Byrkjefjellet is the most accessible mountain, exceeding 1000m elevation, on Kvamskogen. Kvamskogen is located between Samnangerfjorden and Hardangerfjorden, and is the primary recreation area for the Bergen region. The standard route to Byrkjefjellet runs from Wallemtunet, or from the upper cabins near Wallemtunet. The route takes you first up to a look-out point where you have a splendid view towards Steinkvanndalen valley and the very characteristic Fotasperrnuten mountain. On the way up towards Byrkjefjellet, you will also see Fuglafjellet, the highest mountain in the Kvamskogen/Bergsdalen region.
From the top of Byrkjefjellet, greater views open up, and you can spend time trying to identify the Folgefonnhalvøya landmarks on the other side of Hardangerfjord. You have also good view towards the well-known Tveitakvitingen and Vesoldo, the standalone mountain by the Hardangerfjord with the strange name.
Once on Byrkjefjellet, you have the option to follow the high ridge to Iendafjellet, descend to Gråurdskaret, and continue across Fuglafjellet, Fotasperrnuten, Goddalseggene and Botnanuten. These are all the high points surrounding Steinkvanndalen valley. A long and strenuous, but rewarding hike.
Byrkjefjellet (M711: 1046m, Ø.K: 1047,5 ~ 1047m) has a primary factor of 129m towards the higher Iendafjellet (1260m). The saddle is found on the high ridge between the two mountains. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), you cross the 920m contours on the high route, but not 915m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 918m.
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.
Wallemtunet - Byrkjefjellet (summer/autumn)
From Bergen, follow highway E16 towards Oslo. From the highway E16/RV580 junction (roundabout) by Indre Arna (just before Arnanipatunnelen), follow highway E16 for approx. 9,3Km to the Trengereid roundabout. Turn right onto highway 7, drive across Gullbotn, pass Bjørkheim by Samnangerfjorden and drive up to Kvamskogen. Approx. 37,1Km after the E16/RV580 junction, turn left towards "Wallemtunet".
Follow the gravel road. The first road to the right leads to Wallemtunet. The trail begins just behind the building. Or - drive all the way to a parking area (approx. 600m from the highway) and park there. The road up to the right just before the parking leads to the same trail.
Note: Parking restrictions may apply. Perhaps especially in winter. If this is the case, seek public parking on Jonshøgdi.
If you start behind Wallemtunet, you're on the trail straight away. If you follow the gravel road from the parking upwards, then continue to the road end. The trail runs 50m below the uppermost cabin.
The two trails soon meet, and continues eastbound towards point 599, a viewpoint where you have views towards Steinkvanndalen. The trail up to this point can be extremely wet, as it runs over boggy ground. The trail is quite visible, and is easy to follow.
From near point 599, the direction towards Byrkjefjellet should be quite obvious - straight up. Follow the visible path (also marked by cairns) up the hill. The path fades above 800m, but maintain the direction towards the look-out cairn (not marked on the map). From the look-out cairn, you will see the Byrkjefjellet summit, just a bit further north.
Below the summit, you will have to ascend a steep cliffband. The entry is on the far right hand side. A proper cairn has been put in place above the point where you enter. The entry point is vaguely exposed, but is far less difficult than you may think, viewing from distance. Once above this point, follow the high ridge towards the summit. The summit is marked by a proper cairn.
Descend your ascent route. Alternatively, hike off-trail towards Skeisheii and follow the trail down Dalagjelet back towards the trailhead.
Trip Report Oct 03 2004
When I woke up this Sunday morning, I really felt for taking the day "off". I looked out the window and it was another day with rainshowers. The reason for wanting to take it a bit slow was a sudden bad back. Having to roll out of bed was clue #1. Putting the socks on while screaming was clue #2. I decided to become my own medic and ordered my pityful body out the door.
I called my friend Ketil and asked if he wanted to come along to Byrkjefjellet. It wouldn't be a long hike - taking the weather and the physical condition into consideration - but it would get us above 1000m, which was OK. I had been wanting to redo my web page on Byrkjefjellet, and here was the incentive.
Ketil reported nice weather down by the Samnangerfjord, and me and the dog jumped in the car. Before we reached Indre Arna, it was p o u r i n g down. Passing Gullbotn, there was no sight of the Kvamskogen mountains. I wondered if they were fogged in or it was because I was in the middle of a rainshower. It turned out be the latter.
I picked up Ketil and headed up towards Kvamskogen. I knew the trailhead and the trail from my visit back in June 2001. 12:30PM, we were on the way up the forest road. Apparently, I had forgot about where the trail was running, relative to the upper cabin, and had to ask a cabin owner. Soon we were on the soaking wet and muddy trail up from the cabins. I had to carry Troll across the wetlands, saving him from drowning. Ketil has told me on several occasions that he doesn't like boggy ground, but kept his mouth shut. He was probably overwhelmed and speachless.
The views kept changing due to fog and rainshowers, but the rain persisted. I tried to get Troll walking above 600m elev. but it only lasted for a few minutes. I tried to tell myself that "he ain't heavy", but my back sent opposite signals to my brain. We reached the summit 14:00PM, just seconds before the summit was fogged in. Ketil was waiting a bit impatient for the dog to finish his lunch-box. It was chilly on top, so we didn't stick around longer than necessary. We stepped out of the fog at approx. 800m elev. and could see a stroke of blue sky above Byrkjefjellet. The combination of thick fog and blue sky is a bit weird, but we were quite happy with the improving weather on our way down the mountain. We were back at the car just after 15:00PM, satisfied with having done "something good" on a day such as this.
Pictures from the Oct 03 2004 hike
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