Location: North 60.38350, East 006.59868 (GPS at the summit)
Difficulty (YDS) class 2
Climbed April 26. 2020
How to get there:
Locate the small town of Utne on the north tip of the large penisula between
the (main) Hardangerfjord and the Sørfjorden. One may get to Utne
by ferry from Kvanndal on Hwy. 7 (north side of the fjord) or by road from
Odda in the south.
From Utne, drive towards Odda, 5.5 kilometer to the small place Grimo. Find the
road turning sharply right, signed for Trones. The first part of this road
is paved, then good dirt. Go straight at Trones, after the last farm, there is
a selfe serve road toll. Pay in the box (NOK 20 in 2020), then proceed to a
parking area. Park here, this is the TH, location N60.39428, E006.63685,
elevation about 425 meter.
From the parking/trailhead, there are 2 forest roads, one continues straight, the
other turns right and climbs uphill. The most direct route is likely to continue
straight, then keep right (go uphill) and reach the south end of a meadow located
at the upper end of the valley that comes up from the north side (from Utne).
However, in order to get on snow (in April) as quickly as possible, the other road that climbs
immediately, may be preferable. If this option is followed, then it is important to not
climb any higher than about 550 meter. Contour west and gain the same meadow.
If you go higher, you will end up
on top of a cliff-band that is awkward to descend.
From the base of the slope, consider the terrain above. There is a band just above
800 meter of elevation, where the steepness exceeds 30 degrees. One may avoid this
by ascending more right (north) before turning left traversing just below lake Grimsvatnet
(Location N60.38862, E006.60084, about 1000 meter),
you pass a hut here, then
onwards to the summit. In the spring, there are several locations where
the snow will slide off the rock, big cracks in the snow reveals the potential danger.
However, it is quite easy to pick a safe route up this hill.
This Sunday looked like the end of a period with excellent weather. In fact, the
forecast for Bergen was not good, while the Hardanger forecast still promised
at least some sunshine. I called my friend Eric and asked if he would like to
come along on short notice. We agreed that I would pick him up sometime
before 0900. Thus, after an excellent Sunday breakfast with Heidi, I drove
north to Eric and we were on our way well before 0900. We decided to catch the
1100 ferry from Kvanndal and drive there via Voss.
We were first in line for the ferry and after about 20 minutes, we were signaled to
drive onboard. The guy greeted me and informed us that this was indeed the maiden
(in service) voyage of this (electric) ferry and congratulated us by being the
very first car to drive onboard. The ferry was brand new with the name Utnefjord.
We drove up to the trailhead, this is indeed a very convenient place to start out from.
The horizontal road was free of snow, we took the road that went uphill
and could put on skis after only a few hundred meter.
However, we failed to recognize the cliff that runs across and ended up too high.
We scrambled back down, this clearly was a waste of time. Next, I looked carefully
at the slope extending upwards.
Big chunks of snow had avalanched directly off the
smooth rock below. There were numerous big cracks of slippage in the snow. These are
typical signs in the spring. Avalanches like this often repeat every year in the same
spots. It looked like one could follow a pretty safe line up the middle, but obviously
an even safer route would be to turn the steeper section on the right side as seen from below.
We agreed on the latter alternative.
It was easy to ski here and
both the view and the snow got better as we
ascended. We arrived at the summit around 1430,
so 2.5 hours including the time wasted down below.
We took a long break, time for looking around. A few clouds kept drifting around, but
we also had good views all the way down to the fjord.
Looking towards the inner fjord, the Hardanger bridge,
top 10 in the world, was very prominent.
When we finally left, the best part of the trip ahead.
The snow was near perfect for spring skiing,
we both truly enjoyed the ride.
Unfortunately, such pleasure do come to an end, before long we were back down into the
slush just before end of snow. We navigated a much better route back to our uphill
track. Back at the car before 1600 - the conclusion of a very nice trip. Many thanks to
Eric for coming along.