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I showed one of their trailers on this blog earlier in the year. Consistently some of the best cinematography in the ski film industry…..coupled with their message about global warming.

I’ve skied this mountain a few times now, so won’t bore you with the details. If you’re looking for that sort of beta, check out this link: Steindalsnosi Trip Report.
If you’re interested in conditions, here’s what I have to say….:

Steindalsnosi is well and truly open! As opposed to last month when we got our first turns of the new season and had to to scramble over rocks from the car, you can now put your skis on and skin the whole way! A pleasure. The crevasses are all filled in (where you ski at least).

 

Steindalsnosi shrouded in cloud (taken from direction of Lom)

Steindalsnosi shrouded in cloud (taken from direction of Lom)

As regards the snow: very much wind-pack and breakable crust. The mountain has taken a bit of a battering from the wind and hardened up the powder. But, as a result, if you look hard enough, you can find a lot of soft, fluffy wind accumulation in the features on skier’s left as you ski down.

As regards the weather: cold and windy. At the car is was -10 C. With the altitude gain and winds of around 20 knts (gusting 30 knots knts), the wind chill must have been in the high thirties (probably more). Either way, it was bloody cold. Most of the weather was in the last 300m of the summit, so as opposed to the first day where we went to the summit, we spent the second day at lower elevations and lapped the slope. Much more pleasant and much better visibility.

As regards traffic: Saturday, we saw our first people on the mountain as we were skiing down. About ten people in different groups. Sunday, a group of two.

So, that’s that. Steindalsnosi is looking good! Not so sure about the surrounding peaks just yet. Still lots of rocks. I’m sure you could find a line if you are desperate but might be worth waiting for more snow cover.

 

P.S. Friflyt users….sorry for the bad link. Friflyt adds a <br> tag in the link on their page (invisible. You can see it at the end of the address in your browser though) which corrupts the link and means you cannot go directly to the page. Sorry about that!

Day two of a little trip to the mountains…….

We spent the night in the small village (if you can call a smattering of houses a village) at the foot of the road which leads up to the summer ski resort of Juvass. I tried out my new Mountain Hardware EV 2 tent. And I have to say, I liked it a lot. Self-standing, very few pegs to the ground, no guy lines, easy to set up, small foot-print and still long enough for me. Oh and light.

Come the morning, it seems I’d been pushing the limits of my 0 degree sleeping bag.  It must have been into the high minus single digits during the night and the tent was covered in ice, inside and out when I got up. Note to self…remember to bring a sponge next time for when it melts and wets my down bag ;).

So, after a pretty late start we headed up to the resort to gain a few hundred metres courtesy of their lift before the skin over to Galdhøppigen. Galdhøpiggen is in fact the highest mountain in Norway (2469m), surrounded by glacier. We were really lucky with the conditions.

Me approaching Galdapiggen (peak furthest right).

Me approaching Galdapiggen (peak furthest right).

It was a blue bird day…… we had fresh snow and were the only ones to venture up there on our skis. Although it is the highest peak in Norway, that’s really where the superlatives stop. The acutual mountain itself is nothing remarkable and the easiest ascent is up the ridge to the summit. We had harnesses and rope for crossing the glacier from Juvass but ended up not needing it due to the tried and tested motorway made by all the guided groups. We had intended skiing a few hundred metres down to the hump next to the Galdhøpiggen (the sub-peak in the picture above) and then skiing that face, navigating a few crevasses at the exit. The line looked good but with a bit of local knowledge from a guide, we found out that the latest snow was the first snow of the summer and there was a chance the crevasses weren’t very well filled in. There would have been a long walk back out across some heavily crevassed terrain, worst still walking parallel to them. We gave it a miss.

Exposed crevasse on the face of Galdapiggen

Exposed crevasse on the face of Galdapiggen

Instead we just headed for the summit and decided to ski down the way we had come. Things went pretty smoothly the whole way and we were approaching the summit in no time. From the car to the summit took us around two hours (and cheating with the lift), with a small break thrown in for good measure.

Metres from the summit of Galdapiggen.

