• Kvanngrødhorga
  • 1282 m
  • Primary factor 312 meter
  • Location: North 60.20958, East 006.30570 (GPS at the summit)
  • Voss, Norway
  • Difficulty: (YDS) class 2
  • Climbed February 26. 2017.


How to get there:
From Bergen, take Hwy. E-16 to the traffic circle at Trengereid, then Hwy. 7 (go right) across Kvamskogen to Nordheimsund at the Hardangerfjord. Go right in the traffic circle, leaving Hwy. 7 here and entering Hwy. 49, signed for Tørvikbygd, this is about 11 kilometer from Nordheimsund. Leave Hwy. 49, turning left to go downhill the short distance to the ferry serving Jondal. The distance from Bergen to this ferry is 90 kilometer. Take the ferry. In Jondal, do not go left or right, but straight into the valley, following Hwy. 105. Drive about 2 kilometer, as the road crosses a river on a small bridge, note the road that forks right immediately before this bridge. In summer, drive this road (self serve toll), in winter, continue to the next small turnoff that forks left. It serves some local power plant buildings, you should be able to park there, at least in the weekend. This location is N60.28027, E006.29031, elevation about 70 meter.
Route description:
Walk back to aand across the bridge, in winter skiing starts here. Ski the mountain farm road uphill towards the summer farm area called Breidsete. Just before Breidsete, there is a bridge crossing the river, serving some cabins. Cross here and ski uphill (west) passing some cabins and locating the lower end of the north ridge of the mountain. Ski up this ridge, just before 600 meter of elevation there is a short flat section, then quite a steep ascent for the next 75 vertical meter. The best route is more or less straight uphill, with zig-zags to find the best line. Ascend a steep slope between cliffs to gain better terrain and soon you are above the tree line.
Continue uphill directly towards Vesle Kvanndalsnuten 889 meter, but bypass the summit on the east side at elevation about 875 meter. Descend with care to the saddle at 800 meter of elevation. There is a steep cliffband around elevation 850, but it may be passed near its east end.
First ascend to the summit point marked at 1115 meter, then continue to the main summit at elevation 1282 meter.
I organized and led this trip as a Bergen Mountaineering Group outing. After the normal, late cancellations, we were a group of 14 leaving Bergen at 0800. The 90 kilometer drive to Tørvikbygd went without incident, however when the very first car in line for the ferry was asked to drive onboard, the battery was flat! This was our party, a small mystery how this could happen after just driving 90 km? The ferry crew quickly assisted and soon we all drove ashore in Jondal.
We located parking at a local power plant building a bit beyond the mountain farm road. Busy activity for everyone to get ready. At 1100, we were all at the beginning of the snow covered road and the skiing could begin. I broke trail for a few hundred meter, then wisely let some strong and younger participants do the trail breaking. I had been slightly concerned about possible avalanches coming from high up, but a quick assessment showed that this was not a problem. The avalanche danger in this region was forecasted at level 3, considerable danger. The lower part of the route was well protected by dense spruce forest.
Skiing along the mountain farm road was quite easy, the team was in good spirit when crossing the small bridge before starting up the ridge. The river was still open, thus a bridge was quite welcome. We passed some local cabins then entered a fairly gentle, but very clear ridge with reasonable skiing. Higher up, we ran into the steepish section just below the treeline. Good to have some strong trail-breakers here. There are quite a few cliffs in this area, but fortunately, also some passages between. With very deep snow, this part of the ascent must be characterized as cumbersome.
Breaking out of the forest, we could see the terrain up to the first, local summit that we needed to bypass. The slope was not completely smooth, smaller cliffs and slightly variable steepness, but overall pretty easy to ski. We passed just east (left) of the local summit, finally being able to see the terrain and route as it descended to a saddle, then climbed, still on somewhat broken terrain, first to what appeared to be the end of the ridge, then onwards to the highest summit located further behind and slightly right.
A cliff band on the way down to the saddle required some investigation, but soon we were at the low point ready to ascend further onwards. The terrain had a couple of steeper spots, one were we preferred to carry the skis up, steep and narrow, but very short. The view started to look better, we never had the sun that was forecasted, but the clouds stayed high and the feeling of actually climbing a mountain was there. A few people decided to slowly turning back, it had already been a long day of uphill skiing. Several more carried on to the first summit point at 1115 meter, then called it a day. At the end, we were six people that finally arrived at the proper cairn. The time was now 1520, it had taken us 4:20 to get here. After roughly a 15 minute break we were ready to start the long, but much easier ski run back down. We were all back at the cars by 1730, getting all organized, then caught the 1800 ferry in Jondal.
Many thanks to Eystein Harsjøen for being a trip co-leader.