Norwegian Mountains

Horga, 673m

Fylke/Kommune : Hordaland/Kvam
Maps : 1215-II Varaldsøyna (Statens Kartverk, Norge 1:50 000)
Primary factor : 245m
Hiked : Dec 2004
See also : Lukefjellet
See also : Våganipen
Horga seen from Snerta

Horga seen from Snerta

(No Javascript)


Horga is one of three (independent) mountains exceeding 600m elevation, in the large mountain and forest region south of highway 48 (Tysse-Mundheim). Lukefjellet (767m) and Våganipa (819m) are the two higher mountains. There are other higher, named points, such as Tomravardafjellet (713m) and Helleknappen (738m), but these are not considered independent mountains on this web-site.

Horga is easiest reached from Gravdal, a small farm community between Mundheim and Gjermundshamn. An old forest road and a forest path takes you all the way to the SW end of lake Sakrisvatnet (373m). From here on, the terrain is easily traveled, and you reach the Horga summit via the northeast ridge. There are other alternative routes from Gravdal, but unless you know this area, you're best served with the trail described on this page. The east side of Horga is steep and unfriendly, and it is easy to get stuck high up in the hillside.

From the summit, you have a good view towards the other peaks in the Søre Fusa mountain region, as well as Hardangerfjorden and the mountains on Folgefonnhalvøya.

From what I understand, the name "Horga" has links to the old Norse mythology. Hordaland has many mountains with "horga" in the name. The Voss region in particular; Lønahorgi, Høgahorgi, Hjortahorgi, Grønahorgi, etc. The name is probably meant to describe the characteristics of the mountain, and steep mountain side may be a common denominator. This is however not true for Hjortahorgi, a dominating mountain in the Voss region.

The Kvam/Fusa border runs across the mountain, but the high point is located within Kvam Kommune.

Primary factor:

Horga (M711: 673m, Ø.K: 672,72m) has a primary factor of 245m towards the higher Lukefjellet (767m). The saddle is found N of Jensahorga. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), you cross the 430m contours on the high route, but not 425m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 428m.

Trail descriptions:

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.

Gravdal - Horga (summer/autumn)

Difficulty : Class 1
Exposure : No
Comments : Family hike
Distance : Approx. 5Km to the top
Time : Approx. 2-3 hours (w/o pause)
Starting Elev.: Approx. 10m
Vertical Gain : Approx. 700m

Map of the area
Map of the area
(No Javascript)
Detailed map
Detailed map
(No Javascript)


From Bergen, follow highway E16 towards Oslo. At the E16/RV 7 junction (roundabout) at Trengereid, turn right onto RV 7. Follow RV 7 to the RV 7/RV 48 junction after Bjørkheim (approx. 13,9Km from the Trengereid junction). Turn right onto RV48 and follow this road all the way to Mundheim (41,5Km).

At Mundheim, turn right onto highway RV 49 "Gjermundshamn" and drive for approx. 3,6Km. Turn right onto a narrow road between two bus-stops. 100m further along highway RV 49, you will see "Gravdalsvegen". Don't drive in there. This information is for reference only. Drive up the hill. An old building to your left (before the farm) offers parking for two cars. This does not seem to be a private house, so you probably don't need permission.

The route

Continue up the road, pass the farm and locate a forest road that runs upwards in the northeast direction. At 120m elevation, the forest road crosses a creek. Continue 50m beyond the creak and turn right when the forest road forks. The forest road runs upwards and crosses the same creek one more time. As the forest road turns northeast again, look for a forest path up to your left.

Follow this forest path upwards. Eventually, the valley down to your left merge with the ridge you are on. You will enter a meadow at approx. 330m elevation. The forest path leaves this meadow and runs up to your left. If you think this route is a bit awkwards (there is a step here), continue on the meadow and find another path 50m ahead. Follow this path all the way to lake Sakrisvatnet (373m)

From lake Sakrisvatnet, follow a path across the mountain east of the lake (point 414m). You cannot walk down by the lake, so you have to ascend this mountain. The path stays close to the lake and will take you down to the southwest end of the lake. The visible path ends here.

From the lake, in the southwest direction, you will see a distinct forest ridge. Aim for this ridge and follow it upwards. Passing 500m elevation, you should see a small lake down on your left. From here on, follow the ridge all the way to the summit. The ridge consists of many humps and small ponds, but is all in all easily hiked. The high point is located less than 50m west of the summit cairn. The high point is denoted by a "Grense" (border) marker in the ground. Descend your ascent route.

