I started my long day of walking before sunrise, at 4.40 am in Helgedalen – close to the hotel at Turtagrø, and followed the construction road up the valley. By the icy lake at 1291 m the road ended, and I headed for the ridge leading up to point 1838 m at the map, called Ommane. Now the sun appeared, and shining at the tremendous north face of Skagastøls- and Styggedalstindene I was stunned by the view. I shot some nice photos, before I hastily moved on along the north side of the Jervass glacier. To descend the Jervvass valley in the west I had to scramble down very close to the glacier fall – too close I thought. Falling seracs was really a threatening danger here. I almost didn’t dare to stop to take photos.
After about 200 meters decent I reached the bottom of the valley, and easily crossed the small river here. The next hour scrambling should be no tourist route – that was sure. I crossed upwards against a distinct notch at the ridge high above me, following an endless heap of stones – avoiding the scattered snowfields, as they were even harder to cross. At about 1600 meters, I started to turn direct south and then to the east, so that I rounded point 1924.
Now some small clouds were shaped around the summit, and I didn’t dare to stop for lunch, because I really wanted to have some nice pictures from the top. This was my third attempt, and it was certainly not meant to be a “walk in the clouds,” so I hastily moved on. The result was that my strength rapidly decreased, but still I pressed on. At 2050 m I was a bit surprised to find a quite steep part, and had some small problems to find the right track. Small piles of stones guided me up, and the scrambling was only fun – not exposed – even if some places could have been a little too exciting under more moistures conditions.
Passing a new height I left my rucksack, and continued directly towards the summit, only bringing my ice axe and my camera tripod with me. The speed increased of course, also due to the excitement, especially by the sight of the sharp snow ridge I had to follow right before the summit. I almost staggered now, after 7 hours hard going. To the left I scrambled up some rocks to avoid the snow ridge as long as possible, but finally it was too steep scrambling, and I changed to snow. Luckily there were deep foot prints and not so icy, and with my ice axe I felt quite comfortable all alone up here. And then, suddenly, I reached the flat summit at 1 p.m. The 9th highest peak in Norway was finally mine.
As the clouds were gathering around me I quickly took some photographs, before continuing some meters against Styggedalstinden. The col here looked tremendous, and so did the snowy ridge of Styggedalstinden too. On the other side of the col I spotted some footprints leading upwards the steep snow, but I would not continue without a rope. Suddenly I got a little distracted: A loud whistling by a little bird – here at 2351 meters!
In the beginning of the descent I was very thankful for the deep footprints in the snow, and moved very slowly and concentrated. A fall here would be fatal, but sure you would have some time to reconsider life, sliding down half a kilometer on the steep glacier! After some breathtaking minutes I could start running down at the snow, and this time I tried to follow these fields as much as possible. Passing point 1924 I felt relieved: It was not difficult to find the right – and only – way down, the same line as I followed upwards. No paths here! I built some piles of stones as I descended.
Finally, down in Jervass valley, I crossed the river quite easily, but this time I headed almost north; for the little lake Jervvatnet. Soon I could follow the T-marked path over Keisarpasset and back to Helgedalen. Approaching the road I changed for my trainers to spare my feet, and at 6.20 pm I was back, after a 14-hour hard trip.