Raunelifjellet is a desolate forest hill, just east of Grøssviki on the northwestern shore of Osterøy island. If you're looking for a good trail, a proper summit and a sense of civilization - don't go there.
However, if you're looking for a place to test your forest navigational skills, steep hillsides and high cliffs, then this is exactly the place you should go.
The high point is above the treeline and offers some good views across Romarheimsfjorden, as well as southbound towards Osterfjorden and Knarvik. Towards the east, Vestrefjellet takes away most of the views.
Raunelifjellet (458m) has a primary factor of 128m towards the higher Norafjellet (549mm). The saddle is found between the two mountains. Ref. the M711 map (20m contours), you cross the 340m contours on the high route, but not the 320m. The saddle height is interpolated to 330m.
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.
Grøssviki - Raunelifjellet (summer)
From Bergen, follow highway E16/RV7 towards Oslo and Voss. Pass Dale, and at the bottom of the hill after Dale, exit left towards "Romarheimsdalen/Mo". Follow this road and signs to Gammersvik. Cross over Veafjorden on bridge after 11,7Km. After Gammersvik, you reach the houses at Grøssviki. Head up the curved road towards Toskedalen, and in a sharp left curve, 19,2Km from highway E16, locate a forest road to your right. Park here. (The left curve is the first sharp curve as you start on the road to Toskedalen)
It is highly unfair to forest roads to call this a forest road. Infact, it's a bit difficult to walk this ancient forest road and especially if the road is wet. It's not a frequently traveled track, and the grass is high. But you can follow it as it curves around and climbs the Norafjellet north ridge. When it fades away, it's time to go off-trail and cross the Norafjellet north ridge in a southwest direction.
As you reach the west side of this ridge, you see a steep drop down to Norddalen valley, and a even more steep hillside up to Raunelifjellet. Walk up the ridge above the valley until you reach a pine forest. Initially, you will have problems descending into the forest. Continue until you find terrain that allows for a safe descent, and you will most likely stumble onto a path that takes you down to Norddalen valley.
This path takes you to where the valley is at its smallest, and the path climbs up on the other side. You will most likely lose track of this path when you run into large slabs. Walk around to the right and maintain a direct off-trail route up through the forest. It is not silly to leave some signs to make sure you find your way back down.
Once on the high ridge, maintain a southwest direction. Up to your right, you will see a higher ridge, but the high point is at the end of the long forest ridge, and not on the ridge up to your right. The 458m elev. high point is marked by a few rocks. Descend your ascent route.
I had hoped for better weather this Sunday. In fact, the plan was to climb Solnuten on Folgefonnhalvøya together with my friend Torbjørn. Around 06:00AM, I got SMS from Torbjørn in Ulvik which stated that low fog and rain was the weather situation in Ulvik. Solnuten was no longer on the agenda for the day.
Some hours later, I put all my maps in a bag and headed towards Voss. I needed to see the clouds before I decided on a mountain. There were clouds all around, and I decided to drive to northern Osterøy and collect Raunelifjellet. I had only two mountains left to do on Osterøy. Raunelifjellet was one of them. Verafjellet was the other. Both could be done through a very long hike (approx. 20Km) and I had a vague hope of doing them both.
I had decided to follow a forest road above Grøssviki and then decide the further route dependent on how the terrain looked like. The forest road took me to the very north end of the Norafjellet north ridge. I had to cross this mountain in order to get to Raunelifjellet. The forest road (which technically doesn't deserve the word "road") was cumbersome due to wet and slippery rock. It wasn't raining when I left the trailhead 12:00PM, but the last rain didn't fall long ago. I was fortunately wearing my gore-tex trousers, otherwise I would have been soaked after 3 minutes. The forest "road" was overgrown with grass.
It felt better being off-trail up along the forest. I had no GPS signals, and the map had too poor resolution to help me understand where I was, and where I was going. The overall concept was to get down from Norafjellet, cross Norddalen valley and climb up Raunelifjellet. I was a bit stunned when I saw the steep forest sides. Both on Norafjellet and on Raunelifjellet. I decided to just get on with it, and descended down towards Norddalen once I had crossed the Norafjellet north ridge. I was blocked by cliffs on several attempts, but then I stumbled onto a forest path which took me down to Norddalen. I followed this trail until the valley got really narrow - 20m wide, and full of boulder.
The boulder didn't look too inviting, and after searching the other side, I found another forest path (perhaps it was the same one, just crossing the valley). I followed this path upwards, but lost it below a major slick rock area. I then decided to do what I had done earlier - with success; climb straight up, and leave signs along the way. I didn't want to lose my way in this steep forest. On the high forest ridge, I had GPS signals. I had pre-programmed the Raunelifjellet summit, as I've been searching around forests, looking for the summit too many times. It was quite a long way still to go, but by 13:30PM, I was standing on the summit with great southern views towards Osterfjorden. I saw a massive rainshower sweep across the Austlendingen massif, heading my way. Within minutes, it was pouring down. I didn't feel strong for going after Verafjellet, and decided that I would do the final mountain (forest hill) through a boat ride from Vike, across the fjord. I imagined that would be a fun way of completing Osterøy.
I descended via the western ridge on the Raunelifjellet high plateau, before joining my ascent route on a large meadow that I had made a mental note about. I was somewhat excited about the descent. Would I be able to follow my route back down the steep forest. I recalled the names I had given the signs; "big root", "twin birch", "fallen timber", and so on. These were "landmarks". Inbetween, I had made signs good enough to guide me safely back to the point where I had started the climb. Following my route back to Norafjellet north ridge was also easy, but when I was in the Norafjellet forest, I realized I had paid no attention to the terrain. I was switchbacking down the forest, scaring off a couple of deer until I saw a familiar cliff. And within minutes, I was back on the forest road. I had been carrying Troll the whole way, as this was no terrain for a little dog. I let him out and let him walk the final 10 minutes back to the car, which we arrived 14:45PM. On the way home, I stopped by my friend Sverre in Straume and was offered a delicious dinner. A good way of ending a wet and cumbersome forest hike.
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