Rondvassbu to Veslesmeden climb (2015 masl)

After an early wakeup call from the passing baryton sheep at 5 o’clock in the morning, I enjoyed a sunny outdoor breakfast and prepared a daypack for a hike. The day before I had discovered a bicycle that belonged to the mountain pasture, and decided to borrow it since it had tires that was more fitted than my bike for the pebbled gravel road I would follow in to Rondane National Park.

Such a welcoming and promising view…Rondane rondvassbu bike tour trip travel landscape rondvatnet

The goal was Rondvassbu, and from there I would decide where to hike. From Mysusæter the road went upwards (of course) in the beginning, but then it mostly flattens out – and wow what a gorgeous painting  to bike in all the way (10 km) to Rondvassbu. 

During the summer season you can rent a bicycle at Spranget situated 6 km from Rondvassbu (it is not allowed to drive further in) to reach Rondvassbu a bit faster . It’s also possible to choose from several other hiking routes back again. (Open the detailed Rondvassbu-map further below).

Rondvassbu – the starting point for lots of great hikes and 2000-meter-peak climbs. Every morning during the summer season the boat -MS Rondejenta -will transport you to the other end of lake Rondvatnet( 1168 masl).rondvassbu dnt cabin dnt mountain hike

 

First part of the trail leading up to Veslesmeden, here you have a spectacular view towards Rondvassbu and Rondvatnet…Rondvassbu DNT hytte cabin norway rondane nasjonalpark hik trails

The beautiful situated DNT-hut Rondvassbu was yet not open for visitors this day (it opened the day after I was there ..alrighty), but I could borrow the lady’s room and had a lefse-meal by the crystal clear lake Rondvatnet.

Rondvassbu is a great starting point for many of the 2000-meter peaks surrounding the place … so I picked Veslesmeden (2015 masl) as a possible “topptur” target that day, and followed the well-marked trail upwards.

Yes, I DO like the thought that I got myself up here at 2 015 meters above sea level all the way from Otta just by biking and hiking up … no motor driven = no carbon dioxide emissions to get up here. (Most people drive all the way up to Spranget and park there) before hiking.  veslesmeden rondane

No, I didn’t fall asleep alright… I guess I’m just a StoneHugger 😀Veslesmeden topptur hike climb Rondane landscape Najonalpark Park Norge mountains panoramic Norway

It was still early in the season, so I didn’t meet many hikers that day. A nice chat with a german couple returning from another trail.. and a guy far ahead of me with the same peak in mind was all. Higher up it was still soft snow layers here and there to pass, but not a problem really.

I finally reached a “plateau” (1871 masl), and from here I could see the wide “ridge” to follow and the final steeper ascend to the very top.  Just watch your steps the last part, and you will be fine.

Peaceful moment..just sitting there to take it all in.. no sounds..just the wind.. 

Some seconds of peaceful live-view from Veslesmeden

 

 

USEFUL TRAVEL INFO LINKS

 

Trail map from Mysusæter to Rondvassbu (click to se large interactive map with info)map kart rondvassbu veslesmeden topptur

 

Trail map from Rondvassbu to Veslesmeden (click to se large interactive map with info)

map kart rondvassbu Veslesmeden

Via Ferrata Loen

Shortly before the second bicycle tour from Oppstryn to Loen I found my bicycle punctured by a push-pin, and I had no mending-kit available at that time. But the very kind cabin landlord saved my sorry ass by lending me her own bicycle – as she knew I had booked a climb up the famous Loen Via Ferrata route. My panniers fitted nicely, so off I went!

Arriving Loen camp site I first put up my little tent, and decided to include a bike and hike into Bødalsbreen glacier that very same evening…. most probable because I longed for a bicycle ride along that beautiful Lovatnet again. The weather was shifting, and the last part of the road ascending up to Bødalssetra trail was tough so I had to push the bike up.

