Location: North 67.66638, East 015.38034 (GPS at the summit)
Difficulty: (YDS) class 2
Climbed August 18. 2014.
How to get there:
This mountain is best climbed by first using a boat for transport
at the base of the climb. Thus, one should arrange
for (private) transport, normally from Nordfold in Steigen.
I arranged this with Ketil Hansen (mobil: 96229285).
Drive south on Steigen and follow signs for Nordfold.
Route description: Note: Due to the continuous shrinking of the glacier, one may now complete this ascent
without ever walking on the glacier. See further details below.
From Sandbakken, head directly up between the houses and follow a small road (wide path) that
gradually bends left. You will easily locate a sign
that points right and says Helldalisen.
Head uphill in this direction. The trail may be difficult to spot/follow here.
Higher up, you will notice a fairly wide cliff that one certainly must circumvent.
The natural passage is a small ramp that runs up on the left hand side of the steep
rock. A very clear trail originates here.
Continue to follow this trail uphill. The trail runs near a couple of good places for
drinking water, then climbs a small local ridge before a short descent (passing another
pool of water), that will get you onto a final, small ridge that extends uphill.
Gradually, one now gets into more open terrain, from here and further uphill the terrain
is characterized by sloping (slick) rock with grassy ledges (many quite wide) in between.
These formations generally runs uphill towards the climbers left side. The route is now
marked by cairns and some red paint. It mostly takes advantage of the terrain and gains
elevation by moving left. However, in a few places the route bends right in order to
gain a ledge at a higher level. One should pay close attention to the cairns.
A couple of waypoints along this stretch: N67.68086, E015.42643 a bit before you
reach 800 meter of elevation and N67.67903, E015.42204, just before 900 meter.
A bit above 900 m, the route naturally bends more right in order to gain the area near point 1113
(as marked on the map). From point 1113 one may now pick a route via point 1312 all the way to the
summit by staying on the rock that runs along the left hand side of the glacier. It may, however,
be more comfortable and convenient to walk on a small snow ridge that runs along pretty close
to the left side of the glacier. The summit itself is free
of ice and forms a very nice apex on this
mountain. There are two small cairns on a short top ridge.
I got up this Monday morning and looked out
at the nice view from
the house of Nina and Agnar.
This promised to be the best day so far, and very timely, since my goal was the highest peak in Steigen.
I met Ketil at the Nordfold pier (quay) where he was ready with his small boat, around 0800.
There, at the pier in Nordfold, I also got my first view of Helldalisen.
The sea was pretty nice, but not calm enough for running the boat at high speed, thus we
moved across to Sandbakken with no particular hurry.
While we were crossing, I got my first view of the glacier,
it certainly looked like this is
yet another example of a shrinking glacier.
There were flags from at least two
houses, people that stay here during the summer. Sandbakken does not have any all-year
inhabitants any longer.
I started walking at 0900 and quickly discovered the new sign indicating the route
to Helldalisen. However, I immediately lost the trail (the trail does not exist) and
continued uphill without being concerned. Soon, I discovered the rockface that everybody
understand must be bypassed using a small ramp on the left side. Obviously, a clear
trail starts here and continues up to the rocks where cairns take the role of showing
the route further along. Some places the cairns are hard to see, however, the route runs
uphill and to the left and it was easy to recover from small mistakes regarding the route.
Along the way, I did take the opportunity to look across the fjord
towards the 1215 meter peak that
I plan to climb on a second trip. It certainly looked possible to access this peak directly
from the fjord.
I arrived at the edge of the glacier and
immediately observed that one may walk all the way to
the summit along the leftmost edge
of the glacier, that is, on rock all the way. However, there was
a very nice snow-field, followed by a snow-ridge that provided a better and more direct way to
the summit. The view was
I arrived at the summit at 1230, the climb had taken me a bit longer than expected.
The summit was very nice with a good place to sit and enjoy
the panorama views.
I rested and took pictures until 1300, then started my return
hike along the same route.
Gradually, the weather became more overcast. Otherwise, not much to report. I called Ketil at
1400 and told him to meet me at Sandbakken at 1600. When I arrived at Sandbakken at 1550, he was