Torsnuten and Solnuten are the highest independent (read: primary factor >= 100m) rock mountains (read: not glacier) on the Folgefonnhalvøya peninsula. All the three glaciers (north, south, middle) are higher and the point "Rjuven" on the northern tip of Folgefonna is 2m higher (1574m) than Torsnuten. However, Rjuven is only a hump and should not considered a mountain.
The mountains are high points on the watershed ridge that also includes Midnuten, Vardanuten, Velurenuten and Jåstadnuten. These mountains are very impressive to look at from the Sørfjorden side, but less prominent from the Hardangerfjorden side. The neat thing about this ridge is that you can see both Hardangerfjorden and Sørfjorden. Parts of the ridge is quite narrow, but never airy.
Reaching Torsnuten and Solnuten from the Sørfjorden side is the fastest way (described on this page), but the hike from the Jondal side is also popular. The trailhead is described under my Jonstein page. This is a significantly longer and harder hike. The shortest route to Solnuten is from Aga, and you follow a marked trail up to 870m elevation before you can turn left towards Torsnuten or right towards Solnuten. You may consider including both mountains in one (long) trip, hiking the watershed ridge from one mountain to the other. As far as I know, other popular routes to Torsnuten run from Rogdo and Reiseter.
There are in general more trails up the steep east side of Folgefonnhalvøya than shown on maps. They are all strenuous due to the high vertical gain, some are dangerous and some are demanding. The route from Aga to Torsnuten/Solnuten is in the demanding category. And the late autumn snowmelt after rain could make the Fossane waterfalls dangerous to cross. Technically, this route is straightforward, but a good balance is required to cope with the steep forest path up along Fossane.
Solnuten translates to "Sun Peak". The suffix "nut" normally denotes that the mountain is sharp, pointy or has a distinct top. While Solnuten surely qualifies, I have doubts regarding Torsnuten. This mountain is rounded and looks like a large hump from the east. It is also difficult to pinpoint this top from the west. Torsnuten probably translates to "Tor's peak" (Tor is a Norwegian male name) but it may also be dialectic for thunder. In any case, I have no information about the origin of the name.
Torsnuten (1315-IV: 1572m, Ø.K.: 1572,10m) has a primary factor of 382m towards the higher Folgefonna N. (1644m). The saddle is found E of Lake Revavatnet (which drains towards Hardangerfjorden). Ref. the 1315-IV map (20m contours), you cross the 1200m contours on the high route, but not 1180m. The saddle height has been interpolated to 1190m.
Solnuten (1551m) has a primary factor of 156m towards the higher Torsnuten (1572m). The saddle is found between Solnuten and Midnuten. Ref.the 1315-IV map (20m contours), you cross the 1400m contours on the high route, but not the 1380m. As such, the normal procedure would be to interpolate the saddle to 1390m. Because of the 1391m lake on the west side of the saddle, the saddle height has been interpolated to 1395m.
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.
Aga - Torsnuten AND/OR Solnuten (summer/autumn)
From Bergen, drive to Kvanndal by Hardangerfjorden. From the highway 580/E16 roundabout junction at Indre Arna, the distance is 89,3Km if you take highway 7 across Kvamskogen and via Norheimsund. Alternatively, follow highway E16 to Voss and then follow RV13 to Granvin. This is a slightly longer drive.
Take the Kvanndal-Utne ferry. From Utne, follow highway 550 towards Odda. After approx. 16,4Km from the ferry, turn right onto an unsigned gravel road. There is a barn (red color per Sep. 2004) to your left and an old school (red color per Sep. 2004) up to your right. This exit is 200m after the "Agatun" sign.
Follow this partly bumpy gravel road for approx. 700m to a Y fork. Follow the road to the left for approx. 100m (you may need to open a gate). From here, the gravel road continues to your left, while an old grassy forest road runs straight ahead. Find parking here. Don't block for tractors.
