Søre Midtfjellet is a small top on the Fløyen/Rundemanen massif, and is a very popular destination for hikers. The Fjellhytten cabin is located on the summit. The hut is normally open in the week-ends during the hiking season. The views towards Bergen, Ulriken and Løvstakken are excellent. Ulriken presents itself from the most dramatic side, when viewed from Søre Midtfjellet.
A number of trails lead to this top. Below I have described the fastest route on a proper trail (SM1) which runs by Starefossen. In addition, I have documented a few ridge routes from Svartediket up to Søre Midtfjellet for those who like to scramble and move around in steep and exposed terrain.
The height of the mountain is a bit unclear to me. The Norgesglasset shows the 450m contour, and I have interpolated the height to 452m.
Søre Midtfjell has a primary factor of 39m towards the higher Rundemanen. Thus, this mountain is not ranked as an independent mountain on this web-site. The saddle is found near the forest road junction east of Nordre Midtfjellet and north of Blåmansvatnet. The adjacent 5m contours (Norgesglasset) are 415m. The saddle is interpolated to 413m.
Note: Class ratings are in reference to YDS (Yosemite Decimal System).
Note: The trails described below are not necessarily the easiest trail to this mountain.
Route SM1: Svartediket - Søre Midtfjellet via Starefossen (all seasons)
Locate Svartediket dam and find parking nearby.
Follow Tarlebøveien for less than 100m and turn left onto a narrow, paved road running up to your left. On top of the hill, you arrive the end of a road. Follow this road (straight ahead) for approx. 160m and turn right in the first junction. Turn right and follow this road for approx. 100m, as it curves to the left. On your right, you will have an information board "Turløyper" to your right.
Turn right and follow a narrow paved road that curves upwards. The road turns into a paved path that switchbacks up to 240m elevation where it levels out. After 300-400m, you cross a stream that drains from lake Skomakerdiket. 100m later, look out for a trail that forks on the right hand side.
This trail runs up to a cabin and then switchbacks up the steep hillside in front of you. This is a straightforward hike, but some long steps here and there, plus the fact that parts may be a bit awkward when wet or icy, has made me call this a class 2 route. The trail leads to the Fjellhytten cabin on Søre Midtfjell summit.
If you want an alternative route down, follow a trail NE and turn left on a forest road junction below Blåmanen. Continue to lake Blåmansvatnet and turn left again. Stay left in all major junctions, go past lake Skomakerdiket and you will end up on the road that leads to Starefossen and lake Svartediket. There are bound to be other hikers in this area. Ask if you want to be sure about the direction. The numerous, well established trails and forest roads in the Fløyen area are not documented on this web page.
The purpose of this trip was to examine a ridge, on this pages referred to as "Langenipryggen". "Rinden" would perhaps have been better usage - the local word for "rygg" (ridge). I carried some climbing equipment, but only for extreme¨ situations. I had no desire to climb steep and exposed routes all alone. I walked up what I thought was the start of the ridge. The first 100m was awfully steep - class 2+ with exposure. I had a easy valley route down to my right, but then I wouldn't be climbing the ridge. On top of the first hump, I was in for a surprise. I was on the wrong ridge.
My target ridge was up to my right, and it looked insanely steep. I traversed right and crossed a boulderfield that probably ran all the way down to Tarlebøveien. Then I headed upwards until I reached the bottom of the ridge. I thought I saw a doable route near where the ridge ended in a steep and sudden drop. I spent 45 minutes up and under the ridge. There were several class 4/5 routes that could provide ridge access, but from where I was standing, they were all near vertical. I started to climb up one of these routes using slings as a security measure, but I turned around. I had a significant drop below me. In case of a fall, I would not only fall down from the ridge, I would fall even further down to the boulderfield. During these 45 minutes, I had to fight juniper bush that was burnt down some years ago. In case you didn't know - the soot remains for years. I truly looked like a chimney sweeper by the time I was done.
I continued up the narrow valley until I found a class 3 route that provided access onto the high ridge. On top of the ridge, I entered a jungle of knee-height, razor-sharp, unbendable burnt-down juniper. After a short walk on the ridge, I encountered a small pass that provided a class 2 connection to the valley down on my left. The reminder of the ridge was class 2 all the way, with endless bush terrain. It was a true nightmare.
From the Søre Midtfjellet summit, I followed the standard route (SM1) back to Svartediket dam. On the "Kviturryggen" hike (SM2) the following day, I got a chance to take a closer look at the ridge I had been following. It does start down by Tarlebøveien, so I will have to return to - at least do the lower section. I'm not sure if I'm ready for this burnt down, upper jungle of bush anytime soon. After this hike, I took a restless dog up to Ulriken. A good total of 800m vertical meters on a Tuesday afternoon. Not bad.
