I fear I have had a small name confusion and referred to "Kvitfjellet" ("White mountain") systematically as "Kvitafjellet". In any case, this mountain is known as point 1389m on the 1214-I map and is the 8th highest independent mountain in Hordaland fylke (county).
Kvitafjellet is also one of the "gateways" to the southern Folgefonna glacier, as the road to Blådalsvatnet allows you to drive deep into the Kvinnherad "back-country". I am not sure if the road is open during winter, but as the road leads to the powerplant by Lake Blådalsvatnet, I wouldn't be surprised if it was. But people in Norway for the most part go skiing in the April/May timeframe, and I assume the road is open by then.
Veranuten (1222m) should not be confused with Veranuten (1513m) next to the northern Folgefonna glacier. Veranuten is a distinct top that is easily recognized and is well worth including on a trip to Kvitafjellet.
This web-page describes a round trip across Kvitafjellet and Veranuten, but a third top should also be mentioned. 2Km northeast of Veranuten, you will find point 1222m. The high point is actually 120m SW of point 1222m, and based on my GPS, I would say that this point is at least 1235m above sea level. This means that the primary factor is approx. 80m and the point is recognized from some distance. There used to be an old trig. point here, but I don't know if this point has any name.
This trip is best enjoyed by experienced hikers who is used to solve puzzles and problems along the way, and this round trip is full of them. The overall terrain is "messy", which means you have to go back and forth, zig-zag, climb up, climb down and find the best route up slab areas. In addition, the hike is long (16Km) although the vertical gain is moderate (approx. 1050m). Fog can be a true nightmare, even if you are an experienced compass user. The terrain is full of distinct features and almost none are marked on the map.
The skiing route to Folgefonna probably runs up the Blådalsbotnen valley and more or less follows the hiking route northwest of point 1086m. I am not sure exactly where the skiers leave Kvitafjellet, but I suspect that heading northeast at the 1300m contour will take you safely towards the glacier.
Kvitafjellet has a low primary factor (119m) which normally suggests that the views are not all that great, but this case is different. True, you can't see past/across the glacier, but being the 8th highest Kvinnherad mountain, you have a tremendous view towards mountains from Rosendal to deep into Rogaland county. You will not be disappointed.
"Kvitafjellet" (1214-I: 1389m, Ø.K.: -) has a primary factor of 119m towards the higher Folgefonna glacier. The saddle is found just east of Kvitafjellet. Ref. the 1214-I map (20m contours), you cross the 1280m contours on the high route, but not 1260m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 1270m.
Over a 10-minute period, I measured (GPS) the summit (top of cairn) to be approx. 1391m. With error margins subtracted, 1389m seems to be a correct height.
Point 120m W of 1229m (1214-I: -, Ø.K.: -, GPS: 1235m) has a primary factor of 80m towards the higher Kvitafjellet. The saddle is found between point 1229m and Kvitafjellet. Ref. the 1214-I map (20m contours), you cross the 1160m contours on the high route, but not 1140m. Due to the close distance between the 1160m contours, the saddle height has been interpolated to 1155m. This also matches my GPS readings.
Veranuten (1214-I: 1222m, Ø.K.: -) has a primary factor of 152m towards the higher Kvitafjellet. The saddle is found between Veranuten and point 1179m. Ref. the 1214-I map (20m contours), you cross the 1080m contours on the high route, but not 1060m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 1070m. My GPS readings suggest that the saddle height is closer to 1075m, which means the primary factor could be reduced by 5 meters.
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.
Lake Blådalsvatnet - Kvitafjellet - Veranuten round trip (summer/autumn)
From Bergen, follow highway E16 (Oslo). At the Trengereid junction (approx. 25 minutes from Bergen), turn right onto highway RV7. When you arrive Bjørkheim by the Samnangerfjord, drive through two tunnels, and turn right onto highway RV48 (Tysse/Mundheim/Rosendal) shortly after the second tunnel.
Follow highway RV48 to Mundheim by Hardangerfjorden and turn right towards Gjermundshamn (RV49). Take the Gjermundshamn - Løfallstrand ferry. Sometimes this ferry makes a stop at Varaldsøyni island. Allow 2 hours for driving from Bergen to Gjermundshamn, and dialing 177 (Norwegian short-dial for traffic information) or checking hsd.no for ferry departures might be a good idea. Onboard the ferry, you may also obtain the ferry schedule in the cafeteria.
