Norwegian Mountains

Birkelandsfjellet, 300m (Ljosvollvarden)

Mountain area : Bergen
Fylke/Kommune : Hordaland/Bergen
Maps : 1115-I Bergen (Statens Kartverk, Norge 1:50 000)
Primary factor : 72m
Closest villages : Bergen
Hiked : May 2004
Birkelandsfjellet seen from Ulriken

Birkelandsfjellet seen from Ulriken

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Note: This web page is incomplete, as the high point is not documented. Furthermore, Birkelandsfjellet is not ranked as an independent mountain on this web site. The area is however well worth a visit.

Birkelandsfjellet is a mountain plateau north of lake Kalandsvatnet. On the 1115-I map, Ljosvollsvarden (Ljosvoll cairn) is defined as point 296m. One can however see the 300m contour 200m NE of Ljosvollsvarden. The height is not given here. Økonomisk Kartverk shows only the 295m contour as the highest. I have defined the high point to be 300m until further information is obtained. (I have not been on the actual high point - see the trip report)

It is must be noted that the paths on this mountain are tremendously wet and boggy after rain. Rubber boots work better than hiking boots. The views from the plateau towards Bergen are good, and one gets a panorama view from Fanafjell to Livarden (with Bergen inbetween). The trail described on this page starts at Bjøllebotn, on the road to Totland.

Primary factor:

Birkelandsfjellet (1115-I: -, Ø.K.: -) has a primary factor of 67m towards the higher Orretuva. The saddle is approx. 550m NE of Birkelandsfjellet high point. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), you cross the 235m contours on the high route, but not 230m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 233m.

Trail descriptions:

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.

Bjøllebotn - Ljosvollvarden (summer)

Difficulty : Class 1
Exposure : None
Comments : Path can be very wet.
Distance : Approx. 2Km to the top
Time : Approx. 1-1,5 hours to the top
Starting Elev.: Approx. 150m
Vertical Gain : Approx. 160m

Map of the area
Map of the area
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Detailed map
Detailed map
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Locate the Elvenesveien/Totlandsveien junction between lakes Myrdalsvatnet and Birkelandsvatnet. Follow signs towards Totland. After approx. 1,4Km after the junction, exit right towards "Bjøllebotn". Follow the road approx. 400m and turn left at the top of the hill (road sign "124-174"). Continue approx. 75m to a 3-way junction. Take the rightmost road (road sign "160-174") and drive to road end (approx. 100m). There is no public parking here, but it is possible to fit one car at the trailhead, without parking on private property.

The route

Follow the forest road upwards until the plateau levels out. Approx. 670m from the trailhead (elevation 260m), locate a path on the right hand side. As far as I understand, you will get down the Totland road if you stick with the forest road.

The trail continues towards 3 power masts that is a landmark in the terrain. Continue on the path southbound (slightly southeast) towards a forest beyond the power masts. After you pass the 280m contour, you run into a crossing path by a natural viewpoint (before the forest). Go left on this trail and take the first branch to the right. The path continues southbound with the forest on your left hand side.

Based on my GPS readings, I ended my hike 45m from Ljosvollsvarden, which, based on the name, I assume is a cairn. The high point is somewhere in the forest, and I aim to come back with the high point pre-programmed into my GPS.

Trip Report June 15 2004

Last week-end, I was up north and picked up Troll, who had been away on leisure leave for two months. I took him to Ulriken yesterday, and he looked in shape. This evening, I wanted to treat him with a nice forest hike. The small bugger walked for 300m and then sat down. Nothing had changed. On Ulriken, he seems to "own the mountain". Being anywhere else, he's a downhill dog.

I was of course carrying an empty backpack, well prepared for situations like this. Regarding the hike, I was less prepared. I had taken a look at the map before I left, and my eyes fell on a round-trip trail from the Totlandsveien road. Looked easy, and I decided to leave the map at home.

Once I got there, I wasn't quite sure where the trail began, and instead I drove up to Bjøllebotn and asked around for a trail. When I arrived the higher part of Birkelandsfjellet, view was limited, and I had no clue where the high point could be. I fought a small bush war on a nearby hill, but the GPS only reported 285m. The path was soaking wet, and I couldn't remember having seen a more boggy and cumbersome path.

Three powermasts caught my attention and I followed a path that seemed to run towards them. The wind was quite strong, and when I passed the masts, the roar sounded like a thousand bad things coming my way. From the masts, I could see a forest further ahead. I couldn't see any higher point anywhere around, and assumed the high point would be there. On the way to the forest, a major rain shower completed what the wet terrain nearly had accomplished. Now I was wet all over.

When I arrived the forest, the trail seemed to descend, and I assumed the high point would be nearby. I took a look inside the forest at a random point, and discovered a path, marked with yellow ribbons. The terrain inside the forest descended, and I assumed the high point was outside the forest. My GPS reported 302m (with 3m error margin), and I felt this was good enough. I could always come back some other day if the GPS reported that I had missed the high point.

Troll noticed the long break, and howled for lunch. I explained that lunch was not served on low forest hills. He looked disappointed. I told him that if he walked back to the car, he would get one when we were back home. He took a quick look at the wet trail and then sat down. Once back at the forest road, he agreed to walk as he noticed the downhill. I think I'll go for Ulriken tomorrow afternoon.

Pictures from the June 15 2004 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.
Pictures are presented in the order they were taken.

1. Wet trail on Birkelandsfjellet (147KB) 2. Landmark on Birkelandsfjellet (154KB) 3. Troll, temporarily out of the backpack (170KB) 4. Bergen city mountains seen from Birkelandsfjellet (428KB) 5. Under the powerlines (138KB) 6. Fanafjell with wrong lens focus (104KB) 7. Panorama view from Birkelandsfjellet (267KB) 8. Forest hiding a potential high point? (159KB) 9. Big root out of service (204KB) 10. Mystic trail inside the forest (207KB) 11. Cones in progress (210KB) 12. Upper part of the forest road (206KB) 13. On the forest road (134KB)

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Pictures from other hikes:

Other hordaland mountains Other mountains in this area