Horndalsnuten and Skipadalsnuten are the two westernmost peaks in the "Raundalseggs" mountain range. This range continues across Seldalsnuten, Olsskavlen and Nordbottnuten before you have to descend to the Fallet pass in order to get to Skorafjellet, Vassfjøra and subsequently the Hardangerjøkulen mountain region.
Horndalsnuten is one of Voss' most popular mountains, in summer as well as winter. The ski-trip across Raundalsegga is the classic ski-trip for this region. The trailheads are numerous, both from the north side (Raundalen) and the south side (Voss-Granvin highway).
Skipadalsnuten is Voss Kommune's 5th highest mountain and Horndalsnuten is the 6th. Because of the mountains' elevation and their central location in Hordaland, the views are spectacular. A bonus is a direct field of view towards Store Skagastølstind in Hurrungane.
The easiest routes to these mountains should fit everyone, provided the energy is there. The only part that may be a bit tricky, is the winter route up from Horndalsnuten to Skipadalsnuten. Many take their skis off here. I have chosen Skaftedal as the trailhead, but there are also other popular trailheads in Raundalen and Fenne.
Note that there are two high points on Skipadalsnuten. The westernmost point is 496m on the 1316-II map, while another point (1495m) is found 493m further east/northeast. On the Garmin map (per Dec. 2005), the easternmost point measures 1497m while the westernmost point is still 1496m. The GPS map suggests that there is a new point. I choose to stick with the 1316-II map as reference, but you may visit both points to make sure you've been to the high point.
Horndalsnuten (1316-II: 1461m, Ø.K: Highest contour is 1460m) has a primary factor of 231m towards the higher Skipadalsnuten (1496m). The saddle is found on the ridge between the two tops. Ref. 1316-II (20m contours), you cross the 1240m contours on the high route, but not 1220m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 1230m.
Skipadalsnuten (1316-II: 1496m, Ø.K: -) has a primary factor of 126m towards the higher Seldalsnuten (1548m). The saddle is found on the ridge between the two tops. Ref. 1316-II (20m contours), you cross the 1380m contours on the high route, but not 1360m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 1370m.
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.
Skaftedal - Horndalsnuten/Skipadalsnuten (all seasons)
From Voss, follow highway RV13 towards Granvin. After approx. 14-15 Km, turn left towards "Skår" (marked exit). If you find yourself on the steep and curvy road down towards lake Granvinsvatnet, you've driven too far.
Follow the narrow paved road 2,75 Km up to Skaftedal. Stay left in both junctions. At Skaftedal, just after a bridge, it is time to find parking. There are lots of places to park, but check for signs saying "Privat Parkering" (Private Property).
The trail begins 50m west of the bridge. Look for a gravel road going in the northern direction. Cars can drive on this road, only the property owners are allowed to do so. The actual trail begins just after the last cabin, approx. 20 minutes after you've started.
At first, the trail runs through the forest before you enter open terrain. The river Skaftedalselvi is on your right-hand side all the way up to the Låtebakken cabin. The trail ends by this cabin. Actually, it continues down to the river, and ends there. Follow the riverside (off-trail) up to a waterfall. Walk up along the waterfall and continue towards Steindro.
At Steindro, your next task is get to the Modalsvotni lakes. You clearly see the pass where the river Steindroelvi drains from the lakes. The trail runs high up on Veten, and while you may think this is an unnecessary detour, stick to the trail. You won't gain time on a shortcut.
You arrive the lower Lake Modalsvatn, and see a ridge going up to your right a little further ahead. This is the ridge you will follow up to Horndalsnuten. But first, you have to pass the lower lake, and just before you see the upper lake, cross the river. There are not many places to pass (at least in melting season), but there is one where you can make a safe jump. You may also look for smaller rocks put on top of larger rocks (by humans), indicating the cairn trail. If you find the start of the trail, you will also find the crossing point.
Once you've crossed the river and walk up the first ridge, you see the route up to Horndalsnuten. In summer, there may be snow to cross. This hike is somewhat strenuous, but has no risk. If you turn around 180 deg. you have a nice view towards Veten (1158m), Vatnaknausen (1303m) and Lønahorgi (1410m) above Voss, in the background.
