If you follow the road towards Masfjordnes and Andviki, you will find Skjeggedalsfjellet near road end. Directly translated, Skjeggedalsfjellet means Beard valley mountain. There is some confusion here, as the mountain has also been known as Skuggedalsfjellet which means Shadow valley mountain. Given all the dialectic challenges, I let the naming discussion rest.
As Ådneburen is the dominating and most popular mountain in this area, Skjeggedalsfjellet seems much less visited. The locals I have spoken to, concur. The natural access point is the Dalsdalen valley. This is an amusing name. It translates into something like Valley Valley. I presume those who named this valley did not spend much time on the task.
Today, you are in for a small bush fight on your way from Dalsdalen to Skjeggedalsfjellet, unless you are very fortunate during route finding. Once through the lower spruce forest, the rest of the hike is quite trivial, although the paths seems long gone.
The views are quite good, actually. The primary factor (317m) is well above average on a Hordaland scale. In addition, the ridge gets narrow towards the summit, giving you good views down to the valley down to your right and the fjord down to your left. The ridge never gets anywhere near exposed, but you definitely get the feeling on walking on a ridge. Skjeggedalsfjellet is absolutely worth a visit, although I wouldn't put it in the "family hike" category.
Skjeggedalsfjellet (M711: 525m, Ø.K: 524,76m) has a primary factor of 317m towards the higher Gråsida. The saddle is found N of Lake Gaddetjørn. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk map (5m contours), you cross the 210m contours on the high route, but not 205m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 208m.
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.
Andviki - Skjeggedalsfjellet (summer/autumn)
From Bergen, follow highway E39 northbound towards Førde. Cross Nordhordlandsbrua bridge and pay toll on the north side of the bridge (NOK 45,- per March 2005). Continue 26,2Km on E39 and exit left onto the road towards Masfjordnes just before Eikefettunnelen.
Follow the Masfjordnes road for 32,9Km. Drive left in the upcoming junction (follow signs towards Totland) and follow the road along the fjord for 1,1Km. Find parking by the fjord when you see a paved road go up to a farm on your right-hand side.
Walk up to the farm and follow the forest path straight through the farm. Make sure you close any gates that are closed along the way. Continue up Dalsdalen valley until you have an old shed to your left, halfway up a hill. You need to cross a small creek here, which is unproblematic. It is difficult to follow a path from the old shed, but head northwest to the drain from Lake Paddemyrsvatnet.
At the lake, cross the drain. This *may* be tricky when there is big snowmelt. I am not quite sure. I crossed during a very warm period in March, and the crossing involved just a controlled, long step. But I cannot say if the drain will have more water in other periods of the season. In any circumstance, you'll not be stopped by this drain, having driven all the way to Andviki to hike Skjeggedalsfjellet.
From the south end of Lake Paddemyrsvatnet, you'll see two smaller valleys divided by a ridge, that leads up to the high forest area. You should do some scouting on your own, but if you choose the first, you should not get into big problems. I was able to follow a boulder area through most of the spruce forest. Once above the spruce forest, follow the birch forest upwards, in the north direction. Pass hump 338m (Skorhogen) on the east side. This means you'll have to descend slightly into the other small valley (which I mentioned above) before you can start on the high ridge (Raunebotsfjellet) towards Skjeggedalsfjellet.
The rest of the ridgewalk is trivial. You'll pass a false summit (w/cairn) at approx. 490m elevation before you reach the main summit, marked by a small cairn. The summit is also known as Høgefjellet. Descend your ascent route.
Trip report Mar 26 2005
This Easter started good with two fine ski-trips to Rispingen and Byrseteggi, but this Saturday, it was raining light and it was very foggy (local, low fog). My plan for the day was to ski Saudalsnovi in Stølsheimen, but knowing the avalanche hazard in Sørdalen, I chose a different (and much safer) target for the day. It's good to let go of the skis now and then, and I settled for a good hike towards Skjeggedalsfjellet in Masfjorden. It was in the cards that I would hike the lower Litlefjellet afterwards, allowing me to tick off two more mountains from my Masfjorden list.
I expected the weather to get gradually better during the day, and had good spirit as I drove the long way towards Masfjorden. I left the fog behind when I drove out of Bergen, and I could see the top of all mountains on my way to Masfjorden. It seemed like it would be a nice and easy day in the Masfjorden high forest.
I stopped by the grocery store in Andviki, asking the locals about a trail towards Skjeggedalsfjellet. I had severe problems with the combination of the dialect and the fact that the ones I spoke to had to be 90 years +. What I took away from the conversation was that the trail to Skjeggedalsfjellet was long gone, and that they couldn't remember exactly where it was best to ascend. I drove up to the farm at the southern foothills of Skjeggedalsfjellet, expecting to get premium advice. I only got to speak to someone spending their Easter holiday in Masfjorden. I was told there was a trail up the valley, but that was all. I concluded that I should be able to find my way up this mountain without the help of others. I drove back down to the fjord and parked. As I changed into hiking clothes, a very, very old man passed by and just stared at me. "I'm heading up the mountain", I told him. He kept staring at me, now with his mouth wide open. "I'M HEADING UP THE MOUNTAIN", I repeated. Loudly. I'll never forget his response - "WHY?"
It was not the time to get into a conversation about collecting peaks with a primary factor above 100m, and after smiles and thumbs up from my side, the old man kept moving on. Me and the dog left the car exactly 12:01PM. Troll zig-zaged the road up to the farm, making sure he was the king of the territory, and then did a sudden halt. "I'm done, why are we continuing?" I had developed an urge to focus on the hike, and didn't bother arguing with the dog. I put him in the backpack without a word. There's always some level of vocal frustration on my account when he refuses to walk any further. I could tell by his wide, open eyes that my silence confused him.
At Lake Paddemyrvatnet, I felt the frustration rush through my body. Dense spruce forest as far as I could see. But after walking back and forth, I was able to find a small opening in the forest, caused by a small landslide. On top of this landslide, I was able to move onto a short boulder field. On top of the boulder field, I was able to follow a narrow corridor, squeezed between cliffs and the spruce. Sounds came from the backpack as the branches slapped his face. But after a short while, I was up in the birch forest. It was a steep forest, but without any obstacles. Eventually, I was on the high ridge, and had a trivial walk towards the summit.
We reached the summit 14:00PM. Troll had walked part of the ridge, but the remaining soft snow was problematic for him. The weather got slightly better during the stay on the summit, and the sun briefly shone on Ådneburen. Even if I felt a bit squeezed in-between the higher eastern mountains, I still enjoyed the views. I felt this was a mountain well worth visiting. Especially since I got a first class panorama towards the mountains on the north side of the Masfjorden fjord. This was new land to me, and taking pictures would help me plan future hikes. The return back to the trailhead went without any sort of problems, and we were back at the car 15:20PM. I was not at all tired, and decided to hike Litlefjellet before I headed back to Bergen.
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