Gullfjellet seen from the air
Gullfjellstoppen is the highest mountain in Bergen kommune, and the high point of a large mountain massif that is excellent for hiking and skiing. From a bird view, it would be natural to say that Skåldalsfjellet, Austrerinden, Sletteggi and Livarden peaks also belong to this massif. From a local perspective, Gullfjellet massif only contains Gullfjellstoppen and S. Gullfjellstoppen, also known as "Sydpolen" (The South Pole). People that live in this area will not associate the above peaks with Gullfjellet.
Even if Gullfjellstoppen is almost 1000m, the peak is easy (everything is relative..) to reach from two central trailheads (Gullbotn and Osavatnet). Two popular routes can be hiked from Osavatnet, offering an excellent traverse. All of these routes are described on this page.
The Bergen/Samnanger kommune border runs across Gullfjellet, and while Gullfjellstoppen summit is located within Bergen kommune, S. Gullfjellstoppen (also known as "Sydpolen", and the 2nd highest point on this massif) has the high point in Samnanger kommune.
Gullfjellstoppen is - bar none - the best viewpoint in Bergen kommune, and is ranked as #12 (based on primary factor) on the Hordaland county list.. A high primary factor is (almost) equal to unprecedented views.
The "obvious" translation of "Gullfjellet" would be "Gold mountain". However, I have hear that the original name might have been "Gulfjellet", where "Gul" refers to a wind.
See also this page, giving a brief background on Redningshytten, located at the base of the mountain.
Gullfjellstoppen (M711: 987m, Ø.K: 987,47) has a primary factor of 714m towards the higher Trollskardtinden (1074m). The saddle is found near Gullbotn. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), you cross the 275m contours on the high route, but not 270m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 273m. This rankes Gullfjellstoppen as #12 in Hordaland, based on primary factor.
Litlagullfjellet (M711: 799m, Ø.K: 972m) has a primary factor of 54m towards the higher Gullfjellstoppen (987m). The saddle is found between Litlagullfjell and Gullfjellhalsen. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), you cross the 740m contours on the high route, but not 735m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 738m.
Gullfjellet (M711: 914m, Ø.K: 914,5) has a primary factor of 61m towards the higher S. Gullfjellstoppen (962m). The saddle is found between the two tops. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), you cross the 855m contours on the high route, but not 850m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 853m.
Note: Class ratings are in reference to YDS (Yosemite Decimal System).
Route 1201.GFT.01: Lake Osavatnet - Kinndalen - Gullfjellstoppen - Redningshytten - Osavatnet (summer/winter)
From Bergen, follow highway E16 towards Oslo. At the Indre Arna roundabout, turn right onto RV585 (Nesttun/Flesland). When you get to the "Bjørndalen/Unneland" exit, turn left and follow this road all the way to the large parking area at Lake Osavatnet.
If you come from Nesttun, follow RV585 for approx. 6,5Km from the Midttun roundabout. Turn right towards "Bjørndalen/Unneland" Follow this road for 1,9Km and turn right at the junction at Unneland. Follow the road to the parking area at lake Osavatnet, 4,3Km from the Unneland junction.
On week-end days with good weather (summer and winter), there may be a parking fee (NOK 20,- per December 2004). The fee booth is just before the parking area. Stop to check if the booth is manned.
Up via Kinndalen valley
From Lake Osavatnet, follow the main road and turn left at the first trail junction after 500m. Walk across "Tausamyrane", down to a bridge, and turn left just after the bridge (the road to the right runs towards Redningshytten, and you will be coming down this way) Follow the road up to Lake Svartavatnet and go all the way to the north end of the lake. At the north end, turn right (signposted "Kinndalen") and follow the north shore.
The trail leaves the lake and heads up into the forest and then maintains a northern direction up through Kinndalen valley. The trail is not marked, but is easy to follow. As you enter Kinndalen valley, you get a better view of the landscape. Kinndalen valley is formed as horseshoe; A high ridge runs up to your left. The three Vossavardane humps are in center, and Litlagullfjellet (also known as Kinndalsnipa) is up to your right. The main trail crosses the basin and heads up between the rightmost of the Vossavardane humps, and Litlagullfjellet, along a stream from "Tjørnane".
