Larsfonnfjellet seen from Brekkenipa
Larsfonnfjellet is located between the Oppheimsdalen, Brekkedalen and Kvanndalen valleys, and highway E16. The mountain is located near the entrance of the Nærøydalen valley, famous for the incredible steep drops from the mountains defining the valley. The mountain is characteristic in terms of two long and similar looking, ridges - Valafjellet and Brekkenipa.
Easy terrain allows for a enjoyable hike to the mountain, even if you don't follow any paths. The road through Oppheimsdalen valley provides an excellent starting point, as high as 830m. The views are grand. Noticeable viewpoints are Lønahorgi by Voss, Raundalsegga mountains (Olsskavlen, Horndalsnuten), Fresvikbreen glacier NE of Vikafjellet, and the mountains surrounding Jordalen and Brekkedalen valleys. You also have 1st row view towards Tverrfjellet, Bjørndalskamben and Finnbufjellet.
Larsfonnfjellet has a primary factor of 491m, towards the higher Bjørndalskamben (1402m). The saddle is found in Kvanndalen, measured to 827m. This ranks Larsfonnfjellet as #30 in Hordaland Fylke, when measured by primary factor.
Brekkenipa has a primary factor of 100m, towards the higher Larsfonnfjellet (1318m). The saddle is on the high ridge towards Larsfonnfjellet. I defined the saddle to approx. 1103m, based on GPS readings. Norgesglasset detail map (5m contour lines) suggests the saddle is in range 1096-1099m, but I think this is too low. Given the appearance of the mountains, and the relative long distance between the two summits (2688m), I have no problems consider Brekkenipa a separate mountain.
Note: Class ratings are in reference to YDS (Yosemite Decimal System).
Tjørnarhovden (Oppheimsdalen) - Larsfonnfjellet - Brekkenipa (summer/autumn)
From Bergen, follow highway E16 towards Voss. From the traffic light in Voss, follow E16 for 25Km. You are now at Oppheim. Turn left onto a smaller road and pass the church. Turn right in the first junction. After 300m from the highway, turn right onto a gravel road. You have now just passed a small bridge, and there is a "Oppheimsdalen" sign where you turn right. Follow the gravel road all the way to the high pass, 7,2Km from where you turned. Find parking just before the road descends into the other valley.
Follow a side road towards two cabins. From these cabins (Steinset), you should be able to see a vague path leading up the ridge, in SE direction. As you gain height on the ridge, you have Høgafjellet up to your right, and when you reach the Larsfonnfjellet-Høgafjellet saddle, the route turns east, and shortly after north-east to gain a ridge that leads to Geitaberget.
The rest of the route is rather obvious. From Geitaberget, you have Larsfonnfjellet in clear view. Instead of following the high ridge, make a straight east shortcut to ascend the easier side of Larsfonnfjellet. There are three cairns on Larsfonnfjellet summit, and even further more cairns spread around on the high plateau. The summit cairn is just east of the largest cairn.
The route to Brekkenipa is a high ridge walk (use the contour lines on the map to identify the high ridge). When you get to a steep drop down to the pass between Brekkenipa and Larsfonnfjellet, seek right, and you will find a doable route down. It's really steep on the left (north) side. Don't start looking for a way down here. For goats only.
The further route to Brekkenipa runs up and down over smaller hills. Brekkenipa consists of two larger hills. The northernmost (the one you arrive first) is the high point. The largest cairn is found on the far hill. Only a modest pile of rock indicates the high point. Return the same route you came.
It was a fine day. Bright sunshine in the morning. As I woke up rather early, I decided to continue exploring the mountains near Nærøyfjorden, and picked Larsfonnfjellet. The hike to Tverrfjellet a couple of weeks ago had clearly inspired. The mountain was also on my high primary factor list, so all the more reason to go there. I fully enjoyed the long drive to Oppheim, and even more so the drive up the beautiful Oppheimsdalen valley. The terrain was easy to read, and I was quite content with getting a high start near Tjørnarhovden. Tverrfjellet looked great from this side. Seen from Svolefjellet further west, Tverrfjellet wasn't more than a flat ridge.
I left the car 10:20AM and headed up the ridge. Troll followed willingly after, but executed a hard sit-down on the first longer snowfield. But back on grass, he became the good old mountain dog again. We soon reached Geitaberget and had tremendous view. Larsfonnfjellet was in clear sight nearby, and 11:45AM, the summit was in the bag. Troll was giving me the summit whine, and soon he was enjoying a well deserved lunchbox. I spent some time identifying most mountains in the horizon. Many I knew well, but had to use the map for the rest. It was very gratifying when I had the landscape under control. And I "discovered" Brekkedalen valley which would provide good access to a number of mountains. Somehow I never paid attention to this valley when I've been checking the maps.
On the summit, it was time for some decisions. Both Valafjellet and Brekkenipa were extending ridges from Larsfonnfjellet, and from the contour lines, none of them seemed to have a primary factor of at least 100m. It was also clear that hiking both these ridges would take too long, given the time I had allocated for hiking. I noticed that the 1100m contour lines in the Brekkenipa- Larsfonnfjellet saddle were almost touching. Normally I interpolate, so the saddle would be 1110m, but this saddle was probably lower. This would also mean that Brekkenipa would have 100m primary factor. I decided to go down to the saddle and get some GPS readings.
The last part down to the saddle was awfully steep, but after some scouting I found a safe passage down towards the saddle. The GPS indicated that the saddle was approx. 1101m. This was good news, and I continued the ridge to the summit, which I reached 12:55PM. I left the summit 10 minutes later, and did a new GPS reading in the saddle. This time, the elevation seemed to be 5 meters higher. Oh well, no point in getting too technical. From Brekkedalen, this mountain probably looks magnificient, and it was a good hike anyway.
We were back on Larsfonnfjellet 14:00PM sharp, and made some reflections about what qualifies as a second re-ascent. I concluded that 200m vertical gain wasn't high enough and put the brain to rest. Troll had done an excellent job hiking up the steep route from the saddle, but wasn't too happy with the many snowfields on the route back to the car. I put him in the backpack, and told him he had done well. We reached the car just before 15:00PM, and yet again enjoyed the drive down the valley.
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