Snøyo and Skinahaugane are two forest hills just south of Stusdal, a side valley of Romarheimsdalen. Both hills belong to Lindås kommune. This forest area is excellent for off-trail walking. The forest is open and there are all sorts of terrain features; lakes, cliffs, small valleys, etc. There is a lot of deer in the area and you will see deer tracks throughout the forest. Stusdal is a good place to start and you save a lot of vertical meters compared to starting out from highway E39.
Originally, Skinahaugane was on my list of independent mountains/hills exceeding 300m and with a primary factor >= 100m, and this was the reason that I visited this hill. After a very "strange" GPS reading on the top, I discovered through the Økonomisk Kartverk map that the 446m height on the 1216-III Stanghelle map is completely wrong. The height on Ø.K. is 421m, which is correct. As such, the primary factor dropped below 100m and out of my list. Nevertheless, it was a nice hike.
Snøyo (M711: 389m, Ø.K: -) has a primary factor of 136m towards the higher Skinahaugane (421m) The saddle is found SE of Larshaugane and N of Lake Nordre Eidskogvatnet. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), you cross the 255m contours on the high route, but not 250m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 253m.
Note that the M711 map has 387m as the trig. point (Ø.K.: 386,98m). This is not the high point.
Skinahaugane (M711: 446m, Ø.K: 421m) has a primary factor of 83m towards the higher Gråsida (661m). The saddle is found in a pass just N of Vetle-Aurdalssætri. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), you cross the 340m contours on the high route, but not 335m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 338m. The height of the mountain (421m) matched my GPS reading.
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.
Stusdal - Skinahaugane - Snøyo - round trip (summer/autumn)
From Bergen, follow highway E39 northbound (Førde/Ålesund). Drive across Nordhordlandsbrua and pay toll on the other side - NOK 45,- (for passenger cars) per May 2005. Follow highway E39 for approx. 41,8Km, then turn left towards "Stusdal". Follow the Stusdal road upwards. Drive 800m and locate a parking area to your left. Park here. There is a self-serviced toll booth 200m ahead, but this is only if you drive further on the Stusdal road.
The route from Stusdal to the top of Skinahaugane is approx. 2Km in the southwest direction. The terrain is easy - open forest. Follow the terrain where it seems natural. Expect to cross boggy ground. There are two high points on Skinahaugane. When you reach the northernmost, you will see that there is a higher point 230m further southwest. You will have to cross a small valley in order to get to the 421m high point. The high point is marked by a few rocks slightly below (south of) the high point.
From Skinahaugane, proceed southeast to Lake Krossdalstjørni. The forest is steep in places and some routefinding is necessary. Providing you find a good route, the forest is class 1 hiking. It is approx. 750m from the top of Skinahaugane to the north end of Lake Krossdalstjørni.
Snøyo is a long forest ridge, consisting of several levels of cliffbands. Ascend from the north end of Lake Krossdalstjørni. You have immediately the first cliffband up to your left. Follow the terrain parallel to the cliffs. Proceed southbound (cross the forest ridge) until you reach the next cliffband. Walk below the cliffs until you reach the top of the valley and ascend the cliffs (easy approach) from there. On top, follow the forest ridge to the highest point which is not marked. It is approx. 1Km from the lake to the top.
Back to Stusdal
Proceed back down the Snøyo ridge, but cross over the northernmost hump instead of descending down to Lake Krossdalstjørni. Follow deer tracks between Lakes Nordre and Søndre Eidskogvatnet. Proceed across another hump before descending down to the north side of Lake Nordre Eidskogvatnet. Follow a distinct, flat valley northbound. After you pass a small lake on your right-hand side it is time to adjust the course northwest in order to get back to the trailhead.
It was the Norwegian National Day and it was raining. I spent the better part of the day completing my "backlog" of web pages and when I was done, the sun was shining. The parades and the music were over, and the children have had their ice-cream and hot-dogs. I decided that I would drive up to Stusdal and collect Skinahaugane and Snøyo, thus completing Lindås kommune.
As I drove towards Romarheimsdalen I was thinking back on how I celebrated May 17th in 2004. On top of Gunnbjørns Fjeld, the highest point on Greenland, and sick as a dog. Vomiting at the base of the mountain and chewing a handfull of Decadron in order to get the brain working. What a contrast, heading for two low forest hills above Romarheimsdalen.
I left the Stusdal trailhead 15:15PM. Anders Stusdal (living in Stusdal) had on a previous occasion explained the best route and I was following it to the point. The hike up to Skinahaugane was easy. I had forgotten the Stanghelle map back home, and my GPS had only Jostedalsbreen maps after the week-end's trip to Høgste Breakulen. However, I had previously studied the terrain and walking without a map would not be a problem.
I watched the rainshowers sweep across Osterøy, but there was only sunshine above the Stusdal forest hills. I was carrying my dog ("Troll"). He wasn't in walking mood, and besides, the terrain was a bit tricky for him. Low bushes and boggy ground. We reached Skinahaugane 16:00PM and I couldn't understand why my GPS only reported 421m. I did remember the map to say 446m. I looked around. There was no higher point for sure. I started to suspect that the Stanghelle map was not giving the correct information, and prepared for the fact that Skinahaugane would drop out of my Lindås list.
I continued towards Snøyo. I was under the impression that I was taking a short-cut compared to my previous route planning, leading me into nasty terrain. But I wasn't, and ended up exactly where I had told myself to go on the earlier map studies - at the north end of Lake Krossdalstjørni. The forest ridge up to Snøyo was fairly trivial. It was just a matter of chosing the right places to ascend the cliffbands. We reached the top 16:40PM. In the beginning, my GPS reported 392m, which wasn't too far from the 389m map height on Økonomisk Kartverk. But during our break for lunch, the GPS steadily reported 398m. I should add that GPS reception was not good up here.
On the way back to Stusdal, I crossed between lakes N and S Eidskogvatnet before adjusting the course towards Stusdal at the north end of Lake N Eidskogvatnet. I let Troll walk down from Snøyo, but he halted halfway down. I liked this terrain. Lots of different features and no bush war. I tried to move silently, hoping I would spot some deer. The wind was favorable, but the effort amounted to nothing. I had been influenced by Anders Stusdal who knows this area inside and out. He has told me numerous stories from his bird- and animal encounters in this forest. I guess that my "silent moves" appeared as a thunderstorm to the wildlife. 17:55PM the hike was over and I had completed Lindås kommune. At least something to celebrate on the National Day.
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