Hiking to the Skull! Levanger, Norway, September 2016.

03-img_6544-001After a rainy Norwegian summer, the autumn is here. I prefer the autumn. The summer often disappoints me as I desire warm, sunny days. Two days of rain pr week would be ok, but not seven. I’ve heard refugees from Africa refer to the Norwegian summer as the “green winter”. I feel sorry for them! My expectations for the autumn is cold weather, a lot of rain and wind. If the sun is shining, then it’s a great surprise. Today was a surprise 🙂

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We went hiking to Hårskallen, translated to English that is “The Hairy Skull” and I guess the mountain looks a bit like a head, not very hairy though.

The parking is at Skallstugu (large cabin you can hire), by Vulusjøen, the Vulu lake. The road going there is private and it cost 50 NOK to pass the turnpike. It is 17 km (10,5 mi) by car from E6.

Click here for some more facts and a map of the area.

02-img_6540-001 04-img_6546-001 05-img_6553-001This is Hundkjerka, The Dog Church, which is a really funny name. There are several theories of the name. One theory is that a troll threw the rock (kjerke can mean a rock) there, he was angry when they built Munkeby abbey, but missed – perhaps less plausible.

The other theory is that this was where the Catholics held their services during the reformation, they had to go far to be safe. The third theory is that “hund” sometimes is used to describe something large and “kjerke” means rock, so it simply means “the large rock” and not a dog church…

08-img_6570-001 06-img_6559-001 07-img_6562-001It’s nice to take a break at Hundkjerka, even if it’s only 0,7 km (0,4 mi). It is 580 moh or 1902 ft above sea level.

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This is a crossroad and they both lead to the summit, there is no sign however, so it’s good to know what you chose. If you take the left path, it goes straight up over this hill and down to where you start your next climb. It is quite steep and can be quite windy. We went to the right, around this hill and up a small valley. It was very beautiful and no wind.

According to my GPS it was 1,9 km (1,2 mi) going to the right and 1,7 km (1,05 mi) going to the left, as we came back down that way. The sign says 1,8 km (1,1 mi)…

09-img_6573-001 10-img_6575-001 11-img_6583-001 12-img_6586-001The view further into the mountains… There are not many trees here, it is not because it is above the tree limit, but because it is too windy.

13-img_6587-001 14-img_6590-001The warm colors of the cold autumn are here and some signs of love in the nature. Actually the weather forecast was 15℃/59℉ and cloudy, but we got 19℃/66℉ and sun. That is amazing weather in September. 20℃/68℉ is considered a summer day in Norway…

15-img_6592-001It is amazing that we can drink clean water like this, served by the nature.

20-img_6612-001 19-img_6610-001Not much hair… That might be why the locals only call it “The Skull”.

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At the summit! We are 735 moh or 2411 ft above sea level. Many have been there before us, no place to sign in this well used book.

17-img_6602-001This is the view of Skogn and the island is Hestøya (Horse Island).

18-img_6603-001Here you can see Levanger, Ytterøya, Inderøya and Mosvik.

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Sheep plays an important part in this landscape: By grazing, the sheep help to maintain the cultural landscape, cultural history, biodiversity, open trails and farm meadows, as well as rural community life.

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