Norwegian Mountains

Routes to Sveningen - Drogegjelet couloir from Brekkedalen

Trail descriptions:

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.

Fun routes up Sveningen

Couloir and ridge routes up Sveningen

Route 3: Hausdal- Sveningen via Drogegjelet couloir (summer)

Difficulty : Class 2+
Exposure : No
Comments : Strenuous
Distance : Approx. 3,5Km to the top
Time : Approx. 2-3 hours to the top
Starting Elev.: Approx. 100m
Vertical Gain : Approx. 800m

Map of the area
Map of the area
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Detailed map
Detailed map
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Detailed map
Detailed map
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From Bergen, follow highway E39 southbound towards Stavanger. Turn left when you see the "Haugsdal 10" sign. This is 7,5Km from the E16/RV580 junction at Nesttun. Drive all the way (10Km) to road end. Open a gate (may be open when there are no sheep in the mountains) and find parking on the other side.

The main couloir

Just after the parking, you arrive a trail junction. Turn right and cross the river via a bridge across Hausdalselvi river. Follow the Brekkedalen road for approx. 1,3Km until you have a bridge on your right. Cross the bridge, climb upwards approx. and continue until you reach a boulderfield coming down from the mountain.

The rest of the route is simple. Follow the boulderfield into the Drogegjelet couloir and follow it all the way to the top. Then turn left and follow the ridge towards Sveningen. The couloir is fairly easy scrambling. If the rock is wet, this may add some difficulties to the scramble. Note that this description is valid for summer, where no water is running in the couloir.

Advanced variation

Above halfway up the Drogegjelet couloir, when you have the final hill in view, you can climb over to an adjacent couloir. Stay as high as you can below the steep cliff above, as there is only one place where you can safely step into the other couloir. In winter,

The snow conditions will determine how challenging this couloir is in winter. Check the snow for avalance danger. The steepest part is up to 45 deg. Half-way up this couloir is a step, defined by a big rock. The couloir is steepest here. In summer, this is most likely the crux of the route (I turned around, carrying a dog at this point in summer). The YDS classification for summer is 4.

Above the step, the angle is more gentle. I don't know if there are any features that make things difficult when snow-free. With snow, the route up to the top of the couloir is straightforward. Cornices may build up on top, but there should be less cornices up to the left, below the top. The overall winter YDS classification for the winter route is class 3.

See the main Sveningen page for descent alternatives.

Trip report, Feb 13 2005

Today I was going to show my friend Petter Bjørstad what a nice mountain Sveningen was. To make things more interesting, I proposed ascending up Drogegjelet, possibly moving over to the adjacent couloir. We agreed to bring "gear", in case the snow was hard or icy. An "gear" we brought; rope, axes, crampons, ice screws, anchors, slings, shovel, and more. Petter looked like a walking hardware store, as we headed up Brekkedalen 11:00AM this Sunday morning.

It had turned out to be a gorgeous day. The sun was shining, and we looked forward getting up to the mountain. As agreed, we headed up the Drogegjelet couloir. There wasn't too much snow, and we kept a steady progress. Whenever we had to cross the stream in the couloir, we had to show care due to the ice.

Eventually we came to the spot where it was possible to head over to the adjacent couloir. I wasn't as keen on this project as the day before, but since Petter wanted to explore this route, we moved over. The snow got considerable deeper, and the terrain got steeper as we moved into the other couloir. I had been up there before, but turned around because of a step that I didn't want to take on all alone (and while carrying a dog) My hope was that snow had leveled the terrain, and that this step would cause no problems.

We checked the snow in the couloir, and agreed that avalanche danger was low. As we approached the step I mentioned, the terrain turned steeper, and I was (being the point man) no longer able to climb the snow. I had to dig my way up to the top of the step. Incredibly strenuous. It wasn't much easier for Petter, as I left a heap of powder snow on my tail. Petter suggested we should put harnesses on in case of difficulties ahead. I well understand his point - it is better to get prepared in a convenient spot than having to gear up in a steep section. But I was able to postpone the ordeal. I had a dog back at the house, and the hike would be lengthy because of the snow. I didn't want to spend time on technical matters unless necessary. I had a certain feeling that once we came above the step, things would get easier. I had no way of knowing. Just a feeling.

The upper couloir looked indeed easier. The final part was a narrow gully which led straight to the high ridge between Sveningen and Søtefjellet. We could see cornices built up on the top. The final few yards turned out to be very difficult unless we put crampons on. Rather than wasting time for this short distance, we climbed up on the left hand side of the cornices. We were on the high ridge 13:00PM, two hours after we started.

The wind was certainly gaining as we headed towards Sveningen. I had traded my wind jacket for a smaller backpack. The windstopper fleeze jacket did its job, and my concern turned more and more over to protecting the face. We estimated that the wind speed was 20 m/s or more (storm), ice particles were flying around, and the powder snow that swirled around degraded visibility severly. We reached the summit 13:45PM, and no one cared for taking a summit picture. I had taken a few pictures along the way, and my hands were now freezing cold. The gloves were frozen solid, and it was no longer a gorgeous day.

