Snerta (682m) and Nessteinen (659m) are the southernmost peaks on the mountain plateau between Mundheim and Norheimsund. The peaks are enclosed by highways 48 and 49, except towards Daurmålsegga in the north. Snerta and Nessteinen look their best when viewed from the west. Both peaks fall steep down to Mundheimsdalen valley. While Snerta has a more gentle west side, Nessteinen looks hard to ascend from any angle. While Nessteinen is normally ascended from Mundheim, the route to Snerta begins a couple of Km further northeast, on the road to Norheimsund.
Snerta (M711: 682m, Ø.K: 681,87m) has a primary factor of 289m towards the higher Daurmålsegga (807m). The saddle is found near Raudhammar, the only place you leave the 400m contour on the high route. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), you cross the 395m contours on the high route, but not 390m. The saddle height is interpolated to 393m.
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.
Hwy 49 - Snerta (all seasons)
From Bergen, follow highway E16 towards Oslo. From the E16/highway 7 junction at Trengereid, follow highway 7 (turn right in the roundabout). Follow highway 7 until you reach the highway 48 exit just after Bjørkheim and two tunnels. Follow highway 48 for 41,5Km to Mundheim. At Mundheim, turn left and follow highway 49 for 2,1Km. You are now on top of a hill, with a forest road to your left. Turn left and find parking here.
A nice forest road will take you 2Km up in the terrain, to 280m elevation. The forest road has a couple of forks. Stay right in the early fork, and follow the main forest road upwards. After a long walk in the northeast direction, the forest road turns westbound when you're just south of Storemyrhaugen. Leave the road before you pass a creek coming down from the north. Perhaps a better indication of when you should leave the road is when you feel the forest road is now going in the wrong direction. It continues in the direction of Nessteinen's south side, while your route now is northwest.
You have now left the forest road, with a nortwest direction. Ahead of you is a high hill that forms the cliffs below Nessteinen's northeast ridge. If you climb up this hill, then you will have to spend time getting down from these cliffs. So stay right of the hill, while maintaining the northwest direction. This route will take you to the valley between Nessteinen and Snerta. From here, find a route up to Snerta that fits your skills. It is rough terrain, but there should be several options. On Snerta summit, you will find a small cairn. Enjoy the views. They are superb.
When I woke up this Saturday morning, Bergen was wrapped in by some of the worst smog I've seen. Just thinking about breathing that air made me get out of town in record time, even if I hadn't planned any hike for the day. "I really should have brought the skis", I told myself when I was on the way. Using the Bergen city mountains as a reference for the average snowdepth is normally very risky, and I keep making the same mistake over and over again. And so, with the snow down to the ground, just 15 minutes away from Bergen, I headed towards the Fusa mountains. I had hoped there would be signs of spring at least down by the Hardangerfjord. It was not, and I picked Snerta as the target for the day. Normally, I would have planned for Nessteinen also, hadn't it been for the unfriendly contours *all around* the mountain.
We (the dog and I) started out on a perfectly good forest road at 11:30AM. The gravel road was covered by 5-10cm of soft snow with an icy crust. Every step seemed to hold, but then it never did. This is an extremely tiresome way to walk on snow. As the road seemed to go on forever, I promised to punish myself later on for not bringing the skis. Note: Downhill skiing with a dog in the backpack is extremely dangerous for the dog, based on the lack of skiing skills on my part. This is why I settle for walking when the idea is just to reach the summit.
The dog didn't care much for the icy crust, and told me by sitting permanently down. Adding 9 extra kilos to the backpack was a better solution for the both of us. Now, there was no uncertainty whether the snow would hold or not. After leaving the forest road, the snow depth increased significantly. The long walk up through a birch forest was a bit frustrating, as I kept falling into deep holes (up to my waist). But entering the valley between Snerta and Nessteinen, the snow got firmer, and the hike got somewhat easier. I was amazed by how unfriendly Nessteinen was, and concluded that the only possible way would be up the south ridge, starting at Mundheim. And perhaps I will do this hike when there's still snow, as it could be convenient to have tracks guiding me back down.
When you ascend Snerta, you have to pick a route and stay with it. My choice of route, a distinct ridge, almost snow-free, included a class 2+ (US) point where I had to be extra careful due to icy rock. The upper section was a bit steep. I had let Troll out of the backpack, but it was too steep for him to advance. But we reached the summit 13:25PM and was met by a hilarious 360 degree panorama. This view was indeed worth the hard hike. Troll got his summit lunch while I was busy taking pictures. A brisque wind made the summit stay quite short, and after 10 minutes we were heading down. That is, Troll was still confined to the backpack. Back down in the forest I stopped in front of a big hole I had gone through on the way up. I was standing on a rock and assumed jumping over the hole would be the best action. When I landed, the snow gave in and I fell flat on my face. It was a certain impact, and when I got my eyes cleared from the snow, I noticed a very surprised dog lying in the snow some feet ahead of me.
Back at the forest road, I wanted Troll to walk the rest of the route down to the car. The snow was still to deep for him, so I plowed the way all the way down. I was glad we didn't meet anyone, because this was a peculiar way of walking on a forest road. We were back at the car 14:45PM and headed back to Bergen. Later in the evening, we went up to Ulriken (605m). Amazing contrasts. We barely touched snow on the Ulriken hike.
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