Tysnessaata seen from Dalen valley
Tysnessåta and Etlådnefjellet (737m) are the high points on the Tysnes island. The two mountains are easy to identify from the north, due to the two characteristic summits on each side of the island. Tysnessåta is a popular mountain, and offers great views all around. Notable views are towards the Rosendal and Uskedalen mountains in the north-east.
Tysnessåta (M711: 753m, Ø.K: 751,74m, N60 01.603 E5 36.882) has a primary factor of 753, being the highest point on Tysnes island. In normal circumstances, I would have defined the height to be 752m, but since the 753m height is quite established, I have chosen to stick with it. This ranks Tysnessåta as the 9th highest on the Hordaland list of mountains ranked by primary factor.
Veghamrane (M711: 614m, Ø.K: 615m, N60 01.626 E5 38.571) has a primary factor of 97m towards the higher Tysnessåta (753m) The saddle is found in the Dalen valley between the two tops. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), you cross the 520m contours on the high route, but not 515m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 518m.
Note: Class ratings are in reference to YDS (Yosemite Decimal System).
Warning: The routes described in this document are not necessarily the easiest routes to the top.
Myrdal - Tysnessåta (summer/autumn)
There are several ways to get to Tysnes from Bergen. The easiest route is the ferry from Halhjem (Os) to Tysnesvika near Våge From Våge, follow highway 49 eastbound for approx. 8Km and exit right onto a paved road. There is a "Tysnessåta" sign by the road. Follow this road upwards and follow "Tysnessåta" signs to the Myrdal trailhead.
An alternative route (no ferry) is to follow E16 from Bergen towards Oslo. Exit onto highway 7 at Trengereid. Exit onto highway 48 (Tysse) just Bjørkheim. Follow highway 48 through Eikelandsosen towards Mundheim, and exit onto 549 (Sævareid) at Kilen. Follow this road southbound through Sævareid and Baldersheim before joining highway 49 towards Våge. Approx. 8Km before Våge, exit left when you see "Tysnessåta" sign. Follow signs to the Myrdal trailhead.
The Tysnessåtrail begins by the parking. Go through a gate and follow the trail upwards. You will have a stream on your left all the way up to the "Dalen" valley. You go through two more gates on the route upwards. The trail starts easy, but grows gradually steeper and more strenuous.
When you reach approx. 480m in Dalen valley, the trail turns SW and climbs steep up to approx. 650m before you reach the summit on easy terrain, westbound. The hike up to 650 is clearly the most strenuous part of the trail. As for a winter note, this hill will probably not appear as inviting under icy conditions. In these conditions, follow Dalen valley and arrive the summit from SE. Regarding winter, there might be additional sections before you reach Dalen, which might require the support of a pole/axe.
On the summit you will find a proper cairn and a summit register.
The hike up is short, although strenuous. If you want to extend the hike, you can set course towards Veghamrane - Tysnessåta high saddle, hike over Veghamrane and return to the trail at the NW end of Dalen valley.
The readers might have problems understanding how this trip fits the concept of a nice evening hike, as the general hiker knows it. There is however a background story behind this somewhat "bizarre" evening hike. As I am in the process of identifying all Hordaland mountains with a primary factor > 100m, and height > 300m, it seemed to be an interesting goal to have reached the top 10 mountains. I had recently completed the top 10, and my friend Petter was only missing Mehammarsåto (749m, Stord) and Tysnessåta (753m, Tysnes). The plan for this afternoon was to do one of these mountains. I wanted to join the hike as well, although I had been to both these mountains 3 years earlier.
We left Bergen 16:00PM. After manoeuvering through the rush traffic, we reached Halhjem at 16:55PM. The plan was to get on the first ferry, regardless of destination. One can get to both Tysnes and Stord from Halhjem. The ferry to Stord was already loading the passenger cars, and departed 17:00PM. Good timing. 18:00PM, we drove onshore at Sandvikvågen. At 18:15PM we arrived the Børtveit trailhead, and we were on our way up the mountain by 18:20PM. We had a couple of navigational "issues", as map and terrain were not compatible. We decided to ascend the mountain directly from the south. This implied hiking through forest and up slightly cumbersome terrain before we reached the summit 19:40PM. On my GPS, I noticed that Apr 24 2000 was the last time I visited this mountain. It was on the day 3 years since my last visit. As we left 19:45PM, Petter seemed to be enthusiastic about the concept of also doing Tysnessåta on this trip. The idea had already been talked about, and we knew that the ferry from Jektavik left 20:25PM. This meant that we needed to be in the car no later than 20:20. I wasn't too optimistic, but it couldn't be any harm in a decent effort.
Due to the cumbersome terrain down the mountain, we had to descend somewhat carefully, but increased pace through the forest. When we reached the forest road, we ran down to the car. Petter fancied calling this activity "jogging". More objectively, it looked like someone running after a bus just leaving. We reached the car at 20:15PM, and had an "ocean of time" before the ferry left from Jektavik, just down the road. The ferry had a brief stop in Huglavika before going north towards Hodnanes at the south end of Tysnes. We watched the sunset where the sun was a glowing fireball, going down behind Stord. It felt somewhat odd to be on the road to another mountain while watching sunset.
At 20:55PM, we were on the road towards the Tysnessåta trailhead. It was a somewhat lengthy drive up the west side of Tysnes. As we reached Våge, Petter uttered the three words you never really need to hear: "we need gas!". The car computer estimated we could drive additional 40Km, which would not bring us halfway home. It was impossible to reach the last 22:05PM ferry from Våge (after doing the mountain), and we would have to drive the long way home. As we drove through Våge, we noticed a gas station (closed) and decided to come back here after the hike.
We arrived the Myrdal trailhead at 21:20PM and started hiking the same minute. We kept a good pace up the mountain, heading into a layer of mist. Last time I was up here, the summit was hidden in clouds, and I was wondering if this would happen again. But as we approached Dalen valley, we rose out of the mist and the scenery below turned quite magical. Only the higher mountains were seen above the carpet of mist, hiding the landscape below. We reached the summit 21:55PM, and it was clearly not daylight anymore. We descended at 22:00PM and was back at the trailhead 22:25PM. I had brought a headlight (always prepared ..), but we never got any use for it. 5 minutes later, it was safe to say that darkness had arrived.
On the way back to Våge, I sent a small prayer to the mountain Gods (whom we had served so well this evening) that the gas station accepted regular bank cards. It did, and I felt a great relief draining through my body. I had no particular desire to spend the night in the car, waiting for next morning's ferry. After the long way around, we arrived Bergen just after 00:30AM. This little evening activity included (in addition to two Kommune high points) visiting 8 (of 33) Hordaland Kommuner: Bergen, Os, Fitjar, Stord, Tysnes, Kvinnherad, Fusa and Samnanger.
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