Austrefjellet is an excellent viewpoint if you want to take a look at the Horgi - Tverrvassfjellet - Torhaugen - Storevasseggene mountain area in Masfjorden, from "the inside". The mountain is quite accessible thanks to a path that takes you all the way to the base of the mountain. The logical trailhead is Meisdalen above Andvik. An amazing path through the Meisdalen boulderfields has been developed over the years. Had it been slightly wider, then (modified) Jeeps could have driven all the way to the top of the valley.
Austrefjellet is extends the Horgi massif towards the north, but because of a "low enough" saddle by E of Lake Svartevatnet, Austrefjellet BARELY makes it to my list of independent Hordaland mountains. If you would like to make a round trip, then consider returning across Torhaugen/Skjerhaldefjell or via Horgi. Descending Horgi in the direction of Lake Meisdalsvatnet requires some planning.
Austrefjellet (M711: 766m, Ø.K: 765,57m) has a primary factor of 102m towards the higher Horgi (804m) The saddle is found between lakes 631m (Svartevatnet) and 664m. Lake 664m is named "Hornavatnet" on Ø.K. and the lake height is set to 663m. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), you cross the 665m contours on the high route, but not 660m. I have set the saddle height to 664m, 1m above Lake Hornavatnet. Note also that Ø.K. reveals there is a small lake very close to Lake Hornavatnet (663/664m) which drains to Lake Svartevatnet, leaving the saddle very narrow. As you do cross the 665m contours, 664m is a reasonable saddle height.
My official "GPS" reading on Austrefjellet on top of the summit cairn was 766m.
Notes: Class ratings are in reference to YDS. Click here for more information.
The trails described below are not necessarily the *easiest* trails to this mountain.
Meisdalen - Austrefjellet (summer/autumn)
From Bergen, follow highway E39 northbound. After the Nordhordlandsbrua bridge, pay (NOK 45,- for passenger cars per May 2005) at the Toll station. Follow E39 approx. 26,3Km and turn right towards "Masfjordnes". Follow this road approx. 33,1Km to Andvik. Turn right towards "Totland". Pass a gate after 1,1Km and then continue 2,9Km to road end in Meisdalen (turn right at the road fork by Lake Storevatnet).
You will see the "Kalvedalshytta" sign by the parking, and this is where the trail begins. Follow it up to the top of Meisdalen. Near the first cabin, the trail forks. Go left and follow small cairns that marks the trail. The trail runs north of the Nørlandssætret and Andviksætret cabins. It continues south of Lake Lometjørna before you cross the Husefjellet south ridge and descends towards the Ådnekvamsætret cabins. You have Austrefjellet straight ahead of you, towards the northeast.
Follow the cairns and pass lake 506m on the west side. Soon after you have passed the stream from Husefjellet, start looking for a place to ascend Austrefjellet. The sooner you ascend, the better. The south side offers pitches of grass in-between the slabs that makes ascent quite easy. Once above the steepest part, descend from the small hump you're on and begin ascending the upper part of Austrefjellet towards the north. Stay right of the steep cliffs below the summit, but this is quite obvious. Follow the ridge all the way to the summit cairn.
A wonderful afternoon. What should I do after work? What to do .. what to do... I know! I'll go hiking!
Among the few Masfjorden mountains that I still hadn't been to, Austrefjellet was on top of the list. Its location was on the borderline of what qualifies as an afternoon hike, but knowing the area would at least prevent me from wasting any time. My dachshund "Troll" and I were on our way up Meisdalen valley 17:55PM. I expected Troll to do his usual sit-down act, but surprised me by keeping a high pace up the trail. We had walked up this valley twice before, and I wondered if he recognized the trail.
We reached the top of the valley after 30 minutes - 18:25PM. I took a wrong decision at the first trail fork, and ended up down by Nørlandssætret and Andviksætret. I realized I was on the wrong track and adjusted the course. I put Troll in the backpack and let him rest for a while. It was a warm afternoon. I found the cairn trail towards Ådnekvamssætret and got Austrefjellet in view one hour after leaving the trailhead. I didn't expect there to be any trail up the mountain, but a logical route presented itself right away.
I followed the cairn trail all the way to the base of the mountain, and put Troll in and I went off-trail just after crossing the creek from Husefjellet. The first section is quite steep, but following grassy pitches, I found an easy way up the first hump. After a short descent from this hump, I was on my way up to Austrefjellet's south ridge. This was easy terrain, and we reached the top of Austrefjellet 19:55PM.
We spent 20-25 minutes on top, and these were good minutes. The clothes were wet after sweating a lot on this warm afternoon, and I stripped down to the underwear. On the western side of Norway, there are not many days per year you can enjoy life at 766m in your underwear. If it hadn't been for the fact that it was 20:00PM and I had 1,5 hours of hiking back to the trailhead and then close to two hours of driving back home, I would have taken a small nap on this top. The dog had already gone to sleep, after finishing his lunch-box in record time. I enjoyed the views as I hadn't seen Tverrvassfjellet, Horgi and Illestigfjellet quite like this before.
After taking the usual pictures, I put the clothes back on. They were dry. I let Troll stay in the backpack while I headed down the mountain, but let him out down by Ådnekvamsætret. He walked all the way back to the car, and by 21:40PM, we were ready to drive back to Bergen. The sea fog came creeping in just as we left Andvik. Sunset made the scene even more pretty. Yet another wonderful afternoon spent in the Masfjorden mountains.
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On the way to Meisdalen
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