I reflected on the recent hikes with Petter. We had storm on Fusafjellet in December, gale on Skåldalsfjellet and storm on Hausdalshorga in January. How likely was it that we would run into another storm on our fourth hike together this winter? Well, the answer was sort of obvious. It was time to get off the mountain, and we started descending the north ridge. This is the regular route from the Brekkedalen side. The winds kept staying hostile on our way down the mountain. At the foothills, I fell into a pond. Now I was wet, in addition to being cold. The comfort was that we were now in the lowlands. Only a walk down Brekkedalen, and the hike would be over. We reached the car 15:25PM. In sum, a very interesting and fun hike, despite of the hostile surroundings on the high ridge.

Petter's trip report.

Pictures from the Feb 13 2005 hike:

1. Hausdalshorga seen on the Hausdalen road (101KB) 2. Steep routes above Brekkedalen (167KB) 3. On the way up Drogegjelet (175KB) 4. View towards S. Gullfjellstoppen (150KB) 5. On the way up Drogegjelet (293KB) 6. View up Drogegjelet (178KB) 7. Petter in Drogegjelet (182KB) 8. View towards S. Gullfjellstoppen from Drogegjelet (168KB) 9. Switching couloirs (186KB) 10. Arnt breaking snow to the new couloir (238KB) 11. Looking back down on Petter (153KB) 12. Inside the new couloir (142KB) 13. Arnt now digging his way up (241KB) 14. Petter liked this couloir (112KB) 15. Petter in the steepest section (186KB) 16. A short stretch remains (148KB) 17. Petter is on my tail (158KB) 18. The final hill (308KB) 19. Petter gets ready to finish this hill (158KB) 20. The high ridge is within reach (191KB) 21. Petter attempts a direct hit, but .. (103KB) 22. On the high ridge (141KB) 23. Hausdalshorga seen from the ridge to Sveningen (228KB) 24. Petter is on the ridge (244KB) 25. View from the ridge (189KB) 26. Sotefjellet seen from the ridge to Sveningen (453KB) 27. The wind is picking up (159KB) 28. Snowdrift is an understatement here (97KB) 29. Ice particles making everything tougher (203KB) 30. The summit pops up further ahead (247KB) 31. East view from Sveningen north ridge (223KB) 32. Clouds gather above S. Gullfjellstoppen (130KB) 33. Sveningen north ridge (222KB) 34. Couloirs and ridges seen from Brekkedalen (254KB) 35. Couloirs and ridges seen from Brekkedalen (255KB) 36. Todays ascent route (413KB)

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Pictures from the Sep 10 2004 hike:

This hike went up the Drogegjelet couloir on a beautiful September evening. I continued across the high ridge to Sveningen and descended into Brekkedalen through the northeast ridge. I left the Haugsdal trailhead 17:10PM and returned 20:45PM. The main purpose of this hike was to do research on an adjacent couloir. I left Drogegjelet at approx. 430m and moved left into the other couloir. The terrain was steep and slippery grass and scree made walking difficult. I ran into a rock which blocked the way. On my own, I could have climbed up here, but not with the dog. Besides, not knowing the upper terrain, I would have liked to have the possibility to rappel down. I will back with more info from this couloir later.

1. View from near the Haugsdal trailhead (170KB) 2. The couloirs seen from below (460KB) 3. On the way up Drogegjelet (148KB) 4. In Drogegjelet (135KB) 5. Upper part of Drogegjelet (122KB) 6. In the neighbour couloir (164KB) 7. Toro ridge (98KB) 8. Had to stop here (153KB) 9. View down Drogegjelet (173KB) 10. Pond high in Drogegjelet (203KB) 11. Sveningen comes into view (348KB) 12. Fjellbotnen (154KB) 13. S. Gullfjellstoppen (204KB) 14. Sveningen summit (145KB) 15. Troll back on Sveningen (129KB) 16. Sveningen trail register (190KB) 17. Sauafjellet (175KB) 18. Sveningen summit view (152KB) 19. Rosendal alps (126KB) 20. Sveningen summit view (361KB) 21. Descending Sveningen (133KB) 22. Sveningen northeast ridge (119KB)

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Pictures from the Aug 04 2002 hike:

1. Cross this bridge 1km from the trailhead (297KB) 2. The couloir (264KB) 3. The couloir (281KB) 4. The couloir (243KB) 5. The couloir (235KB) 6. Top of the couloir (253KB) 7. Soetefjellet and the lake (240KB) 8. Sveningen seen from 705 (295KB) 9. View towards Oevredalen (196KB) 10. The ridge towards Midtsaeter (287KB) 11. Sydpolen (179KB) 12. Upper Brekkedalen (249KB) 13. Sauafjellet (166KB) 14. Trail from Brekkedalen begins here (276KB) 15. The couloir (199KB) 16. The couloir (210KB) 17. Sydpolen seen from Brekkedalen (209KB)

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Other hordaland mountains Main Sveningen page