Sørvågen to Munkebu
|Estimated net time||3-4 hours|
|Drinking water||Access to drinking water from a couple of streams before you start the ascent from lake Stuvdalsvatnet.|
|GSM coverage||Unknown (July 2009).|
|Parking||Room for many cars at trail head.|
|Start height||22 metres|
|Vertical metres||680 metres for the roundtrip|
|Trip distance||5.5 km|
Trail head for Merraflestinden and Munkebu, by Sørvågen.|
Path junction north of lake Stuvdalsvatnet.
Route up from lake Stuvdalsvatnet.
Drive road E10 west, almost to the end. At Sørvågen, a couple of kilometres before Å, locate the small red grocery store ("Service Mat") on the right hand side of the road (this is the second of two grocery stores on the right hand side of the road in Sørvågen). From the store drive another 300 metres west, turn right, and continue uphill for 200 metres. Park at the large car park at the end of the road.
Start walking by following the gravel road along the power lines, and continue along the right (east) shores of lake Stuvdalsvatnet. At the north end of the lake there is a small cove. At the bottom of the cove there is a path that forks off to the right, which will take you up to the saddle between Kolfjellet and Kjølen, and then to Merraflestinden. But for this route continue a little past the cove, and then turn right where signed for "Munkebu". When you have ascended 150 metres or so you will get to three cairns. From here you should turn a little right (east) and get onto the ridge above you. When you hit the path coming up from your right, turn left (north) and follow this path along the ridge all the way to the summit. Note that this ridge is fairly narrow in places, but there is never any difficulties, and you don't need to use your hands.
From the summit you follow the ridge that goes down to your left (north-west). When you get down into the saddle you follow the path that gradually turns north, and stay on this path all the way to Munkebu. Note that when you cross the small top south of Djupfjordheia the path is a bit vague, but is easy to find a few metres north of the top.
15. July 2009
Elisabeth and I drove from Sarpsborg at 6am to catch the 09:00 flight from Gardermoen to Evenes. At Evenes we rented a car and drove more or less directly to Sørvågen. After having bought some food and picked up a key for the Munkebu cabin we started our hike at 16:00.
There was some fog above 500 metres when we started our hike, but we knew the path to Munkebu was well marked. However, we had some uncertainty about the route to Merraflestinden, but from the maps we could see that this would be a ridge hike so we assumed we would be fine even though it was foggy.
When we got to the small cove at the north-east end of lake Stuvdalsvatnet we decided not to turn right and instead continued a little further north before ascending, thereby following the path to Munkebu. When we got up to the highest point of the climb from lake Stuvdalsvatnet, at around 250 metres, we turned right and headed up to the south ridge of Merraflestinden, and found the path along the ridge after some minor messing around. By now we were in thick fog, but the path was well defined and we were on a ridge so there was no need to worry. At the summit the visibility was down to a few tens of metres, so we continued after having taken a couple of summit photos.
The descent of Merraflestinden towards north-west was easy, in steep terrain, and when we got down to the saddle Klokkafemskaret ("the five o'clock col"), we proceeded up towards Djupfjordheia.
When we got to the summit of Djupfjordheia (actually, in hindsight, what we thought was the top of Djupfjordheia) we didn't feel 100% comfortable about the route. First of all the map showed the path was passing below the top (again, in hindsight, we weren't on Djupfjordheia but on a small top a little south of Djupfjordheia, which explains our problems), and secondly we met to other hikers (Torunn and Merete) who were coming back up from north and told us they hadn't found the path down to Munkebu. We joined them in a second search for the path but with no result. The four of us therefore headed back south to have a look for a path junction that we had missed. Neither did this search produce a result, so we went back up to Djupfjordheia (more correctly, the small top we thought was Djupfjordheia). The intention now was to take a compass bearing, but for some reason we were able to find the path this time, before we managed to get the compasses out of our back packs. From then it was a short and easy hike down to Munkebu.
At Munkebu there were already four other hikers (a German couple and a Norwegian couple, all relatively young), with whom we shared mountain experiences throughout the evening.