Munkebu to Sørvågen
|Estimated net time||7-9 hours|
|Difficulty||No real difficulties, but some easy scrambling is required around the summit. Some exposure on the ridge towards point 650, and also in the summit area.|
|Drinking water||The only reliable source of water is from lake Krokvatnet.|
|GSM coverage||At best very sporadic coverage (July 2009).|
|Parking||Not applicable for Munkebu trail head.|
|Start height||410 metres|
|Vertical metres||1405 metres for the roundtrip|
|Trip distance||15.3 km|
|Map||The route from Munkebu to Hermansdalstinden.|
Approximate route from Lamheia towards west.|
Approximate route around top-536.
This route is well marked, with red paint and small cairns, throughout the route.
For access to Munkebu see route description Merraflestinden from Sørvågen to Munkebu.
From Munkebu follow the path south and then west down to Lamheia, between the lakes Fjerdedalsvatnet and Tennesvatnet. From Lamheia walk all the way up to the steep north wall of Moldtinden before you head north between the lakes Krokvatnet and Tennesvatnet. Continue towards top 448, and turn left (west) a few metres before the summit. Note that the path continues north across 448 and then down towards Forsfjorden, but this is not the path you should follow.
After you have turned left before top 448 head down into the saddle and then proceed up on the left hand side of the steep walls of top 536. The path will take onto the wide ridge a little west of top 536. From here continue west towards point 650, on a very narrow ridge. From point 650 turn a little right, and continue north and north-west all the way to the summit. Above point 650 the terrain gradually changes from grass and moss to boulder.
A little below the summit you will have to use your hands in a couple of places, but there are no technical difficulties. The summit itself consists of huge stones and offers some exposure.
The descent is best done by reversing the ascent route to Munkebu. From Munkebu follow the well marked path back to Sørvågen.
16. July 2009
Elisabeth and me woke up at Munkebu fairly early, eager to look out the window to see if the fog from the day before had lifted. When we realised that it was just as poor visibility as the day before we had a quick discussion about what to do, and after spending a little time analyzing the options we decided to make an attempt at Hermansdalstinden despite the prospect of having less than 100 metres visibility for most of the hike. Hanging around at Munkebu to see if the weather improved wasn't really an option since the hike would take us at least six hours, and then we had the drive to our next destination, whatever that might be.
After breakfast we packed our day-sacks, and set off a little after 8am. None of the other six guests at Munkebu were out of their beds by then, probably because they knew what the weather was like.
Finding the route down to Lamheia was straight forward, as was also the case for the route up to top 448. At top 448 I noticed a couple packing their tent, but they didn't seem to notice us. For some reason we missed the path junction just before top 448, and well down the north side of the top we realised we were on the wrong path. A quick check with the map and our guide book ("På tur i Lofoten") told us we had to go back up to top 448. This time we had a brief chat with the couple that had spent the night out here, and they told us they had been to Hermansdalstinden the day before, and had been above the fog at the summit. This information gave us just the inspiration we needed to clear away any hesitations whether to proceed to the summit or not.
At point 650 we had some more navigation issues; the visibility was down to a few tens of metres and we were not able to locate the next small cairn. After some back-and-forth on the small plateau we eventually found the next cairn. In order to aid other hikers I took the time to build a cairn on top of a large stone, located between the large cairn on point 650 and the first cairn in the long hill towards Hermansdalstinden.
Navigating from point 650 to the summit, once the initial problems were solved, was straight forward since there were many small cairns to follow. Even in the scrambling section towards the end of the climb there were small cairns, and the scrambling itself was very easy; you just had to use your hands in a few places.
At the summit we enjoyed our lunch, but unfortunately we were not able to see anything except the summit itself because of the thick fog. After lunch and a well deserved rest we headed back down and walked continuously back to Munkebu. During a short spell around top 448 the sky cleared a little and we got a few glimpses of some of the surrounding mountains, but we were never able to see Hermansdalstinden. At Munkebu we met Torunn and Merete, who had decided to stay another night at Munkebu and make an attempt at Hermansdalstinden the following day. During the chat with them they also mentioned that six hikers from Bergen had arrived at Munkebu, but none of them had paid nor showed any willingness to pay, so Torunn and Merete had basically told them to bugger off, and rightly so. It seems like most people are not willing to pay for their stay at Munkebu, and this is also the reason that the local DNT group (Norwegian Tourist Association) wants to sell this cabin. This will be a shame, but quite understandable since there are too many dishonest people also in the mountains.
After having picked up our over-night gear at Munkebu we proceeded back to Sørvågen, and then drove to Leknes, where we found ourselves an OK hotel for the night.
Photos 16.07.2009 270° panorama from Munkebu