Hogahorgi seen from highway 13
Høgahorgi, or Nesheimshorgi, as the mountain also is referred to in this area, is one of several mountains south of Voss and Ulvik that grows gently from the north and ends in a sudden, steep drop towards the south. The mountain is easily accessible through a high trailhead and good trails, and the views from the summit is hard to forget.
Lønahorgi dominates the northern views, while you have a front row seat towards Raundalsegga mountains - the chain of summits from Horndalsnuten to Olsskavlen. This chain of summits continues with Skorafjell and Vassfjøra. Further east, you have a clear view towards Onen, and you even see Hardangerjøkulen glacier behind Onen. Just in front of you, towards the south, you see Midtnuten, Ingebjørgfjellet and Oksen on the Oksen peninsula. And Storeflåtten on hardangervidda looms behind Ingebjørgfjellet. In the west, you see Grønahorgi, Skamdalshorgi, Hjortahorgi and Gråsida. This peak is quite a spectacular viewpoint.
Høgahorgi has a primary factor of 575m, towards the higher Håsethorgi (1155m). The saddle is just east of lake Svartatjørni, between lake Krokavatnet (draining south) and lake Kjeatjørni (draining north). The lowest adjacent 5m contour lines (Norgesglasset) on the high route are 560m, and the saddle is interpolated to 558m.
This ranks Høgahorgi as #21 in Hordaland, when measured on primary factor. Only Hjortahorgi and Midtfjell have higher primary factor among mountains in this region.
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.
Bulko - Høgahorgi (summer/autumn)
From Bergen, follow highway E16 towards Voss. From the traffic light in Voss, drive straight ahead. This is a shortcut to highway 13. From the traffic light, drive approx. 13,5Km and exit right towards "Bulko". Before this junction, turn right when you get to highway 13 junction. Follow the gravel road upwards for approx. 2,7Km and park on a large parking area on your right.
Locate a trail between the trees on the left hand side, when the parking is on your right. Or - when you face the "Bompenger" toll box, look further to the left, and you should see the trail.
The first part of this route runs to the Lyklaset cabins. The route up through the forest can be quite muddy and wet. The ascent is gentle, and walking this route is quite pleasant. In a while, you get great views towards Lønahorgi above Voss. When you get to a stream, cross the stream and follow the trail upwards. Another trail continues on the side you were on before you crossed, but this trail runs towards Horgastølen. In a little while you arrive a cabin (Lyklaset).
Follow a narrow path behind the cabin, further right when you're facing the cabin. This path switchbacks up a steep hill and takes you to an older cabin. Follow a vague path up to the right. Now you're approaching a cairn trail junction. One route runs eastbound, while another runs SE, and stays on the west side of the mountain. I was not able to follow the eastbound trail all the way to the top, but the terrain is easy, and you really don't need a trail. My suggestion is that you make a round-trip, so you get views on both sides of the mountain.
Towards the summit, the terrain gets a little steeper, but you can hike up almost anywhere. The summit cairn is the southernmost cairn. Another major cairn is located further north of this summit, and marks most likely a good viewpoint towards Skamdalshorgi. If you want to enjoy the steep southern cliffs, you have to descend further south from the summit.
The weather people promised no rain and perhaps some sunshine in the Voss region, in the afternoon. Given the rainy days we've had this week, and the fact that is was rainy and cloudy when I looked out the window, my hopes for a good hike weren't too high. But, one have to take some chances, and I really wanted to do this mountain now. Høgahorgi was #21 on the top 30 list, ranked by primary factor. I had only 5 mountains left, and I wanted it to be 4 by the end of the day.
As the nicer weather apparently was arriving later in the afternoon, I didn't leave Bergen until 12:30PM. I decided to drive highway E16, instead of along Hardangerfjorden. I imagined this scenic route was overcrowded by tourists this time of the year. Traffic was flowing until I got to Vaksdal. A long line of vehicles standing still suggested there had been a traffic accident. I decided to turn around and drive along Hardangerfjorden instead. Normally, I don't include stories from the car on this pages, but I'll do one exception here.