From the Løfallstrand RV48/RV551 junction, turn right towards Rosendal and drive 8,4Km (pass Rosendal and Dimmelsvik). Turn left towards Omvikdal/Åkra/Matre and follow this road 9,9Km. Turn left towards "Blådalsvatn" and follow this road 3,1Km (along Lake Fjellhaugvatn). Turn left towards "Blådalsvatn" and drive until near road end. Find parking on your right-hand side just before road end.
From the parking, follow the road northbound and cross the stream from Lake Inste Mosevatnet. Turn left and follow that leads up to the lake. At 820m elevation, gradually turn left towards a valley that will take you up to a ridge W of the lake. Otherwise, you'll head directly towards the Inste Mosevatnet dam. Proceed northbound towards point 1086m. Pass a cairn 180m W of the map point. You're in "messy" terrain and there will be ups and downs and many switchbacks. You realise that it would have been much more fun on skis than on foot.
Descend into a valley that separates the plateau you're on, from Kvitafjellet. In clear weather, this becomes obvious. Follow a rocky valley in the direction of point 1158m. West of point 1158m, you must find a way up cliffs that takes you into a small valley that leads to Lake 1054m. Some minor scrambling may be required here.
From the small valley (1155m), you have 100m vertical meters of slabs ahead of you, divided into two parts. The second slab area that begins at approx. 1210m, and you will find a good place to ascend 300m E of lake 1054m. A short, initial scramble is required. From here on, everything becomes easier and it's just a long walk up to the summit. The summit is marked by a cairn and you will see the remainders of an old trig. point.
Descend down your ascent route, down the slabs to 1155m elevation, turn right and follow a distinct ridge that leads towards point 1229m. In general, stay in center of the ridge (allow for passing around obstacles) and head towards the 1229m - 1179m saddle. It may strike you that staying on the ridge will lead you into trouble, but now that you've read the trip report, you know it won't. Get fascinated by the steep drops down to Lake 1054m.
Continue across point 1179m. The same rules apply. It looks messy, but things get solved along the way. Continue westbound towards the Veranuten - 1179m saddle. Pass the small lake northeast of Veranuten on the north side. Some local routefinding is needed here, as you'll probably head directly for the lake. Once on the west side of the lake, proceed towards Veranuten's smaller north peak, which you don't need to traverse. Pass this lower peak on the left-hand side and then set a direct course for Veranuten summit.
From Veranuten, descend southbound to 1140m and then continue the descent towards the east. Stay south of the first lakes, then head northeast towards Lake 966m where you begin your descent into Blådalsbotnen. Follow the stream from Lake 966m. Some minor scrambling in the lower parts of the stream is needed unless you see this coming and find a way around. Once down in Blådalsbotnen, follow the stream towards Blådalsvatnet and look for a path that takes you across the ridge and down to the trailhead.
Trip Report Aug 20 2005
Trip report continued from Brattagrød.
It had rained all night, but I woke up to a fairly good morning. My foot didn't feel all that bad. My ambition had been to walk the pain "off" through the Blådalshorga and Brattagrød hikes the day before, and - Good Golly Miss Molly - it seemed to have worked.
I left the camp-site 09:30AM after breakfast and headed towards road end at Blådalsvatnet. I had seen the entire route from Blådalshorgi, and the first task was to get up to the ridge between Blådalsbotnen and Inste Mosevatnet. The best thing would have been to head up Blådalsbotnen, but as I planned to come down that way, I wanted a different ascent route. This route was fairly obvious and I got up to the ridge without problems.
The route towards Kvitafjellet was not my idea of a nice walk. The surrounding landscape was great, but the terrain required constant routefinding. Up and down, back and forth and so on. By 11:00AM, I had descended from the ridge W of Inste Mosevatnet and was now on my way up Kvitafjellet. Sheep popped out "all over the place". I wondered why they hung around up here. I guess that the snowmelt brings out tasty small pitches of grass that the sheep cannot resist.
After following a rocky valley upwards, I was now facing a large slab area and was extremely happy about the rock being dry. The lower section was fairly easy, but I had to walk around to look for a way up the upper section. Minor scrambling. Nothing that I wouldn't look forward to on my way down. Although the distance from the trailhead to the top isn't all that great, this felt like a long hike. Possibly due to all the extra walking as a result of the messy terrain.
