Norwegian Mountains, Hordaland
|Maps :||1315-I Ullensvang (Statens Kartverk, Norge 1:50 000)|
|Primary factor :||
|Hiked :||July 2003, Aug 2008|
|See also :||
|See also :||Other Hordaland mountains|
Storeflåtten would surely be a candidate for the best viewpoint in Hordaland Fylke. From the summit, one see an unbroken chain of mountains from Tveitakvitingen on Kvamskogen to the Hardangerjøkulen glacier, the Folgefonna glacier and the Hardangervidda plateau with Hårteigen in center. Storeflåtten is among the lowest of the 24 mountains above 1600m on the Hardangervidda plateau (south of highway 7), but due to the balcony view towards Voss, Granvin, Ulvik and Eidfjord mountains, Storeflåtten will be a mountain you won't easily forget.
In English, "Storeflåtten" could translate to "The big flat-topped mountain". If you walk from the 1500m contour in one end to the 1500m contour in the other end, you walk for almost 2Km on this large mesa-looking plateau. I found 4 ticks on my dog after visiting this top (tick is "flått") in Norwegian and I will always remember this mountain as the "The big tick mountain". (Thanks to Liv Nygård and David C. Pugh for help with the name).
Several trails and routes lead to Storeflåtten, all hard work for your feet. Even if you get a high start at Hjølmo, you still have a long way to go. Then you might as well enjoy one of the fjord-to-mountain trails, and the one up Bjotveitdalen valley is described on this page. You are looking at 1600m vertical ascent from the fjord. A fantastic experience for those who are fortunate enough to accomplish a hike of this magnitude. The trails do not lead to the summit, but it is fairly easy off-trail hiking from the "T" trail leading to the unmanned Dalamot hut. The "T" trail is part of the extensive Hardangervidda hut-to-hut trail system.
As mentioned, Storeflåtten summit is a large plateau where you can hike 800m above 1600m in the east-west direction. The mountain forms a horseshoe around lake Birgesdalsvatnet (south) with Akslafjellet (1588m) and Vassdalshøgdi (1522m) as satellite points. If you have the strength to add 184 vertical meters to the hike, then you should visit Vatnasetenuten (1314m), on the NE side of lake Vatnasetevatnet. You will get a tremendous view towards Storeflåtten from this point, as well as a variation to the view towards the Voss, Granvin and Ulvik mountains.
Storeflåtten (Norge 1:50,000: 1616m, Økonomisk Kartverk (ØK): -, UTM 32 V 382114 6699333) has a primary factor of 466m towards the higher parent mountain Sovarenuten (1648m). The defining saddle (approx. UTM 32 V 384471 6696759) is found southeast of Akslafjellet, near Såta. Ref. Norge 1:50,000 (20m contours), the saddle is within the range 1140-1160m, interpolated to 1150m.
Vatnasetenuten (Norge 1:50,000: 1314m, Økonomisk Kartverk (ØK): -, UTM 32 V 383317 6702025) has a primary factor of 179m towards the higher parent mountain Storeflåtten (1616m). The defining saddle (approx. UTM 32 V 384095 6700107) is found between the two mountains, on top of Skoddedalen. Ref. Norge 1:50,000 (20m contours), the saddle is within the range 1120-1140m, and would normally have been interpolated to 1130m. But based on the close 1040m contours and the terrain, the saddle has been interpolated to 1135m.
Google's interactive map. You can zoom, pan and click on the markers.
Route 1: Bjotveit - Storeflåtten (summer)
This route description was valid per Aug 2008. All distances are approx. distances
The nearest larger city is Bergen. From Bergen, follow highway E16 towards Oslo. At Trengereid, you have two options:
a) Follow highway RV7 (Oslo) down to Samnangerfjorden, then over Kvamskogen to Norheimsund. Follow highway RV7 NE along Hardangerfjorden to Kvanndal. From Kvanndal, you can take the ferry to Kinsarvik via Utne. You may also continue on highway 7 and join highway 13 after Granvin. Then drive to Bruravik and take the Bruravik - Brimnes ferry. This is only a 10 minute ferry trip.
b) Follow highway E16 towards Voss. After Voss, exit onto highway 13 towards Bruravik. Then take the Bruravik - Brimnes ferry (see above).
From Kinsarvik or Brimnes, depending on your choice of ferry, drive towards Bjotveit. The Bjotveit trailhead is approx. 8Km from the ferry at Brimnes, and approx. 55Km from Odda. Find the river outlet from Bjotveitdalen, and park neaby.
Follow a steep, narrow road up to a cluster of buildings (Norwegian: tun). Continue straight ahead between the buildings and follow a tractor road that curves upwards. Cross a meadow and continue upwards on the forest road on the far side of the meadow. Pass an old barn. The tractor road continues upwards and joins the forest road from Ringøy at 220m elevation. After 200m, the forest road ends, and you continue on a forest path into Bjotveitdalen valley. In summer, after rain, expect to get wet up to your waist from high grass.
Above the river crossing, the trail turns more into a normal forest path, and curves in a gentle manner up to 800m. From 800m and upwards, you have a number of fine viewpoints. You're now in slab terrain (ugly when wet), and there is no longer a visible path. Just small cairns and rocks with a "T" painted in red. When you reach Lake Vatnasetevatnet at 870m, then you are approx. halfway to Storeflåtten, in both terms of distance and vertical meters. You'll pass a couple of cabins at the north end of the lake.
Continue on the "T" trail along the lake. The marked trail to Dalamot climbs from an old stone hut at the southeast side of the the lake. Leave the trail now, and head southeast (off-trail, easy terrain) into Skoddedalen valley. Try not to lose your vertical gain. Pass a small lake and head for the distinct ridge in the horizon. Once on this ridge, proceed southeast until you see a nice ascent route up the ridge.
Descend your ascent route. Consider stopping by Vatnasetenuten along the way. The route from the Storeflåtten - Vatnasetenuten saddle should be fairly obvious unless there is fog.