end (1848 m), the traverse along the ridge is quite easy. One shuld note that this ridge first climbs gently from the Skålatårnet, then drops perhaps 30 meter before a somewhat more distinct climb to the big cairn at the summit. Careful GPS measurements indicate that the snow ridge was 6-7 meters higher (that is around 1855 m) on May 2002. The general snow cover on the mountains was very small at this time. This is one of the longest, continuous uphills that you can find in Norway, ending at a most unique mountain cabin. This hike is my favorite way of starting a longer trip (3 days) traversing the Jostedalen Glacier. Be aware that the mountain drops very steeply to the north. This side often has a big overhanging cornice and deadly accidents have occured. Keep a very safe distance, especially during winter and spring. The tower itself (the hut) was constructed in the 19th century as a place to treat people with tuberculosis. Equally impressive, large rocks have been moved around to make steps up the mountain, this is normally covered by snow in May. I say that anybody that made the hike up to the tower was likely to be healthy and be cured of his symptons.

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