Gavlen and Raudaberget are the 4th and 5th highest mountains in the Kvamskogen/Fusa region, "beaten" by the higher Fuglafjellet (1334m), Tveitakvitingen (1299m), Iendafjellet (1260m). This ranking does not include Skrott (1320m) and Geitafjellet (1255m) located between Hamlagrø and Øystese. Loftet (1236m - Gavlen's neighbour) is the 6th highest mountain in this region.
The mountains are located on a high ridge, parallel to the Tveitakvitingen massif, and connects via the Vetleskardet pass (938m). A ski-trip across Tveitakvitingen, Raudaberget, Gavlen, Loftet and Gjønakvitingen (from Kvam to Fusa) is a classic winter endeavour, reserved for persevering skiers with detailed knowledge about these mountains. The high ridge from Bjørnakultane to Gjønakvitingen is easily traveled, but getting on or off the high ridge is the demanding part. Especially when the weather turns bad. However, visible trails from Holmane (Kvam side) and Gjøn (Fusa side) will lead you up the mountain.
The views from this ridge are good, but not as good as from Tveitakvitingen. Tveitakvitingen is ranked as #6 on my Hordaland primary factor index, while Gavlen is ranked as #116. The Samnanger/Fusa kommune border runs between Bjørnakultane and Raudaberget. The kommune border also runs across the Tveitakvitingen summit, and in general defines the boundary between the Kvamskogen and Fusa mountain regions. Raudaberget (red mountain) is characteristic due to its red rock. Other distinct features on this high ridge is hard to come by.
Gavlen (M711: 1250m, Ø.K: 1251m has a primary factor of 313m towards the higher Tveitakvitingen (1299m). The saddle is found in Vetlaskardet, 1,85Km northeast of Gavlen summit. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), you cross the 940m contours on the high route, but not 935m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 938m.
Raudaberget (M711: 1242m, Ø.K: 1242,07m) has a primary factor of 112m towards the higher Gavlen (1251m). Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), you cross the 1135m contours on the high route, but not 1130m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 1133m.
Bjørnakultane (M711: 1152m, Ø.K: unclear) has a primary factor of 39m towards the higher Raudaberget (1242m). The saddle is found between the two tops. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), you cross the 1115m contours on the high route, but not 1110m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 1113m.
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.
This page will describe the route from Holmane to Gavlen. See the Gjønakvitingen page for access from Gjøn. The route description stops at Loftet, but it's only 900m (direct line) between the summits, and the terrain is easily traveled.
Holmane - all summits (summer)
From Bergen, follow highway E16 (Oslo). At the Trengereid roundabout exit right onto highway 7. Pass Gullbotn, Bjørkheim by the Samnangerfjord, drive through two tunnels, and when you see a bridge and the roadsign to "Kvitingen", approx. 15,2Km from the Trengereid roundabout, turn right onto an unsigned paved road before the bridge.
Follow this road for 2,1Km upwards (turn right in the first paved junction). 800m of this distance is paved road, the rest is gravel. Road quality is fairly OK, with the odd bumps here and there. After 2,1Km, you see a forest road forking to your left. There is a fee box at the beginning of the forest road. The fee for day parking (per June 2004) is NOK 40,-. Signs along the way tell you that you cannot park alongside the road. This must apply to the main gravel road. People do park on the forest road near the fee box.
From the parking, follow the forest road. Cross the bridge and go left in the first forest road junction. Follow the forest road until you are on top of a hill, approx. 500m from the trailhead. Locate a forest trail that begins on your right hand side. Follow the forest trail all the way to a cabin at approx. 800m. Most of the trail up to the cabin is easy to follow, but in a few places, you have to use some judgement. Where would you have made the trail. The marking is especially bad when you reach a few small lakes at approx. 770m. The route runs between these lakes.
From the cabin, several vague paths lead up the mountain. You will need to find the best route. I have been up here twice, and stuck close to the northern cliffs. This is a good route in good weather, but not in fog. You will see two cairns on Jarlandsfjellet. The high point cairn is found at 974m elevation. The northern cairn (viewpoint) is found at approx. 940m elevation.
From Jarlandsfjellet, follow the high ridge towards Bjørnakultane. Any route is a good route. The terrain is far from leveled, but easily traveled. The high ridge approach will lead you to point 1144m on Bjørnakultane. From here, the rest of the route presents itself.
You may follow the high ridge across Bjørnakultane points 1149m and 1152m, or take a southeast "shortcut" and join the high ridge south of point 1152m. You will understand once you get there. Once back on the high ridge, continue over Raudaberget (the summit is a small cairn at 1142m), descend to 1130m and ascend Gavlen. Return your ascent route, or continue the ridge down to Fusa and hitch-hike back to the trailhead.
