Torhaugen seen from forest road
Torhaugen is the 3rd highest of the mountains in the region south of Masfjorden, east of Austfjorden and highway E39. Only Blåfjellet (851m) and Storevarden (836m) is slightly higher. The mountain is best reached from Meisdalen, and from this trailhead you can also reach the more known Ådneburen (797m).
The hike up Meisdalen is interesting. The upper valley is one long boulderfield, in where commited people have built the most excellent walking path. The scenery is a dramatic setting with the cliffs of Ådneburen and Torhaugen coming steep down into the valley.
The Torhaugen mountain plateau is a long, flat plateau where only Skjerhaldefjell adds some complexity to the terrain. However, the regular trail from Meisdalen to Torhaugen is easy class 1 walking. The views from Torhaugen is unobscured in most directions. The noticeable points in the north-west are Brosviksåta (Nord-Gulen) and the Lifjell massif north of Sognefjorden. In the north you see Bleia and Kvamshesten stand out, while Stølsheimen dominate your views to the east. Ådneburen is however the mountain that will catch your attention along this hike.
Torhaugen has a primary factor of 226m, towards the higher Blåfjellet (851m). The saddles are both found W of Skarpefjellet and in Steindalen. The last adjacent 5m contours (Norgesglasset) on the high route are 610m, giving an interpolated saddle height of 608m.
Skjerhaldefjell has a primary factor of approx. 52m towards Torhaugen, and is not considered a ranked mountain on this web-site. The last adjacent 20m contours (Norgesglasset, 5m not available here) are 760m, and the saddle is interpolated to 750m.
Note: Class ratings are in reference to YDS (Yosemite Decimal System).
Meisdalen - Torhaugen (summer/autumn)
From Bergen, follow highway E39 northbound. Cross the Nordhordlandsbrua bridge and pay toll on the Knarvik side (June 2003: NOK 45,- for passenger cars). Follow E39 for approx. 26,3Km and exit left towards "Masfjorden". Follow this road for approx. 26,9Km. You are now at the ferry harbour in Masfjordnes. Continue past the harbour on a smaller road for approx 6,2Km. You have now reached Andviki. Turn right onto the road marked "Totland 1.2". Follow this road (which turns into a gravel road) for approx. 2,4Km (you will be passing one or more gates when sheep are in the mountains) You are now in a road junction with a bridge to your left. Continue straight ahead for 1,6Km until the road end and find parking here.
Note: All dependent on how early in the season you come, the road from the bridge to the road end may be boggy, and it is advisable to park when the road gets too soft. In June 2003, the road was in perfect condition.
The trail begins at the parking at road end. Follow it along the river up Meisdalen valley. Soon, the trail runs into a long boulderfield, stretching all the way up to the pass. But a good walking path has been constructed all the way. Up in the pass, follow the path as it turns left, and go to Nørlandssåtret (a white building), which is the northernmost of the cabins up here.
Locate a narrow path on the north side of the building which will take you to the lower section of a distinct cliffband that runs upwards. The path runs above this cliffband. The trail continues between two lakes. The trail fades here. Walk on the left-hand side of the largest lake. You see steep cliffs ahead of you, but there is a natural route up among the cliffs (not too steep, and not exposed). Go up here. Once up, you will see the south side of the Skjerhaldefjell ridge. Go up to point 802m, marked with a fallen cairn. Down to your left is lake Sørlivatnet (elev. 730m).
From Skjerhaldefjell, continue along the ridge until you find it safe to descend, and set a direct route towards Torhaugen, which is easy to identify, further north. Once down from Skjerhaldefjell, the terrain is flat and easy to hike through. Stay to the right from the cliffband which cuts through the terrain, SW of Torhaugen.
There is a proper cairn on Torhaugen. You will be following the normal hiking route for your return: Set a direct course towards point 771m. Make sure you go to the right of the traversing cliffband mentioned above. From 771m, you will see an branch from lake Sørlivatnet stretching SW. Stick to the right-hand side of this branch, and you will see raised rocks indicating a trail, and soon you will see a vague path. The path takes you down a small valley. At the end of the valley, turn left, and you will recognize the larger of the two small lakes that you already passed. Hike down to the lake and resume your ascent path.
The weather forecast was highly unclear. It wasn't supposed to rain, but it did. I decided to stick by the coastline, as it was supposed to rain further inland.
My choice fell on Torhaugen in the Masfjorden area. I was determined about getting good weather, and left the raingear back home. I questioned this decision many times during the drive, as it was raining almost all the way. But as I reached Masfjorden, a big blue sky defined the coastline, and I hoped this blue sky would eventually reach the mountains.
I left the Meisdalen trailhead 14:45PM and expected to carry Troll all the way to the top. But the dog was in a good mood, and walked willingly up the valley. We caught up with a cabin owner on top of the valley and chatted for a while. He pointed out the path from the upper cabin. In this low-bush terrain, this meant that Troll could walk all the way up to the mountain. We quickly reached Skjerhaldefjell (802m) and had a clear view towards Torhaugen. It was just a matter of getting down to the plateau, as there was a cliffband below Skjerhaldefjell. The only snow left on the plateau made this descent easy. Behind us, Ådneburen was the dominating view. I hiked Ådneburen in February 2002, and the hike was a cold and windy experience. I was glad to be able to enjoy this area with summer temperatures.
We reached Torhaugen summit 17:45PM. It was raining very light, and the weather was not good for pictures. But it was clearly raining heavily somewhere in the east, so I was happy about the decision about coming here. On our way back, sunshine set in, and we had a very nice hike back to the car, which we reached 18:30PM. Troll was clearly tired. He had walked the entire trail (approx. 11Km) and was sleeping heavily in the passenger seat. Once back in Bergen, I let him go to sleep while I had a lovely hike up Ulriken. I got no further contact with the dog later this evening.
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