As I passed Bjørkheim by Samnangerfjorden, a queue was building up. The first car was driving approx. 20Km/h below the speed limit. The 5-6 cars in front of me made no attempts to pass, and I didn't feel like taking on this many cars myself. Besides, cars were coming in the opposite direction all the time. The slow car stayed in front over Kvamskogen and all the way to Øystese. This is quite a significant stretch for the impatient souls. When he turned out, I expected the drive along the fjord to be quite pleasant. It had stopped raining, and further east, I saw emerging blue sky. After a couple of hundred meters, I caught up with a bus, driving 70Km/h below the speed limit up the hills from Øystese. This was a foreign tourist bus, and I knew that the drive along the fjord would be a nightmare. No point in trying to pass on this narrow and curved road.
The bus stayed in front all the way to Kvanndal ferry harbour, which is perhaps 30Km from Øystese. A large number of cars were piling up behind me, but were safely ignored by the bus driver. When the bus drove down to the ferry, I looked forward to go back to the normal heartbeats. But just then, a fully loaded semi-trailer, followed by a bus turned out in front of me. Of course, going in the same direction as I was. A large number of RV's (camping cars) was on the road, and on the first encounter, there was a full stop in traffic while the RV and the semi-trailer tried to pass on this narrow road. The 10Km stretch from Kvanndal to Granvin took 45 minutes! This was almost amusing. I wasn't even mad. It was clear, as the semi-trailer came with the ferry, it was heading towards Voss. The same road I was going, and I imagined this trailer up the narrow switchbacks from lake Granvinsvatnet. I felt like the luckiest guy on the planet. The bus was also going the same way, making passing the trailer somewhat harder. As we approached lake Granvinsvatnet, there was a long chain of cars behind, and I decided to go for a pass along the lake. Fortune had brought a bumblebee into the car, and while it was buzzing frantic around in the car, the dog tried to eat it. And I tried to stop the dog from eating a bumblebee. This scenario had a slight influence on my ability to focus on the road, the traffic, and passing a bus and a semi-trailer. I decided I had to stop and get the bumblebee. I stopped the car, watching a long chain of cars pass while I chased the bumblebee out the windo. At this very moment, the trailer stopped and let all the cars pass. As soon as I was back on the road, there was only the trailer and I. In that order. The trailer stayed 70Km/h below the speed limit up the long hills, but I was so low on spirit, that nothing really mattered anymore.
Finally, above the hill, I exited from the highway, and drove onto a neat, paved sideroad. This was, as I saw it, according to the map, and I started looking for a gravel road that I had planned to follow. I had a good speed on the car now that I finally got rid of the traffic. Then I realized I was driving on a walker/biker path, and there was no gravel road in sight. Moral was rock bottom, I got myself back on the highway and decided to drive up to Bulko and look for a trail up there. It was not where I wanted to go, but by now, I just wanted to start walking. At Bulko, I stopped a guy and asked for any trails through the forest, leading to Høgahorgi. I didn't feel too optimistic when it became clear that he had never heard of the mountain. And he was living at the foot of it! But then it became clear that people in this area refer to this mountain as Nesheimshorgi, and then he pointed out a perfectly good trail that would take me straight to the mountain.
15:30PM, I located the trail, and the trail was gentle enough for Troll. He hiked all the way upwards, but got muddy like never before. I felt luck was finally about to change. The weather was slowly turning into gorgeous. Besides a little incident where Troll was chased by an over-eager lamb who hadn't learned that humans, and especially dogs, are dangerous, the hike went like most hikes do. The sheep-mom cried desperate sounds of alert, danger and havoc, but the lamb was determined to play with the dog. The dog did not feel like playing with this big ball of cotton, 10 times his height. I went in the middle and explained to the lamb how the relationship between dogs and sheep was meant to be. Wiser than ever, the lamb walked happily back to the mom, whom by now was spitting "hizzz, hizzz" towards the unwanted intruders.
Above the Lyklaset cabins, I followed a trail that took me to lake Krokavatnet on the mountain plateau (not the large lake Krokavatnet just west of the mountain). By the lake, I lost sight of any further trail, and took I direct course towards the summit. We were on top of the mountain at 17:00PM, and was granted a view that is not easily forgotten. I knew the names of all peaks in all directions, which makes looking all the more fun. Troll was all over his lunch box while I took pictures. Afterwards we laid down for half an hour and simply enjoyed living.
On the way down, I found a trail running along the west side of the mountain, and followed this trail all the way back to Lyklaset. We reached the car 18:30PM, and I never considered driving along Hardangerfjorden on the way back to Bergen.
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