Metres from the summit of Galdapiggen.

It does seem like quite a way when you first set out but the distance is quite misleading. We hung around on the summit for some time enjoying the little hut up there and the amazing weather/views. This peak is normally always covered in weather.

Views from Galdapiggen towards great peaks in the Turtagrø area.

Views from Galdapiggen towards great peaks in the Turtagrø area.

And then straped the board on and headed back down. I did find my fair share of death cookies on the way down to be honest and the base of my board had definitely seen better days by the end of the run. Time for a base grind anyway ;)

Me skiing down the ridge.

Me boarding down the ridge.

Lars managed to find some really nice powder! Powder in September!! What’s that all about? Cold smoke.

Powder snow in September on Galdapiggen!

Lars' signature. Powder snow in September on Galdhøpiggen!

Another good day out and a nice easing into the new season. Not sure what the total vertical gain was. I didn’t use my watch but I’m guessing it was around 800-1000m given the time we took. You won’t get a lot of skiing on this peak but it is a great day out and I can now say I’ve summited Norway’s highest mountain. Wahoo!

At last we have a proper post! Snowboarding in September…..now that has to be a first for me. Last year my first turns were in October and that was a new record. In fact, they were on this very same mountain.

The weather has been getting very crisp of late in Oslo and it had actually snowed around 40cm in early September in the Sognefjellet Pass area in Jotunheimen, so we thought we would chance a little outing to the mountains and check out the lay of the land.

Steindalsnosi is as good a place as any to start the early season with a better snow gurantee than most places. It’s all glacial and consequently holds the snow well. We left Friday night from Oslo, breaking the journey up on the way and arrived in the morning the next day. (It’s normally around a 5.5hr drive from Oslo).

As we first caught sight of the mountain, things weren’t looking too promising….The snow line was around 1000m and patchy at best and there was a lot of crevassing visible on the lower section of the face.

Steindalsnosi shrouded in cloud

Steindalsnosi shrouded in cloud

And it was cold! And windy! It’s pretty crazy to think it’s still September and the temperatures are comfortably in the minus, not including the wind chill. I definitely haven’t acquired my winter coat yet. I was cold! Winds were around 25kn and my board was behaving excellently as a sail.

Approaching Steindalsnosi. Windy!

Approaching Steindalsnosi. Windy!

The snow cover was nowhere near what it was when we skied this mountain last year. We were admittedly one month early but walking over rock and scree for an hour in ski boots is never much fun. As we got closer to the glacier, the crevasses looked nowhere near as concerning as they had from a distance. Firstly, they were clearly visible and secondly they were small. No sweat. The only thing to investigate now was was there enough snow!

Lars-Thomas at the end of the scramble before the glacier proper.

Lars-Thomas at the end of the scramble before the glacier proper.

It wasn’t exactly a resounding yes. There was about 6-7cm on glacial ice….dry and fluffy. Great for skiing but you could blow it off the ice like dust. We pushed on and found things a lot better the further we went. I had forgotten my skins, so would be boot-packing for most of the weekend. Nice work, Paul (The Adventures of a Bootpacker ;)) And my camera… So thanks to Lars-Thomas for the great photos! As we got further up the moutain, things closed in but the snow was good! Oh yeah!

Approaching the summit in a whiteout.

Approaching the summit in a whiteout.

The top half of the face was well filled in compared to the lower section which held windblown snow and exposed glaicer. So we skied the first half and then went up again for a second hit.

And on the way back down.

And on the way back down.

Classic Norwegian Tele-Turns.

Classic Norwegian Tele-Turns.

I had already set the boot pack, so it seemed a shame to waste it ;)

Lars-Thomas on Steindalsnosi.

Lars-Thomas on Steindalsnosi.

And then we decided to call it a day.

Me on the last section of glacier before the delightful, boot-banging scramble back to the car.

Me on the last section of glacier before the delightful, boot-banging scramble back to the car.

What a great first day out on the board for the new season. Nothing too heavy and perfect to blow away the cobwebs. I think we clocked something like 1100m vertical gain in the end. Nothing crazy but why would you on your first tour.

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