• Slettefjellet
  • 958 m
  • Primary factor 390 m
  • Hordaland, Norway
  • Location: North 60.76892, East 005.79140 (GPS on the summit)
  • Difficulty: YDS class 2
  • Climbed November 10, 2013.


How to get there:
This mountain is south of Mo in Modalen, the best approach is from the east side. From Bergen, one may drive E39 north to Romarheim, then turn right to Modalen. In Modalen, continue through the big tunnel that makes it possible to drive to Dale. After the tunnel, continue about 2.5 kilometer and locate parking off the right side of the road near a sign for a bus stop. This location is N60.76747, E005.83300, elevation about 100 meter.
Alternatively, drive E16 via Vaksdal and Dale, then turn left towards Romarheim and Modalen. After you leave the innermost part of Eidsfjorden, continue about 4.4 kilometer to the trailhead. This route is about 10 kilometer shorter, but the road from Dale is somewhat more narrow.
Route description:
Walk a few meter east along the road (towards Modalen), locate a sign for Eikemostølen and some blue paint on the trees showing the route uphill. Initially, this trail is quite steep and gains elevation above the road. Higher up, it sort of follows the small creek. Look for blue marks on trees and rocks. This trail leads to Eikemostølen at elevation 345 meter. The trail is not very easy to follow, I missed this cabin and continued uphill. From here, continue more or less straight uphill and directly to the col south of the rocky point 774 meter.
From this col, turn more south-west and gain the main ridge towards the summit of Slettefjellet. Note that it is important to stay right and gain the rightmost ridge, thus avoiding the cliffs and sharp gullies further left (east).
The week ended with a very emotional Friday funeral. To see 3 children, the youngest a girl at 7, walk behind their mother's coffin to her grave is strong and without meaning. The weather was all clouds and rain, a true November day, reminding that this is when nature prepares for a cold winter. The next day, Saturday, a good friend and colleague informs me that his mother passed away. A second shock and very sad, but more reflecting a normal human life.
Thus, this hike should be a solitary climb with ample time to share the thoughts of my two good friends, to feel their loss and reflect on many memories. But also to see and experience nature and its changing into winter dress, with many living things entering a period of sleep and struggle for survival.
The initial hike up towards Eikemostølen was uneventful. I started at 1130 and quickly got up into snow territory. Too quick, I realized that I should indeed have carried skis. This climb would not be an easy walk, but a long struggle with postholing in ever deeper snow.
My next mistake was to set my direction more left, towards the summit instead of first gaining the col at 700 meter. This mountain turned out to have several deep gullies with vertical cliffs going across my intended route. These cliffs would be on my side of the gully, but facing inward. Thus, I could not see the problems ahead. From below, the mountain looked smooth and easy to climb. I followed the ridgeline of one such cliff quite far left until I finally downclimbed a spot (soft snow below!) that I knew I would not be able to climb back up. Well, this issue could safely be postponed until my descent. The snow was now knee deep, heavy work to walk uphill with conditions like this. To make the day perfect, a strong wind ruled the higher terrain and carried spin-drift with millions of small icicles. Sharp enough to sting my face skin.
I finally made the summit at 1350, quite a bit more time than planned. The summit was not a place to linger, strong wind and spin-drift. I left at 1400 and as always with conditions like this, the descent was much quiker. I made a somewhat advanced crawl up a narrow slanting ledge in order to bypass my down-climb spot, then continued downhill. I was back at my car by 1520, so one hour faster down.