Norwegian Mountains

Blåfjellet, 1548m

Fylke/Kommune : Hordaland/Voss
Fylke/Kommune : Sogn og Fjordane/Vik
Maps : 1316-I Gudvangen (Statens Kartverk, Norge 1:50 000)
Maps : 1316-IV Myrkdalen (Statens Kartverk, Norge 1:50 000)
Primary factor : 298m
Skied : Apr 2005
See also : Fresvikbreen
See also : Giljabotnnipa
See also : Bjørndalskamben
See also : Finnbufjellet

Blaafjellet seen from Muravatnet

Blåfjellet seen from Muravatnet

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Blåfjellet (Blue Mountain) is the 2nd highest mountain in Voss Kommune, and the summit is located on the Voss/Vik kommune border. Blåfjellet is also one of the northernmost peaks in Hordaland. Only a few tops around Sundagsfjellet and Runderabben in Stølsheimen are located further north. Blåfjellet has a majestic appearance when viewed from the west, and will give you a feeling of skiing a small glacier when you ski up the north side of the mountain.

To be accurate, Seldalsnuten (Olsskavlen's neighbour) is also 1548m, but as Blåfjellet's primary factor is 100m higher than for Seldalsnuten, I have ranked Blåfjellet as #2 in Voss kommune, after Olsskavlen (1576m). Along with point 1501m (probably named Solbjørgonipa), these are the mountains exceeding 1500m in Voss kommune.

There are two main access routes to Blåfjellet; from Vikafjellet and from Jordalen. The Jordalen approach requires less vertical gain than Vikafjellet, provding the road up to Nosi is open. From Nosi, the obvious route seems to be up Berdalen, up Berdalsskavlen and around Blåfjellet via Lake Svelgavatnet. I have no information about the Berdalen approach. In summer, it may also be possible to ascend Blåfjellet directly from Berdalsskavlen.

Another fine route is to continue from Nosi up Fresvikjordalen to Øvstedalen, then turn westbound (Svelga) and ascend Blåfjellet from Lake Svelgavatnet. The Svelga and Berdalsskavlen passages have in common that in winter, cornices may build up and make ascend/descent difficult and/or dangerous. On our Svelga crossing in March 2003, the passage offered however no difficulties.

The above are the obvious routes. This web page describes a winter route (on skis) from Vikafjellet, across Lake Store Muravatnet. This is the overall shortest route, but you have to ascend more vertical meters (1050m), compared to the other routes. The main challenges for this route is the descent to - and the crossing of Lake Store Muravatnet. Early in spring, and with good weather, neither should be a problem. Lake Store Muravatnet is regulated (drains to the Målsete powerplant through an 8Km tunnel) and you must take this into consideration when you plan to cross the lake.

During the summer of 2002, wolverines had killed a large number of sheep and lamb in the Stølsheimen/Vikafjellet mountain region. Carcasses of more than 20 sheep were discovered by Lake Store Muravatnet, and it was expected that more than 100 sheep and lambs had been killed in this region.

Primary factor:

Blåfjellet (M711: 1548m, Ø.K: -) has a primary factor of 298m towards the higher Svinadalsholtane. The saddle is found on the northeast side of Lake Svelgavatnet. Ref. the M711 map (20m contours), you cross the 1260m contours on the high route, but not 1240m. The saddle has been interpolated to 1250m.

Trail descriptions:

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.

Vikafjellet - Blåfjellet (winter/early spring on skis)

Difficulty : Class 1
Exposure : None
Comments : Be careful and observant
Distance : 10Km to the top
Time : 3 hours in good conditions
Starting Elev.: Approx. 920m
Vertical Gain : Approx. 1050m (total)

Map of the area
Map of the area
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Detailed map
Detailed map
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From Voss, follow highway E16 towards Oslo. At the RV13/E16 junction (roundabout) at Vinje, turn left. Follow RV13 through Myrkdalen and up to Vikafjellet. The winter route begins by lake Målsetevatnet (approx. 3Km before the tunnel where the road descends towards Vik). You should be able to find proper turn-outs for parking, just before the point where the powerline crosses the road.

