Turen går til Øvre Sandvatn hytta fredag kveld. Turmålet lørdag var Inste Tinden og Søre Tinden. Søndag....
We had a planning meeting on Tuesday to organise transport, go through the proposed routes and discuss any other matters which arose. Ola had some recent photo’s of Inste tinden, Søre tinden and Såta which were the mountains we intended to climb. The photo’s showed considerable snow fields still on the mountains which Ola explained he intended to avoid whilst climbing but that we could use to descend. Seven people attended the planning meeting. We agreed to meet at the STF office at 1530hrs on Friday to catch the 1640hrs ferry from Mortavika to Arsvågen.
On Friday 19th everyone turned up promptly at 1530hrs. We had three cars and a van to transport eleven of us to the hytta so there was plenty of space for everyone. Unfortunately the cars got separated on the way to the ferry port which meant that we, in the last car, missed the first available ferry. We were subsequently delayed by forty minutes (The effect of this was that we were late starting the walk up to the hytta and ended up walking the last 1km in the dark).
We caught up with the other three cars at the Akrafjorden café on the RV11 road between the two long tunnels. This is a convenient place to stop for something to eat. It’s also an opportunity to buy any last minute items that you might need for the weekend as there’s a mini-market there.
The parking place were we left the cars for the weekend was at the junction of two gravel mining tracks (sheet 1314 I, grid ref LM696279) We arrived at the parking place at approximately 2100hrs. There was just enough room on the sides of the junction for our four cars.
By the time we’d sorted ourselves out, changed our clothes, put our boots on etc, it was probably around 2120hrs before we left for the walk to the hytta (approximately 4.5km). We followed the turistforening marked path on the West side of the Nedra Sandvatnet reservoir heading North towards the hytta.
The route to the hut is easy to follow and fairly flat. There was one good sized stream which was deep enough to go over the tops of your boots if you put your foot in the wrong place, bearing in mind that it hadn’t rained much in the preceding few days, this stream could have been more of an obstacle if it had rained previously. The main problem as we approached the hut was that it was starting to get dark, some people had brought torches and head torches, a good idea. Everyone arrived at the hut safely after about an hour and a half walk. We were glad to see that the hut looked empty as it meant that most of us would be able to have a bed for the night. The hut has beds for eleven people, four bunks in one room, three in another plus a double bed and two bunks downstairs.
It was getting on for 11pm by the time we got to the hytta so as soon as we were in the cooking started in the kitchen to prepare the fish soup we had for supper…..excellent….!!! After the meal it was pretty much time for bed and people disappeared off to sleep ready for a 0930hrs start the following morning.
We set off reasonably on time at around 0950hrs. The weather looked good, broken cloud and sunshine. The planned route was to take us up the Northern slopes of Inste tinden, avoiding the snowfields as much as possible. From the summit (1526m, grid ref 677311) we’d head South into the valley (where we’d break for lunch, out of the wind) between the two peaks. Then South again up the Northern slope of Søre tinden to the top (1564m, grid ref 662285). From the top we’d head back towards the hut heading in a North Easterly direction down the snowfields towards a little lake (1146m, grid ref 679294). From the lake climbing a little way to approximately 1250m in a North-North Easterly direction to traverse across the Eastern slopes of Inste tinden before sighting the hut and heading down the hillside for home.
The day went very well, we set a good pace and had plenty of time for lunch and also a break on the top of Nedre tinden to enjoy the views. The weather was also very good, sunny and warm. There was unusually large amounts of snow still on the slopes from last winter, in places the snowfields were over 5m thick. On the way down from Søre tinden we used the snow fields to our advantage. We were able to descend around 400m to the small lake in very quick time by staying on the snow. The total walk time was around six and a half hours including breaks, lunch etc.
On Saturday evening we tucked into an excellent meal prepared by Torbjørn. The weather was still fine and mild with hardly a breath of wind, this boded well for Sunday.
After tidying the hut we were ready to set off walking by around 1030hrs. The planned walk was to head South along the marked track to the East of the Nedra Sandvatnet reservoir until we were within couple of kilometers of the cars. There we would lighten our loads by leaving some of the stuff we didn’t need for the climb at the bottom of the mountain to pick up later, extra food, sleeping bags, wash kit’s etc. The plan then was to zigzag up the terraces of Såta heading roughly in an Easterly direction until we reached the summit (1421m, grid ref 722286). On the descent we’d head off in a Northerly direction before veering around to the West and heading back to pick up our bags and returning to the cars.
Again the weather was excellent and we made good time to the first stop where we dropped of the stuff we didn’t need for the climb. The climb up was relatively easy as it’s a fairly gentle gradient until you get within the last few hundred metres of the summit. You do have to climb up the rock terraces which were a feature of this route and you do end up zigzagging your way up. On thing to watch out for is area’s of flat snow, often it is flat because there is water underneath, you wouldn’t want to fall through into the icy cold water below. We made it to the summit for lunch. There are apparently summits within a five minutes walk of each other, we visited both, the true summit is the Southerly one. After lunch we headed off in a Northerly direction where from where you get a view of the Northern tip of Røldalsvatnet and of Røldal itself. We then veered around to the West and descended back down to where we’d left our stuff. From there it was just twenty minutes walk back to the cars and off home.
The journey back was fine though we did have to wait forty minutes or so for the ferry back to Mortavika.