There is a large mountain plateau between Voss (north) and Ålvik (south) by Hardangerfjorden, where Hjortahorgi (1351m) is the highest point. The mountain plateau does not seem to have a name, but the mountains facing Voss are known as Gråsida (the Grey Side). Two large lakes are found on this plateau - Lake Torfinnsvatnet and Lake Bjølsegrøvvatnet.
The tops Skorane, Haugane, Vetle Kaldenuten, Kaldenuten, Hjortahorgi and Torfinnshorgi are tops with a primary factor exceeding 100m and form the area around Lake Torfinnsvatnet. Kaldenuten is the 3rd highest mountain on the mountain plateau, after Hjortahorgi and Torfinnshorgi (1343m) The views from Hjortahorgi are among the best in western Hordaland, but Kaldanuten offer perhaps equally good views; The view that Hjortahorgi "steals" from Kaldanuten to the northeast is the area between Lønahorgi and Horndalsnuten. In other words, no particular mountains are hidden. And the Folgefonnhalvøya mountains are better viewed from Kaldenuten, as Kaldenuten is in the direct field of view from Hjortahorgi.
Regarding Skorane (separate page), Haugane, Vetle Kaldenuten and Kaldenuten - the best starting point is Hornaberg at the eastern end of Lake Hamlagrøvatnet. You may either approach Lake Torfinnsvatnet via the DNT (Norwegian Mountain Touring Association) hut Torfinnsheim, via Kvålsdalen or via Songrøvatnet. The route described on this page runs via Torfinnsheim.
The terrain around Lake Torfinnsvatnet is in general non-complicated, and can be enjoyed in all seasons. In winter, Lake Torfinnsvatnet offer a faster way to get to the far side of the lake, but it is your responsibility to determine if the ice is safe enough. A trip around the lake, including all tops, offers no other challenges than endurance. This page describes how to get the Lake Torfinnsvatnet and the western tops from Haugane to Kaldenuten (Skorane is described on a separate page. It is fairly easy to get from Kaldenuten to Hjortahorgi. See the Hjortahorgi page for the terrain towards Torfinnshorgi. The terrain from Torfinnshorgi to Torfinnsheim is trivial.
The name Kaldenuten may have a different meaning, but my immediate association in English is Cold Peak. It was indeed cold when I visited this mountain, but that's hardly a valid argument. Vetle Kaldenuten means Little Cold Peak, given that I am right about the first mountain. Haugane can be translated to The hills.
Kaldenuten (M711: 1332m, Ø.K: -) has a primary factor of 122m towards the higher Skjemmehorgi (1350m). The saddle is found between lakes 1163m and 1186m. Ref. the M711 map (20m contours), you cross the 1220m contours on the high route, but not 1200m. The saddle has been interpolated to 1210m.
Vetle Kaldenuten (M711: 1266m, Ø.K: -) has a primary factor of 116m towards the higher Kaldenuten (1332m). The saddle is found between the two tops. Ref. the M711 map (20m contours), you cross the 1160m contours on the high route, but not 1140m. The saddle has been interpolated to 1150m.
Haugane (M711: 1208m, Ø.K: -) has a primary factor of 158m towards the higher Vetle Kaldenuten (1266m). The saddle is found by Svortegili. Ref. the M711 map (20m contours), you cross the 1060m contours on the high route, but not 1040m. The saddle has been interpolated to 1050m.
Notes: Class ratings are in reference to YDS. Click here for more information.
The trails described below are not necessarily the *easiest* trails to this mountain.
Hornaberg - All summits (on skis)
From Bergen, follow highway E16 towards Voss/Oslo. At Dale (approx. 50Km from Bergen), turn right towards "Bergsdalen". Follow the road over Bergsdalen for 32Km and turn right towards "Hornaberg". Follow the Hornaberg road for 1,3Km until you reach the parking area.
An alternative route is to continue past Dale and turn left at Bulken (signed "Hamlagrø"), approx. 9Km before Voss. This exit is 65,8Km after the highway 580/E16 junction at Indre Arna. From Bulken, follow the road towards Bergsdalen for 11,9Km and turn left towards Hornaberg. This is probably the fastest road from Bergen to Hornaberg.
From the parking, head up a road towards the cabins and turn right when you see a "T" painted in red on a telephone pole. At the last cabin to your left, turn left and follow the "T" trail all the way to Torfinnsheim. The winter route may run slightly north of the summer trail above 700m elevation.
When you reach lake Torfinnsvatnet, you need to decided if the lake is safe to cross. If you are in doubt, follow the summer route along the shore. Assuming the lake is safe, aim directly for the Haugane high point. The slopes from the lake up to the summit are quite easy, although they get steeper they higher you get. The Haugane summit is marked by a small cairn.