The route

To Lake Store Muravatnet

Ski along the powerline eastbound until you reach 1060m elevation just before Lake Vossavatnet. You have two choices for descent towards the lake:

a) Follow the summer road towards the lake (go left), which runs east of Valanipa before it turns southeast towards the lake. The descent to the dam involves crossing a steep hill, where you need to consider the avalanche hazard (the skier is the hazard). Chances are that the summer road is marked by sticks, which makes it easier to follow.

b) Pass Lake Vossavatnet and join the ridge leading towards Klantane (southbound). Stay on the east side of the ridge, with view down towards the lake. Stay between the 1200 and 1220m contours until you see cairns leading down towards the northwest tip of Lofringahaugane. Follow the cairns down to 1090m (eastbound), then set your course southeast and descend into the small gorge which drains to Muravatnet. As you enter the gorge, find a place to cross the nortwest tip of Lofringahaugane. Descend towards the lake on the other side. It is also possible to follow the gorge down to the lake.

To Blåfjellet

Head across Muravatnet (after checking the ice conditions), and aim for the valley between Kambane and Blåfjellet. The river Svelga runs down this valley. Follow the valley up to Lake Svelgavatnet (1243m), turn right (east) and follow another valley up to the saddle between Blåfjellet and point 1447m. Turn right (southwest) and ski to the top of Blåfjellet. The summit is marked by a proper cairn.

Trip report Apr 16 2005

Blåfjellet had been high on my to-do list, ever since I passed the mountain (twice) on the way to Fresvikbreen in March 2003. On that ski-trip, Blåfjellet was never on the agenda, due to road closing on Vikafjellet. And even if the road had been open all night, I never could have assembled the necessary strength or will to ski this mountain. Being the 2nd highest mountain in Voss kommune, it has had priority ever since, but I never got around to make the second trip.

In April 2005, I got in touch with Sveinung Klyve from Voss. Sveinung is a seasoned mountaineer even if he's just a few years older than me. He has visited most of the Voss mountains, and some more frequently than others. Per April 2005, he had more than 80 ascents to Horndalsnuten (1461m). Sveinung is, among (many) other things, an active member in Voss Utferdslag. Being a freelance photographer, he also enjoys spending nights on higher summits if he suspects there will be a grand sunset or sunrise. We decided it would have been fun to take a ski-trip together, in order to known each other a bit better. As Sveinung never had been on Blåfjellet, we decided to go there. I suggested Vikafjellet as the starting point, thinking that would be the easiest winter route to the mountain.

I left Bergen early morning and drove to Sveinung's house in Voss. We then drove together to Vikafjellet. It was raining light as we left Voss, and it was all in all a grey and a bit miserable day. I could sense that Sveinung wasn't too happy about the weather conditions. This was of course understandable, since he enjoys taking good pictures. We still had hopes about a weather change. Sveinung brought along his dog "Tinka", a 3-year old Bichon Frisee that I didn't expect to last for more than 1 kilometer. I was wrong. Terribly wrong...

By 11:05AM, we were on our way. Fresh snow made it difficult to prepare the skis optimally. We were both running on klister, but had to switch to skins on the way up to Lake Vossavatnet. As we reached the ridge to Klantane, visibility dropped significantly. We could still see the mountains on the other side of Lake Muravatnet, but it was hard to tell if there was a steep drop or flat surface 1m ahead of us. My plan had been to follow the summer road to Muravatnet, but we decided to follow tracks from a tracked snow vehicle. We figured the snow vehicle had followed a summer path towards Lofringahaugane, because any other route would be too steep. Speaking of steep, on the way to Lake Vossavatnet, the vehicle had driven up a slope which was incredibly steep. This amazed me. Eventually, we lost hope that the tracks would lead us down to the lake. If they did, it would be a substantial detour.

The hillside became too steep for further skiing, and either we had to descend now, or find another way down to the lake. We noticed a few cairns popping up from the snow, providing some sort of reference in the flat light. We threw snowballs along the way, and they indicated that this hill was nothing but a good skiing hill. We followed the cairn route and found a safe place to descend towards the lake.

Tinka was simply amazing. She ran around in the snow and didn't seem bothered by the snow level at all. I tried to picture my dachshund in these slopes. That wouldn't have worked well. A spot with open water was something we had pay attention to. I measured the lake elevation to be 1020m, which is 30m below high level. The lake looked like a crater, and in the middle was a small reservoir, and it looked like there were bricks around. Most likely a left-over from the good old day and age. The ice on the lake seemed to be pretty solid, just as expected at this time of the year. Sveinung brought my attention to an eagle, gliding above the lake. That was the only wildlife we saw on this trip.

