Tofjellet seen from Illebruni
Tofjellet is one of several mountain tops that are best reached from the Straume community by Bolstadfjorden. These mountains are located north of highway E16, on the other side of Bolstadfjorden as you pass the Modalen exit just after Dale (on your way to Voss). A ridge begins at Straume (Skarddalsfjellet), continues over Tofjellet, Oksli and Noltane. This ridge runs south of the Storfjelli (1115m) massif, the dominating mountain in this region.
Noone associates this region with Stølsheimen, but you remain on high ground when you walk eastbound from Storfjelli. The lowest pass (the Norddalen/Sørdalen pass) on the way to the road to Eksingadalen is 900m. You cross the Evanger - Eksingadalen road at 730m before you climb towards Kvitanosi (1433m), the higher point in Stølsheimen. From a bird's perspective, Tofjellet logically belongs to the same mountain region as Kvitanosi. No name exists for this region. Stølsheimen is only a part of it. Personally, I think of the region as "Bergheimen". The name does not translate well, but can be thought of as "the home of the mountains". The region boundary would be Sognefjorden in the north, highway E39 in the west, highway 13 across Vikafjellet in the east and highway E16 in the south.
Back to Tofjellet; this is a fun hike from Straume. On your way to Tofjellet, you pass Illebruni which is another fun hike. Illebruni can be done both from Straume and Hesjedalen. The first part of the hike to Tofjellet is to Straumsstølen. An excellent hike on a good trail for the whole family. The hike up Uraskardet requires a bit more balance among boulder, but you're still on a path. You can follow a path all the way to Dyvikstølen, but from here on you have a 300m steep hike in rougher terrain ahead of you. There are no technical challenges, but good hiking experience comes in handy.
Tofjellet has a primary factor of 131m towards the higher Noltane (990m). You can walk a high ridge from Tofjellet towards Noltane. The saddle is found just SW of Oksli. The lowest point on the route to Noltane is approx. 700m. The last adjacent 20m contours are 720m, but the 700m contours almost touch and the saddle height is interpolated to 705m.
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.
Straume - Tofjellet (summer/autumn)
From Bergen, follow highway E16 towards Oslo. At Dale, mid-way between Bergen and Voss, drive northbound for 2,7Km from the Dale exit. Then exit left onto a paved road. Follow this road to Straume. Cross the bridge and exit right onto the first road on your right (Dyvik). Follow "Parkering" (parking) signs and park at the Straumsdalen trailhead.
Follow the forest road upwards from the parking. After approx. 1Km, the road descends. Follow the road down to Næsatreet and cross the stream via a bridge. The forest road climbs up the valley. The forest road becomes a trail and leads you to the river Straumselvi. A trailsign shows the way towards Illebruni nearby a bridge. Cross the bridge and follow the visible forest trail to Straumsstølen cabins.
From Straumsstølen, follow the trailsign towards Uraskardet. The route up to the pass is marked by red paint on trees. The section just behind the cabins can be quite wet after rain. Be careful as you enter the boulder section in the pass. A visible track that switchbacks upwards can be followed. At the top of the pass, the red marking halts. Follow a vague path that runs under the mountain on your left. The path stays high all the way. When you see the "Bru" sign, head down to the river and cross it via a swaying bridge.
Once over the bridge, follow the red paint trail upwards. This trail will take you to a 400m long ledge that runs 50m above the river down to your left. The trail eventually meets the riverbank and when a valley opens up on your right, turn sharp right and follow a ridge parallel to the ledge you followed, but in the opposite direction. Keep looking for a small cabin at 500m. Stop by this cabin and sign the guestbook. Be prepared to bend down when entering the cabin. You will see a similar entrance as in houses in the old times when the enemy almost had to crawl into the house. A good opportunity to hit them in the head with the pan.
Facing the mountain, you clearly see the gully you will be following. Get up on the ridge to your left and head towards the gully. Up to 700m it is wise to stay in the grassy sides to the left of the gully. Above 700m, climb up on the ridge to the right of the gully. Follow the gully until it hits the top ridge. Turn right and locate the summit cairn less than 200m further west.
It may be tempting to head down to Toskardet pass and return via Skarddalsfjellet. Pay attention to this ridge as you head towards Straumsstølen. It doesn't look trivial, does it? I suggest you return on your ascent route.
I was attempting Tofjellet one week ago. I had to abandon the idea due to dense fog, and ended up the modest forest hill Storenipa instead. But I met Sverre Langhelle, which was a pleasant encounter. This Sunday, I called Sverre and asked about the weather conditions. He told me the fog hung low up in the mountains, but expected the fog would vanish during the day. He was heading for Storenipa, and we walked together up the forest road. We parted 12:15PM and I headed up Straumsdalen valley. I was happy to see the Tofjellet summit ridge in the horizon. But still, clouds were roaming the mountains. The weather was unpredictable.
I passed Straumsstølen cabins and headed up Uraskardet. I knew this boulder area from my last visit up here, and knew that the pass could be dangerous when wet. I was also carrying the dog in the backpack. He had walked from the Storenipa trailhead down to Næsatreet, but sat down when he saw the long uphill in Straumsdalen. After passing Uraskardet I found the path towards the bridge. On my last visit, I had been walking about down by the river without finding the bridge. Consequently that's when I gave up. But now I was on the right track. Sverre had made a sketch of the trail in order to be absolutely sure I would find my route up the mountain. I appreciated that. This mountain was on a mapfold and there was no trail on the map.
Just as I located Dyvikstølen cabin, it started to rain. Visibility was still good and after signing the guestbook inside the cabin I headed up the gully. The creek was the only sound I could hear in the quiet landscape. It wasn't a big creek and I decided to stick with it in case I would be fogged in. This meant I had to scramble up along the creek. It would have been much easier to follow the grassy slopes further left, but this wasn't quite obvious from my point of view in the creek. The creek took me all the way to the top ridge, and I arrived the summit cairn 14:30PM in dense fog.
The dog and I was soaking wet, but I decided to sit and wait for the fog to lift. After 15 minutes it became quite chilly and we left the summit. Going down was easy now that I had the entire route in a better perspective. A very large bird came sailing out of the fog, but I couldn't quite identify what kind of bird it was. Sverre later told me that this was an eagle. He knew that an eagle was patrolling these cliffs and that the nest was nearby. As I headed down Uraskardet the whole mountain was fog free and the sun was shining. If I had only waited 30 more minutes..
Back at Straume 16:50PM, Sverre invited me in for coffee and food. For the first time I tasted moose tongue. A good end to a long but nice hike.
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