Once on top of this ridge, you have a short hike up to the top of Horndalsnuten and the summit cairn.
At the summit, you see Skipadalsnuten (1496m) towards the east. The route down is fairly obvious. Just stay right of the steep northern sides of Horndalsnuten. You see a grassy corridor going up the right-hand side of Skipadalsnuten, but stay away from this side. The actual trail runs more on your left-hand side, and the route is marked with rocks. Just before you reach the pass between Horndalsnuten and Skipadalsnuten, you see a steep fall down to the pass, but there is a safe way down to the middle of the pass. Just look for rocks, showing the way.
Down in the pass, looking up to Skipadalsnuten, the slope looks steep. As you walk up the left (west) side of the mountain, make sure you focus on where the small cairns are. Look ahead and focus on finding the next. This will help you upon your return. This is not a route where you want to lose your way, and the trail runs in zigzag on this slope. Once up, the summit is straight ahead. Note that there is another point nearly 500m to the east/northeast, which is approx. the same elevation. Visit both points to be sure.
Descend your ascent route, or try a different route down.
The winter route to Horndalsnuten runs further to the west. First, it heads towards Byrseteggi, then joins the summer route up the lakes. See the Byrseteggi page for more information.
See also the Seldalsnuten page for access to Skipadalsnuten from Raundalen.
This Monday morning, early December, I was on my way to the last mountain on my Masfjorden list. This was my 18th trip to Masfjorden kommune i 2005, and this would be the 25th independent mountain (of 43) that I visited in 2005. In additon, I had also been to Illestigfjellet, which barely fell out of my Masfjorden list. Including this trip, I have paid NOK 1710,- in toll on the Nordhordlandsbrua bridge (for the Masfjorden mountains alone in 2005), and it is of no comfort that this bridge becomes toll-free in 2006.
Enough of statistics, it was a nice day. I took the 09:25AM ferry from Leirvåg (by Mongstad) and after a short visit to Skipavik, we (the dog and I) arrived Sløvåg on the north side of Fensfjorden. I drove up to Kvamsdal, chatted with a couple of locals who explained the route up to Grønefjellet. I was offered convenient parking, and by 10:40AM, we were on our way up the forest road.
I had always figured that I would hike Grønefjellet from the east (Fossdalen), but on my recent visit to Hisbotnsnuken, a farmer explained that Kvamsdalen was the easiest trailhead. It pays off to talk to people.
Troll lost faith in walking after "securing the area", and was installed in the backpack. I moved slowly up the forest road. There was just enough snow to steal away the energy. I located the forest path to Kvamsdalsstølen, which was, although covered by snow, easy to follow because of branches cut off the trees. Most of these branches pointed away from the path, which made me wonder if this was the local way of marking a path. In any case, it worked well for me, and I managed to stay on the path all the way to Kvamsdalsstølen.
It seemed obvious to head up the nearest ridge (the SW ridge) and so I did. I passed the 580m viewpoint cairn and proceeded up to the high point which I reached 12:25PM. I moved over to the NE viewpoint cairn for better views and had a lunch break there.
There was a cold, cold wind, and I had to put on all of the clothes I had in the backpack. Troll was shivering. I gave him a lunch box. I noticed how the shivering paused while eating, only to resume when the food was gone. I have been wondering if the shivering is a way to generate body heat, or if it is shivering as we humans know it? Or is it simply a "poor me" act?
On the way down the mountain, I took a shortcut down to the valley, and saved noteable time given the snow depth. Down in the valley, Troll was now willing to walk and even if I broke the trail (again) he still had to perform like a hare in order to keep up. We were back at the trailhead 13:55PM, giving me plenty of time for the 14:50PM ferry from Sløvåg. I left Masfjorden with a good feeling. The 43 mountains have taken time and effort but it was all well worth it.
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Some of the thumbnails may have been cropped to fit the format.
Pictures were taken with a Sigma 18-200mm objective, except for 3 panoramas (16,17,23) that were taken with a Canon 50mm objective.
Heading back to Bergen
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