Friday, August 4, 2017

Kongsdøla - Sognefjellshytta

Massiv day 17.
Distance: 11.3km (353.3km), time spent: 5:38 (142:40).
Ascent / descent: 680m (12366m) / 188m (11943m).
Altitude (start / end / highest): 912m / 1413m / 1483m.
Weather: Overcast, some occasional rain.


Today is the last day. I do not use it to go to Sota Sæter as I first had hoped to do. On the first days of my hike, I went out too hard and afterwards I had to lower my ambitions somewhat. I have to get back home in a way, so the best option for me was to go to Sognefjellshytta where I can catch a bus. That sat the order of the day, making it not the most exciting of my days. The walk from Kongsdøla to the cabin next to the Sognefjellsveien road is a short one.

Utledalen.

If I do the trail going from cabin to cabin, I will be two days away from finishing the Massiv trail. Now those two days have to wait, I think that I will take those next year, and let it be the start of a hike in the Breheimen national park, an area that I have not been in yet. I am not that disappointed having not reached the end of the trail.

A gorge between the mountains forms the gate to Vetle Utledalen.

It rained for most of the night, but it stopped in good time before I had to get up. It is quite windy outside, so the tent has dried up pretty well before I go. Massiv is from Kongsdøla going up into a wet valley before the path enters a gorge leading up to Vetle Utledalen. It might not be so strange that the valley is so green and lush. Next to the path, the river running down the valley roars loudly. Up into Vetle Utledalen, the path goes through a short and narrow valley before it appears at the high plateau southeast of Sognefjellet.

The surface is wet in the north end of Utledalen, here the trail goes on a constructed path of stones.

Reaching the bus is all that matters today, but I have good time. And after having crawled up from Vetle Utledalen, the terrain will be easier to walk on. It is not particularly heavy before that, but it involves more climbing.

The river Steindøla is crossed on this bridge.

At Rundhaugstjønne, it is time for a lunch break, not only to have an early lunch, but also just to eat up some of the food that I have left. I can look up towards Fannaråken from the water, but now the clouds are thrown down over the mountain, so there is little to see.

Vetle Utledalen.

With just little over one hour left before I will arrive at Sognefjellshytta, I have given up the hope of meeting a former colleague that is also hiking the Massiv trail (he is going it in the opposite direction). But just after I continue walking from Rundhaugstjønne, I can see a familiar person coming carrying a large backpack. It was just in the nick of time that we met, but we made it, just. Harald can tell me about some hard days from Sota Sæter and a day where he almost got lost on the way to Sognefjellshytta. There was however a simple reason for that, the path between Nørdstedalseter and Sognefjellshytta has been rerouted just before the dam at Storevatnet (I have to keep this in mind when I continue next year).

A more barren scenery after coming up from Utledalen and Vetle Utledalen to the area southeast for Sognefjellet.

It was truly great to meet someone I know on the hike. Although we both would like to have more time, we eventually have to move on in our different directions. Harald got to experience that the weather was just as merciless toward him as it was to me on the rest of his hike and arrived at Haukeliseter 17 days after he left Sota Sæter.

Meeting a familiar face on the trail. Here I have met Harald Rygge who began walking from Sota Sæter three days ago. We met just in time, I was now only one hour away from finishing my hike. Harald had two more week ahead of him.

View southwards from Rundhaugan 1483m over Rundhaugstjønne.

I did not walk many steps after we walked away in each our separate ways before my curiosity overtakes me again and dumps my backpack to the ground. I climb to the top of one of the Rundhaugan-tops northeast of Rundhaugstjønne, at 1483m. A fitting viewpoint for the final day. With good views over Sognefjellet, Fannaråken and in the direction of Breheimen, which seems to be aptly named.

Sognefjellet from Rundhaugan.

So, a short last walk on mountain and a short walk on road and I get the final stamp in my Massiv-passport this year at Sognefjellshytta. Finished with Massiv and my summer hike for this year. It has been ten great days in the mountains since I set out from Finse, despite the weather.

Fannaråken from Rundhaugan.

I have time for a shower at Sognefjellshytta (my fellow passengers on the bus should be happy about that) and a waffle together with a cold beer before the bus drives into the place in front of the cabin. The bus ride down to Lom is nice, but from there it is a long and time-consuming ride back home to Oslo. Behind lies the mountains, Hardangervidda, Skarvheimen, Jotunheimen and Breheimen. I will be back.

Map of the trail for the seventeenth day on Massiv, from Kongsdøla to Sognefjellshytta.

<- KongsdølaAurkvee ->

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