• Hårteigen
  • 1690 m
  • Primary factor 410m
  • King of Hardangervidda
  • Location: North 60:11.586, East 007:04.146
  • Climbed September 22nd. 2001.


How to get there: The best starting point is perhaps the parking area at the very end of the road to Hjølmo. Hjølmo is about 7 km south from Øvre Eidfjord, the road is marked with signs on the main road from Eidfjord to Oslo. The drive from Bergen to Hjølmo takes between 3 and 4 hours somewhat depending on the ferry connection between Bruravik and Brimnes.
Route description:
First, the route from Hjølmo to Torehytten:
This hike runs south from the parking area along the big river Veig to the hut Viveli where the river is crossed slightly south of the huts. The route continues on the west side of Veig, passing Rundenuten, 1054m then into the basin, then gently up on Nuhaugane passing between the two points 1168 and 1172. From here, flat and gently descending into Langedalen where there are a few old buildings. The trail crosses the river Olbogo on a bridge, then continues to Fagerlisete. Note that the trail from Langedalen to Fagerlisete has changed, the route on the map is not correct. The trail now runs considerably further east, along the eastern edge of the large meadow. At Fagerlisete there is another bridge across Olbogo, but the trail continues south along the river without crossing the bridge. More to follow here...
Second, the route from Torehytten to Hårteigen:
The trail heads out next to the smaller hut and crosses the river on a natural bridge in the small canyon. Shortly thereafter, Hårteigen is again visible and the trail heads directly to a point on the ridge just north of the mountain. At this point, the trail meets the north-south trail connecting Litlos (in the south) with Hadlaskard (to the north). Proceed south for about 100 meter to a very distinct, deeply set gully filled with rocks that cuts the east face of the mountain. This is the beginning of the standard route. In order to get to the south ridge route (see below), one should continue south along the main trail until the east face ends and the south ridge becomes visible. The two routes will be described below.
Third, the south ridge route:
Ascend up the lower part of the ridge on grassy slopes. As the terrain gets steeper and cliff bands block easy progress on the climbers left, move right and ascend to a grassy patch higher up. From this area one can easily gain a new grassy area a bit higher up. The climb is class 3 from this point. The terrain gets steeper and more cliffs looms overhead. However, look for and locate a narrow ledge that can be followed to the right around a small corner, this leads to a new, smaller patch of grass just below the cliffs above. From this location the climber should see a very distinct cut in the cliff visible against the sky slightly to the left. This may appear to be the most promising way to continue. One can climb up to and through this cut by first moving up about two meters in a well protected V-shaped rock, then proceed left along a ledge and climb right up two big blocks of rock turning into the crack. However, this route might be difficult when wet and slippery.
THERE IS A SAFER AND EASIER ALTERNATIVE: Instead of climbing towards the crack by moving up in the V-shaped rock formation, move a bit to the right, then climb up broken rocks to a new ledge that leads further right. There are near perfect hand holds above, move right along this ledge, confidently step around the corner (some exposure) and find yourself on easy ground. The climb from here to the summit is easy, class 2 with a few possible class 2+ moves, depending on the line taken. To summarize, this route has essentially two class 3 moves, both moving right along a ledge turning a corner at its end. Thus, there are no upward moves that are harder than class 2+ on this route.
Fourth, the east (standard) route:
Turn directly west from the trail along a smaller, but very distinct trail between the boulders at the entrance to the deep gully that sharply cuts the east mountain face above you. The trail continues in small zig-zags up the gully, be careful to avoid kicking loose rock on parties that may be below you. Higher up, the gully is blocked by rather large boulders and generally steeper terrain. At this point, exit the gully to the right. The trail is very clearly marked as it crosses a few slabs of rock while leaving the gully. There are old ropes and further up wires and bolts that may be of comfort to hikers with a fear of heights. However, the trail is generally well protected and not at all difficult to follow even if these ugly reminders of civilization had not been there. The rest of the trail is easy on gentle slopes without exposure leading to the very impressive cairn on the summit.
Comments: I did this climb with Arnt Flatmo. It took us about 6 hours to hike from the car to the DNT hut Torehytten. From there (the next day) it is about one hour to the base of Hårteigen. Unfortunately, we had fog on the summit, indeed we had to look around quite a bit before locating the big cairn on the summit. The hike down the standard route was straightforward, I guess my personal opinion is that the cables and ropes on this route should be removed, they do not necessarily contribute to safety.