Blåfjellet seen from Lauvtonipa
Blåfjellet marks the north end to the mountain area north and west of E39 (Eikefet - Romarheimsdalen), east of Austfjorden and south of Masfjorden. There are 6 tops exceeding 800m elevation in this region, split into Masfjorden and Lindås kommuner. Blåfjellet (851m - a different mountain) is the highest of these tops, followed by Storevarden (836m), Torhaugen (834m), Tverrvassfjellet (832m), Blåfjellet (816m - this mountain) and Horgi (804m).
It may be argued that Blåfjellet (through its modest primary factor) is only a plateau north of Torhaugen, but it is nevertheless *the* major mountain that defines the south side of the Masfjorden fjord. Through Blåfjellet's steep north slopes, Masfjorden becomes one of the wildest and most beautiful fjords in Hordaland.
Blåfjellet offers extensive views, but of the hundreds of tops in the Gulen-Masfjorden-Matre-Stølsheimen-Lindås region, there are few characteristic landmarks. The ones that are easiest to identify are Skarpefjellsnakken on the north side of Masfjorden and Gleinefjellet (7Km east) through its mast.
The easiest way to reach Blåfjellet (and Skarpefjellet) is to start from Storemyri in Haugsdal. As I mentioned on my Skarpefjellet page, this should not be your first hike, as the path along Kvernhuselvi can be a bit rough. On the other hand, except for an awkward step next to a distinct waterfall, there are no difficulties.
Blåfjellet (1216-IV: 816m, Ø.K: -) has a primary factor of 101m towards the higher Torhaugen (834m). The saddle is found in a pass near Trolldalen. Ref. 1216-IV (20m contours), you cross the 720m contours on the high route, but not 700m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 715m as the 720m contours are quite close.
The summit point (32 V 308799 6751758) was measured to 816m by my GPS (no correction for error margins).
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.
Haugsdal - Blåfjellet (summer/autumn)
From Bergen, follow highway E39 northbound. After the Nordhordlandsbrua bridge, pay (NOK 45,- for passenger cars per May 2005) at the Toll station. Drive approx. 51,4Km and turn right onto the road towards Haugsdal. Follow the road towards Haugsdal approx. 5,1Km, then turn left and drive across the Kjetland bridge. Turn right just after the bridge and drive 600m to road end. This is private property. Either park near the bridge or ask for permission to park near the houses.
Pass the innermost house and head towards an old barn. Pass the barn on the left-hand side and locate a vague path that takes you to the river. Cross the river below the large slabs and move over to a narrow forest ridge on the other side. Make sure you locate the path on the other side. Another stream must be crossed (might be dry). Cross directly over and locate the path on the other side.
The path switchbacks up through birch forest. When you reach a large cliff section, pass it on the right-hand side. The path is more visible up here, as rocks have been put in place here and there. When you reach the upper cliffs, seek towards the river and towards a distinct waterfall. Just before the waterfall, you will run into a steep section. A fixed rope is (per Nov 2005) found here, but not everyone will need to use it.
Above the waterfall, proceed directly up to Storebotnsnipa. You will have to find the best route up this ridge. On Storebotnsnipa, proceed down to the lake just north of the top and continue up to the cairn on point 815m. From this point, you will see the 816m high point 750m further northwest. A good idea might to head east from point 815m and get onto a ridge that leads to point 816m.
It was my last month in Bergen (at least for now) and I wanted to complete my list of Masfjorden mountains. Blåfjellet had for some reason slipped out of my list, and I didn't become aware of this until recently. I had been under the impression that the mountain didn't satisfy my criteria of 100m primary factor, but this turned out (barely) to be wrong. It wasn't a mountain I looked forward to doing in December, but if I was to claim all Masfjorden mountains before leaving, I'd better get on with it.