Winter notes; The summer route from Kinndalen up to "Tjørnane" is awkward for skiing. Skiers normally head up between the two leftmost Vossavardane humps. They continue across the center Vossavardane hump and pass the rightmost (eastern) Vossavardane hump on the north side before ascending a distinct ridge that runs up to Gullfjellhalsen and subsequently Gullfjellstoppen.
Once you arrive at the "Tjørnane" lakes, you have several options, and there is no *standard* route here. My recommendation is that you cross Tjørnane at the drain towards Kinndalen. The crossing may be awkward, but the clue is to step on rocks in the water before ascending the Litlagullfjellet north ridge. Pay the Litlagullfjellet top a visit before you head south-east towards a ridge up to Gullfjellhalsen, parallel to the Glamragjelet couloir. Once on Gullfjellhalsen, head towards the cairns (this is the route from Gullbotn) and follow the cairns to Gullfjellhalsen summit.
I know that when arriving Tjørnane, many do not cross the drain, but walk along the north shore and ascend Gullfjellhalsen from there.
Those familiar with the route across Litlagullfjellet (Kinndalsnipa) may consider a shortcut from Kinndalen valley, that takes you safely up to the south side of the summit. In winter, you have to manoeuver around the icy spots.
Down via Redningshytten
A cairn trail will take you to Redningshytten hut, and all the way down to Lake Osavatnet. The route descends from 987m (Gullfjellstoppen) down to a lake (approx. 830m elev.) before it ascends towards point 914m, also known as "Gullfjellet". From Gullfjellet, the summer and winter routes follow different routes. The cairns (summer trail) will take you down to the north side of Middagsdalen valley. The winter route extends 500-600m further south on the Gullfjellet south ridge, before it turns sharp to the right and takes you down to Middagsdalen.
From Middagsdalen, the summer and winter routes are the same, all the way back to Redningshytten and Lake Osavatnet. The descent from Middagsdalen, and down the "Korketrekkeren" hill is steep, and sometimes challenging for novice skiers. Take the skis off before risking a broken leg.
Winter notes; A more exiting descent route (skiing) from Gullfjellstoppen back to Lake Osavatnet. Ski down (north) to the saddle between Gullfjellstoppen and Gullfjellhalsen and then down the Glamragjelet couloir (between Litlagullfjellet and Gullfjellstoppen). The upper slopes are the steepest, and the terrain levels out the lower in Glamragjelet you get.
At the end of the couloir, cross the drain from Kinndalen valley and head north up a forest (a small hill) until you join the Kinndalen route. This is because a direct route towards lake Svartavatnet is not good for skiing.
Glamragjelet is much more challenging in summer. This is advanced scrambling, with elements of exposure and waterfalls.
Route 120.GFT.02: Gullbotn - Gullfjellstoppen (summer/winter)
From Bergen, follow highway E16 towards Oslo and turn onto RV7 in the RV7/E16 junction at Trengereid (approx. 25 minutes from Bergen). Follow RV7 up a long hill, and for a short stretch down to Gullbotn Turistheim. Just before Turistheimen, which is on the left hand side of the road, turn into a parking area at the right hand side of the road.
Follow the gravel road that runs from the parking. After the first hill, you enter a loop trail. Turn right. After a few minutes, when the trail makes a sharp turn to the right, a shortcut runs straight ahead. Follow the shortcut, which will take you to an odd-looking bridge. Leave the trail you are on, and locate a narrow path that runs along the stream, on the right hand side. This path will take you back to the loop trail, higher up. You arrive yet another bridge, which you need to cross. The route upwards runs on the left hand side of this stream.
Follow the trail along the stream into the forest. After the first hill, the terrain levels out. Cross the meadow and ascend up to the foothills of the Gullfjellet massif. Locate a large, solid cairn that marks the beginning of the cairn trail to Gullfjellstoppen. Follow this cairn trail all the way to the top, along a distinct ridge. Descend your ascent route.
This is not really a typical skiing route. The ridge upwards is both a bit steep and narrow. Many would prefer to walk this route, even in winter. At the first (lower) cairn, you have Mannaleitnipa (593m) up to your left and Trengereidhotten (577m) further to your right.
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