Kayaking in Sunnmøre

Before we went to Norway I had planned to kayak Hjørundsfjorden. To be more exact my plan was to hike Slogen, then kayak from Øye and find a nice camping spot, stay overnight and then kayak the rest of the fjord, but what happened? Well.. Weather does not follow your plans! We could not do Slogen the day I had planned it and we ended up kayaking Eksund – Ulsteinvik instead, since it was supposed to be better weather there. Notice the “supposed” :D? There were no super conditions for kayaking in Eiksund either that day, but it was doable. On the positive side I did learn a lot that day.

Lessons learned:

  1. Do not only consider wind speed, but also wind direction. We had headwind the whole way, which made it very exhausting. Had I considered the wind direction we could have done the route other way around.
  2. Check your map often when kayaking between small islands. Me and Elias thought we knew the direction, but it is just way to easy to lose it between all the small islands and espesially when you also want to take the “shortest path”. Much like when hiking. So we ended up kayaking in wrong direction for one and a half hour. That together with the headwind probably resulted in us not making it the whole way to Ulsteinvik :(.
  3. Kayaking in rain is completely fine, it’s just a different kind of experience 🙂
  4. Kayaking close to each other is a challenge, when in big waves.
  5. On the sea the wind/weather can change within 15 minutes, so sometimes you need to turn around so that the waves do not hit you from the side.
  6. Make sure you seal the kayak covers properly during the breaks and while kayaking. Especially with big waves. Elias did not do this and so all the equipment in his kayak got wet. We did use waterproof bags , but his shoes were inside the kayak without a bag…

 

Eiksund is a village in Ulstein Municipality in Møre og Romsdal , Norway. It is located on the southern tip of the island of Hareidlandet.

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Iniitial plan was to kayak from Eiksund to Ulsteinvik
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The route we ended up doing

The waves were the worst when kayaking towards Eika, so when I afterwards figured out that all this struggle and fear was for nothing I was a little angry at myself. But I on the bright side I got some experience with kayaking in medium to big waves (At least for me they were big 😛 ).

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Yes I know, the water in the pictures looks perfectly still, but belive me it was not like this the whole time. I just did not dare to take out my camera in the big waves, it was more important to stay alive 😀

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After struggling in the waves and realizing that we were on the wrong course, we decided to take a break at Kleppane. We had packed tea and coffee, lots of sandwiches and cookies with us.

 

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From Kleppane on we checked the map frequently to not make any more mistakes. We found a nice place where to take the kayaks to the land, not too far from the road so that we could be picked up.

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All in all we used 5 hours on this route, but that is included a 40 minutes break and heavy head wind. In other words, on a nice day there should be no problems to make it the whole way to Ulsteinvik, as long as you do not end up taking detours, that is 😀

Now I need to get ready for some serious hiking tomorrow. Last weekend we had actually planned to hike Aplspitze, but I was so tired that I did not even want to watch TV so we had to cancel our plans. I guess the first week back at work hit me like a wall and I just needed some rest after it.

Anyways, I hope for a nice hike tomorrow. Even thought it’s going to be a long and heavy one 🙂

 

 

 

 

Slogen – a hike you can’t miss while in Sunnmøre.

Sunnmøre is the southernmost region of the western Norwegian district of Møre og Romsdal. Its main city is ÅlesundThe district is made up of mainland as well as several large islands such as Hareidlandet, plus many small islands. The region is an hikers wet dream! There are several big fjords in the area which means steep hikes and amazing views. Most of the hikes start around sea level, so even though the highest mountain in the area is bellow 2000 m, fear not, you will get to climb enough high meters. There are few sports that can not be practiced in Sunnmøre, its perfect for hiking, kayaking, skiing, paragliding, and you can even do surfing. There are also a lot of possibilities for climbing.

I have not yet explored all the different possibilities and do not know the mountains as well as the locals do, but I have done around 5 hikes in the area and am convinced that the mountaintops in sunnmøre are what dreams are made of 🙂

If you are lucky enough to be in the area during nice weather, Slogen (1564m) is the mountain you can not miss. Despite its sharp and steep appearance, the top is relatively easy to climb. From the peak you have a fantastic view of the peaks around and the valleys deep down at Hjørundfjorden.

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From the fjord, Slogen rises like a triangular pyramid, straight up. Coming closer you will see that it is not quite as steep.

With nice weather, the hike up is easier than you would think, only the last part is a bit exposed and requires some scrambling, so do not be surprised to meet Norwegians in sport BH and shorts running up. There are some really sporty Norwegians out there so even we had to let some pass us 😀

You do not need any equipment of any kind to get to the top, but I do not recommend this hike with fog or rain, at least not all the way to the peak as the last 100 hm are really exposed. We are talking about several hundred meters right down!

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The trip up to Slogen is suitable for day trips, but there is a possibility to spend an overnight stay at the Patchellhytta before climbing the top the next day. With accommodation here, this trip is also suitable for children.

To get to Patchellhytta (and further up to the top) you can either go up Skylstadbrekka from Øye in Norangsdalen (about 2-3 hours) or up the Liadalen from Engeset not far from Stranda (about 2-3 hours). From Patchellhytta, the trip takes up to about 3 hours. The trail up to the top from Patchellhytta is not marked, but it is quite easy to find. The third option would be to walk from Urke to the hut and then do the peak next day.

Season: June-September.

From Øye: 3 km. 1500 altitude meters, 4 hours.

From Patchellhytta: 3 km. 750 height meters, 3 hours.

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We hiked the route from Øye (Marked black on the map). It is 1500 hm more or less right up, but in return you feel that you are getting closer with every step you take and just after 1 hour, you can already spot the peak. The first 1000 hm are in the forest, after that there is a short part of gravel path and after that you have to jump between the rocks and find you way to the top, while enjoying the amazing view to Hjørungsfjorden.

The path from Øye has normally less snow so it is a nice option if it is early in the season. After perhaps 500 hm you will find a sign to water. It is a nice opportunity to fill up your water bottle as it gets really warm on that side of the valley during sunny days.

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We did not fill up our water bottle on the marked place, so we had to get creative.
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100hm from the peak, there was a lot of snow so we had to climb next to it. This is where you want to stop if you do not like scrambling.

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The views from the peak speak for themselves:

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The one hour that we spent on the top, went way too fast!!

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This view spoiled us on the way down. I need to figure out what the closest mountain is called and add it to my list 🙂

We used 4 hours up (with two 20 minutes breaks)  and 2,5 hours down. The path down is long and steep so I do recommend hiking poles, even thought you will be an obvious tourist while using them (very few Norwegians use hiking poles :D).

If you are a true Norwegian you finish your hike with a refreshing (read freezing) swim in the fjord. Luckily I am Estonian so I had an excuse 😉

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This is just one of the hikes we did during our vacation in Norway this year. In one weeks time, we managed to do another hike and some kayaking in the area. I had also planned outdoors camping, but that we had to cancel due to the weather 😦