Steinen and Øygardsåsen are two forest hills located near Sævareid in Søre Fusa. Both hills have Markhus as the natural starting point. Steinen (the rock) has a characteristic profile when viewed from the north, and looks just like the name implies. Øygardsåsen is an anonymous forest hill just a bit further to the south.
Based on the Steinen summit register, people do visit this hill. There is even a proper cairn at the top. The views are quite descent, and Våganipen is the prominent landmark seen from Steinen. Øygardsåsen does not make it above the timberline, and one have to seek to the hillsides to get views. The routes to both these hills, as described on this page, are off-trail forest walking with a couple of spots a little more tricky than the average terrain. There is however no significant exposure.
Markhus is also the starting point for several routes towards Våganipen. See the Våganipen page for more information.
2016 edit: The name of Øygardsåsen is now Øyjordsåsen. Primary factor:
Øygardsåsen (M711: 396m, Ø.K: 396m) has a primary factor of 118m towards the higher Våganipen (819m). The saddle is found in Markhusskardet. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), you cross the 280m contours on the high route, but not 275m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 278m.
Steinen (M711: 439m, Ø.K: 438,76m) has a primary factor of 181m towards the higher Våganipen (819m). The saddle is found between Steinen and Øygardsåsen. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), you cross the 260m contours on the high route, but not 255m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 258m.
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.
Access common to both hills
From Bergen, follow highway E16 towards Oslo. At Trengereid, exit right onto highway 7. Follow highway 7 down to Samnangerfjorden, pass Bjørkheim and then two tunnels before you exit right on highway 48 (Tysse/Rosendal). Follow highway 48 approx. 34,6Km to Kilen. Exit right onto highway 549 and follow this road for approx. 7,1Km. Turn left onto the "Markhus 1.3" road.
Markhus - Steinen (summer/autumn)
See "Access common to all trails above".
From the "Markhus 1.3" junction, continue upwards 900m and park by a power transformer station, just before a cattle grid.
Standing on the road, facing the road towards Markhus, you have a dense birch forest up to your right. Head up here. Soon, you will see some cliffbands ahead of you. There is an opening between the cliffs, and you should be a bit careful here so you don't slide back down. This is the point that takes the route from class 2 to 2+.
Once above this point, seek towards the left. Eventually you see Markhus down to your left. Continue on a steady course up through the forest. When the terrain levels out on top, seek towards the center of the plateau and locate a large cairn denoting the summit. There might be a glass jar with a summit register. Note the 45m further northeast is a smaller cairn, but this is not the high point. Descend your ascent route.
Markhus - Øygardsåsen (summer/autumn)
See "Access common to all trails above".
From the Steinen parking, continue yet another 300m to the end of the road, and park just before a house. Of courtesy, you might ask for permission to park here.
From the uppermost house in Markhus, pass two houses and head towards a stream (might be dry). Two trails, only meters apart begin here. The first trail runs up to the left and crosses a stream before it continues up in the forest. Apparently, this trail eventuall ends up on Dyrfjellet, providing a route to Våganipen.
Follow the second trail, a few meters further ahead. This trail follows the stream (might be dry) that comes from Markhusskardet. Follow the trail into the Markhusskardet pass. Once in the pass, you see your route to Øygardsåsen up to your right. Follow a natural route between Øygardsåsen and a hump above Markhusskardet. On top of this route, you will encounter a point which may be a bit tricky when wet. No dangers involved, though. Seek towards the center ridge and continue upwards. There is no cairn marking the summit, and it is unclear which of the two humps on the high ridge is the highest. They are only meters apart. Descend your ascent route.
Back in Markhusskardet pass, notice red paint on birch. This is a marked trail towards Våganipen. And only a few meters further down in direction of Markhus, another trail with red paint begins to the right. I don't know where this trail is heading.
Back at Markhus, also notice a forest road that heads into Markhusdalen. This road was made back in 1992, and is not shown on maps. Higher up in the valley, the road forks. Go right in this fork if you want the shortest possible hike to Våganipen.
Trip Report Nov. 15 2003
On last week-end's hike to Våganipen, we noticed Steinen, and found the hill to be quite characteristic. I put this large piece of rock (and forest) on my short-term to-do list. In addition, I wanted to explore one more trailhead for Våganipen. As the weather was far from optimal, I dedicated this Saturday for a trip down to Fusa. I also decided to include Øygardsåsen on the hike.
At Markhus, I met a local which told me a lot of useful stuff regarding trails and roads. It turned out that this was the guy we met at Vånipen last week-end. He was tracking a sheep on the mountain, and now I learned that he hadn't been able to bring the sheep down to civilization.
With Troll in the backpack, I headed towards Steinen 12:30PM. This was clearly no terrain for a little dog. I followed a vague path up between some cliffs. At the crux of the route, I didn't risk climbing up with the dog on my back. I was way top heavy. After sending him upwards, little by little, we was past the worst spot. The rest of the hike was easy forest hiking. When I reached a small cairn on the center ridge, I thought I had reached the summit. Just to get some views towards the south, I continued along the ridge. Then I found the summit cairn at 13:15PM. Much higher and even better - a summit register in a glass jar. Last visitor was up here Oct 19, less than a month ago. The summit register was established Nov 21 1993. Nearly 9 years old. We took the same route down and was back at the car 13:50PM.
Then we drove 300m and parked in front of a house. We left at 14:00PM and found a trail at the back of the house, but this was clearly going in the wrong direction. Since I knew I would be coming down the right trail, I continued upwards until I was way off course and then took a direct off-trail cutback towards the Markhusskardet pass.
The route up towards Øygardsåsen was obvious. At the top of the first hill I ran into a tricky part and for the second time that day I had to send the dog upwards, little by little. I was messing around in the forest, looking for the high point. After having gone much too far towards the southwest, I decided that one of two neighbouring points on the center ridge was the highest point. The time was now 15:00PM. Troll got his only share of walking from Markhusskardet back to Markhus, and we reached the car 15:40PM.
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