From Bødasseter it takes about 30-45 minutes to hike into the foot of Bødalsbreen glacier. Expect some snow and slush along the trail early in season, (I was here at the end of May 2017). If you want to see a beautiful photo of how far down this glacier arm once reached (among green grass and flowery meadows) many years ago – then do pay a visit to Loenvatn Feriesenter 

 

 

Via ferrata Loen. Next morning I woke up in a hot sunbathing tent! Luckily in weather again! I biked down to the Loen Active center to join the fully booked groups, as first time on this route I didn’t want to climb it alone. We would actually climb up to Hoven (1011 masl) and take the Loen Skylift down again. Everything is located in central Loen and easily accessible, we just choose to take the long way up ..ha..ha.

A magic bicycling ride along the Lovatnet lake once again – the sun is shining and life is good!Lovatnet bike trip Lodalen bødalen

 

It turned out to be an absolutely spectacular day with fun and awesome people in my climb group, a super hot and sweaty rock face to force… and breathtaking views!  The only bad thing was my GoPro who decided to die right before the climb (battery),  oh so annoying – but in my group we used each other’s phones to still get some photos of a memorable day.

 

 

Gjølmunnebrua suspension bridge (below) wasn’t that scary actually, a bit shaky perhaps… my lil’ group decided to skip the wire bridge further up as it was clogging/queuing with people that day, instead we continued straight to the top and grabbed an ice-cold beer before the bar closed at HovenLoen skylift took us all the way down again in just minutes. 

 

Travel information:

Finally, just personal via ferrata-advice from me: in the peak season it is smart rent the necessary equipment and climb the route without a guide (if you know how to climb via ferrata of course) – to avoid waiting a long time every time a crux is clogging with less experienced climbers.  But I don’t regret joining that guided group first time here as it was extra fun and social, and not so “desolated” as it felt when I later climbed the via ferrata Skuleberget on my own.

 

Map from Loen to Bødalsseter mountain pasture and Bødalsbreen glacier

Having a break with an awesome view towards Lovatnet.Loen via ferrata norway climb

 

 

Via Ferrata Sweden

Today I finally visited Europa’s biggest Via Ferrata centre. It is actually in my “neighbourhood” so to speak, but I have been living in the area for almost a year just “waiting for a suitable day” – well, I guess it is too easy to think that what’s in your backyard can wait. So wait no more.

Yes..there are some parts that need a lil’ bit of thinking ..well, if you want to handle it with some kind of dignity tha..ha..ha  

This spring/summer I have spent 3 months back in Norway mostly to work, but managed to do a quick family visit and also squeezed in time to hike, climb and bicycle – of course. I also visited 2 Via Ferrata centers in Norway (Via Ferrata Loen and the new Romsdalsstigen), so I will try to update my blog about that and all my outdoor adventures as soon as I am back in my daily routines again, as right now everything seems to happen at once 😉

So then my latest activity back in Sweden again is todays Via Ferrata climb at Höga Kusten (High Coast) – and the red route was far better I actually expected, nicely varied and exposed. And if you have never done via ferrata solo, you will (as I did today) have to find your own way to get pass cruxes without any encouragement from others. My fear of heights was present at times indeed, but I managed to control it pretty fine thank’s to frequent height exposures back home in Norway.

Resting point not far from the top cabin  

Don’t forget to stop now and then.. and just take in some awesome moments and views..

If you choose to do the red route I would recommend to rent Via Ferrara-shoes from the center, you would be glad you did at some parts of the route (at least I was)

 

Further information at: http://viaferrata.se/en

Skageflå hike

Busy little bee at workgeiranger skageflaa geiranger busy little bee photo liss myraas

Our Norwegian Queen adores this place – and now I understand why. The hike started when I jumped off the shuttle boat at Skagehola and more than 130 tourists gathered in the front to wave me goodbye. I was the only one to disembark, and they probably wondered where the heck I was going as there’s nothing more but som greenery, rocks and a steep high mountain wall to see there.

