Hiking to Kartstaven
- Type of hike : Return trip or loop
- Visibility of the route : Good to medium (if return trip)
- Start/Finish : If you are coming from Leknes head northwards (towards Svolvaer). Leave the E10 9km after Leknes, approximately 700m after the large Lake Sjerpvatnet that runs along the right-hand side of the road, and take the road to your right. Carry straight on for 1.7 km before turning left at Nykmarka where there are a few isolated houses and a small farm. The path begins alongside the farm and takes a tractor route that descends towards a few fields.
- GPS Point : Start/Finish: N68° 12.308' E13° 43.678'
Summit of Karstaven: N68° 11.637' E13° 47.870'
Peat hut: N68° 11.183' E13° 45.430'
- Extensions : Randonnée facile/moyen en A/R, moyen/difficile en boucle
The top of Kartstaven, which is only 544m altitude, is in the centre of the island of Vestvagoya and offers a direct view over Vestfjord, which extends from the narrow Kartfjord. This hike is relatively easy and the trail is clearly marked if you choose to make a return trip.
The trail climbs to the left of the Hoghaugen embankment (to the right of Lake Gronlivatnet) in a forest of dwarf birch trees, then passes through a small fir forest. The landscape then opens onto peatland that you walk around on the right heading southwards towards Kringlebotnsvatnet, Store, a large lake. To the left of the lake when you leave the trail you will find a grass-covered peat shelter that blends perfectly into the landscape. Get back onto the trail towards the east, heading for the top of Kartstaven. If you don’t have a good head for heights you shouldn’t attempt to reach the very top because the view over the sheer drop will certainly not be for you! The easiest way to return is to head back the way you came. If off-piste tracks don’t bother you and you have strong ankles and waterproof footwear, go down the length of the spine of Karstaven heading for Durmalsheia. Descend into the valley of Hov and head towards the stream between Nedsettant and point 236 on the map. Follow the stream to Gronlivatnet where you can walk around the lake (very damp) and return to your starting point.