Cultural relics in the mountains – 3 to 4 days hike
You traverse a magnificent mountain terrain at an elevation of 1000 to 1200 m.a.s.l. To get the full benefit from such a trip - where you may explore impressive cultural relics - you should allow for three to four days.
The mountain area between Hovden and Haukeli is a treasure chest of cultural relics. The route has its starting point at the Hovden Alpine Centre (approx. 800 m.a.s.l.), from where it continues north to Haukeli via the tourist cabins Sloaros and Holmevasshytta. You traverse a magnificent mountain terrain at an elevation of 1000 to 1200 m.a.s.l.
To get the full benefit from such a trip, you should allow for three to four days, and you should be an experienced mountain hiker.
What equipment is required?
Suitable outdoor clothing, mountain boots and adequate food. Parts of the route are not marked, so it is essential that you are familiar with a map and compass. Please note that the weather may change rapidly at this elevation.
How do we get to the meeting point?
The hike begins at the Hovden Alpine Centre, which has a large car park. The Nor-Way express buses have corresponding routes from the eastern and western parts of Norway, and the Setesdal Express have return trips from the South coast. From the bus stop at central Hovden, it is approximately one kilometre to the starting point. See the websites www.nor-way.no and www.akt.no.
Description Hovden – Sloaros
From the eastern end of the car park at the Hovden Alpine Centre, you follow a T-marked trail on an old cart road for approximately 7 kilometres. When you reach Krossloskaret at 1225 m.a.s.l., one of the highest points on this hike, you continue towards Sloaros on a path. This stretch normally takes about five hours.
The “culture” stretch: Sloaros – Storhedder – Sloaros
Almost 1000 years ago, runes and animal drawings were carved into the rock Skutesteinen at Storhedder. As much as seven drawings of reindeer, carnivores and archers indicate that hunting played a vital part in the community. Seven horse drawings suggest that the hunters either used horses for the hunt, that Storhedder was a gathering place for horse keepers or that horses had a special position in the Middle Ages.
By taking a day hike from Sloaros to Storhedder and back, you will be able to see this impressive cultural relic.
On the same trip, before you reach Storhedder, you find the remnants of mining industry by the lake Langvatn. Until World War I, molybdenum was extracted from these mines. We do not recommend an entry to the mine shafts, as they may contain a lot of water and be susceptible to falling rocks. However, you may look at the house ruins, dams, wagons and the rusty, abandoned mining equipment; evidence of an industrial past. An interesting piece of cultural history 1000 m.a.s.l. You should allow for approximately five hours for this hike. If you bring a tent, this is a great place to stop on your way to Holmevatn.
Sloaros – Holmevasshytta
This stretch takes you through a fairly easy terrain. When you reach the pass at the mountain Fisketjørnnuten, approximately five kilometres from Sloaros, the route marking ends, but the map is easy to follow. Take the unmarked path down the valley until you reach the road to Holmevatn. Keep on this road until you reach the lake, and cross the river at the dam. Continue through unmarked terrain until you encounter the marked trail between Bleskestadmoen and Holmevasshytta. This will bring you to your destination – Holmevasshytta. This stretch normally takes about six hours.
Holmevasshytta – Haukeliseter
The first stretch takes you across open terrain, up to the highest point of the hike, the 1330-metre Turistskaret pass. From these magnificent surroundings with open moraine ridges, you begin the descent to the Haukeliseter mountain lodge. This stretch normally takes about six hours. We recommend an overnight stop at Haukeliseter.
At Hovden there is a wide selection of accommodation alternatives: hotels, cabins and apartments. For further information, see www.hovden.com. For the hike itself, you may bring a tent or stay in the cabins of the Norwegian Trekking Association: Sloaros, Holmevasshytta and Haukeliseter. See www.turistforeningen.no. Sloaros and Holmevasshytta are unlocked self-service cabins, which means that you have to bring your own hut sack (sheet sleeping bag) or bed linen. The cabins are stocked with basic provisions which you may purchase. For groups, advance booking is recommended. Members of the Norwegian Trekking Association are entitled to a discount on accommodation.