Krakhellenipa and Mednipa (also known as Menipa) are two mountain tops on Vetefjellet. Krakhellenipa (569m) is the highest point on the Sula islands and also the highest point in Solund kommune.
Vetefjellet is a complex piece of rock with steep cliffs and doesn't look very inviting from distance. But there is a cairn path that will take you safely up the mountain, and eventually give you exactly the great views you were hoping for.
Krakhellenipa's primary factor is 569m, the same height as the island.
Mednipa's primary factor towards the higher Krakhellenipa is 65m. The saddle is found just NE of Mednipa, on the way to Krakhellenipa. On the Norgesglasset 5m contour map, the 495m contours define the saddle, and the saddle height is interpolated to 493m. This low primary factor does not rank Mednipa as an independent mountain on this web-site.
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.
Kløstreheia - Mednipa - Krakhellenipa w/shortcut (summer)
OK, I wasn't on Krakhellenipa, but given the circumstances, I claim the mountain. Highly out of the ordinary, but there is a story behind it. As such, this route description should only be used as a guideline for getting on the mountain, and should not be followed unless you have a ferry to catch.
From Bergen, follow highway E39 northbound (Førde). Pass the Nordhordlandbrua toll booth (Kvisti bomstasjon - NOK 40,- for passenger cars per July 2004) and set your odometer. After 72Km (Instefjord), exit left on to highway 72 - "Rutledal". Follow highway 72 to Rutledal and get in the line for the Rutledal-Krakhelle ferry (NOK 91,- for passenger cars per July 2004). You may have to drive onboard in reverse. Make sure you get off on the right island, as there may be an unscheduled stop at Losna (neighbour island). Also note that this ferry also stops in Rysjedalsvika, but this should not affect you on the Rutledal - Krakhelle route.
From Krakhelle, drive approx. 5Km, and notice a trailsign ("Krakhelle") on the left hand side of the road. Continue 200m and try to find parking alongside the road.
Follow the cairn trail from the "Krakhelle" trailsign. The path is very vague, and you will have to look for the next cairn. The route crosses a meadow before you probably lose sight of the cairns. Stop and take a look at the mountain. You have a small forest ahead of you, and a number of narrow gullies coming down the cliffs ahead of you. The route runs up the only walkable gully. Inside the gully, you will have to seek for the best route, otherwise you're in for scrambling. There is no exposure in this gully.
Once above the gully, start seeking left in order to get up onto the next level. Find the best route among the bush. You should be able to follow a path up here. Next, you're at the foothills of a long grassy ridge that runs up to the cliffs above. You can follow the path, which is more visible here. From the top of the ridge, follow cairns up the mountain.
I left the cairn path on top of this ridge, and scrambled a direct route towards the mountain plateau. I arrived the 520m contour just south of Mednipa. I was on top of Mednipa before I had to turn around. The terrain on top of Vetefjellet is however easy, and offers no problems. Descend your ascent route.
Trip Report July 10 2004
Low clouds above Bergen this Saturday morning. Where to go? What to do? Weather forecast suggested rain in the south, better in the north. What about east? I had something I would like to do in Jondal. I called the Statoil gas station in Øystese:
- How's the weather? "eh?" - Can you see the Folgefonna mountains? "......" - Any sunshine? "nooo.." - Can you see the Folgefonna mountains? "nooo.." - Excellent, thanks!
Inspired by this efficient way of gathering weather info, I called the Statoil gas station in Oppedal - by Sognefjorden:
- How's the weather? "Great!" - Can you see the mountains across the fjord? "I sure can!" - Excellent, thanks!