To continue the hike you know you have to go out and round it – hold a hand on the wire, place your feet nice and calm on the trail and you will be just fine – if I can, you can too!hiking geiranger fjord skagefla knivsfla trail norway landscape photo liss myras

 

And then you see it… the trail pops out of the first greenery at the foot of the mountain and clings itself upwards the rock face. Here and there you see a glimpse of some safety wires that hints about the possibility to get up here. I was just hoping it wouldn’t start raining resulting in a too exciting and slippery adventure.

It took me 30-45 minutes to get up to first stop Skageflå fjord farm, it depends on your condition, how much you want to enjoy the view and of course photographing. The first part is steeper “rock stairs” with iron fences, higher up you will have to rely mostly on wires at the most exposed/airy parts… that’s also the parts where my “ascending style” became much less elegant, so to speak ..ha…ha.

 

A thrilling hike with thrilling views – I bet you can’t resist to try out this hike 😉steep hiking trail geiranger skagefla photo liss myraas

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Reaching the first stop Skageflå (250 masl) I still was alone up there and also dared to sit on the edge for a moment and do this selfie… thinking about the people who lived up here on this shelf with their animals (goats) and children.. tough Norwegians that is! (and a pretty smart way to avoid the tax collector in former times) skageflå mountain farm geiranger fjord view visit norway landscape photo liss myrås selfie

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Skageflå fjord farm was one of the richest goat farms back in the days, but  a rock slide destroyed much of the cultivated land in 1873. People lived here until 1916, when the farm was abandoned. skageflaa fjord farm setra geiranger photo liss myraas

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Note! This lil’ minihut is not a toilet! – it’s a water well belonging to Skageflå fjord farm! But I saw a lot of tissues and stuff floating around in there. Please use the outhouse made for visitors instead!  As a visitor it is your responsibility to respect the clean environment and not to piss down UNESCO world heritages.. capisci?!  Things like this simply pisses me off alright… just sayin’…hikeing geiranger skageflå water well tourism travel photo liss myras

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The hike continued from Skageflå (250 masl) upwards to the fjord farm Homlongsætra (544 masl) through steep trails through some greenery and some exposed/airy wired parts on the rock face. But hey…don’t forget to actually enjoy the view too… it really IS breathtaking… don’t just hurry upwards or cling to a fence or a tree ..ha..ha.. find a spot where you feel safe and take in the view.geirangerfjorden skageflaa norwegian fjords travel hike trail photo liss myraas

At Homlongsætra fjord farm you can fill your water bottle from a fresh mountain stream and enjoy a fab view towards the Eagle Road on the other side of the fjord. From this farm a much easier and milder “forest trail” continues downwards along the edge all the way back to Homlong …and finally Geiranger.hike homlong track geiranger visit norway fjord unesco heritage landscape photo liss myraas

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Hiking down from Homlongsætra you will have a first class view towards the famous Eagle Road ( Ørnevegen). Everyon that have visited Ørnesvingen over there know it looks on this side beneath me on this picture – a sheer drop all the way down to the fjord… joodelii-hii-hoo..homlong geiranger eagle road ornevegen ørnesvingen

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One of the last peaceful and panoramic places on your way down from Homlongætra. Enjoy a rest/meal and the panoramic view of Geiranger surroundings from Homlong before you walk the last piece on the gravel road towards the hectic centre for a chilled cider. Geiranger fjord norway homlong cruise landscape photo liss myras

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The very next day I was on another awesome hike – I obviously don’t waste any time when I’m”off duty” and the weather is bearable  ….. pretty soon to come 😉

I have borrowed this overview picture from Camptocamp.org to show you the trail all the way from Skagehola to Homlong ..and Geiranger. If you choose to do the opposite way you will get a steeper and more visual exposed feeling – not recommended for those with fear of heights. It is easier to go up than down.map skageflaa homlonssaetra homlong geiranger