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The summit of 4678-ft (1426m) Melderskin has a spectacular view east to the Folgefonna Icefield. The vistas west along the way up are impressive too, but the eastward scene is breathtaking, all the more so because it’s hidden from sight until the summit is reached.

With an average grade of 26% over a 3-mile (4.8km) hike and a typical round-trip time of 7 hours, the trail to Melderskin is rated “extra demanding”, the most challenging we’ve done on this year’s trip to Norway. Given the difficulty, the hike is an amazingly popular, with dozens of other hikers on the trail with us.

Including a half-hour tender ride and a similar duration walk to the trailhead, the total trip with stops took us 8.5 hours. But we did complete the hike from trailhead to trailhead in 5.5 hours. Although we’re far from the fastest hikers, we are getting quicker on the trails with all this practice.

Below are highlights from August 16, 2020. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at

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Dirona aglow in the early morning light, moored beneath Hovlandsnuten that we hiked up yesterday.
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A stable, high-speed tender is an excellent complement to a low-speed trawler. Rather than having to select an anchorage based on proximity to a hike or other feature, we can pick the nicest anchorage in the area and run the tender for miles to reach a destination. Here we are running about ten miles from our anchorage beneath Hovlandsnuten in the island of Tysnes, visible in the background, to Rosendal on the Norwegian mainland.
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Beautiful calm morning at Kalvansundet near Rosendal. We had considered anchoring here for the hike up Melderskin, but expected there would likely be a few other boats there and space would be a little tight for the amount of scope we prefer to have out. And several boats were anchored here already.
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The Hardangerfjord Express boat moored at Rosendal. While atop Hovlandsnuten yesterday, we saw this vessel underway from Bergen.
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Our destination, 4678-ft (1426m) Melderskin.
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A 35-minute walk brought us from the tender to the Melderskin trailhead at altitude 481 ft (146 m). “Only” 4,197 ft (1280m) to go :). With an average grade of 26% over a 3-mile (4.8km) hike, the trail is rated “extra demanding”, the most difficult we’ve done on this trip. The average return trip takes 7 hours, so we’ve gotten an early start and are at the trailhead just after 8am. We’re expecting another hot day, and it’s already quite warm out.
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View back to Rosendal from 839 ft (255 m) on the trail up to Melderskin.
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Rosendal Hamn
Beautiful Rosendal is a popular destination and the guest harbour is quite full on this mid-August weekend. We had trouble even finding a spot for the tender.
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Almost every trail we’d hiked on so far in Norway is through pasture land. Typically we see lots of sheep, but today we passed a curious cow.
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1604 Feet
Taking a break and enjoying the view at 1604 ft (489 m). Only 3074ft (937m) to go.
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Crossing the the western boundary of Folgefonna National Park, a 210 square mile (545 sq km) reserve encompassing the Folgefonna glaciers that we’ve been seeing from a distance on our past few hikes. We’ll be seeing a lot more of the glaciers over the next few weeks.
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View to the island of Snilstveitoy at center, with Kvinnheradsfjorden beyond, from altitude 2894 ft (882 m). The anchorage we passed through, at Kalvasundet, is between Snilstveitoy and low-lying Kalvahaugen to the right, and the island of Tysnes where Dirona is anchored is in the distance on the right beyond a couple of closer islands.
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Panoramic view to Kvinnheradsfjorden from 3590 ft (1094 m) (click image for a larger view). We’re getting closer, only 1088ft (332m) to go.
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Walking across boulders towards snow at Holo, a flat meadow area below the summit of Melderskin.
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Melderskin Summit
Looking east from summit of 4678-ft (1426m) Melderskin with the Southern Folgefonna visible at left. The cairn was erected in 1913 by a group who made their base camp at Holo just below the summit.
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A picnic lunch at the summit of Melderskin with a spectacular view east to the Southern Folgefonna glacier. No hint of the setting is visible until reaching the summit, when this spectacular scene bursts into view. It’s just amazing, and definitely worth the effort of the hike.
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Panoramic view looking east from the summit of Melderskin. The Southern Folgefonna glacier is at center (click image for a larger view). What an amazing place.
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Crossing Snow
A pair of hikers crossing the snow far below us.
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The hike to Melderskin, although challenging, is incredibly popular. A constant stream of hikers arrived as we ate lunch.
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View to Dirona, anchored at the island of Tysnes ten miles away (and three miles down), from the summit of Melderskin.
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Southern Norway still is experiencing a heatwave and it’s quite hot at the top, even at 4678-ft (1426m) up. Most of the other hikers are wearing shorts paired with light tops or no shirt at all.
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Trail Marks
A series of at least eight visible Norwegian Trekking Association red ‘T’s marking the trail (click image for a larger view). It’s hard to get lost on a marked Norwegian trail.
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Taking a look at the snow on the meadow Helo as we descend. It seems pretty wild to be hiking past snow in August.
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Sherpa Steps
Descending from Melderskin on steps beautifully-built by Nepalese sherpas in 2015.
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This wonderful yard en route between the Melderskin trailhead and Rosendal has it’s own bridge and paddle wheel.
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Baroniet Rosendal
The Baroniet Rosendal is a 17th-century manor house converted into a popular museum with a notable rose garden. In the distance behind, the river Laurdalselva drains from Melderskin.
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Gaute Haugland
Street art by famous Norwegian artist Gaute Haugland in Rosendal. In 2018, the town hosted the first edition of the Hardangerfjord Street Art Festival.
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Street Art
More street art in Rosendal by Gaute Haugland. If we return to Rosendal, we’ll have to hunt down some of his other work.
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SeaDream II
The luxury ship SeaDream II moored off Rosendal. This is the only cruise ship we’ve seen operating so far in Norway on our return trip.
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200 Hours
We’ve just crossed 200 hours on our “new” tender.
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Tread Failure
We survived Melderskin, but James’ hiking boots didn’t. We bought new boots two years ago during our previous trip to Norway, and the tread in his boots is coming apart. They’re still wearable, but we’ll be in the market for a replacement pair.
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Melderskin from Anchorage
View to 4678-ft (1426m) Melderskin, ten miles away, from our anchorage at the island of Tysnes. It’s hard to believe we were actually at the summit earlier today.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at


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3 comments on “Melderskin
  1. Trond Saetre says:

    What a great view from the summit!
    That hike is on my “to do” list too.

    • MVDirona says:

      Melderskin was a big hike for us but, as you said, so worth it! You and Margareth will love it. And, by the way, it was fun meeting you both on the water yesterday.

      • Trond Saetre says:

        Always worth hiking the mountains if you are greeted with that spectacular view as the reward.
        Yes, it was great to get together again. :)

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