|Estimated net time||2-2½ hours|
Most of the route is done on a path which is boggy in the wet periods.
|Drinking water||No stable access to drinking water.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route (September 2010).|
|Parking||Room for a couple of cars at trail head.|
|Start height||150 metres|
|Vertical metres||280 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||5.5 km|
Possible parking and trail head.
From Bergen drive south to Nesttun, and then road E39 towards Os and Stavanger. Approximately 6 km from Nesttun, while driving along lake Kalandsvatnet, turn left where signed for "Bontveit". Drive 2.0 km along this road and turn left onto Hednevegen. Drive 50 metres along this road and fork right, and then another 90 metres to a small car park on the left hand side of the road. Park here.
Start your hike by heading back 90 metres to the road fork, and turn sharp right. Walk 670 metres uphill and turn sharp left when you get to a few houses. Follow this gravel road 300 metres up the first house on the left hand side of the road. Turn left between a garage and a house and locate a vague path behind the buildings. Follow this path 130 metres until you hit a forest road (under construction per 2010). Stay on the forest road for 90 metres, until it turns right, and locate a path going straight ahead. Stay on this path approximately 700 metres. You're now on top of a small hill. After descending a few metres you're down in a small valley, and you should follow the path crossing the valley and ascend the top on the other side. Walk uphill and gradually turn right, and you will soon find yourself on Orrtua. There is a cairn located outside the forest, and approximately 30 metres further north, into the forest, you will find a concrete summit cairn.
Descend from Orrtua the way you ascended, but don't head all the way back to the small valley; a few metres above the valley a path forks right, bringing you in the direction of Vardafjellet. When this path fades away after a few tens of metres head south-west into the saddle between Orrtua and Vardafjellet, and from here ascend off-path to what looks like Vardafjellet's summit. The summit is not marked in any way, but approximately 45 metres south of the summit you will find a concrete cairn identical to the one you found at Orrtua.
From the summit cairn head 150 metres south along the path, and then turn left, aiming for a small ridge on the other side of a marsh. There is a vague path along this ridge, which you can follow back towards Orrtua. Descend the ridge and you will soon find the path that took you to Orrtua. From here follow your ascent route back down to the car.
Descend by reversing your ascent route.
09. September 2010
Despite this Thursday being a very nice day, I didn't have much motivation for a long drive to something challenging. I therefore decided to hike one of the few mountains I still had on my to-do list, close to our Hagavik factory, and Vardafjellet was one of tops I hadn't done yet.
I left the car and run into problems already at Hedno, since I wasn't able to locate a path. I therefore rang the door bell on one of the houses, and a helpful lady told me I had to follow the forest road that did a sharp left at Hedno. From here I continued up to something that looked like cabins, and again I was lost. Here I again asked for advice, but the foreign (probably Polish) worker didn't know of any paths towards Orrtua nor Vardafjellet. I therefore headed back a little and found a possible start of a path, and after a few metres I was convinced I was on the right track. But my fortune didn't last long since the path abruptly ended when it met a new forest road under construction. I decided to follow the forest road to its end, but the ribbons continuing into the forest didn't mark a path. But after having headed left (east) a little I managed to re-join the path I had been on. From here it was easy to follow the path to Orrtua.
From Orrtua I once again lost the path, so eventually decided to head across to Vardafjellet in a straight line. This didn't work out too bad, but I'm sure this route will be very wet and boggy during the wet periods of the year. I spent a few minutes at Vardafjellet, taking photos and enjoying a reasonable view, and then decided to follow the path from the summit towards south, hoping it would soon turn east and back towards Orrtua. But the path never turned, and as I was about to turn back I met a man out on his evening exercise hike. I asked where this route ended, and he told me it would take me down to Kaland school. He also gave me directions for a lot of other routes that would eventually take me back to my trail head, but in the end I decided to join him back towards Vardafjellet. A little before the summit I headed east, on his advice, and found a fair route back towards Orrtua. From here I had an easy walk back down to the car.
All in all an OK hike, but I don't think I will ever repeat it. However, the marked route up to Vardafjellet from Kaland school is definitely on my to-do list, and is probably something that can be done in the dark (using a head lamp, of course).