A hike around lake Store Fjellvatnet

Gygrefjellet, 963m
Svadfjellet, 960m
Rundehaugen, 992m
Geitenakken, 987m
Årsdalsryggen, 1100m
SW of Årsdalsryggen, ca. 1070m

Fylke/Kommune : Hordaland/{Masfjorden} & Sogn og Fjordane {Høyanger}
Map : 1216 I Eksingadalen (Statens Kartverk, Norge 1:50 000)
Map : 1216 IV Matre (Statens Kartverk, Norge 1:50 000)
Primary Factor: Årsdalsryggen: 270m (Fridalsnova)
Primary Factor: Rundehaugen: 122m (Årsdalsryggen)
Primary Factor: Geitenakken: 97m (Rundehaugen)
Primary Factor: Svadfjellet: 90m (Rundehaugen)
Primary Factor: Gygrefjellet: 93m (Årsdalsryggen)
Hiked : June 2002
See also : Eldhusfjellet
Aarsdalsryggen high point at 1100m

Årsdalsryggen high point
at 1100m


Lake Store Fjellvatnet is located in the western part of the Stølsheimen mountain range. Årsdalsryggen ridge follows the east side of the lake, while a number of smaller summits (Gygrefjellet, Svadfjellet and Rundehaugen) is located on the west side of lake. Towards the south, one has a clear view towards Storevasseggi, the highest named mountain in Masfjorden kommune. In the north, Stølsheimen eventually drops off towards the Sognefjord.

The Hordaland/Sogn og Fjordane fylkesgrense (a county border) runs along the north-east side of the lake, and just below the Årsdalsryggen high point at 1100m lies the true high point in Masfjorden kommune, at approx. 1070m. The hike around the lake, including the summits is a nice, easy (although long), non-technical hike. Best starting point for the round-trip is Stordalen Fjellstove, located near the road that runs between Matre and Fuglesfjorden by the Sognefjord.

Årsdalsryggen, Rundehaugen and Geitenakken lies in Høyanger kommune, Sogn og Fjordane fylke. Svadfjellet and Gygrefjellet lies in Masfjorden kommune, Hordaland fylke.

Trail descriptions:

Stordalen - round-trip lake Store Fjellvatnet (spring/summer)

Difficulty : Easy, although long
Risk : Low
Distance : Between 20 and 25Km incl. summits
Time : Between 10 and 13 hours incl. summits
Starting Elev.: Approx. 500m
Map of the area

Click for detail map


From Bergen, take E39 north. Continue past Knarvik, the long Eikefet tunnel, up the Romareimdalen valley. Just after the Masfjord tunnel you arrive down in Matre. Near the end of the 50Km/h zone, exit right towards Ortnevik. Follow this road for 15-16Km and exit towards "Stordalen Fjellstove". Follow the road to Stordalen for 1,7Km and find parking at the big red building.

The road towards Ortnevik offers a drive in dramatic and beautiful nature. Up towards Mosedalen, the road is steep and switchbacks all the way to Mosedalen. This road is (probably) closed in the winter, and one should be very careful if the road is icy.

The trail:

From Stordalen Fjellstove, follow a "T" marked trail (the trailsign is located just above the main red building) which runs all the way to the Vardadalsbu hut (do not follow sign towards Kringla). The first part of the trail is up to lake Bukkedalsvatnet. This hike takes approx. 30 minutes.

When arriving lake Bukkedalsvatnet, one see the Bukkedalsstølen cabins on the north side of the lake. The trail alongside the lake is at time a little cumbersome (a lot of rocks) and sometimes muddy. At the cabins, the trail forks. A smaller trail runs north towards Geitenakken, while the "T" trail continues south-east. Once the trail leaves the lake at the eastern end, the river from lake Gygrevatnet has to be crossed. This may prove to be a bit tricky, all dependent on the amount of water in the river. Look around for a good place to cross.

Once across the river, the trail starts climbing alongside the river, and levels out when arriving lake Gygrevatnet. The trail runs south-east through Gygrebotnen basin, before turning east and climbs up to the lake plateau.

Once the trail starts to descend in the eastern direction, leave the trail and continue north on the Gygrefjellet ridge, leading all the way to the summit. From Gygrefjellet, pass the lake NE of the summit on the left-hand side and head NE towards Svadfjellet. Climb Svadfjellet with a look-out shelter for hunters, on your left hand side.

From Svadfjellet, continue NE on the ridge where the 900m curve points towards Rundehaugen. When you have lake 855 to your right, follow a ridge that takes you to Rundehaugen summit. From Rundehaugen, head straight west towards Geitenakken. Avoid the steep side down to lake 841. After visiting Geitenakken, head back to the point where you had lake 855 on your right.

Now aim for the very north end of lake Store Fjellvatnet and climb SE towards point 969. Head straight down east from 969 and pass between two smaller lakes that stretches north-south. After passing the lakes, head towards the east end of lake Austre Fjellvatnet. A small lake just above the steepest side could be difficult to cross, because of the creek coming from it. Turn left and hike up the mountain on the left-hand side of the lake. The summit point is in the neighbourhood, marked by an anonymous cairn.

Head SW for a short stretch, and notice 4 small ponds that are glued together. The Masfjorden high point is either here, or on the ridge just a few meters to your left. Leave the mountain, heading SW towards 930 which lies at south end of the lakes. When you have 930 up to your right, head down to the pond just north of 872 and you will arrive the "T" trail. Follow the "T" trail NW until you reach the point where you left it. The map indicates a route high on 930 and 929, but this is because the map didn't cover going around the hill. But, one may indeed cross over those hills.


