Solfjellet (middle ridge) seen from Ulvanosa
Solfjellet and Tverrfjellet are two tops on a long ridge, stetching between Uskedalen and Åmvikedalen valleys, not far from Rosendal in Kvinnherad. The mountains can be reached from a number of trailheads, and "T" marked trails will take you up, down and across the mountain plateau. The terrain is fairly uncomplicated, and although none of the tops stand comparision to the higher, surrounding Uskedalen and Rosendal peaks, the views are first class. Especially towards the eastern face of the unique Ulvanosa massif.
Translated to English, Solfjellet means "Sun mountain", while Tverrfjellet (tverr=cross) is normally a description of how the mountain lies, compared to the surrounding terrain. Tverrfjellet blocks the access between Uskedalen and Åmvikedalen valleys, and perhaps this is what the name is meant to indicate. Solfjellet is the common name of the southern tops - Barmasåta (908m) and Råkjo (891m). On these pages, Solfjellet indicates the Barmasåta top.
Tverrfjellet has a primary factor of 569m, towards the higher Vardafjell in the east. The last adjacent 5m contours (Norgesglasset) on top of Myklebustdalen are 365m, and I have interpolated the saddle height to 363m. On this detail map, you will also see point 361,7m near the saddle, but I don't know if this is the low point on the high route. Looking at the M711 map, the last adjcent 20m contours are 360m, suggesting the saddle height is interpolated to 350m. This clearly differs from the detail map, and in this case, I have relied on the detail map. This ranks Tverrfjellet as #23 in Hordaland, when based on primary factor. Interestingly enough (for those interested), Hardangerjøkulen (highest in Hordaland) and Sandfloegga (highest on Hardangervidda) come in places #24 and #25. So, this rather anonymous mountain between the high Rosendal alps and Ulvanosa massif, sligtly outranks these Hordaland high point majesties in terms of vertical independence.
Solfjellet has a primary factor of 250m, towards the higher Tverrfjellet. The saddle is found at Tverrbrekka, and the last adjacent 5m contours (Norgesglasset) are 660m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 658m. Also in this case, the detail map and the M711 map differ considerably. The last adjacent 20m contours on the M711 maps are 680m, suggesting the saddle height to be 670m (interpolated). This is clearly a significant deviation. The 660m contours show on the detail map, but not on the M711 map.
Note: Class ratings are in reference to YDS (Yosemite Decimal System).
Note: The trail described below is not necessarily the easiest trail to this mountain.
Åmvikedalen - Tverrfjellet - Solfjellet round-trip (summer/autumn)
From Bergen, follow highway E16 towards Oslo. At Trengereid, follow highway 7 (Oslo) down to Samnangerfjorden. After Bjørkheim, exit onto highway 48 towards Mundheim/Gjermundshamn. From Mundheim, follow highway 49 south to Gjermundshamn (per June 2003, driving restrictions between Mundheim and Gjermundshamn apply). Take the Gjermunshamn - Løfallstrand ferry. From Løfallstrand, drive through Rosendal and Dimmelsvik, and after approx. 8,4Km from the ferry junction, or 4,1Km from Kletta junction in Rosendal, exit left towards "Åkra/Matre". Follow this road for approx. 3,8Km and turn left towards "Åkra/Matre". Follow this road to the top of Åmvikedalen for approx. 3,2Km and locate the start of the "T" trail next to a powermast. You will find parking on nearby turnouts.
Follow the "T" trail up along a distinct, steep ridge. Although steep, the trail is fairly easy to hike, and soon you get a good view towards the valley and the surrounding mountains. In a while, Åkrafjorden appears further south. The trail turns eventually northbound and you have to descend the ridge you are on, in order to get on the main ridge to Tverrfjellet. You also see the ridge from Gråfjellet further behind. Once on the main ridge, follow it all the way to the summit. A simple cairn marks point 932m. On the ridge to Tverrfjellet, you will also pass a signed, "T" trail to Gråfjellet.
Follow the "T" marked trail towards "Nonshaug". This trail runs down to the saddle between the two peaks and then on the east side of the mountain ridge, with views down to Åmvikedalen. You will need to leave this trail when you see fit, in order to reach Solfjellet (Barnasåta), lying further west on the mountain. A modest cairn marks point 908m. Depending on your ascent angle, you may have Råkjo in view, thinking it must be higher. This is not so. Råkjo is 891m.
From Barnasåta summit, head NE towards a distinct ridge (Nonshaug) where you will join the "T" trail you followed from Tverrfjellet. The trail runs down to a basin, almost all the way to the creek, then steep down the forest until you reach the old forest road towards Ripel. Once down on the paved road, follow it all the way to the top of Myklebustdalen, where you parked your car. This stretch is approx. 5,5Km.
In case you want to reverse this trip, then drive to the road junction by Ripel. Go right in the junction and notice a large field behind the house near the junction. The trail begins near the house, and alongside a tiny creek. The vague path takes you to a gate. Go through the gate and follow a wider path up a grassy field. You arrive another gate which is "T" marked at the beginning of the forest. Follow the old forest road that begins after the gate. After a while, the road forks. Go right, instead of straight ahead. Higer up, you also see a sharp fork to the left. Ignore this fork, and continue straight ahead. Eventually, you will see a trailsign to "Nonshaug", and this is the beginning of the "T" marked trail. From Nonshaug, the hike over to Solfjellet is short.
After a wonderful hike to Englafjell and Mannen the
day before, I woke up rather early the next day. I checked out of Rosendal
Fjordhotell and drove up Åmvikedalen and found the Myklebustdalen trailhead.
We started the hike at 08:15AM. The weather was far from excellent, but still
rather good, considering it was raining during the night. The weather did not mention
any rain this week-end, so it was a bit suprising. On the way up towards Tverrfjellet,
I carfully studied the mountains on the other side of Myklebustdalen valley. I would
have to come back for these some later time. The main motivation for this hike was
to reach Tverrfjellet, which was on my top-30 primary factor list.
The second motivation was to get an unprecented view towards Ulvanosa. I couldn't
wait to get on top. We reached the summit 09:40AM, and Troll had hiked half the
distance to the summit. It was a bit steep for him in the beginning, but once we
got on the ridges, he was in good shape. I was impressed, given the long hike the
day before. The views towards Ulvanosa were far from disappointing. Ulvanosa is truly
a unique mountain in Hordaland.
I was making all sorts of excuses not to hike over to Solfjellet, as I a) didn't feel like hiking the same route back, and b) didn't feel like hiking the long Myklebustdalen back to the car. However, I didn't see any reason to leave this mountain behind, as I only would "have to" come back at a later time. So I followed the "T" trail towards Nonshaug which opened up some good views down to the valley. We reached Solfjellet 10:50AM, and had a 10 minute break before we headed down. On my way down, I was happy I decided to include Solfjellet. The descent was indeed exciting. It was just as steep as I had imagined. In this case, steep does not imply that it was dangerous. The trail switchbacked gently downwards, but it was still steep. Now I had some great views towards the fjord, and I really enjoyed the descent.
I met a couple of hikers heading up, and these were the only hikers I had seen all week-end. We hit the road by Ripel at 12:00PM, and prepared for the long hike up the valley. I considered hitch-hiking, but abandoned the idea quickly. I wanted to complete the hike on foot. To make the walk more interesting, I decided I would try to reach the car within the hour. That gave some inspiration to maintain pace while heading upwards. After the 5,5Km walk, I opened the car door at 13:00PM sharp. At 13:02PM, a grand-scale rain shower hit us, and I wondered where on earth this rain was coming from. It kept on raining for the rest of the day, and I was quite pleased with the timing.
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