• Olsskavlen
  • 1576 m
  • Primary factor 586 m
  • Location: North 60:37.784, East 006:48.031 (GPS at the summit)
  • Near Voss, Norway
  • Climbed January 21, 2007
  • Difficulty: YDS class 2.


How to get there: From Bergen, drive E-16 to Voss, continue through the central village and turn right at the main intersection where E-16 continues left. Drive a few kilometer in the direction of Granvin, look for signs and make a left when you see the sign for Mjølfjell. Follow this Mjølfjell road for about 23 kilometer. This road has narrow sections and in winter, may be quite slippery. Drive carefully! Shortly after you pass the farm Voll, locate a small parking lot on the right hand side of the road. Make sure that you pay, the charge is NOK 30 (in winter), sometimes only NOK 10. (Read the instructions posted next to the toll box.) This is the trailhead, location N60:40.211, E006:47.048, elevation 548 meter.
Route description: From the trailhead, the ski route (look for a track) heads gently downhill and slightly left (as you look downhill). Cross the railroad tracks with extreme care, stop, look and listen before crossing. Continue gently downhill towards your left and locate a nice bridge that spans the gorge with the rather big river. Cross and head uphill on the opposite side. The trail crosses a few meadows, then continues its climb. Soon, you will cross a somewhat smaller river that comes down the hillside, on a green bridge. The route continues rather naturally uphill south-west of Vollbotnen. You are now ascending Tungefjellet, this is a broad ridge that arcs southward to the summit of Olsskavlen. The terrain is nice and good for skiing all the way to the summit.
Comments: The weather forecast was not too bad for Sunday, Saturday had been pretty bad all day. I needed to practice a bit more driving with Pål Jørgen and proposed to him that we would drive to a mountain near Voss, ski it and then combine a ski trip with some good driving practice.
We left Bergen at 0730, passing Voss around 0900 and then proceeded in the direction of Mjølfjell. This road gave Pål Jørgen a few new aspects of driving, very narrow (in part) and quite slippery. He proceeded rather carefully and we arrived at the trailhead around 0945. We started skiing at 1000, but after just a few meter, my right ski binding broke. What broke was the wire that runs around my heel and up front of the binding. A pretty serious breakdown. I got back to the car and considered my repair kit. It contained several pieces of wire, however nothing that could replace the current wire in full. The broken wire had to be connected to a new piece somehow. Easier said than done, but after a few tries, I had what looked like a workable solution.
At 1045, we started out again. The repaired binding lasted almost to Vollbotnen, there I made a second repair, basically using the same technique. We continued uphill and ran into extremely unpleasant conditions on Tungefjellet. Lower down, we had about 30 centimeter of fresh, new snow. Up here, there was ice and nothing but ice. Good conditions for crampons, exclaimed Pål Jørgen. However, crampons were left at home today, this was supposed to be a ski trip. We struggled uphill. Fortunately, the slope was gentle, anything else would have been impossible. This was the effect of rain from the previous mild days. The mountain had been soaked with rain that subsequently froze to ice. Any snow that fell here afterwards would blow away with the very slightest wind. Fortunately, the conditions improved as we got higher. Most likely, what fell as rain just below did come down as snow here, thus the ice never formed. Skiing improved considerably and we reached the summit cairn shortly after 1300. About 2 hours and 20 minutes, not bad for more than 1000 meter of vertical ascent. The weather was not great, clouds had replaced the few spots of blue sky that we saw earlier. We rested about 15 minutes, then started back down. If we had not been delayed by the repair work and if my binding had been something I trusted, then we might have descended another way, perhaps via Seldalsnuten. With a binding that could break any time, the choice was clear, descend the way we came up. We skied back down and aside from a struggle to get safely across the section of ice, the skiing was nice. The deep, new snow further down made for several interesting routes and soon, we were back at the car. The full descent took about one hour.
The drive back to Bergen gave Pål Jørgen more valuable practice and we were home shortly before 1700, with a hot sauna waiting, then a nice meal with spare ribs that also Tor Erling came by to taste.