In addition to being one of the greatest viewpoints in Hardangerfjorden, Samlen is also a highly characteristic and amusing mountain. Samlen is located between Utne and Jondal and opposite to Fyksesundet on the other side of Hardangerfjorden. The nearest village is Herand. The Ullensvang/Jondal kommune border runs across Samlen, but the high point is exclusive to Jondal kommune.
Samlen is a very popular mountain and a good trail will take you safely up the steep east face. The views to the east are blocked by the high Folgefonnhalvøya mountains, but why do you need to look beyond, with mountains like this? To the south, west and north, Hardangerfjorden lies before your feet. You see the significant mountains from Tysnes to Ulvik, with Tveitakvitingen, Skrott, Karaldenuten, Oksen and Vassfjøra as the primary characteristic mountains.
The hike up to Samlen is strenuous, but is highly recommended for everyone. Just take your time and enjoy the hike.
Samlen (683m) has a primary factor of 413m towards the higher Folgefonnhalvøya mountains. The saddle is found east of "Sekk". Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), you cross the 275m contours on the high route, but not 270m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 273m.
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.
Hwy 550 - Samlen (summer/autumn)
From Bergen, follow highway E16 towards Oslo. At the Trengereid junction, turn right onto highway 7. Follow highway 7 all the way to Norheimsund by Hardangerfjorden. Turn right onto highway 49 and drive to Tørvikebygd (approx. 12,3 from the junction in Norheimsund) where you take the ferry to Jondal.
From the Jondal main junction, turn left onto highway 550 and drive approx. 17,3Km. You are now on top of a hill after driving a curved road up from Herand. There is open space to your right, where you can park. The Jondal/Ullensvang border is just down the road.
Follow the highway (in the Utne direction) for approx. 400m and turn left onto a forest road. After 100m, you see the "Samlen" trailsign. Turn left and enter the forest trail. The trail traverses the east face of Samlen to the southwest before it turns northeast above 400m elev. Along this route you will find a wooden ladder, put in place to avoid scrambling on slabs.
Above 500m elev. you enter the Åsmyri meadow. Follow the path around the meadow before you climb straight up the upper plateau on Samlen. Follow the path all the way to the summit which is marked by a proper cairn, a number of smaller cairns and a trig. point. Descend your ascent route.
Trip Notes Sep 29 2004
I had climbed Veranuten earlier in the day, and figured I should do Samlen before heading back to Bergen. I had attempted Samlen back in January 2004, but gave up before the hike really begun. I didn't know where the trail went, the mountain was iced down and was looking quite unfriendly. I ended up doing Jonahornet instead.
On this beautiful September Wednesday afternoon, there should be no problems locating the trail. I left the car on top of the hill 14:25PM and found the trail straight away. During the Veranuten climb, I hadn't eaten anything, and had only stopped for a few drops of water by a stream. I hadn't been hungry or thirsty up to now, but on the way up the steep forest, I felt both. It was a hot day, and I had dressed for 1500m elevation. The long underwear and Gore-tex trousers wasn't a perfect match for this hike. I was sweating non-stop up the forest. And I was carrying Troll all the way to the Åsmyri meadow, as he found it in his best interest not to walk up this mountain.
On Veranuten, I was slightly annoyed with a helicopter breaking the perfect silence. It turned out that a 2nd helicopter was hovering above Samlen! This one had a basket below, and was flying around and around in circles. I tried to figure out what the purpose was, but gave up. The beating rhythm from the rotors was overwhelming, and I cursed helicopters on a larger scale.
We arrived the summit 15:25PM, one hour after leaving the car. The views were spectactular, as I had hoped for. Troll had eaten his lunch-box on Veranuten and looked very surprising when I had no food to offer on Samlen. He laid down next to the backpack and uttered sounds of disappointment.
We stayed on top for 20 minutes before heading down. On the way down, the helicopter from Veranuten joined the helicopter from Samlen and they both were flying in the direction of Voss. Just as if they had communicated "this guy isn't climbing more mountains today, so we might as well go home".
We were back at the car 16:35PM and I decided not to stress regarding the ferry. I stopped in Herand to get something to drink and then missed the ferry in Jondal by two minutes. All in all it had been a great day. Two excellent mountains and beautiful weather.
Pictures from the Sep 29 2004 hike
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