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Route SM2: Svartediket - "Kviturryggen" (summer)
This ridge (and our route 24/03/04) is seen on this picture, The steepness of the ridge is better seen on this picture,
I have named the ridge "Kviturryggen" simply because the stream Kviturbekken runs alongside this ridge.
Locate Svartediket dam and find parking nearby.
Follow Tarlebøveien for approx. 1Km. Just after Kviturbekken drains below Tarlebøveien, the "Kviturryggen" begins (the road makes a sharp right-turn here).
The ridge has two sections, here referred to as "hump 1" and "hump 2". Alongside Kviturbekken runs a path that most likely runs up to the pass between hump 1 and hump 2.
Hump 1 consists of a series of slightly exposed pitches up to class 3 difficulty, running from Tarlebøveien road and up to 300m elevation. A couple of class 2+ and class 3 pitches may be bypassed (class 2 route), but it is recommended that you follow the high ridge route all the way.
One should avoid this ridge if the rock is wet and slippery. A point 5-10m above the entry point may be considered the crux with rounded rock and little handhold. The upper section of hump 1 is technically more easy, but with greater exposure as the ridge narrows. Be very careful when stepping on bushes, as they may be slippery. While climbing towards the top of hump 1, one really senses the exposure, as the ridge is steep on all sides.
The ruins of an old stone cabin is found in the pass between hump 1 and hump 2. A path marked with yellow ribbons will lead you up hump 2. We suspect the entire path along Kviturbekken may also be marked with yellow ribbons, but we don't know for sure. Follow a boulderfield up from the pass and pick up the yellow ribbon path towards the ridge crest. Pass a forest on top of the ridge and maintain a northbound direction until you reach the trail between Søre Midtfjellet and Rundemanen. Turn left and follow the trail 550m to Søre Midtfjell summit. Descend route SM1 back to Svartediket.
My friend Torbjørn and I agreed to climb an unnamed ridge to Rundemanen that runs parallel to Våkendalen this afternoon. We left Svartediket 16:25PM, and in a little while, we looked up the "Kviturryggen" ridge. I asked Torbjørn if he was interested in going up here instead. The ridge looked fun, although steep. I was carrying some climbing equipment, so if we were to run into problems, we could always get down in a safe manner.
The initial entry was actually the "crux" of the route, less than 10m above Tarlebøveien. A combination of slippery rock and lack of good grips called for the use of a few slings to promote safety. The route up to the top of the first hump offered a series of exposed, but fun, class 2+ and 3 obstacles. The rock was fairly dry, so the scramble didn't offer any bigger problems. Once the more advanced section was completed, the ridge steepened, but offered less complicated pitches. The high ridge was steep on both sides, and there was a certain "suction", while looking back down. We agreed not to classify this route as a "family hike".
I was truly enjoying this scramble, and it seemed that Torbjørn did too. There was a certain excitement about how the pass between the humps looked like. Would it be steep? We both hoped we didn't have to return down the ridge. The upper part of hump 1 offered the worst exposure. We were constantly surprised how steep the ridge was, compared to how we perceived it from further down the slopes. To get to the very top of hump 1, we sought left on the ridge, where the terrain was less "technical".
The pass between the humps turned out to be flat, and we found the ruins of an old stone cabin here. We also saw a route marked by yellow ribbons on the way up hump 2. This was apparently part of a route that began next to where we started to climb, and followed the ridge all the way to this pass. The route up hump 2 was steep, but with no exposure and technical challenges. On the top of the hump, we ran into a high-tree forest, which was a bit surprising. One expects to climb out of the timberline, not into it. After a few minutes of stepping around in bushes, we hit a trail that runs from Søre Midtfjellet to Rundemanen. East of cairn 554m, we left the trail and hiked up to the cairn. We arrived this cairn just before 18:00PM.
After a short break on top, we returned to the trail and climbed onto a hump southeast of the cairn. We hoped to get a clear view towards the ridge we were about to descend. We continued southbound on a very distinct ridge that went the wrong way. We traversed 200m eastbound and got on the proper ridge. To our disappointment, the ridge was far from distinct, and most of the route went through bush and through forest. We hit the shortcut that runs from Våkendalen to Tarlebøveien straight on, and returned to the trailhead approx. 18:50PM. All in all, a very exciting and fun hike.
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