I decided I would go to Sula. Not been there before, so why not just take the trip? Probably some fine views towards Lifjell and the Gulen mountains. I started late, as I reckoned I had all the time in the world. The drive up north was nice, and especially after leaving highway E39. I know that road inside and out by now. The 14:30PM ferry was right on time, and everyone had to enter the ferry in reverse. As there were quite a number of cars, the crew made sure that everyone parked optimally. A poor woman had skipped the classes where you learn to park, and gave the crew a hard time. They were putting their hands to their heads while trying to wave her in place. Eventually, she managed to get the car straight, and the crew screamed "Yes! Yes" in relief. She only needed to back the car up 2 meters, and everyone was home free. Then she turned the wheels again...
I asked one of the crew members about the latest ferry back to Krakhelle. He told me 20:25PM, and I wondered if I should do a long round-trip. Just before we reached Krakhelle, I stood next to another crew member, and for some reason, I asked him the same question. He replied "It's Saturday, so the latest ferry is 17:25PM". The time was now 15:05PM. I didn't have a map for this area, and there were no trails on my GPS map. As such, I didn't know where the trail went, or where the trailhead was. I would have to drive around, locate the trail, hike up and down the mountain, and return to the ferry within 2 hours and 20 minutes. Although I felt it was "a bit tight", I figured I could do this. As I left the ferry, I noticed I had the parking guru ahead of me. I swore she wouldn't drive faster once out of the 50Km/h zone. She didn't.
I passed one signpost towards "Krakhellenipa", but I skipped it. There was no way one could hit the mountain from this side, and I assumed the trail went around the mountain. Perhaps I could shortcut to this trail further ahead. I continued and ran into another trailsign. This one read "Krakhella", but the mountain looked more doable. I parked the car (15:15PM), put Troll in the backpack and walked very fast, looking for cairns. There was no path visible enough to be followed. I do my vertical meters pretty fast. Even with a dog on the back. But here I had to cross a long meadow, and walk through a forest before the terrain started to climb. Precious time got lost. I promised I would turn around no later than 16:10PM. This was not a mountain justifying an unscheduled sleep-over on Sula island.
I had set my eyes on a doable gully, and fortunately, this was also where the cairns were. Above the gully, a long grassy ridge seemed obvious to follow, and now I could even see a path. On top of this ridge, the route seemed to head in a different direction than direct towards the top. I looked up at the cliffs and understood why. Still, these cliffs could easily be scrambled, and I headed straight up. It was a very warm day, and I was sweating like a monster. Troll uttered sounds indicating discomfort, and I mumbled "good dog, good dog" while pressing the remaining fraction of breath out of the body.
By 16:10PM, I was on top of Mednipa, and to my disappointment, I concluded that Krakhellenipa was out of reach, given the time. The GPS later showed I was only 700m (direct line) from the top. So I do claim this mountain, as there was no reason on earth, except a stupid - stupid ferry route, that would prevent me from reaching the top. I did a quick round of pictures, swallowed 1 liter water and headed down.
Part of the scrambling I did upon ascent was a bit spooky to climb down, so I tried to find a different route. A series of ledges came in very convenient. I tried to bypass the spookiest of places on an adjacent ledge, but it didn't turn out much easier. Fortunately, the rock had all sorts of tiny handholds, and I was finally down on a plateau where I didn't expect any more problems. Then I discovered that I was literally trapped by a pond. There was no way getting around the pond, except for climbing back up. There was only one thing to do. Soaking wet up to my knees, I ran down back to the trailhead. I fell twice, but Troll only fell out once. We were back at the car 17:05PM, and back at the ferry 17:20PM. At last a moment to take a proper breath. Troll was staring at me from the passenger seat, and his eyes had that "what the hell was THAT all about?" look. Again, we had to enter the ferry in reverse, but this time the ferry departed on schedule.
From Rutledal, I drove via Nordgulen and took the Sløvåg-Leirvåg ferry (NOK 60,- for passenger car per July 2004). I could hardly see Mongstad due to clouds, and concluded that heading north was a good choice for the day. Once back at the Nordhordlandsbrua toll booth, I looked at the odometer. E39/57 was 97Km, and the return via Nordgulen was 74,6Km.
Pictures from the July 10 2004 hike
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