Om de ‘Syv’ Fjell — About the ‘Seven’ Mountains

So apparently, Bergen is “the City among Seven Mountains.” The fact that Bergen is actually surrounded by NINE mountains doesn’t seem to deter its residents from claiming all the mythological and historical impact of lucky number seven.

Seven, nine, whatever — mountains are awesome, and having a veritable Smorgåsbord of them at my feet is going to be one of the highlights of this semester for me.

I’m on a quest to climb them all!


Mountain No. 4 — Mount Rundemanen

Climbing Rundemanen should not be difficult.

An almost inevitable continuation of Mt. Fløyen, and not far from Tarlebøvatnet, I’ve come within a short and leisurely trek to the summit again and again after that first climb. Every time, I have to have a bit of a laugh at myself — because the first time, I took the absolutely hardest way up.

Looking fresh at the start!

After spending the better part of the day before lost on Storsåta to the north, and then sleeping that evening on the snow by Jordalsvatnet, we decided to cut our previously more ambitious plans for the weekend down to a shortish walk up to the Tarlebøvatnet and down again.

We are really good at getting lost

But we couldn’t find the path (when we did find the path, later, we realized it was so completely snowed over that it wouldn’t have helped us very much) and we tried to guess and improvise, following stream beds and trying to climb on top of bits of vegetation and such.

At first, there were lovely, silent forests, a few birds and animal tracks to look at, and views that got better with every step!

And then things started getting harder.

At one point, I believe I struggled for close to ten minutes without advancing noticeably at all. There was simply nothing I could hold onto that didn’t come lose and crashing down below me. Snow, rocks, twigs, plants…

Can you tell how steep this was?

And that was before we had to cross and jump off of the frozen waterfall.

Returning to a more reasonable grade, where we could actually walk (albeit with care), we finally found the path in the middle of the forest, so well hidden by meter-deep snow that we passed in twice in search before I asked whether it wasn’t possible that this was the trail after all.

We followed it and, a few minutes later, finally emerged above the treeline into a sort of marshy meadow, with a cabin on a hill above us.

We had a quick, cold lunch up there, disappointed by the inability of the cabin and the snowy, icy wall around it to block out the wind.

Then, we journeyed on for the last stretch — over Rundemanen and Fløyen and finally, around 8 o’clock, back down to the city center. The way was relatively easy, but I didn’t know where we were until near the end, so I was just following Lukas through the swirling white snow, grateful to be moving because it kept the cold away.

And I have to say, given the circumstances, reaching Rundemanen was somewhat anticlimatic compared to the feeling of finally coming home and pulling off crampons and boots and three pairs of icy-sweaty socks. Still, we stopped for the inevitable summit-shot!


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