Blaafjellet in winter. Route indicated
Blåfjellet is the highest mountain in the region south of Masfjorden (the fjord), east of Austfjorden, north of Romareimsfjorden, and west of highway E39. For practical reasons, I have chosen to use "Masfjorden" as the name of this mountain region, even if the mountain lies 12-13km east of Masfjordnes.
Due to the close proxmity to highway E39, these mountains are highly accessible and frequently used for cross-country skiing, in addition to hiking in the summer/autumn. A cairn trail will guide the skiers/hikers from the trailhead to the summit of Høgefjellet, and the remaining distance to Blåfjellet is obvious if weather permits.
The Høgefjellet and Blåfjellet ridges form a horseshoe with Høgefjelldalen valley as the basin. Storefjellet (Storevarden) lies just west of Høgefjellet and provides excellent views to Blåfjellet.
Storevarden and Høgefjellet lies in Masfjorden kommune, while Blåfjellet shares border between Masfjorden and Lindås kommune.
Blåfjellet's factor towards the higher Austrebotnsrusti is 419m. The saddle is just north of lake 407 in Romareimsdalen. Last adjacent 5m contours are 435m, giving an interpolated saddle of 432m. Høgefjellet's factor towards the higher Blåfjellet is 35m. The saddle is close SE to the Høgefjellet summit. Last adjacent 5m contours are 765m, giving an interpolated saddle of 763m. Storevarden's factor towards the higher Blåfjellet is 113m. The saddle is S of lake Djypedalstj. Last adjacent 5m contours are 725m, giving an interpolated saddle of 723m.
Note: Class ratings are in reference to YDS (Yosemite Decimal System).
The route below describes access on the Høgefjellet ridge, a visit to Storevarden before descending on Blåfjellet ridge. The overall classification for this route is 2 (rocky off-trail route), but the lower NE Blåfjellet ridge is steep, and may require handholds (all dependent on route choice). As such, the hardest part of this route is 2+. This grade is not listed in the YDS web page (see link above), but indicates that need for handholds involves safety as well as support.
Highway E39 - Blaafjellet via Høgefjellet (summer/autumn)
From Bergen, follow E39 north. At the Nordhordaland toll both, set your odometer. After 49,7km, exit left onto a small parking area at the flat stretch on top of the Romareimdalen pass. Two huts lie near the parking. The closest hut belongs to the Red Cross, while the innermost hut is probably private. In summer, they sell goat cheese here. Current fee (Sep 2002) for the Nordhordaland bridge is NOK 45,- for passenger cars.
This route does not contain any marked trails. From the parking, identify a distinct "knob" just south of the trailhead. A cairn lies on the knob's right hand side (looking towards it). Cross the small meadow (muddy, and a stream must be crossed) and try to find a small trail that runs up along the forest, towards this cairn. Expect to lose the trail, as it is not very visible.
Once at the cairn, you are in a small basin with a ridge going up on your left hand side. Straight ahead, a rocky slope will take you straight up to the top of the ridge. Feel free to choose the route, but note that the ridge (left) route will give you better views. Once on top of the ridge, you arrive a small lake and you have views towards the Høgefjelldalen valley which lies between Høgefjellet and Blåfjellet. The cairns run into this valley before they gradually climbs towards Høgefjellet summit. It is recommended to climb (steep) up by the lake, and enter Høgefjellet ridge on point 770. This will give you excellent views towards Blåfjellet, and study the part where you will descend. Høgefjellet summit is an anonymous hump further SW on the ridge. A green box with rescue kit is located on the summit.
From Høgefjellet, descend towards the valley between Høgefjellet and Storevarden. Rocks have been put across the stream that runs down Djupedalen. The first part of the Storevarden slopes are steep and strenuous (not dangerous), but the terrain gets easier by the minute. After a 150m climb (approx.) from the valley, you arrive Storevarden summit, 836m.
Head down the way you came up to Storevarden. Once across the stream, head straight east, and you run into a couple of lakes. Cross between the lakes and pass the upper lake on the right hand side. Turn sharp right and follow a small stream (might be dry) upwards to bypass some large rocks. Then, take NE direction and advance up the Blåfjellet ridge towards Blåfjellet summit. Note that this is where the average skier turn around.
From the Blåfjellet summit, head down the NE ridge. You will arrive a pass which supposedly allows for easy exit off the ridge, to your left (the pass is identified by a short upclimb on the other side - the only upclimb when going down). But continue on the ridge for more fun. Stay as far right as possible, and you may avoid some class 2+ scrambling. It is quite obvious where you descend into the basin, although the terrain is still moderately steep. Once down in the basin, several options exist. By going straight down to the right (towards the highway), you get some more fun class 2+ hiking, and some routefinding is called for, although the highway is just below you. Another option is to cross the basin and head towards the cairn you passed when going up to Høgefjellet.
I was in the middle of a "down" period after the many summer and autumn hikes. But the weather made it impossible to not take advantage of this beautiful Sunday. Besides, it was also time to get Troll back into shape after a two month summer vacation. I looked on the map for something close and convenient and ended up with Blåfjellet, including the Høgefjellet and Storevarden summits.
I couldn't find a trail at the trailhead, but knew there was a cairn up there somewhere. The steep ascent wasn't part of Troll's plan for the day, so he enjoyed the backpack up to the cairn. From the cairn, the terrain got easier and he could begin exploring the surroundings. On top of the Høgefjellet ridge I looked over to Blåfjellet and the steep area where I planned to descend. I wondered if I was in over my head in that terrain, but assumed that a solution would present itself.
We quickly reached Høgefjellet summit and then visited Storevarden, a little further west. I wondered if I also should head for Tverrvassfjellet, but I had a late start, and settled for the planned route. On the way to Blåfjellet we scared the second hare for the day. Man, these creatures can run. I guess these guys don't have many natural enemies, besides eagles and snakes, perhaps.
After reaching Blåfjellet summit, it was time to explore the ridge. The ridge started off wide, but narrowed as we reached a small pass. I assumed the pass would provide a safe descent, but the plan was to follow the ridge to the end. I stayed on the left-hand side so I wouldn't miss the exit. This was a bad idea, as it involved some climbing. If I had stayed far right, things would have been easier. Then it became quite obvious where to descend, and we reached the basin quickly. From the basin, I chose to hike straight down towards the highway, which involved further cumbersome terrain. Routefinding was required down what appeared to be a dry waterfall. After a short hike along the highway, we reached the car 4 hours after we left it.
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