Grimsnuten is the northernmost peak on Folgefonnhalvøya (peninsula) and cuts Hardangerfjorden into Indre Samlafjorden and Sørfjorden. The height can not compare with the higher peaks further south, but the views are still tremendous. The mountain itself is a landmark for those who drive highway 7 from Norheimsund towards Kvanndal and Granvin. The grand south side of Oksen (1241m) dominates the view as you hike towards Grimsnuten. Higher up, other well known peaks such as Storeflåtten and Vassfjøra rises above the many mountain along the Hardangerfjord.
You can reach this mountain via "T" trail from the trailhead to the summit, and the Grimsnuten is a popular goal for hikers. Several routes exist, from Alsåker, Utne and Grimo. This page will describe how to reach Grimsnuten from the Grimo side on a class 1 route. The route I took included a visit to Røvhaug, which lacks only 5m from being recognized as an independent mountain on this web-site.
Grimsnuten has a primary factor of 343m towards the higher Gråfjellet. The saddle is SE of lake Øvre Vassdalsvatnet. The last adjacent 20m contours are 900m. The saddle height is interpolated to 890m.
Røvhaug has a primary factor of 95m towards the higher Grimsnuten. The saddle is at the south end of Utledalen valley. The last adjacent 5m contours (Norgesglasset 5m detail map) are 560m. The saddle height is interpolated to 558m. Note that the map states a height of 650m. This is the trig. point. The 5m detail map reveals that the high point 653m and located on the center of the hill.
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.
Grimo (Trones) - Grimsnuten - Røvhaug - Trones (summer/autumn)
From Bergen, you can follow two different roads towards Kvanndal. a)Follow highway E16 towards Oslo and exit onto highway 7 at Trengereid. Drive down to Samnangerfjorden, across Kvamskogen, down to Norheimsund and then to Kvanndal. Kvanndal is approx. 40Km NE of Norheimsund.
b)Follow highway E16 to Voss (approx. 100Km) and exit onto highway 13 towards Granvin. At Granvin, turn right onto highway 7 and drive towards Kvanndal (approx. 10Km).
Take the Kvanndal-Utne ferry. Ferry routes are available on the internet at hsd.no. Fee for passenger cars (1 person) per Nov. 2003 was NOK 58,-. From when you leave the ferry, follow highway 550 towards Odda for approx. 5,9Km. You should have a grocery store on your left. On your right, you see a roadsign pointing to "Trones/Langeseter". Turn right here. Follow the gravel road towards Trones for a total of 4,1Km. At approx 2,6Km you should see a road coming down on your right. This is your descent road if you choose to hike via Røvhaug. Stay left in all road forks. High on this gravel road may reach a point with low clearance. Drive carefully across the ditch. 4,1Km after you left the highway, you arrive a place where timber is being cut. A plow has been there for some time, and probably will continue to stay there. The road still continues, but you should park here. Notice a forest road going up to the right. You will be heading up this way.
Follow the forest road up to the right. At first, it runs in the wrong direction (NE), but at 460m it changes direction and heads W towards the top of Utledalen. Along the way, the forest road ends and a forest trail begins. The trail is marked with red paint in the birch forest. When you reach an open meadow with a mountain behind, seek to the left. The general rule is to look very carefully for the red paint. The trail can be difficult to follow near the meadow.
The trail leads down to the pass that marks the very top of Utledalen valley. You should see a large hut (Manatun). This is your direction. Cross Utledalen valley straight across and follow the red paint. A marked trail also runs down Utledalen, but don't follow this one. Once at Manatun, things are much easier. A marked trail runs all the way to the summit. The trail first takes you to a second hut (Hjallarhaug) and then continues up the mountain. Small cairns with red paint show the way. In the beginning, watch for red paint on the rock you walk on.
