If you're looking for an easy and uncomplicated round-trip in the border between the Matre mountains and the Stølsheimen mountain range, then this web page gives you a good alternative. You can easily shorten or extend this hike. Parts of the route run on cairned trails and parts run off-trail.
Parts of this trail have a historic touch. The trail from Litlematrestølen is part of the Bjørn West trail. Visit the Bjørn West museum in Matre for more information about the Norwegian resistance during World War II.
You will not find wild and steep mountains in this area, but that's not necessary what defines a good hike. The views are extremely good. Northbound, you see the Lifjell and Blægja massifs north of Sognefjorden. Southbound, you may see all the way to Bergen on a very clear day.
Gråsida's primary factor towards the higher Blåfjellet is 165m. The saddle is just north of lake øvre Kvitevatnet. The adjacent 20m contours are 700m. The saddle height is interpolated to 690m.
Storhaug's primary factor towards the higher Storevasseggene is 124m. The saddle is south of the summit. The adjacent contours are 800m, and the saddle height is interpolated to 790m. The high ridge continues across Inste Kvitevasseggene.
Inste Kvitevasseggene's primary factor towards the higher Storevasseggene is 104m. The saddle is east of the summit. The adjacent contours are 820m, and the saddle height is interpolated to 810m.
Note: Class ratings are in reference to YDS (Yosemite Decimal System).
Note: The trail described below is not necessarily the easiest trail to this mountain.
Litlematrestølen - all summits round-trip (summer)
From Bergen, follow highway E39 towards Førde. Pass the toll station on Nordhordlandsbrua (fee for passenger car per Dec 2003 is NOK 45,-) and continue 51,3Km northbound. Exit E39 right towards "Haugsdal". Continue approx. 200m and turn right. Continue another 200m and turn right again. You're now on the mountain road. Drive 7,8Km and find parking at the Litlematrestølen trailhead. You will see a yellow sign which states you're not allowed to fish or hunt without permission. Close to the road you will also see a rock with a "T" painted in red.
Follow the "T" trail towards Litlematrestølen cabins, which are just up the hill. Up to your left - on the west side of the lake - you see a ridge that will take you towards Gråsida. Head towards this ridge and follow a cairn path. You could also follow the trail on the east side of the lake (Degavatnet), and head towards Gråsida on the far side of the lake.
You may lose the path after a while. Just continue towards Gråsida, bypassing point 814m. The terrain is a bit "bumpy". Choose a route that prevents going too much up and down. A solid cairn marks the summit of Gråsida. Per June 2004, there was a "Fjelltrimmen" summit register. Thus, this mountain is one of a number of mountains that people in the region "collect" during the spring and summer season.
In order to get to Storhaug, you must cross Brattgilfjellet. Head eastbound and cross over Brattgilfjellet. On your way from Brattgilfjellet towards Storhaug, make sure you get to the south side of lake Langevatnet. The south side of Storhaug is steep, but it should be obvious where you need to ascend Storhaug. A small cairn marks a viewpoint. The high point is a few meters further south.
This is a long ridge that will take you back to the mountain road. You *can* descend Storhaug's south side, but it is more convenient to seek a bit further left (east). Once down, head up the Kvitevasseggene ridge. The high point is the first of three neighbour humps, and has an iron pole on the summit. You will see small cairns on the other two humps, as you move away from the high point.
The ridge is long and with few features. Follow the ridge until it ends. The ridge ends steeply. You have two small valleys/gullies on your left and right hand side. Pick one. They lead you to the mountain road, which you have seen for some time by now. Follow the mountain road back to the trailhead.
Trip Report June 20 2004 - Mostly a story about a dog
The body works in mysterious ways. Both Troll and I had a hard time getting up after the Tverrvassfjellet hike the day before. Troll had walked quite a bit, and didn't show any signs of life when I called for him this Sunday morning. After the first "system check" (am I alive? can I see? etc.) I felt strongly for an easy day. Then a ray of sunshine caught my attention, and within 30 minutes, Troll and I were on our way to the mountains.
I didn't know exactly where I was heading, so I had brought along some maps. I found myself heading north, and figured I would go to the Matre mountains. Troll was sleeping in the seat next to me. He seemed tired, and I wondered if he had caught the fact that we were on our way to another long hike.
In the "wow! sunshine! get-my-ass-out-of-the-house" process, things like breakfast, etc. were skipped. I stopped by a gas station and bought some bisquits and a chocolate cake (!) for the hike. I was out of lunch boxes for Troll, and hoped the cake would do as substitute. After 30 minutes on the road, I was running out of sunshine. The good weather seemed to be local to Bergen, and I was heading towards some nasty cloud systems. I planned a hike that would get me 3 mountains if the weather stayed OK, and a fairly quick exit if I would run into thunder and hail like the day before.
We left the Litlematrestølen trailhead 11:30AM. Not in my wildest dreams had I pictured Troll setting off as if it had been a year since his last hike. But he did. "Setting off" is perhaps not the right word for a dachshund, about to become 11 years. "Moving along" is perhaps more descriptive. Sheep were all over the place, and dogs must be kept in a leash. I granted myself the liberty to disregard this rule, as Troll has absolutely no interest in sheep. In fact, he gets worried if they're too close. Once, a lamb ran after him, and he's never really been comfortable with them since.
Troll walked all the way to Gråsida summit. The terrain was easy to follow. No steep hills, no big cliffs, etc. We reached the summit 13:00PM and took our first break. Troll looked disappointed when he didn't see any lunch box. He did eat from the chocolate cake, but not with his ususal commitment. I looked towards Storhaug and Inste Kvitevasseggene. They seemed far away. But the weather was OK, so there was no reason to stop now.
I put Troll in the backpack to let him rest a bit. He didn't seem to mind. On the way to Storhaug I scared the living daylights out of a flock of sheep that obviously hadn't seen humans before. Of course, of all the places they could run, they chose to run my ascent route towards Storhaug. Alerts were communicated to all sheep in the area, and I could see sheep high on Storhaug vanish in panic. I found a very convenient route up Storhaug, whose west and south side is quite steep. 14:30PM, we arrived Storhaug summit and took the second break for the day. Troll didn't seem disappointed at all when I took out the bisquits and the chocolate cake. It was raining very light, but only above 900m. If it hadn't been for ripples in the water, I wouldn't had noticed.
We continued towards Inste Kvitevasseggene. We arrived there 15:10PM. I found three high points. Two of them had a cairn but neither were the high point. The high point on the other hand had an iron pole. I couldn't see the point in building cairns on two insignificant humps, unless the intention was to confuse other hikers. We now had a long ridge ahead of us, and Troll was back on the track. He seemed to be enjoying the day, walking back and forth along the cairn path, checking a smell here and a smell there. At the end of the ridge, we took a break, and Troll took a nap. He didn't even cry for lunch. Eventually, I had to wake him up, and we continued down to the mountain road and then to the car. By 16:30PM, the hike was over and Troll fell immediately to sleep in the car.
Pictures from the June 20 2004 hike:
Move cursor to read notes, and click on the images to see full version.
Pictures from other hikes: