• Brattefjell
  • 1540 m
  • Primary factor 607 m
  • Location: North 59:43.706, East 008:24.027 (GPS at the summit)
  • Telemark, Norway
  • Difficulty: YDS class 2
  • Climbed: March 2, 2010


How to get there: This mountain is located in Telemark. With reference to the European Hwy. 134 that connects east and west in Norway (Southern route), locate Nutheim, a small intersection above Flatdal. Flatdal is on the north (Oslo side) of the village Seljord.
Leave E-134 at Nutheim (it is in a big curve on E-134), and go west towards Åmotsdal. Measure from this intersection. After a bit more than 3 kilometer, the road forks, stay right continuing to Åmotsdal. At kilometer 14.8, the smaller road to Sudbø forks uphill on your right hand side (sharp turn). Take this road and continue uphill. At Kilometer 15.8, continue straight (stay left) as the road forks. At kilometer 17.5, keep right, and continue to kilometer 22.2 where you continue to stay right. Shortly thereafter stay right again as you cross the river and approach the Sudbø farm. There is a good sized parking lot. Parking for the day cost (2010) NOK 30.-, self serve with a small box in the middle of the parking area. This is the trailhead, location N59:42.510, E008:20.221, elevation just short of 800 meter.
Route description: Exit from the upper end of the parking area and follow a (summer) road partway up the hill on your right. There are vacation homes here. Go by the highest hut. The ski route runs a few meter to your right (when facing uphill), then turns and climbs the hill in a long, gradual traverse going left. There is a summer trail here (marked on the M-711 map). The trees have been cut and it is better to follow this path than fighting the dense birch forest on the general hill slope.
This route will take you north of the local peaks and it gains a fairly flat mountain area just as you get above the treeline. Continue gently uphill as you gradually turn more right. You have Bosnuten across the valley on your left and Mefjell (1495m) will appear up front. Further right, you can now see Brattefjell and a nice route will just climb across the shoulder that separates your position from the mountain. Descend on the opposite side and cross the small valley.
As you look at the slopes of Brattefjell, a very distinct creek comes down in a pretty deep gully on the left side. It is easy to find a moderate slope on the right hand side of this gully. Higher up, there is a somewhat (almost) flat area before the final slopes. Head up along a wide and easy route slightly right of the summit area. As you gain the ridge, turn left and ascend the last few meter to the summit.
Comments: I left Bergen in the afternoon and drove to Haukeliseter where they served local (tasty!) mountain trout and their special micro brew from the southern town of Arendal. I had a big room with 20 beds all for myself. Breakfast with waffles (self made) and blueberries, quite nice.
I was on my way in excellent morning weather, minus 20 Celcius, not a single cloud, a low sun in the east, the time was 0830. I arrived at the trailhead at 1015 and needed to organize my gear before starting out. By 1040, I was on my way up the track serving the vacation huts. Fortunately, somebody had made a ski track up the hillside. It did not climb the way I had planned, but rather followed a summer track and contoured north of this first cain of (lower) peaks. With the alternative being a struggle among birch trees in bottomless snow, my choice was easy - I skied around on the north side.
Just as I left the trees behind, the track also vanished, most likely due to the wind that already was noticeable. I could now see my goal and decided on a straight line approach. This took me over and across a shoulder, then directly across the small valley and to the main slope coming down from Brattefjell. The snow was more windpacked here, thus easy to break trail. The ascent was straightforward and I arrived at the summit by 1300.
A very good view, but a pretty strong (and very cold) wind made my visit brief. I left after 10 minutes and skied back to my car in exactly one hour.
My next goal would be Røysdalsnuten, the highest point on Lifjell and a "candidate" P600. (Estimated prominence is 598 m.) Thus, I wanted a place to stay near Seljord. The ideal location, Nutheim guesthouse, was full. The next piece of bad news was that the very old hotel in Seljord (since 1859) had gone bankrupt just a week ago, Tor Erling and I stayed there last October. I settled for the local motel, ok for a night, but without any comparison to the old hotel. Hopefully, some new owner can get the hotel back in business before the summer season.
Seljord by night: This motel had a sign advising customers to call a cellphone number. A very foreign accent answered, she was out of town, but would return in 2 hours. She told me that she lived in number 8 and that there were rooms available. OK, how to kill a couple of hours in Seljord? I located the village cultural house, a gigantic building that most likely contained something of interest. Yes, if nothing else, a free internet PC. While processing my email a friendly local guy came by and wanted to chat. He told me about the airplane wrecks at Skorve etc. Before leaving, he strongly recommended a local restaurant, it was definitely a step up, good food and service. I returned to the motel and checked into room 16. At 7PM, I decided to go for dinner. This place was (naturally) at the complete opposite side of town, since I wanted a glass of wine or a beer, I set out on foot. But it was not to be, the place had a sign saying that they closed all weekdays at 6PM ! What? A restaurant normally opens at 1800, but of course, this is out in the country, not anywhere near a city. I dropped by the local gas station and asked about other options. (A last option being a hot dog right there.) The girl could tell me that my only other choice was a cafeteria right next to the motel where I was staying. Well, a good walk back and I felt I deserved my dinner. It turned out that they closed at 8PM, so in fact, I barely made it.