|Våganipen from Markhus
|Estimated net time||4-4½ hours|
The route through Markhusdalen valley is on fine forest road. From where you leave the forest road you're on a wet path. Once the path ends you're mainly on rock to the summit.
|Drinking water||Many sources of running water along and across the forest road. Nothing reliable above the forest road.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage at trail head and above the forest towards the summit, and at the summit (August 2010).|
|Parking||Room for a few cars at trail head.|
|Start height||138 metres|
|Vertical metres||700 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||10.2 km|
From Bergen drive road E39 south to Os and then drive road 552 to the ferry port at Hatvik. Get the ferry across to Fusa. From the ferry port at Fusa drive 13.4 km along road 552, to Eikelandsosen. When you meet road 48 turn right towards Mundheim. Drive 9.8 km to Kilen and turn right onto road 549, signed for Sævareid. Drive 7.2 km and turn left onto a gravel road, signed for Markhus. Drive 1.0 km up this steep and curvy road. Find parking on the right hand side of the road after you have passed two houses. This is just before a barn.
Start hiking by continuing on the gravel road, and then turn left towards a house. Fork left before you get to the house, through a gate. Proceed across a small concrete bridge and turn right after the bridge, staying on the forest road. This forest road now takes you uphill and turns left around a small top. At the top of the hill there's a gate, and from here you proceed into the Markhusdalen valley. 650 metres from the last gate the forest road forks, and you should follow the right leg, straight ahead. Proceed another 2.0 km along the river, and then cross the river onto a path. There is a sign for Våganipen here, and there are plenty of yellow plastic markers. Follow the partly vague path, which is well marked by the yellow plastic. Eventually, and at around 480 metres, the path and markers end. From here continue east and then south-east onto the north ridge of Våganipen. When you get a little higher up you will find some small cairns guiding you to the summit.
The summit is marked by a proper cairn, and holds a registration book.
The descent is best done by reversing your ascent route.
11. August 2010
Although this Wednesday afternoon was grey, and there was a fair chance for rain and/or fog, I decided to head to Fusa for a post-work hike. The target of the day was Våganipen, which I knew would be a fairly long hike.
I didn't have much information about neither the trail head nor the route I had decided to attempt, but when I got to Sævareid I was pleased to see a sign for Markhus, my planned trail head for the day. When I got to Markhus I was very confused on what route to follow since there were three forest roads to choose from. And since I was only equipped with a small paper copy of a poor map, I didn't have much to help me. And as usual I hadn't added any waypoints to my GPS. But there was one more source of information: the locals. So I went up to the first house and knocked the door. None home. And after having had the same luck on another two houses I decided to have a go at one of the forest roads.
After around 500 metres of hiking, and just having entered Markhusdalen valley, I concluded I was on the wrong track. So I turned around, and went back to the car. Still confused, I decided to drive back down to Sævareid and drive a bit further towards Baldersheim, to see if I could find a more suitable trail head. But after a few kilometres of driving I concluded I was getting too far away from Våganipen if I was going to attack it from where I wanted to attack. Hence I drove back to Sævareid. Here I found a middle aged man standing close to the road, so I stopped and asked him if he knew the area. He confirmed, so I went ahead and asked for the best route to Våganipen. He started to explain where I should drive, and before he had completed his explanation I asked "do you mean I should drive up to Markhus?". "Yes", he said, followed by me stating "I've just been up there but wasn't sure what forest road to follow". He then explained the route in pretty good detail, from Markhus and all the way to the summit, being a little uncertain about the path after leaving the forest road. It turned out this was the route I had started 20 minutes earlier, so I knew exactly where to go. I thanked him, and if he ever reads this he should accept my thanks again.
This time there were no hesitations when setting out from Markhus, and the spirit was high as I walked along the fine forest road through Markhusdalen valley. My only doubt was related to the danger of fog coming creeping in, as there was a fair bit of fog around. When I got towards the end of the forest road I was able to find the path my guide had had some uncertainties about, thanks to fluorescent yellow markers. These markers took me through the open forest, towards the north ridge.. And since the fog had partly given way to the sun, navigation towards the summit was easy.
There was a coldish wind at the summit, and there was also some danger of both rain and fog, so I didn't stay long. And there wasn't really much motivation for a long stay; the views were limited thanks to the fog, and I didn't have anything to eat nor drink. So after a quick round with the camera I headed back down the ridge. Back at the forest road I started to run, and was back at the car less than an hour after leaving the summit.