Rotten seen from Skolmen
Rotten and Skolmen are two forest hills on the west side of lake Storavatnet. Both hills are easily accessible from Njåstad. Located central on the island of Osterøy, the views are quite good. In the north-west you will see most of the Nordhordland landmarks. In the east you have the entire Høgafjellet massif (highest on Osterøy) in view.
Rotten has a primary factor of 135m towards the higher Skolmen. The saddle is found east of Njåstad and west of Melkebakkene. The last adjacent contour lines on the 5m Norgesglasset detail map are 305m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 303m.
Skolmen has a primary factor of 95m towards the higher Geitnipa/Stangfjellet. The saddle is found N of lake 425. The last adjacent contour lines on the 5m Norgesglasset detail map are 435m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 433m. The primary factor does not qualify Skolmen as an independent mountain on this web site. The missing 5m are merely an academic issue. There is no reason not to visit this hill.
Note: Class ratings are in reference to YDS (Yosemite Decimal System).
Note: The trail described below is not necessarily the easiest trail to this mountain.
Njåstad - Skolmen - Rotten (summer/autumn)
From Bergen, follow highway E16 towards Oslo. Halfway between Indre Arna and Trengereid exit towards Osterøy. Drive over Osterøybrua bridge, pay toll on the other side (NOK 40,- per Oct 2003). From the toll station, drive 9,9Km and turn right (towards Lonevåg) in the roundabout. Continue approx. 5,4Km to Lonevåg and turn right in the Hatland exit. Continue approx. 2,9Km and turn right towards Njåstad. Drive carefully up the curved and narrow road. 4,1Km after the Njåstad exit, the road turns into gravel. You see a parking lot on your right, along with a large bulletin board. Park here.
Follow the forest road towards lake Fagerstølsvatnet. After approx. 1150m from the parking, turn right on a road fork. Head north-west towards a large cabin below Skolmen. You will find the path to the summit (approx. 720m) just behind this building (Fagerstølen). The summit is marked with a stick. From the summit, you can follow a path towards Stangfjellet. You can also head back down along Skolmen's north ridge. You may lose the path halfway down the mountain, but the terrain down to Njåstad is fairly easy.
Once back down on the paved road, follow the road north-east until the road curves sharp to the left. A cow track above the house up to your right can be followed up to a small valley east of Rotten. This is extremely muddy terrain. From the small valley, a visible path runs up the forest towards the summit. The summit is marked by a modest cairn just north of a small cabin.
Note that a forest road runs upwards nearby the Skolmen parking. This road will take you far east of Rotten and you have to cross a minor hill before you join the small valley described above.
There was nothing positive about the week-end weather forecast. My friend Petter was up in Molde climbing peaks >1100m. I asked the dog if he was in the wild mode and was ready for some serious stuff. He tried to make himself invisible and I started looking for easy stuff on the maps. I thought I only had one mountain yet to do on Osterøy, but now I discovered Rotten. What a name. A good name for a bad weather hike. It's amazing how many bumps above 300m there are on Osterøy.
It was raining heavily as we left Bergen but some rays of sunshine came down as we got closer to Njåstad. Some beautiful rainbows lifted the spirit. I chose to do Skolmen first. This hill only missed 5m on its primary factor to be considered as an independent mountain, but I wanted to hike it as I had never seen the neighbour Stangfjellet from that angle. We left the car 12:06PM and followed the forest road towards lake Fagerstølsvatnet. The dog was happy in the beginning, crossing back and forth. But when he saw the uphill he became instantly old and sick. Through a lot of energy-consuming psychology I got the dog up the hill. Now were at the foot of the hill and the trail up the hill was pretty obvious. I did manage to trick the dog to climb this hill also, so he made it to the summit by himself. He had earned his lunchbox. We reached the top 12:58PM. By now it had started to rain again and the wind was strong at this elevation. Warmer clothes had to come on.
After having completed the lunch-box, the dog looked downright miserable. I put him in the backpack and headed down the north-ridge. We quickly ran into a path running down on the ridge. We lost this path halfway down but it didn't matter. Just before we reached the road we had to cross some fences and walk the outskirts of an acre. The ground was like quicksand. Boggy and without substance. I was tremendously wet by now. After crossing the creek next to the road I headed up the forest below Rotten. I didn't bother looking for any trails. Just wanted to get the hike done. After some light scrambling up the forest we reached Rotten 13:58PM. After locating the summit cairn I headed down. I followed a vague path which disappeared right in front of me. Instead of looking around for the path I headed down under the power line. The terrain was open there. At the bottom of the hill I found some cowtracks that I followed down to the nearest farm. By 14:17PM this unpleasant hike was done and I could start dreaming of the hot shower that was awaiting back home.
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