To above Fossane
Follow the tractor road (not the road signed "Rogdo") until you see the "Botnen" signpost approx. 1Km later. Along the way, you have passed two gates, crossed a stream (wooden bridge) and a creek. If you find yourself about to cross another creek with a wooden bridge, you've missed the "Botnen" sign, and you need to backtrack 50m.
The trail from the "Botnen" sign and upwards is marked by pieces of cloth hanging down the trees. Impossible to avoid seeing unless its full winter. The trail runs up the forest on the north side of the river, crosses the river at approx. 470m, passes a broken cliff area, crosses the river again at approx. 700m elevation and then gradually turns north to 870m elevation where you need to decide if you want to head towards Torsnuten or Solnuten.
A few comments about the route along the Fossane waterfalls; River crossing may be dangerous after heavy rain. Do not attempt to cross unless you are certain you are in control. The route's single most awkward point is found below the second river crossing. There used to be a rope here, but per Aug 2005, this rope has been cut. It is a single step and it is always slippery. As you can't jump (a big rock is in the way), you must proceed very carefully to avoid falling down into the stream. This point alone classifies the overall route as class 3. Also show caution in the broken cliff area further down.
From approx. 870m, proceed up the Hengjobotnen valley. You pass an old cabin at 930m elevation. Follow "S" marks up the valley and the slabs to the Midnuten - Solnuten ridge. From the ridge, proceed northeast towards Solnuten. I think the normal route passes Solnuten to the west, but because of fog, I passed the lake just south of Solnuten on the east side, and Solnuten on the east side until I found a good route up from the northeast. At least 4 cairns exist on top, but even in fog, it's not difficult to pick the main cairn.
From approx. 870m, leave the marked route towards Solnuten and maintain a southwest course all the way up to 1280m where you reach a cliffband (the ridge to Hest) that drops steep towards the south. Turn right here and move up a steep slope towards 1420m elevation. Near the top, some routefinding is necessary. One option is that you seek to the right of a distinct, pointy rock. Further to the right you will find at least one passage (minor scrambling, no exposure) that takes you to the upper level.
Once up, you have Torsnuten in view ahead of you. A small valley with two lakes must be passed. I recommend you pass the southernmost lake to the south, which means you must turn left when you look down to the lakes. Then follow Torsnuten's northeast ridge up to the summit cairn.
Descend your ascend routes or explore the ridge between Solnuten and Torsnuten. From what I could see, it should also be possible to descend from Midnuten to the valley you cross on your way to Torsnuten.
Make sure you visit Hest (approx. 1130m elevation) on your way down from Torsnuten. From Hest, you have to follow the 1100m contour northbound until you join your route to/from Torsnuten, as there is no shortcut to Hest.
Trip Report Torsnuten, Sep 3 2005
Close to one year since I hiked Solnuten, I was on my way back to visit Torsnuten. I took the 09:00AM ferry from Kvanndal towards Utne, and at Jåstad I stopped to say hello to Liv Nygård. Liv enjoys my web-site and keep me up-to-date on the everyday life on other side of Hardangerfjorden. In addition, she provides me with useful information that I get to use on my web pages. And now that I was passing, I found it natural to stop and say hello.
My dog Troll (nearly 12 years old) got along well with her puppy Sheeba. After having stated some limits, that is. Sheeba was a busy-bee, constantly in his face. This can be too much for a senior citizien who was more interested in convincing Liv that he had earned goodies. After the pleasant chat with Liv, I drove to Nå (what a strange place name!) to get some groceries before I drove back to Aga and the trailhead.
Up along the waterfalls
I was ready to depart 11:00AM sharp. Troll showed no interest in walking and after telling him what I thought of him, we were not the best of friends. Troll entered the backpack, where he would remain until 1200m elevation. I decided early on to make it to the summit within 3 hours. I divided the hike into three parts; first hour - up to 600m elev., second hour - up to 1200m and to the top (1572m) within the third hour. It had taken me 3 hours to Solnuten and I carried the dog all the way. In addition, I had to find a route to Solnuten in the fog. Today, I was carrying the dog as well, and as substitute for fog, I had a bad foot that didn't allow me to step anywhere I wanted to.
