Bjørnaknausen and Gråhorgi are two neighbour mountains located between the southern Bergsdalen and northern Kvamskogen mountains. For practical reasons, I have put these mountains in the "Bergsdalen" region, although they do not connect directly to the Bergsdalen valley. One of the most popular hiking routes in this region (Kvitingen - Høgabu) passes these two mountains, and access is fairly convenient from Kvitingen.
Both mountains have a low primary factor, which indicates they do not really stand out in the terrain. Although the view is not wide, you get a good view towards a number of Bergsdalen and Kvamskogen mountains. If you want to collect both these summits, then seek to the top of ø. Trongasmog pass. Gråhorgi may need some descent to NE, dependent of the season and your will to scramble. The easy routes to both these summits require no scrambling and offer no technical challenges.
Both "knausen" and "horgi" means "mountain", but indicate that the mountain is perhaps not very impressive, although there is no negative meaning in the words. Bjørnaknausen would translate to "Bear mountain", while Gråhorgi would be "Grey mountain". The south side of Gråhorgi is truly grey, while there is no chance that you will run into bears on Bjørnaknausen.
Note that the M711 map states that Gråhorgi's height is 1070m. The Norgesglasset 5m maps states the summit is 1073,5 (1074m). When the high point is clearly higher than the summit cairn, view point or trig. point, I choose the highest point. In this case, the same point has two heights, and I chose to operate with the M711 height (1070m).
Bjørnaknausen (M711: 1121m, Ø.K: 1120,58m) has a primary factor of 118m towards the higher Storliknausen (1193m). The saddle is found 1,2Km slightly northeast of Bjørnaknausen, where the 1000m contours (M711) almost touch. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), you cross the 1005m contours on the high route, but not 1000m. The saddle height is interpolated to 1003m.
Gråhorgi (M711: 1070m, Ø.K: 1073,5m ~ 1074m) has a primary factor of 116m towards the higher Bjørnaknausen (1121m). The saddle (there are two saddles) is found on the high ridge between the two mountains. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), you cross the 960m contours on the high route, but not 955m. The saddle height is interpolated to 958m.
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.
Kvitingen - both summits (all seasons)
From Bergen, follow highway E16 east towards Voss/Oslo. At the Trengereid junction (7Km after you leave the Arnanipa tunnel), follow highway 7 towards Oslo. From Bjørkheim, down by the Samnangerfjord, continue through two tunnels, pass the highway 48 exit (Tysse) and continue approx. 1Km and exit left when you see the "Kvitingen 14" sign.
Follow the Kvitingen road all the way to lake Kvitingen (13,9Km). The road is narrow and full of curves. Take it easy, as there is always some traffic on the road. The parking at lake Kvitingen costs NOK 40,- (per January 2004). Envelopes and the fee-box is found at the parking.
The road continues through a gate, but the road is reserved for the land owners.
Walk through the gate and follow the paved road upwards. After approx. 760m, you see another road run down to your right (to the power plant). Ignore this. 290m further ahead the road turns right and crosses a bridge. Another gravel road runs straight ahead just before the bridge, but ignore this road. 140m ahead, the paved road runs straight ahead, while a gravel road forks off to the left. Follow the gravel road up to the left and follow it upwards. 1Km later, the road descends towards Sotabotnen. You'll be loosing 70m in altitude. Down in Sotabotnen, you clearly see the Svartavatnet dam in the east. Looks are deceiving. The road ascends upwards and takes the long way around.
Before the last uphill to lake Svartavatnet, 400m before the dam, look for a "T" on a rock on the left hand side of the road. This "T" marks the beginning of the summer trail to Høgabu in Bergsdalen. Some cairns may also be seen in winter. The trail follows a ridge that ends between points 907m and 772m (on the M711 map). Next, the trail curves around point 907m, following the 760-780 contours. The summer trail aims for the southernmost point of lake 825m (Trongasmogtjørni). On skis, it would be perhaps more convenient maintaining the elevation and go through a distinct pass further left.
The summer trail to ø. Trongasmog pass forks from the Høgabu trail at the south end of lake 825m, and climbs steadily northeast into the pass at elevation 960m. From this pass, follow Bjørnaknausen's southeast ridge for 700-800m to Bjørnaknausen summit.
It is less trivial to hike Gråhorgi from the ø. Trongasmog pass. A good route, valid for all seasons is to seek right towards the Gråhorgi cliffs and descend to 880m (next to a small pond) before gaining Gråhorgi's northeast ridge. Switchback upwards on skis. This is good skiing terrain. Before the Gråhorgi summit, you will run into a cliffband that almost traverse the entire summit plateau. Seek towards the northern part of this cliffband and find a way down. The summit is just a couple of minutes away. There is no summit cairn, but the point should be fairly obvious, even in bad weather conditions.
Descend your ascent route.
After way too many Ulriken hikes, I had a strong need to go on a ski-trip. The weather forecast for the region was in general bad, but there could be some periods of sunshine on Kvamskogen before the snow/rain came in the afternoon. I asked my friend Petter Bjørstad to come along, and help me collect my last ranked mountain in this mountain region.
When we left Bergen before daylight this Sunday morning, it was raining cats and dogs. Not a very good way to start the trip. But by the time we had left highway 7, and was on the way to Kvitingen, the rain had stopped. The long road (14Km) up to Kvitingen called for careful driving, icy as it was.
After preparing the skis, we left the trailhead just before 10:00AM. The road was plowed for the first kilometer, and we advanced quickly on a thin layer of snow. When we ran into deeper snow, Petter broke the trail. Actually, he broke trail nearly all the way. I was a happy guy. Through a hole in the clouds we saw blue sky. We didn't anticipate it would be a sunny day, though. Behind us, Gråfjellet above Kvitingen disappeared in snowfall. The flat light played numerous tricks with us. Time after time we had to poke with the poles to find out if there was snow or air ahead of us. Every time it was just a small cornice, 1-2m high. No need to be careless, though.
When we arrived ø. Trongasmog pass, it was getting foggy. Fog and flat light is a challenging combination. We decided to descend to the beginning of Gråhorgi's northeast ridge. When I hiked Bjørnaknausen in Sep. 2000, I had tried to find a way up the steep western Gråhorgi cliffs. I didn't feel strongly for trying this again, and agreed that going around was the sensible thing to do. Visibility as we switchbacked up this ridge was very limited, to say the least. We then ran into a cliffband that sent us back and forth, looking for a way down. Finally, we found a good route down and arrived Gråhorgi summit 13:30PM.
Due to the very limited visibility, we did some research on the summit plateau, making sure we had found the true summit. There was now noticeable winds, and we found no pleasure in staying longer on the summit than strictly necessary. On the way down, I felt strongly about skipping Bjørnaknausen, which had been part of the inital plan. The poor visibility was the primary reason, and Petter agreed to this. Even if the hike is trivial in the summer, there are enough features in the terrain to cause problems. Not necessarily while going up, but when the snow and the wind are covering your tracks as you go, then the descent could be very time-consuming.
Back at the south end of lake 825m, we were out of the fog. Our tracks were visible, and we could forget about cornices and enjoy skiing back to civilization. As we reached the mountain service road, it was snowing. We reached the car 15:30PM. Further down in the valley, rain relieved the snow, and on the way back to Bergen it was still raining cats and dogs. It probably had done so all day, and as such, we felt we had truly made the best out of a poor weather day.
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