Oct 2002, Stein Håkon Lygre reported in that a section of the Vardadalsbu trail has been changed. A new sign has come up: "Ny sti, Varadalsbu". The new trail now runs more in the direction of Årsdalsryggen than the old trail. The map on this page reflects this.

Trip report June 8-9 2002:

Norway was struck by a "heatwave" and I decided to escape to the mountains this weekend. The project was to locate the true high point in Masfjorden kommune, as I am collecting high points in Hordaland kommuner. I had already visited Storevasseggi, the highest mountain in Masfjorden, but the creators of the Hordalandstoppen list had redefined the high point.

I decided to bring the tent and have a good night's sleep in the cooler mountains. As I had been carrying around the tent on recent trips to Jotunheimen and Jostedalsbreen, I was rather customed to the weight. I was a little curious about the dog, which had been on a "holiday" for 1,5 months. A few hikes to Ulriken did not give me the answer, because of the heatwave.

The hike started good, as Troll kept going all the way up to Gygrefjellet. But then he laid down on the snow and refused to move. Perhaps it was the cool snow that he didn't want to leave, because it was hot as hell even at 900m. I had anticipated the situation, and there was room for the dog in the backpack. The weight of the backpack now took on a new dimension, carrying a 5Kg tent, sleeping bag, clothes, mattress, food and a 8Kg dog.

After crossing Gygrefjellet and Svadfjellet, I decided to set camp at the north end of lake Fjellvatnet, 4 hours after we started. I found an excellent spot close to a creek, just above lake 855. Fresh water just outside the tent was a good thing, because I never seemed to get enough of it. I must have refilled my 0,5L bottle at least 15 times on the way up the campsite.

After setting camp, the backpack was empty, and I didn't mind carrying the dog to the Rundehaugen and Geitenakken summits. 2 hours later, we were back in camp, 8:30PM. Nothing much to do, of course, so I tried to get some sleep. This was Troll's first experience with a tent, and he was just lying there, looking at me. He had those "what are we doing here?" eyes. Then the "where's the chocolate?" eyes. Then the "Where's my HOUSE?" eyes. I finally managed to ignore him as he wandered around in the tent, trying to find a cooler spot than the one he just left. Around 11:00PM, it was cool enough to get some sleep, and we slept sound until 6:30AM the next morning.

At 7:15 we sat course for Årsdalsryggen. Troll refused to walk, and took the ever-so-familiar back(pack)seat. Every step was planned according to the map, as I wanted to avoid loosing unnecessary altitude. It was about saving energy. The sun was already a killer. Going up towards the ridge, I had to change direction at the lake just below the summit cliffs. The river could not be passed, but the detour was moderate. After the summit visit, I spent some minutes looking for the true Masfjorden high point. When I was convinced I had nailed the point, the project was classified as a success, and we could head home. Several times on the way down, I tried to convince Troll that he should do his share of walking. He didn't agree until we arrived lake Gygrevatnet. It was warmer than ever, and I had put on winter clothes to avoid major sunburns already at the start of the hike (the only thing I forgot was the sunscreen). We finally arrived the car, 5 hours after leaving the tent.

Pictures from the June 8-9 2002 hike:

Move cursor to read notes, and click on the images to see full version.
Some of the thumbnails may have been cropped to fit the format

On the way to Stoelsheimen (165KB) Stordalen Fjellstove, the trailhead (192KB) Arriving lake Bukkedalsvatnet (155KB) Lake Bukkedalsvatnet and Bukkedalsstolen cabins (250KB) Gygrefjellet seen from lake Bukkedalsvatnet (147KB) Creek crossing is required in the trail up the mountain (241KB) Lake Bukkedalsvatnet seen from above (142KB) From the Gygrebotnen plateau. Gygrefjellet in the background (162KB) There are hundreds of small ponds like this (159KB) Once on the mountain, Aarsdalsryggen is seen in the east (427KB) Getting close to Gygrefjellet (255KB) Gygrebotnen basin seen from above (186KB) A pond near Gygrefjellet (201KB) Geitenakken and Rundehaugen seen from Gygrefjellet (363KB) This far. But not one step further (105KB) Lakes below Svadfjellet (241KB) A small lake near Gygrefjellet (149KB) Melting snow and ice has a nice mix of colors (243KB) On the way up Svadfjellet (252KB) Sundagsfjellet seen in the distance (350KB) Geitenakken summit seen from Rundehaugen (149KB) North view from Geitenakken (368KB) Geitenakken summit, 987m (154KB) Rundehaugen, 992m, seen from Geitenakken (253KB) Our camp. Very near the creek.. (279KB) First tent experience for Troll (139KB) Lake Store Fjellvatnet (188KB) On the way up Aarsdalsryggen ridge (200KB) Lake Austre Fjellvatn. A branch of the main lake (114KB) South view from Aarsdalsryggen (325KB) Eldhusfjellet further east (173KB) Near the true high point of Masfjorden (178KB) Lake Austre Fjellvatnet (220KB) Lake Austre Fjellvatnet (120KB) Back on the T trail again (215KB) Nice views along the T trail (159KB) Along lake Bukkedalsvatnet, on the way home (174KB)

Other pictures:

Northwest Stolsheimen (1217KB) Eldhusfjellet in Stolsheimen (553KB) Stoelsheimen panorama from Austrefjellet. Part 1/2 (594KB) Brydalsfjellet summit panorama (50mm, part 2/2) (1498KB) Stordalen seen from Brydalsfjellet (588KB)

Other hordaland mountains Other Masfjorden K. mountains westcoastpeaks.com