The first hour went according to plan, and it was noon when I crossed the waterfalls for the second time at approx. 700m. The trail was much easier to follow than last year. The trail, in addition to having been marked sufficiently, also had some maintenance work since the last time I was here. It puzzled me that the rope that I was forced to use the last time, now was cut. I looked for another way around, but there wasn't any. When done in a slow and controlled manner, this point wasn't difficult and I figured that the rope would have been a distraction.
13:00PM, I had just passed 1200m elevation and was on my way up Torsnuten. I had admired the wall below point 1517m and for the first time in my life, I felt for climbing a steep wall. There was a route that caught my attention and I wondered if anyone had climbed these walls before.
Troll was let out of the backpack at 1200m elevation and ran around. He was well ahead of me, when he stopped and stood still. I wondered what the reason was and hurried up to him. I nearly fainted when I found Troll standing on a sharp tongue with lots of air below. "Doooooooooooooon't move! Dooooooooooooooon't move!!" It didn't seem like he had planned any moves, and I could bring the dog to safer ground.
We continued upwards a slope with loose rock. I had to be extremely careful so that I didn't send any rocks down in Troll's direction. The upper part of this slope required minor scrambling, but soon we had Torsnuten in clear view. I took the wrong route down to the two small lakes and had to clear a steep route from loose rocks before we could descend. I should have turned left and passed the south lake on the south side. This was easy to see as we headed up Torsnuten's northeast ridge.
I enjoyed the spot where I could see both Hardangerfjorden and Sørfjorden. Actually, I didn't see the Sørfjorden water, but it was down there. I was now on the watershed ridge. We reached the summit 13:55PM, and my 3 hour estimate wasn't all bad. The weather was exceptionally good (incl. temperature) although some clouds blocked some views towards the west and north. I spent half an hour on top, enjoying the day and taking pictures. We left the summit 14:25PM.
On foot, I skied down the steep snow from Torsnuten. I had good speed and made nice "S" tracks. I heard screams and whining as Troll followed after. In the steepest part, he lost his "brakes" and came sliding down very fast. He stopped by himself and was not in any danger because I was there to stop his slide. I figured he had enough of snowslopes for the day.
When descending the next steep hillside, I was in favor of utilising more steep snow and instructed Troll to walk around. He seemed to get the idea and started to descend next to the snow. I had another good slide and at the bottom I turned around to see how Troll was doing. Troll had entered the snow and was first sliding sideways on his belly before rotating around and sliding on his back. He regained some sort of balance, but was now sailing way too fast towards a rock area above me. I ran as fast as I could but didn't get there in time. Troll bounced 5 meters into the rock field, but seemed to have avoided injuries. I was very relieved when he continued walking.
We stopped by Hest on our way down. Good views from this fun outcrop. Troll walked all the way down to the trailhead (except obstacles where I had to lift him across) and we were back at the car 16:35PM. I stopped by Liv for yet another chat and with my stommach full of Liv's tasty garden plums, I continued towards the ferry at Utne. It had once again been a good day on Folgefonnhalvøya.
Move cursor to read notes, and click on the images to see full version.
Some of the thumbnails may have been cropped to fit the format.
360 deg. view through 3 x 50mm lens panoramas
360 deg. view through 2 x wide lens panoramas
Zooms (up to 300mm) from Torsnuten
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59
Trip Report Solnuten, Sep 11 2004
I was supposed to climb Store Skagastølstind this Saturday, but the trip to Jotunheimen was cancelled due to bad weather forecast. As some kind of substitute, I decided to go for Solnuten. This peak had been on my roadmap for quite some time now. We were supposed to get rain in the afternoon, but I figured that if I had OK weather on the way up, it might as well rain on my way down.
