Norwegian Mountains, Sogn og Fjordane
The Balestrand region has numerous spectacular peaks and it takes a bit to stand out in this landscape. But Vassdalsnipa truly does and especially so from the Sognefjord side.
The best way to ascend this mountain is on skis from Gaularfjellet - via Vetla Eikjadalen - on a sunny spring day. This is the route described on this page. Alternatively, descend via Eikjadalen if there is no avalanche danger and you have a car waiting.
The route from Gaularfjellet is straight forward - 6,5km and relatively easy terrain. From the summit, you see peaks and peaks for miles and miles around. Some peaks stand out - like Kvamshesten, Blægja and Melsnipa - to name a few. Click the trip report link at the bottom of this page for panorama views from Vassdalsnipa.
Vassdalsnipa (Norge 1:50,000: 1430m, Økonomisk Kartverk: -, UTM 32 V 365942 6799267) has a primary factor of 666m towards the parent Johannesberg (1446m). The defining saddle (approx. 32 V 363264 6801529) is found on the north side of Lake Skaravatn. Ref. the 1:50,000 map (20m contours), the saddle is defined through a fixed point - 764m.
Google's interactive map. You can zoom, pan and click on the markers.
Route 1: Gaularfjellet - Vassdalsnipa
This route description is valid per May 2011
(all distances are approx. distances)
This route description takes Gaularfjellet as the starting point. More precisely - by a cabin (N61.34203 E6.44612) near the western end of Lake Nystølsvatnet. Note that Gaularfjellet is closed in winter. Consult Statens Vegvesen for detailed information about this mountain pass.
From your starting point at RV13, head southeast towards Vetla Eikjadalen and try to find a good place to cross the river Gaula.
Continue up to approx. 900 meters and ascend towards Point 1305m. Consider potential avalanche hazards. From Point 1305m, you descend 30-35 meters before the final ascent to Vassdalsnipa summit (N61.30444 E6.49697) - marked by a few rocks. The entire route is fairly obvious unless you're skiing in the middle of a white-out.
Descend your ascent route or try your luck down Eikjadalen.