Fonnabu


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After getting closer and closer to the Folgefonna Icefield with each hike, we finally reached the glacier from Sundal at Fonnabu. The hike was challenging, at 8 total miles (12km) one-way from Dirona with an altitude gain of 4,767ft (1,453m), but very much worth the effort.

We initially walked on the wide and beautifully maintained path to the lake Bondhusvatnet, and then picked up the old carriage road to the top. Built in 1890 to bring tourists up to the glacier plateau, the 18-switchback route was reburbished back to its original width in 2007. We passed three sets of trekking cabins are en route to Fonnabu, each with fabulous views, the first down to lake Bondhusvatnet and the other two of the glacier itself. We really enjoyed the hike, and it was super-exciting to actually walk out on top of the glacier.

Below are highlights from August 26th, 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 mvdirona.com/maps.

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Maurangsfjorden
Looking back to Maurangsfjorden on an early-morning start to the hike up Fonnabu.
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Trail Map
Three hikes lead towards the Folgefonna glaciers. We’ll be taking the left fork, 6.8 miles (11km) to the glacier’s plateau at 4,757ft (1,453m) Fonnabu, estimated at 5 hours one-way. The other two trails are easier hikes, one to the lake Bondhusvatnet, and the other to below the Bondhusbrea Glacier that we can see from our berth in Sundal.
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Destination
Our destination, (1,453m) Fonnabu, is beyond those mountains in the distance. We’ve got a ways to go.
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Path
The shared path between the several hikes is wide and beautifully maintained. The path follows an old road to the lake Bondhusvatnet built in 1863 to transport fallen ice from the the Bondhusbrea Glacier for export. The ice was carried across Bondhusvatnet in large rowboats, than horses transported it to the pier. The enterprise was not successful as the melt was too great before the ice reached its destination, and the road became mainly a tourist route.
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Bondhuselva
View to the river Bondhuselva from a bridge en route.
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Keiserstien
We’ve left the common path and at 928 ft (283 m) are at the start of a historic tourist route, Keiserstien, that leads up and over the glacier plateau. The road was completed in 1890 to carry tourists up an over the glacier between Sundal and Odda on horse-drawn carriages and sleighs.
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Switchbacks
At altitude 2029 ft (618 m) near the top of the series of switchbacks shown in the Keiserstien photograph. In 2007, the old path was renovated to its original width as far as the first set of cabins we’ll encounter. The walking is easy, but is still tiring due to the steepness.
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Bondhusvatnet
View to the lake Bondhusvatnet with two waterfalls flowing down 500m cliffs along the west side. It’s a wonderfully calm, clear day and the Krokelva waterfall on the right is reflected almost perfectly in the lake surface.
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Gardshammerstolen
Taking a break by the trekking cabins of Gardshammerstolen. We’re now at altitude 2456 ft (748 m), about halfway to Fonnabu from Dirona by both distance and altitude.
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Sundal
View back to Sundal from the cabins at Gardshammerstolen.
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Cold
We were in short-sleeves up to Gardshammerstolen, but the temperature is much colder up here with the sun still behind the mountains. So we’re continuing from the cabins wearing coats and gloves. It’s not often in one day that you can be wearing a T-shirt and sweating profusely, and an half-hour later be wearing many layers of coat and gloves, and within an hour be back to T-shirts again.
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Botnavatnet
Reflections in still waters at the lake Botnavatnet at altitude 2755 ft (840 m).
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Krokavatnet
At altitude 3,487 ft (1,063 m), we’re now above the lake Krokavatnet sitting at 2600ft (794m) that feeds the northern waterfall flowing into the lake Bondhusvatnet
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Trail Below
Looking down from altitude 3,735 ft (1,138 m) to the trail beside lake Botnavatnet that we walked about 40 minutes earlier.
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Nearing Breidablikk
A first view to the cabin at Breidablikk on the ridge in the distance, slightly right of center (click image for larger view).
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Crossing Ice
The trail crosses a narrow section of ice coated in a thin layer of water that was so slippery Jennifer just crawled across.
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Steps
Climbing stone steps at altitude 4,083 ft (1,244 m) on the final stretch to the cabin at Breidablikk.
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Breidablikk
Norwegian Trekking Association cabin and old sleigh at altitude 4333ft (1321m). We’re getting close to Fonnabu now. Only an hour more to go along a ridge with little more altitude gain.
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Breidablikkbrea
View to the Breidablikkbrea glacier, an offshoot of the Folgefonna glaciers, from Breidablikk. We’ll be walking alongside and above it to Fonnabu.
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Fonnanuten
At the summit of 4,767ft (1,453m) Fonnanuten, the highest point on our hike. We’ll descend slightly from here to the cabins at Fonnabu.
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View to Fonnabu
Our destination of the cabins at Fonnabu, in the far distance near the end of the point, with the southern Folgefonna glacier in the background. After getting closer and closer to the glacier on each hike, we were super-excited to finally be right there.
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Lake and Snow
The scenery between Breidablikk and Fonnabu was particularly impressive, with mountain lakes filled with melting snow.
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Fonnabu
One of several beautiful modern cabins at Fonnabu. Unlike most of our other hikes, nobody else was here when we were and we only saw two other pairs of hikers the entire way up and one more group on the way back down.
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Folgefonna Glacier
Panoramic view east to the southern Folgefonna glacier across two more of the Fonnabu cabins. Some people hike up to Fonnabu, spend the night and return back down. But another popular option is to cross the glacier to a cabin on the other side and then down to Odda at the head of Hardangerfjord on the third day.
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Fonnabu from South
We really wanted to get closer to the glacier, so continued south from Fonnabu. This is looking back to the huts as we went beyond them. It’s just amazingly beautiful up here.
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Glacier Edge
Enjoying the view to the edge of the glacier.
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Lunch
A picnic lunch with a view to the Folgefonna glacier. We’re really loving being up here.
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Atop Folgefonna
Walking out onto the Folgefonna glacier was the highlight of our hike to Fonnabu. It was a challenging hike, at 8 total miles (12km) one-way from Dirona with an altitude gain of 4,767ft (1,453m), but very much worth the effort.
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 mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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2 comments on “Fonnabu
  1. John S. says:

    Stunning, breathtaking scenery! Must have been fantastic to be there.
    it sounds like a very taxing hike to get there.

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