You cross the river Grimelvi at 720m. At 780m you pass the first trailsign towards Grimsnuten. The route is quite obvious. Although cliff bands traverse the hillside, the route is never difficult or steep. At 990m you pass the second and last trailsign. It is important to go in the direction of the trailsign, as another marked route leads towards lake Grimsvatnet (which you can slightly see further ahead). Follow the cairns in a southbound direction and enter Grimsnuten from south-east. The summit cairn is a proper cairn and holds a mailbox with the summit register. For better views towards Norheimsund, advance 125m in NW direction. You will need to climb down from the summit block. A few handholds do the trick.
Either descend your ascent route or take a detour via Røvhaug. After you pass Manatun, get on the ridge you were on before you headed down into the pass on top of Utledalen. Once on the ridge, follow a marked trail (red paint on birch) to the left. Just before Røvhaug, the trail meets a forest road. Go left up to Røvhaug summit, which is where the mast is located. A marked trail down to Utne begins on the rear side of the building.
Head down the forest road you were on. This road switchbacks and falls steep down to Trones. You arrive the road you were driving upwards at 280m, which means you have 130 vertical meters and a 1,5Km walk ahead of you.
A high pressure was hitting Norway which made temperatures rise to above 21 deg.C further north on the west coast of Norway. This is quite insane, given the time of year. For Hordaland, the forecast promised a cloud-free weekend, and there was no doubt that I would go above 1000m this week-end. I had been thinking about Grimsnuten for a while, and decided to collect it this Saturday. I had called Arnhild Bleie the day before regarding trail recommendation. She had sent me an email a couple of years earlier, which came in handy this time. When she recommended the route from Grimo, the matter was settled. I left Bergen 06:45AM and had to take it easy on my way to Kvanndal. In places the road was icy and dangerous. I took the 09:00AM ferry to Kvanndal and when I arrived Grimo, I asked for detailed trail information at the local Joker store.
10:00AM I was on my way up the forest trail towards Manatun. Had some problems following the trail as I reached a meadow, but managed more or less to stay on the right course until I arrived the Hjallarhaug hut. Troll was in his usual mood and let me down already at 500m elevation. I carried him all the way to 750m and then took a rest. During the rest, I explained to him that he really was supposed to walk by himself. Especially because he was a dog. Dogs are supposed to walk. The talk seemed to have a positive effect on his mental state of mind, because he now was eager to get going. On foot.
The hillsides were extremely slippery, and the ice-axe prevented numerous falls. The amazing lack of snow suddenly dawned on me. I had programmed my mind to expect a strenuous hike in deep snow above 800m. But now I was walking on a thin layer of frozen snow, and that was it. Even above 1200m, there were snow-free pitches. Just a week ago, things were a whole lot different. 12:15PM, we reached Grimsnuten summit. Hardangerfjorden is always a sight for sore eyes, but perhaps even more so today. Not a cloud on the sky. The sun was just rising above Gråfjellet further south and painted beautiful colors and shadows towards the north. I was thinking that, on a day like this, I should have gone for something higher. Some 1500m-1600m peak along the fjord. But I was quite content with Grimsnuten and took the usual round of pictures while Troll was enjoying his lunch.
The Hardangervidda mountains were rising mighty from the fjord. I looked towards Storeflåtten which I did only a few months ago. What a beautiful mountain. I decided that my next hike in this area should be to Rjuven above Kinsarvik. It was quite cold on the summit, and we headed down after a short stay. I began wondering if Røvhaug would qualify as an independent mountain. It wasn't quite easy to tell from the map, so I decided to return via this hill. Just in case. Troll was now in a striking good mood and decided to lead down the mountain. After having passed Manatun, I located the trail to Røvhaug. After a short walk through the forest, we reached the mast 14:10PM. The forest road to Trones was quite cumbersome for Troll. I guess the combination of the grade and the gravel was a bit tricky. He did clearly not have a good time. We rendevouzed with the road we had driven up. I was willing to bet that Troll would sit down when he realized that we were heading upwards again. But he didn't. He finished off in style and we were back at the trailhead at 15:05PM. I was lucky and reached a ferry about to leave from Utne. The sunset over Hardangerfjorden was intense. I was back in Bergen a couple of hours later and concluded that it was dark when I left and dark when I came back. A long, but a most excellent day.
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