Trip report Dec 11 2004

Weeks and weeks of rain, but the forecast for this Saturday was "just cloudy". I decided to collect Horga once and for all, regardless of how the weather would turn out to be. I was determined to hike from Gravdal. I had a hope there would be a forest trail, but if not, I was mentally prepared for an ugly bush-war up the mountain. I drove to one of the farms at Gravdal and asked for information about the mountain.

I was met by a nice, elder couple who gave me good advice for my journey. After chatting with them for a while, me and the dog (Troll) drove to the neighbour farm, parked there and were on our way up a forest road by 11:10AM. As a wild valley came down on our right, I put the dog in the backpack, left the forest road and tried to make my way through the forest. That didn't work at all. The valley was full of thornbushes, and I didn't notice until my hand got attached to one. Everyone who has got attached to thorns, know the sensation. I descended back to the forest trail, and found that a wide forest trail ran parallel to the route I had tried to follow. I was indeed happy about this discovery. I was bleeding from my hand, and put the hand on the backpack. A warm tongue worked out much better than band-aids.

Thanks to a forest path, the route up to lake Sakrisvatnet (a strange name, indeed) went without any sort of obstacles. It was raining slightly when I reached the lake, but it didn't last long. As I continued across the mountain above the lake, I witnessed a swan take off. What a beautiful scene. Almost 400m above sea level. I wasn't aware of that swans were found in (relatively) high lakes like this.

From the southwest end of the lake, I went off-trail and headed up the Horga north-west ridge, and above 500m elevation, I moved into the fog. As a fun excersise, I tried to memorize specific characteristics in the terrain, hoping that I would be able to descend the mountain without using the GPS or a compass. At the most, I had memorized 11 ponds and lakes, two meadows, two creeks and one cairn. I had to assign names to the ponds, in order to separate them from each other.

I let Troll out of the backpack at 600m elevation. It was getting a bit chilly because of the wind, and I figured he needed to move around. We reached the summit 12:55PM, near two hours after leaving the trailhead. We had to descend a bit before we could find a wind-free spot to take a break. As I had expected, heading down the mountain was a whole different thing than heading up. And although there seemed to be an abyss down to my left - preventing me from seeking down there - having memorized the terrain details prevented me from going too far to my right. It felt quite rewarding to walk in the fog, in unknown terrain, looking out for the next familiar feature on my safe journey down the mountain.

Troll walked all the way down to the trailhead, which should be good enough classification for the overall route. We were back at the car 14:45PM. I decided to stop by the couple at the nearby farm and tell them that I was back down, safe and sound. You never know - some may be wondering what happened to that "foreigner" that stopped by earlier. We had a long and pleasant chat. I got to meet their dogs. They had to sheep dogs. One of them looked perfectly normal. The other one looked weird - low and long. I was told that his father was a dachshund. My mind started wondering on the technique applied here.. Half an hour later, I was on my way back to Bergen. It was raining now. I was happy to have experienced a near-rainfree day in the mountains. They have come seldom lately.

Pictures from the Dec 11 2004 hike

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.

1. Last week-ends activities (99KB) 2. At Gravdal (93KB) 3. Leaving the trailhead (162KB) 4. On the forest road (178KB) 5. Stuck in a valley (179KB) 6. Steep mountain sides (143KB) 7. Approaching lake Sakrisvatnet (211KB) 8. Lake Sakrisvatnet (117KB) 9. Cabin by lake Sakrisvatnet (103KB) 10. A swan taking off (83KB) 11. Horga ahead (136KB) 12. Lake Sakrisvatnet (125KB) 13. Lake Sakrisvatnet (114KB) 14. Rainbow above Mundheim (59KB) 15. On the northeast ridge (131KB) 16. Lake near 500m elevation (111KB) 17. Varaldsoyna seen from the Horga route (192KB) 18. In the fog zone (207KB) 19. The summit cairn (102KB) 20. The Horga high point (198KB) 21. Heading down, looking back up (112KB) 22. Varaldsoyna seen from the Horga route (190KB) 23. Nessteinen seen coming down Horga (73KB) 24. Troll solved all problems on the way down (155KB) 25. Southern Fusa hills seen from above Gravdal (104KB) 26. A post-sunset moment in Samnanger (64KB)

No Javascript:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Pictures from other hikes:

1. Southern Fusa (199KB) 2. Southern Fusa (282KB) 3. Fusa and Tysnes mountains (216KB) 4. 50mm panorama from Grønlinutane (1054KB)

No Javascript:

1 2 3 4

Other hordaland mountains Other Fusa mountains Other Kvam mountains