Trip Report June 27 2004
I was a bit disappointed with yesterday's hike to Bjørnshiklanten in Stølsheimen, and was in for a good and proper hike this Sunday. The weather was *supposed* to be good, but clouds were covering the mountains as I drove towards Samnanger. I had a feeling the fog would lift, but by 11:00AM, there were few signs of a sunny day. I discovered that my compass was in my other backpack, and I would have to rely on the GPS today. In any case, I wasn't about to move beyond Jarlandsfjellet if the fog persisted.
We left the (near) Holmane trailhead 11:30AM. I had been to Jarlandsfjellet years ago, and had no problems locating the trail up the forest. Troll was reluctant to do any walking on his own, and entered the backpack after 100m. I figured that would be his problem, and not mine. My back has grown strong since I first got to know this strangle little figure. I was concerned when I saw no signs of any fog lift above 700m, but made my way to a cabin at 800m, which I remembered from my last hike. I knew that routefinding up to Jarlandsfjellet was necessary, and with the present fog, I decided that the cabin would be the turn-around point.
When I arrived at the cabin, I was just about to turn around when I suddenly got a glimpse of a pond beyond the cabin. I was in the "twilight zone", just below the fog. I continued a bit upwards and got a perfectly clear view of Storagrønovi. I was tremendously satisified, and started to wonder how far I would reach. I had no idea on how much snow there would be on the mountain, and how tired I would get along the way. I was only carrying half a chocolate, left-over from yesterday's hike. No food and no compass. I didn't exactly come well prepared.
I reached Jarlandsfjellet summit 13:30PM, and could not see anything towards the west. I could however see most of Kvamskogen, and reckoned I had picked the perfect mountain region for the day. It seemed to be a long way up to Bjørnakultane, and I could see no trace of Raudaberget - the preliminary goal for the day. I checked if Troll was willing to walk, but he never left the backpack when I put it down. At 14:15PM, I was on point 1144m and got a good view of the route towards Raudaberget. I thought I saw a glimpse of Gavlen behind Raudaberget, but wasn't sure. I had told myself that Raudaberget would be my destination for today, but disliked the idea of having to come back for Gavlen. On my hike across Gjønakvitingen a few years ago, I stopped on Loftet, thinking I had reached Gavlen. The fog had played a trick on me back then. Two hikes, with Gavlen just within reach was not something I would settle for. I decided to go all the way.
I took what appeared to be a shortcut towards Raudaberget, but when I was back on the high ridge, I wasn't really sure if this was a shortcut. In any case, the route up to Raudaberget seemed trivial, and by 15:00PM, I was standing on the summit. The snow was easy to walk on. The surface held, and I never sunk in. I had watched the fog burn off from the lowlands, and wondered where all the fog went. Now I had the answer. The fog was closing in on the mountains again. It had been raining light since I left Bjørnakultane, and the weather surely did not improve. But now I was only 1,5Km away from Gavlen. There was no way I would stop now.
The descent from Raudaberget was easy. I got pockets of visibility and had no problems finding a good route up to Gavlen. By 15:30PM, the goal had been reached. I was finally on Gavlen, 1250m. Troll must have sensed this also, because he started to whine for lunch. We found a less windy spot behind the summit and Troll could enjoy his lunch, even if he hadn't exactly worked hard for it. I enjoyed my half chocolate while looking towards Loftet. I got a glimpse of the mountain for a brief moment, and was thinking of the great hike I had back in September 2001.
We turned around after a brief stay on Gavlen and headed back the same way. I had the scare of the month when I passed a nesting grouse, which took off when I was 30cm away. Troll rotated 360 degrees inside the backpack. The sounds of wings in panic when no sound is expected is overwhelming. Hiking across Raudaberget towards Bjørnakultane was fairly easy, as there was steep terrain on each side of the ridge. At Bjørnakultane, navigating got more difficult, and I had to use the GPS for locating my ascent route. The descent from Jarlandsfjellet was more difficult, as the GPS didn't have the required precision for navigating down cliffs. Without ever being close to our ascent route, I managed to find a good way down to the cabin. From there on, I was back on the trail, and after passing Storenipen, I was below the fog. We were back at the trailhead 18:30PM, and even if I wasn't particularly tired, I felt in my legs that the hike had been tough. Troll had agreed to walk down from the cabin, well aware of that the hike was coming to an end. The hot dog at the Statoil gas station by Bjørkheim tasted nothing less than heaven.
Pictures from the June 27 2004 hike:
Move cursor to read notes, and click on the images to see full version.
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