I took the 10:00AM ferry from Kvanndal, and the weather had been nice all the way from Bergen. As I left the ferry at Utne, it had started to rain. I felt that was a bit too soon. After a quick search, I found the right road and after getting some useful trail information from a local, I was on my way by 11:00AM. The forest road consisted of high grass, rocks and cows. I decided to carry Troll for the time being. The local had told me to look for a sign towards Solnuten, but there wasn't any. Eventually, I located the trail, and let Troll out of the backpack.
The forest trail was steep, so Troll decided to take it easy after 10 minutes. I don't blame him. I felt the forest got steeper by the minute, but had good progress. I reached 700m elev. after 1 hour (I started at 130m elev.). Parts of the forest trail up along the river were cumbersome, but fairly easy to follow. I was near an accident when I tried to cross where a rope is available. I tried to cross without using the rope, but slipped. I managed to grab the rope in the fall. It wasn't until I was across that I realized how ugly the fall would have been. I instructed myself to stop being a jerk and play by the rules.
After crossing the river for the second time, I was back on the north side of the river. I lost the trail and had a slighty strenuous climb among slabs until I found the trail again just below the high cliffs that forces the trail to turn right. It had been raining constant since I left the car, and I was soaking wet by now. The temperature wasn't bad so it was just a matter of keep heading on.
After 2 hours of hiking, I had reached 1100m. Entering the valley below Solnuten, I was able to spot the characteristic summit before it disappeared in fog. On the way up the valley, the fog had come to stay. Once I was on the high ridge between Midnuten and Solnuten, visibility was really bad. I wandered around looking for the summit. I considered going back to the saddle to set a map course, but this meant loss of vertical gain and time. I decided to walk around a bit more.
Suddenly, a steep and wild thing appeared right in front of me. It just had to be the right peak. I was 100m below the summit and had to find a way up. I searched the south and west sides, without any luck. Eventually, I was on the north side and I stumbled onto what had to be the main route. And after a few minutes, I was standing on Solnuten summit. The time was 14:00PM. It had taken me 3 hours on the minute. I figured that wasn't bad, given a vertical gain of more than 1400m and with a dog in the backpack.
The summit stay was short. It was cold and windy on the summit, but we found a good lunch spot below the summit block. We left 14:15PM, and on the way down, disaster almost happened. On my way down a boulderfield, I heard a snap from my kneecap. I felt the cap go left, then right. I knew instantly what was about to happen and let myself fall to the ground. The kneecap going out of position was the reason I had to give up soccer. It's a known and feared scenario. The knee turned stiff within seconds, but I still was able to walk on it. After a minute, I realized that the fall had probably saved me from further damage and a very awkward situation. Yes, I would call limping down from Solnuten a very awkward situation.
The knee got better once I started moving, but this incident had taken away my focus on the route. I was a bit lost. I heard the sound of water and found myself down by a small lake. I reckoned this was the lake I had passed before starting the climb up the mountain, and after getting to the other side, I recognized familiar features in the terrain. I decided not to use the GPS until I got *really* lost. It's a bit fun to get some challenges along the way.
Back in the valley, I came below the fog. It had stopped raining (for a while) and my knee was holding up. When I came to the point where I had to descend from the valley and down to Fossane waterfalls, I didn't remember the route. I ended up above the cliffs, looking down at the waterfalls. I backtracked and eventually found the vague path that took me down to the waterfalls. The terrain along the river was so steep that I had to walk sideways. When I entered the boulderfield, I had a feeling that this hike should only be recommended to experienced hikers used to unfriendly terrain. When it was time to cross the river, I noticed that the water level was higher than on the way up. The rocks I had walked on were now under water. I wondered how this river looked like in the snowmelt period.
Back in the forest, and not very far from the forest road, I was lost again. I spent at least 15 minutes locating the forest trail. Back at the forest road, there were no further problems. We reached the car 16:35PM, which meant the descent took 2h:20m. I looked forward to a change of clothes. I just can't find words to describe how wet I was.
Move cursor to read notes, and click on the images to see full version.
Some of the thumbnails may have been cropped to fit the format.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Other hordaland mountains westcoastpeaks.com