Englafjell seen from Ulvanosa
Englafjell and Ulvanosa are two highly characteristic peaks towering above Uskedalen and Eikedalen valleys. When viewed from mountains further north, these two mountains quickly gets your attention. The terrain is rough country. From 700-800m and up, you will have to balance across loose boulder, and several sides are dangerously steep. Mannen is also a part of this large mountain massif, but being a couple of hundred meters lower, this mountain is not equally dominating.
The view towards the Rosendal mountains, Folgefonna glacier, Hardangerfjorden and the entire Sunnhordland, is yours if you find the strength to conquer one of these summits. It is truly a sight, late to be forgotten. Directly translated to English, Englafjell means "Angel Mountain' while Mannen means "the Man".
On the map provided on this page, Mannen's height is 1014m. On the M711 map, the height is 1013m, which is the height I will refer to on these pages.
Englafjell has a primary factor of 490m, towards the higher Ulvanosa (1246m). The saddle is found in Fagerdalsskardet, further SW. The last two adjacent 20m contour lines (M711 map) in this pass are 720m. The saddle height is interpolated to 710m. This ranks Englafjell as #31 in Hordaland, based on primary factor.
Mannen has a primary factor of 223m, towards the higher Englafjll (1200m). The saddle is the top of Eikedalen valley, north of lake Jordsvatnet. The last adjacent 20m contour lines (M711 map) are 800m. The contour lines are near each other, suggesting the saddle height is closer to 800m. However, due to some steep sides in this pass, I have interpolated the saddle height to 790m.
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.
Feet - Eikedalen - Mannen - Englafjell - Feet round-trip (summer/autumn)
From Bergen, follow highway E16 towards Oslo. At Trengereid, follow highway 7 (Oslo) down to Samnangerfjorden. After Bjørkheim, exit onto highway 48 towards Mundheim/Gjermundshamn. From Mundheim, follow highway 49 south to Gjermundshamn (per June 2003, driving restrictions between Mundheim and Gjermundshamn apply). Take the Gjermunshamn - Løfallstrand ferry. From Løfallstrand, drive through Rosendal and Dimmelsvik, and after 18Km from the ferry, exit left towards "Musland". At the first road bend (Fet/Feet), notice a gravel road going straight ahead, while anther gravel road goes right. Find parking here.
Follow the gravel road straight ahead upwards. You pass a farm on your left, and the gravel road quickly turns into a forest road. There is a gate here, which may be open. A "Englafjell" sign sends you on a shortcut back onto the forest road higher up. Pass another Englafjell sign, and you are on the forest road that leads to Eikedalen valley. On your way to Eikedalen valley, notice a trailsign (on a tree, easy to miss) on your left, pointing towards Englafjell. You will be coming down this way.
The forest road will take you to Eikedalen valley, but does not connect with the Eikedalen trail from Storhaug. Cross the valley, heading NW, find a place to cross the stream, and join the Eikedalen trail. The climb up Eikedalen is quite gentle, compared to the trail that you passed (where you will be descending). You have an impressive gorge on your left as you climb the valley. Higher up in the valley, you arrive a small basin, where you continue straight ahead over boulder. The trail is "T" marked with red paint above the forest.
On top of Eikedalen, you reach the Mannen-Englafjell saddle and a trail junction. The route to the left runs towards Englafjell. Continue straight ahead towards Mannen. The trail soon curves and runs along lake Jordvatnet before it turns northbound above lake Svartavatnet. You will have point 984 up to your left as you head towards Mannen. The first part above lake Svartavatnet is a mixture of grass turfs and slick rock. Not the easiest terrain, but not difficult either. The final 100 vertical meters run across boulder. The "T" trail takes you towards a large cairn with the summit register in a blue box. The main summit lies 2 minutes further east. Descend the same route, back to the Englafjell/Mannen trail junction.
This is also a "T" marked trail. The trail takes you to lake Lomatjørna, which you pass on the left hand side. Then head towards the stream that drains from lake 954 to lake Lomatjørna. It is getting steeper up along the stream, but there should be no difficulties. You arrive the saddle between Svartavasshorgi and Englafjell, just above lake 954. Seek left and follow the saddle ridge towards a distinct ridge leading to Englafjell. The remaining route up to Englafjell runs across boulder. Be careful on this ascent, as rocks may be loose. The summit area is flat, while sense of flatness is broken when you gaze down the steep side above lake 954. On the south side of the plateau, you find the summit cairn and a summit register.
You will not forget the descent route in near future. First, you have the tremendous views towards Ulvanosa and Englafjell while you follow the "T" trail northbound on the summit plateau. Shortly, you will also see the vertical Englafjell NE face if you stay a little to the right of the "T" trail. The descent is quite special as, for some time, you see nothing between the rocks in front of you, and the fjord 1200m further down. The trail descends northbound when the main north ridge curves NW. After a while you pass a steep section on your left, and at one place, you must ascend slightly to get back on the ridge. The trail continues across Såta, and the remaining descent can be only be described as steep and challenging. You will not fall off the mountain, but if the ground, roots or rocks are slippery, you can slide off the trail and end up in a sticky bush, somewhere. You should also send a warm thought to be author of this page, sending you up the gentle Eikedalen, instead of this ultra-strenuous route. Down in the forest, pay attention to the "T"'s painted on trees. Eventually, the trail joins the forest road that you followed into Eikedalen.