Once you are on the ridge between Haugane and Kaldenuten, the route is obvious. Follow the ridge towards Vetle Kaldenuten. Navigate to a small cabin located at the base of the mountain. Ski directly up from here. Switchbacks are needed. In fog, pay extra attention, as there is only one safe route up the mountain.
Ski back down to the cabin below Vetle Kaldenuten. Proceed down to a pass and follow the hill up towards Kaldenuten. When you reach the cliffs below the summit, turn left and follow a gentle slope up to the (large) summit cairn.
You have many options. Either return the way you came, go "full circle" and ski across Hjortahorgi and Torfinnshorgi, descend from Kaldenuten to Songrøvatnet, or down Kvålsdalen. All routes lead back to Hornaberg.
Trip report Apr 3 2005
I had been wanting to visit Kaldenuten for long, and this Sunday was the very right time. The good weather was back after a cloudy Saturday, and I could ski directly from Hornaberg. I had been wondering how tough this ski-trip would be, as I expected to carry my small dachshund "Troll" in the backpack most of the way. I had estimated the ski-trip to be 25Km. This was on the borderline of what I looked forward to, as a 9Kg dog in the backpack can not be compared to 9Kg of clothes and equipment. From the Easter ski-trips, I knew the snow on the mountain was hard, almost icy, and falling with the dog on my back was something I had to avoid.
I left Hornaberg 09:50AM and reached Lake Torfinnsvatnet exactly one hour later. So far, I was carrying Troll, but I felt strong and motivated. When I reached the lake, I thought back to my hike around the lake back in 1999, when I visited Hjortahorgi for the first time. That was a 9 hour hike, and I was really, really tired. Troll was in his best years, and walked the whole way. It hadn't occured to me that I could the ski the lake, but when I saw three skiers on the way across the lake, I knew I could save a few kilometers on this trip. I tried to let Troll walk, but the snow/ice on the lake was rugged, and he was struggling hard. I put him back to the backpack as I crossed the lake.
I headed directly towards Haugane. There was a 328m elevation difference between myself and Haugane summit, which didn't seem much. The motivation was record high, and when Troll was able to walk from the shore to the top of Haugane, the day was just excellent. We reached the top of Haugane 11:50AM, two hours after we left Hornaberg. The summit was a bit chilly, and while Troll had lunch, I put a sweater on and took some pictures.
Troll was now in walking mood and I skied slowly down from Haugane, allowing him to catch up. Vetle Kaldenuten looked fine as I headed towards the mountain. The distance didn't seem long at all, and any worries about a hard trip was long gone. The ascent to Vetle Kaldenuten was a bit steep, and the mountain was narrow enough to be a bit fun. Troll kept moving on well ahead of me, in a (seemingly) "ok, let's get this over with" mood. I wondered if he was just being a faithful dog, or if he actually enjoyed it. I looked at this tiny, tiny dog in this tremendous landscape and had my laughs. We reached Vetle Kaldenuten summit 12:45PM, and it was much colder than on Haugane. The summit was completely frozen, and after a short series of pictures, we headed down.
I let Troll have a rest and skied down with him in the backpack. I skied up to 1250m elevation on Kaldenuten where I met a couple of skiers in fine Telemark flow down the mountain. After a small chat, I kept moving on. I let Troll out of the backpack, and without any complaints he took the lead up the mountain. The Kaldenuten summit was reached 13:35PM, and it was even colder than on Vetle Kaldenuten. I wrapped Troll in my wind jacket while I took my pictures. Just as I took out my camera, I got a SMS message from my friend Sverre (whom I skied Saudalsnovi with less than a week ago. He had now reached Fuglafjellet, two meters higher than Kaldenuten and 15Km to the southwest. I could see Fuglafjellet from my position, and found the situation a bit amusing.
After taking the pictures from Kaldenuten summit, I put Troll in the backpack and skied down towards the pass between Kaldenuten and Vetle Kaldenuten. The snow was very hard, and I was glad I had my Telemark boots and skis, opposed to normal cross-country skiing equipment. From the pass, I tried to keep a route that allowed me to ski without effort, and take me as far into the lake as possible. I reached the lake 850m from where I ascended Haugane. I had used skins on my way up the mountain, but taken them off when I left Kaldenuten. Withouth skins, it took me only 35 minutes across the lake. As I passed Torfinnsheim, I tried to follow a terrain that required a minimum of effort, as skiing uphill without any grip could easily become very hard. The route I took was a long detour, in the direction of Lake Kluftatjørni, before I turned southwest and joined my ascent route. We were back at Torfinnsheim 15:45PM, nearly 6 hours after we left. A wonderful day in the Voss/Kvam mountains was over.
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 Picture #9, "Kvålsdalsfjellet" is wrong. Point 1207 on Haugane is correct.
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