Store Blåmann

  • Store Blåmann
  • 1044 m
  • Primary factor 1044 m
  • Location: North 69:44.102, East 018:35.497 (GPS on the summit)
  • Kvaløya HP, west of Tromsø, Norway
  • Climbed June 13, 2004.

Information:

How to get there: This mountain is the high point on the island Kvaløya west of the city Tromsø. To access this island, cross the bridge that is located (visible from) near the Tromsø airport. After crossing the bridge, turn left on Hwy. 862 and continue 6 kilometer to the small village Eidkjosen. Make a right turn there and continue 4 kilometer. Do not make a left towards Sommarøy, but continue straight along the fjord. A few kilomter after Ersfjordbotn, you will have Store Blåmann up to your left and parking for several cars on the right hand side of the road. This parking area which is also the trailhead has coordinates north 69:44.039, east 018:38.534 and is less than 10 meter above sea level.
Route description: There are two routes on the lower part of the mountain, the first and in my view best trail starts right opposite of the parking, then heads gently uphill. At the first horizontal rockband, this route circumvents this obstacle on the left side. The alternative trail starts a few hundred meter further (north) along the road at GPS location north 69:44.369, east 018:38.569, elevation 10 meter. There is a wooden sign by the road saying Blåmann at this location. This alternative trail avoids the rock band on its right side, then traverses up a long ramp in order to merge with the first trail in the more level area above the rock band.
Returning to describing the first trail, as you head up this trail bends left and turns the corner of the rock band before ascending in a small gully. The trail is easy, but in a few places one may easily loose it as local variations sometimes are confusing. If you find yourself on a trail that seemingly heads back down, then turn and search for a missed switchback. A few more cairns in strategic locations would have helped the routefinding. Higher up, the trail crosses a more level area. From here, you can see the summit and the rest of the route. The trail crosses left (well marked here) and ascends a gully more steeply in order to gain the ridgeline (as seen from below). The upper part of this gully contains the "summer crux", two short sections of rock scrambling with some exposure below. There is a very good crack for holding on and this section is (YDS) class 3 (see picture below). Higher up, the climb is likely quite a bit easier under summer conditions. We experienced a long snow climb, partly on rotten snow resulting in little or no protection from an ice axe. In particular, the upper section near the summit was quite steep.
A few key waypoints along the route: 420 meter at north 69:43.877, east 018:37.263, 540 meter at north 69:43.990, east 018:36.879, the plateau before the final section at 710 meter, north 69:44.046, east 018:36.291.
On descent, when approaching the rock band from above, a clear trail marked with numerous cairns heads left on a gentle descent. This trail continues left and is well marked by cairns all the way. Eventually, it turns the end of the rock band and continues more directly towards the road, ending at the alternate trailhead as described above.
Comments: I did this climb with Bjørn Hafskjold. We started 0815 and reached the summit after 3 hours. After 15 minutes with less than perfect view, we returned at a leisurely pace in another 2 hours. We explored the alternative route in the lower section. The upper part of the mountain (above the "summer crux"), was covered by snow. Our route went directly towards the summit on a quite long and (near the top) fairly steep snow climb. I felt my toes after kicking an almost "endless" number of steps. Clearly, the summer season when this climb is quite popular among Tromsø people had not arrived yet.

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