Once across the lake, we headed up along the river Svelga. This was a long and boring uphill, but at least we had a chance to study Blåfjellet, towering above us. I could see a ridge leading high on the mountain. This was good news, and meant that we probably didn't have to ski in zero visibility. Suddenly one of Sveinung's bindings broke, and Blåfjellet would not have been reached, if we hadn't been able to repair it. There was a sudden weather change (for the better) as we passed 1200m elevation, and the hopes about blue sky on top weren't dead. The ascent up Blåfjellet's north side felt like ascending a small glacier. As we reached the summit ridge, visibility was back to nothing, but we had no problems locating the cairn. 15:15PM, we were standing on top of Blåfjellet. And Tinka had walked the whole distance!

We didn't stay long. With zero views, there was no reason to. But as we started to ski down the ridge, the fog cleared, and we had a good view towards lake Muravatnet and the surrounding mountains. This also meant that we could have fun skiing down the mountain. Tinka was put in the backpack for the occasion, but was let out again once we reached the lake. We were running marginal on water, and were quite happy to find open water where Svelgo drained into Muravatnet.

As we headed back across Muravatnet, the fog/haze came creeping back. After few minutes, Blåfjellet could no longer be seen. It was strange to have this little visibility, yet with a burning sun above. From the point where we left the lake, we followed our tracks back to the trailhead. 18:15PM, approx. 7 hours after we started, we returned to the car. A long, but nice ski-trip had come to an end. After picking up the car at Sveinung's house, I returned to Bergen the same evening.

Pictures from the Apr 16 2005 ski-trip

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.

To Blåfjellet

1. Ready to go from Vikafjellet (224KB) 2. Weather isnt all bad (159KB) 3. Very difficult light (134KB) 4. Sveinung is hoping for blue sky (187KB) 5. Approaching Muravatnet (256KB) 6. We need to descend here (166KB) 7. Looking backwards, everything looks easy (124KB) 8. Open water on Muravatnet (198KB) 9. Skiing on Muravatnet (134KB) 10. Views along the lake (163KB) 11. Short pause on Muravatnet (192KB) 12. Approaching Blaafjellet (216KB) 13. Weather change? (160KB) 14. Ascending Blaafjellet (225KB) 15. On top of Blaafjellet (236KB) 16. Limited summit views from Blaafjellet (218KB) 17. Sveinung and the Blaafjellet summit cairn (126KB) 18. Sveinung on the very top of Blaafjellet (174KB)

From Blåfjellet

19. Leaving Blaafjellet (230KB) 20. Muravatnet seen from Blaafjellet (231KB) 21. Tinka is secured in the backpack (139KB) 22. On the way down Blaafjellet (203KB) 23. View from the Blaafjellet descent (166KB) 24. On the way down Blaafjellet (191KB) 25. Sveinung skiing down Blaafjellet (200KB) 26. We have left Blaafjellet behind (176KB) 27. Tinka takes a nap (102KB) 28. Blaafjellet north ridge (148KB) 29. Blaafjellet seen from below (175KB) 30. Water refill by Lake Muravatnet (145KB) 31. On Lake Muravatnet (296KB) 32. View back towards Blaafjellet (270KB) 33. Blaafjellet (zoom) seen from Muravatnet (270KB) 34. Heading into fog (281KB) 35. Heading into fog (133KB) 36. Blaafjellet is fading away (255KB) 37. Tinka is an amazing dog (142KB) 38. Ascending from Lake Muravatnet (140KB) 39. Passing Trollapresten (208KB) 40. Trollapresten (366KB) 41. Leaving Vikafjellet (273KB)

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Pictures from other hikes:

1. Jordalen region (1145KB) 2. Jordalen region (796KB) 3. Jordalen - Vikafjellet (1096KB) 4. Jordalen region (877KB) 5. Kvitanosi summit views (871KB) 6. View from Giljabotnnipa (1108KB) 7. Blaafjellet seen from Solbjorgonipa (422KB) 8. Fyresnipa summit view (1875KB) 9. Fyresnipa summit view (1344KB) 10. Viksetnipa summit view (1353KB)

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