• Botnkrona
  • 1072 m
  • Primary factor 1072 meter
  • Location: North 65:57.703, East 012:37.692 (GPS on the summit)
  • This is the first "sister" when counted from the north
  • Highest on the Alsten Island
  • Helgeland, Norway
  • Climbed September 27th 2003.


How to get there: This mountain is located on the island Alsten on the Helgeland coast in Northern Norway. A good starting point is the small village Sandnessjøen. Sandnessjøen can be reached by air or by car from Mosjøen (on the main Hwy. E-6) via Hwy. 78 and Hwy. 17, a distance of 68 km. One can also travel north or south along the coastal highway 17 to Sandnessjøen.
From Sandnessjøen, travel about 2 km south along Hwy. 17, locate a sign to the "Syv Søstre" (Seven Sisters) and Breidmo on a smaller road going left. Follow this road almost 4 km and locate a new sign "Syv Søstre" pointing left, this short road leads to parking next to a small power transformer station.
Route description: This description covers the famous range of mountains on the island Alsten, called "The Seven Sisters". This route description will cover the route to five of the seven Sisters starting with the highest in the north and proceeding south. Under (slightly) more favorable conditions (than we had) this route can be continued in order to complete a grand tour of all the sisters. An indication of how to complete the two remaining sisters will be given at the end.
To the start of the climb. From the powerstation, proceed north along the fence on a small, but very clear trail. This trail soon merges with a much bigger trail and turns more east, towards the mountains. As you cross under a powerline in a flat area, the main trail turns further to the right (south) and climbs a small hill to a meadow. Continue along this trail despite its seemingly wrong direction. By now, you may have noticed a fairly distinct hill running in front of and parallel to the mountain range, the first objective is to get onto a trail that follows this ridgeline going north. Soon after crossing the meadow, you will find the fork in the trail, take the left (north) fork and proceed up on the small hill. Follow the top ridge on a good trail until you arrive at the small pond called Fjellsåsdammen, 212m. The trail runs around this pond on the left, then straight to the slope of the mountain coming down pretty steeply. There is a black plastic water pipe coming down the slope. This marks the start of the climb.
The trail to Botnkrona. For the first part of the route, the trail stays quite close to this pipe. Initially, one may use a rope to climb the first, slick rock slope. The trail that now follows is (YDS) class 3 in several short pitches, but the exposure is low and most of the way the difficulty is just fluctuating between class 1 and class 2. The trail is marked with red "T"s (and red dots), however the quality is a bit variable. At about 400 meter elevation one will recognize a small local hill to the left and subsequently locate a small hut associated with the water pipe that runs down the slope. From this area, the trail continues to climb further away from the pipe on the right hand (south) side. Higher up, the steepness eases as the trail again climbs more along an ascending traverse to the left (north). The trail now reaches a flat area and contours around the lake Breidmovatnet, 700m, crossing a distinct crack where the plastic pipes are located. Beyond the lake, the trail continues in the same general direction climbing to about 800 meter gaining a fairly broad ridge that comes down just north of the Botnkrona summit. From about the 800 meter level, the trail heads more directly up the slope to the distinct pass just north of the Botnkrona summit. Hike through this pass and locate a very distinct and easily recognizable gully that runs down from the peak. Follow this gully up towards a small saddle visible at its very top. However, shortly before the end of this gully, exit right among boulders and contour right as you gain elevation in order to reach the high horizon ridge just above you. Once on this ridge, you are almost on the top and what remains is an easy walk to the summit cairn. The climb from the pass to the summit is (YDS) class 2+, in winter the difficulty depends more on the actual snow and ice conditions, however an ice axe is likely all that is needed.
From Botnkrona to Grytfoten. Descend the gully the way you ascended, continue descending further as you contour around Botnakrona on its eastern side. Descend as far as needed in order to traverse on a gentle slope. You will soon see and reach the main saddle between Botnkrona and Grytfoten. From this side the Grytfoten ridge looks quite reasonable, however this ridge leads to the lower of the two Grytfoten summits. The best route continues a traverse on the east side of Grytfoten at about the same elevation as its saddle with Botnkrona. We followed a natural shelf that contoured around, the alternative may be to descend slightly more and traverse above, but closer to a very distinct crack that runs below Grytfoten in the direction of Skjerdingen. As soon as you find yourself on the Skjerdingen side of Grytfoten, the route climbs while continuing the traverse almost to the point where you will again have a good view west. From this point the route, still marked with red "T"s zig-zags to reach the main ridge. Once on top, all that remains is an easy stroll to the cairn. This traverse from Botnakrona is (YDS) class 2.
From Grytfoten to Skjerdingen. Retrace your steps until halfway down towards the saddle between Grytfoten and Skjerdingen. Instead of descending on the traverse towards Botnkrona, continue down and across the small highpoint below you. From this point continue down while aiming for the saddle with Skjerdingen at a point near the end of the long ridge from Skjerdingen. You need to cross the distinct crack that has been running left of the route, this is easy near the Skjerdingen side. From this point ascend the Skjerdingen ridge. This ridge is not very steep and climbs in a very regular fashion. Higher up there are a couple of cracks that are best avoided by staying left. You will soon enjoy the nice summit with its impressive view. The difficulty of the traverse from Grytfoten never exceeds (YDS) class 2.
From Skjerdingen to Tvillingan. The local map (that has the trails on the Seven sisters marked) indicates that the continued traverse splits from the ascending trail at the summit proper. This is, however, inaccurate. Retrace your route of ascent back across a distinct section with a slightly more narrow section. Only gradually descend when the terrain permits and stay further right than the ascending route from Grytfoten. Soon, it is obvious how to proceed down towards the well defined saddle between Skjerdingen and Tvillingan. The climb of Tvillingan proceeds up the ridge to the general saddle area between the two Tvillingan (twin) peaks. This section is (YDS) class 2+ in a couple of short sections. The remaining hike to the highest (and southernmost) peak continues with a few class 2+ sections. The peak is sharp and a very nice place to rest and enjoy the views. Descend the same way to the high pass between the two Tvillingan peaks.
A note on the lowest Tvillingan peak. There is a red "T" marked route up on the lower Tvillingan (the north peak) as well. However, this trail ends on a "dead end", since the highest point is separated from this trail by a sharp cut forming a crack that cannot easily be crossed. It seems that many people actually climb this false summit and count it as one of the sisters. This is incorrect and completely unneccesary. Instead of following the red marked trail, contour left and do an ascending traverse on the north peak facing the south peak. Do not climb too high, but locate a distinct gully that comes down from the crack that cuts the summit above. Ascend this gully until just below two large rocks that are jammed in the crack above you. At this point it is easy to exit the gully to the left and scramble up among large rocks and good ledges. The first part is the steepest, this section is (YDS) class 3 and possibly the hardest part of the easiest route to any of the Seven Sisters. The slope eases and soon you can enjoy this sharp peak overlooking the Sandnessjøen area. Return the same way.
The trail to Kvasstinden and Breidtinden. In order to complete the full traverse (which we did not do because of heavy snow conditions), one should descend from the saddle between Tvillingan, cross the peak named Litlmarkholten 899m, and descend along the ridge on its southern side. From the saddle between Litlmarkholten and Kvasstinden, one contours the east side of the Kvasstinden ridge and descends further all the way down below lake Helknavatnet (507 m). From about 480-500 meter elevation, ascend steeply directly up on the Kvasstinden ridge and follow this to the characteristic summit. Descend the same way.
From the 480-500 meter trail fork, one can subsequently climb the last sister, Breidtind by ascending directly up in the opposite (south) direction (of Kvasstind). From this summit one can descend to the south or retrace the route and descend from the 480-500 meter trail fork.
The descent trail from Tvillingan. The descent from the pass connecting Tvillingan and Skjerdingen is gentle in slope, but runs almost exclusively on slick rock downwards. Under dry summer conditions this hike is very easy. With winter conditions, when the rock may be icy, more care may be needed. An axe and crampons may come handy, one can also traverse to boulders on the side, these may be easier than ice covered slick rock. The trail continues down to the road and a short hike will bring you back to the parking area next to the transformer station.
Comments: The "Seven Sisters" is a famous group of mountains on the island Alsten. Already the well known poet and priest Petter Dass (1647 - 1708) who lived and worked on the Alstahaug farm, located just south of the "Sisters" on Alsten island, was impressed by these fantastic mountains:

"Ved Alsterhougs Præstegaard findes at see
Syv Søstre, som fletter sin' Lokker i snee
Syv Damer, og alle saa viide,
Hvoraf i Land-Carterne meget gaaer Rye,
Hvis Toppe opstiger ansseeig i Skye,
Og sees i havet saa vide."

Botnkrona is the first of the seven sisters when numbered north to south. I did this climb with my friend Arnt Flatmo. We had planned to climb all seven sisters, but the mountains received a substantial amount of snow just before our arrival. It soon became clear that the very heavy snow made a complete traverse virtually impossible this late in September.
We started hiking at 0555, summited on Botnkrona at 0940. After a brief break (food), we made the top of Grytfoten at 1200, continued to Skjerdingen at 1340 and the highest of the Tvillingan (the fifth sister counted from the north) at 1510. The smaller (only unranked sister) summit of Tvillingan was reached at 1600. We descended and were back at the car at 1810. Twelve hours and 15 minutes, mostly in fairly deep and heavy (wet) snow. This traverse can be highly recommended, in good weather the scenery will remain a long lasting memory and all peaks can be done by people in good physical shape. The fact that the traverse can be reduced to fewer peaks if time (or endurance) runs short makes this a very nice hiking proposition for anybody that wants a unique mountain experience in this area.