I reached the summit 12:10PM and was fairly confident that skiing up to this point would be significantly faster. Provided there is snow, of course. I was quite close to the Folgefonna glacier - only 600m away from the Kvitafjellet - glacier saddle. Blådalsvatnet seemed far away, and I still had one more top to do and I didn't stay long on Kvitafjellet.
Points 1229m and 1179m
The hike across points 1229m and 1179m was fun. The ridges were more distinct, and I had the feeling that staying on center of the ridge would get me into "trouble". This feeling came from not seeing the terrain ahead. But a good rule of thumb is to "investigate", and every minor problem along the way was easily solved. As I passed point 1229m, I felt that this top should have a name. The north face is quite dramatic. From a bird's perspective, points Fossarusta (1178m), 1229m and Kvitafjellet form a horseshoe around lakes Fonnavatnet and 1054m. If Lake 1054m had a name, I would have named the top after the lake. I gave up on the name concept and continued towards Veranuten.
High on Veranuten, I head desperate bleating down by the lakes east of the mountain. An ewe and her lamb had noticed me and started to move in my direction. They were at least 200 vertical meters below me and still far away. I was a bit stunned, as it clearly look as they had planned to climb this mountain just to get to me. I adjusted my route so that I wouldn't be in their field of view and perhaps they would get discouraged.
I reached the top 14:15PM and felt moral rise again now that I had - for the most part - only downhill left. I had been walking almost non-stop for close to 5 hours and it felt like 8. After a very short break I began my descent.
Descent, lonely sheep and evil goats
I found a long, inviting snow-slope that quickly took me down to the lake area below Veranuten. It was difficult to figure out which would be the best route towards Blådalsbotnen, and I ran into one dead-end after the other. Half-way across the plateau, I heard the desperate bleating again. I noticed two sheep just below Veranuten - the same ones that began their ascent when I was up there. They had noticed me and the voice of disappointment was heard all over the mountain. What did they want? Salt? Company? Comfort? Treatment? A way out of this place? I am not a sheep expert and didn't come up with any good answer.
As I reached Lake 966m, "hell" started. A flock (12-15) of sheep by the north end of the lake had noticed me, and came running my way. With yesterday's sheep encounter on Brattagrød fresh in my mind, I tried to outrun them. I figured that once they lost sight of me, they would stop. Half-way down Blådalsbotnen, I hid behind a rock and congratulated myself from being extremely clever. This good feeling lasted until I turned around and noticed two sheep standing high above me. "Theeeeeeree heeeee iiiiiis", they bleated and within seconds, the flock I had tried to outrun was standing on the head of the valley.
I adjusted my course, disappeared behind some large cliffs and downclimbed a waterfall. I got wet, but that didn't matter. When I entered the valley floor, there were no sheep tailing me. Another congratulation was in place, but after "Cong..", a small herd of goats came running down the west slopes in the valley. I didn't know goats could run this fast, but here they came. I think goats are cool, and it occured to me that I never had been close to goats before. Other than from being inside a car, honking the horn until it honks no more while the goats are watching you with faraway eyes.
The herd stopped in front of me. Now what. They had sharp horns. Should I pet them? The goats took charge of the situation. Two of them got up and put their hooves around my shoulders. I fell over with two goats on top of me. I went loco and this made the goats nervous. Or did it? They stepped back but didn't run away, as I had expected them to. Was this kid goats? Out for a prank and a good time?
I jumped across the valley stream and just as they were about to follow, I threw rocks in the stream. They backed away from the stream for half a minute before they gave it another go. This was the scene in Blådalsbotnen. A herd of goats and a man on each side of the stream, fighting a very peculiar battle. We were heading towards a small flock of sheep that was observing the "crowd" heading down the valley. I wondered what would happen when the goats met the sheep. Now I know. They join forces. When I came to the trail that would take me across the ridge and down to the trailhead, they seemed to lose interest. I cursed sheep and goats while heading down to the car, which I reached 15:45PM. The story should have ended there, but another flock of sheep encircled me as I entered the car. When I drove away, they came running after. What was that all about? My deodorant?
When I came back to the camp-site, it started to rain. I had planned to stay up here for a few more days, but I had enough of a rocky bed, rain, sheep and goats. I tossed the tent into the back-seat and headed back home. I missed the ferry at Løfallstrand by one minute. I think I could have jumped from the pier over to the ferry. I was that close. But all in all, it was a good week-end in the Kvinnherad "back-country", and when I return I will bring along amounts of "anti-goat'n'sheep-spray".
Views from Kvitafjellet
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