I left Bergen early this Saturday morning. I had forgotten to check the weather forecast, because the newspapers had written that we could expect a high pressure this Saturday morning. I didn't see much in the dark as I headed towards Masfjorden, but I could see the contours of Austlendingen. Given that this mountain was about the same elevation, things looked promising. I was more concerned about the strong winds that shook the car. I stopped the car and felt the strong winds come from the north. As I would be ascending the mountain from the south, I figured I wouldn't be bothered until I was high on the mountain.
After driving carefully down the icy Haugsdal road, I reached the Storemyri trailhead just as day was dawning. I then observed that the weather wasn't so gorgeous after all. I had brought along skis, and I was so convinced that this would be a ski-trip that I had forgotten to bring my gaiters (which don't fit on my T4 skiing boots). But when I looked up the messy slopes along Kvernhuselvi river, it became obvious that the skis would be left in the car.
After installing my dog Troll in the backpack (wrapped in a warm blanket), I grabbed my ice-axe and headed up the mountain 09:35AM. It was only 5-6 months since I hiked Skarpefjellet from Storemyri, and remembered the route fairly good. This was most helpful, as the snow now covered any signs of a path. I was wondering how the "awkward step" up by the waterfall would be. This step was the main reason for bringing the ice-axe, but the axe is recommended even in summer. High in the birch forest, where moss covers deep holes, you'll understand why.
The "awkward step" was icy as expected, but with good help from the axe and the fixed rope, I could haul myself up quite easily. My feet were wet already at this point. Forgetting gaiters was a stupid mistake. There were still pockets of deep snow, and I found no way of preventing the snow from entering - and melting in my boots.
Above the waterfall, the good news was that the ridge up to Storebotnsnipa had much less snow than the upper part of the forest. 11:15AM, I was standing on top and had a clear view towards point 815m (Vardefjellet). The high point could not be seen from Storebotnsnipa. There was a lot of snow on the mountain, but I could follow icy ridges with little or no snow. I let Troll out, but he showed no interest in walking. After re-installing him in the backpack, I proceed northbound while looking forward to being back in a warm car.
The winds weren't as strong as I had expected them to be. The hike down-and-up-to point 815m was fairly uncomplicated. I reached the cairn 11:50AM, and now I could see the goal for the day, 750m further northwest. I decided to get onto a ridge that led directly towards point 816m, and getting onto this ridge turned out to be quite an ordeal. Mostly because of deep snow, but also from running into some local cliffs.
I reached point 816m 12:10PM, approx. 2,5 hours after leaving the trailhead. This was *exactly* according to plan. In the December through February timeframe, with limited daylight available, a plan is always necessary. It had been snowing on my way from Storebotnsnipa, but now and then, I got a glimpse of the surrounding mountains. Once arriving the high point, I had clear views all around, even if the light wasn't exactly optimal.
I turned around after taking pictures and was now filled with positive energy. The car was only a couple of hours away. I followed my tracks on my way across the mountain. I was wondering how I should approach the "awkward step". Should I downclimb it face out or face in. Once I got there, things got much easier than anticipated. By holding the rope with my left hand, I could walk down this section face out. Then I let Troll out of the backpack and told him to walk down. He did, although I had to help him out a couple of times when he almost got buried in snow.
At the northernmost river crossing, I had to carry Troll across a slab area with a nasty drop below. A piece of grass seemed to provide an excellent path, but the grass disappeared under my feet. With Troll in my left hand, my axe in my right, and my camera on my chest, I slammed into the slabs and started to sail down. To protect the dog and the camera (in that order), reflex made me land on the axe, and I (unintentionally) immediately performed an excellent self-arrest. Who said ice-axe should only be used on glaciers? It was silly to rely on the grass, and my hand was aching. But the dog and camera was still functional, so the ending was definitely happy. We were back at the trailhead 14:05PM, less than two hours after leaving the summit, and well ahead of plan. Blåfjellet was now "in the bag", and I had only one more Masfjorden mountain (of 43) to do.
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.
Pictures were taken with a Sigma 18-200mm objective, and while the weather was far from optimal, I AM NOT impressed with the picture quality.
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