It was nearly 5 years since the first time I saw Englafjell and Ulvanosa from Ulriken in Bergen. I had already been on Ulvanosa twice, and it was high time I visited Englafjell. I decided to include Mannen on the trip, as several options for a round-trip was possible. The plan was to ascend Englafjell on the north ridge, and descend Mannen's north ridge. I drove early from Bergen, and got an early ferry. After asking around, I found Englafjell's trailhead at 09:40AM, and parked on a farm. I was told to follow signs towards Englafjell, and the rest would be simple.
I found 2 out of 3 signs, and eventually I realized that I had been passing the trail. I wasn't too keen on giving up the vertical gain, especially since Troll was in a generous mood and walked from the trailhead. I anticipated that this forest road would connect to Eikedalen, and if not, it wouldn't be a too long hike through forest. The forest road did connect with Eikedalen, but the vague, and narrow path in Eikedalen confused me. I was under the impression that this valley was a popular hike. I decided to traverse the valley across, hoping to stumble onto a trail. I had to cross the valley stream, and just on the other side, I found a perfectly good "T" trail. I was quickly embraced by a cloud of flies that had a crush on my shampoo. I made a mental note not to shower for the rest of the summer.
The walk up the valley was fairly gentle. A deep gorge was down on my left, and I followed a side trail that went just above the gorge. At the upper basin, Troll was confined to the backpack, as the remaining climb to the pass would be across boulder. The last section had clearly some class 2 moves, where hands are "handy" for support. No particular difficulties, though. At the top of the pass, I arrived the Mannen/Englafjell trail junction. I was in the mood for a quick ascent to Mannen, so I climbed directly up to the right. Without a heavy and living backpack, this would have been a great scramble. But given the circumstances, I abandoned the idea, and took a shortcut back to the trail along lake Jordvatnet. I reached Mannen summit 12:25PM, and celebrated by laying flat out for twenty minutes. I wasn't tired, but the weather was gorgeous, I just got a new, great summit, the flies were gone, and the views were astounding.
By 12:50PM it was time to move on. I went back to the trail junction and started the ascent towards Englafjell 13:30PM. I had a 400m vertical ascent ahead me, with a dog on my back. I looked so much forward to reach Englafjell, and this summit desire took away any negative thoughts about hard work. On the final 200m climb, Troll was whining in the backpack. The whining had a serious cling to it, and I had to release him 150m below the summit. So he preferred to go boulder hopping instead of a comfortable ride on the back. Oh well. We arrived Englafjell summit 14:35PM, and I was very happy having reached the goals for the day. The heat had been a killer on the hike, and I was happy crawling into a spot of shade by the summit cairn. I looked towards Geitadalstind and noticed that the NW ridge that PJ, Petter and I climbed in December 2002, looked scary even without snow.
After a short summit break, we moved out 14:50PM, ready to take on the north ridge route. I had looked at this route several times from below, and found it exceptionally steep. I was therefore very curious about the route down. As the trail was "T" marked, this took away some part of the excitement. A "T" trail indicates a civilized route, traveled by most people. But still, the feeling of nothing between the nearest rocks and the fjord, developed a cerain atmosphere. The trail was indeed steep, but I have no special comments about the upper trail. But the trail from Såta and down through the forest was a route I don't think I will recommend for ascent, to anyone. This near-1200m vertical ascent route will be a challenge to most fit people (good trail, not difficult, but plain tough). Troll hiked all the way down from Englafjell, and in the forest, he was more vertical than horizontal. He was quite tired now, but still had the energy to complete the hike. At one point, he sled off the trail and was standing near vertical in high grass outside the trail. He was too tired to turn around and get himself back on the trail. I had to lift him back, and had the laughter of the day in the process. When we finally joined the forest road, I noticed the "Englafjell" sign that I didn't see while going up. Still, this was perhaps the best solution. I got to see the beautiful Eikedalen valley, and now I was going straight back to the car. If I had descended Mannen's north ridge, I would still have some hiking to do, in order to get back to the car.
At 16:15PM, I could unlock the cardoor, and 5 minutes later we drove to Rosendal, where I had a room reserved at Rosendal Fjordhotell. I had been dreaming about a cold beer since Mannen summit, and 5 minutes after check-in, I enjoyed this cold beer outside of the hotel. Troll was lying below the table, with his bowl of water. I watched him trying to shape his body, aligned with the rays of shade produced by the round table. It must have been the hottest day of the year. Some were sunbathing on the beachfront, some played volleyball, some were taking a swim. I was reading maps, planning the hike to Tverrfjellet the following day. Clearly the oddball in the crowd.
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.
Pictures are presented in the order they were taken.
Other hordaland mountains Other Kvinnherad K. mountains westcoastpeaks.com