Gilafjellet (Kruk)

  • Gilafjellet (Kruk)
  • 1584 m
  • Primary factor 636 m
  • Location: North 61:03.327, East 008:40.704 (GPS at the summit)
  • Location: Valdres, Norway
  • Difficulty, YDS class 2.
  • Attempted February 28, 2007.
  • Climbed January 30, 2010.


How to get there: Drive Hwy. E-16 33 kilometer up the valley from the village of Fagernes. Just as you see the first sign saying Ryfoss, prepare for finding the turnoff. It is well signed, the sign (pointing left) says Riste Bru and Syndin-Strø. Measure from here.
If you arrive from the north (ie. from Bergen) along E-16, then locate the Statoil gas station in Ryfoss (where a road goes left to Beitostølen). You can continue 1.9 kilometer further on Hwy. E-16, in order to locate Riste Bru, or you can take the first possible right after the Statoil gas station, cross a bridge and make a left at the T-junction. After 500 meter, make a sharp right joining the description from Riste Bru.
From the turnoff saying Riste Bru, cross the bridge and make a right, this is about 150 meter after leaving E-16. At kilometer 1.6, stay left (uphill), this is where the alternative road from Ryfoss (gas station) links up with this route. At kilometer 2.4, watch out as you need to turn left (more uphill). Continue uphill and go straight at kilometer 3.2, then stop at the toll gate at kilometer 3.5. The toll (2010) is NOK 60, you can pay by coins at the machine on your left. Follow the nice road further uphill as it climbs the valley hillside and crosses the high crest between Langefonnkampen (1076m) and Syndinfjellet (1060m). At kilometer 10.5, you arrive at the Åstastøl, a larger building with a small store and a cafe (may be closed). In winter, park here. In summer, you may drive further downhill to the large lake. The winter parking has location N61:05.430, E008:44.320, elevation very close to 1000 meter.
Route description:
From the (winter) trailhead, ski down to the bridge that crosses the narrow section connecting the North and the Middle Syndin lakes. This constitutes a loss of about 60 meter of elevation. From here, just head uphill avoiding any steep section. Sking up just west of the gorge Hågensgil works well. Higher up, close to the 1360 contour, there are some minor cliffs, but they can be easily avoided by staying a bit further left. Soon, you will see the cairn higher up, with easy skiing to gain it.
There is a nice cairn and a box right next to it without a summit register, but with a local map of the area.
First trip: My first trip to investigate access to this peak was on February 28th. 2007. The weather was pretty bad with snow and Heidi wanted a little shopping done if convenient. Consequently, I started out from my mountain hut around 1000 (which was too late). I first investigated a possible access from the north towards the big lake Helin which is west of the mountain. However, the summer road up there seems to be closed in winter. I paid NOK 20 in toll and drove pretty high into an area where new mountain huts were being built. This road got me up into the vicinity of the knoll Hesthovdane. I considered skiing from here, however, the weather was bad and my car was clearly in an area where it officially should not be. Thus, I returned and navigated to the trailhead described above. Altogether, this took time and I started out too late to gain the summit with the prevailing conditions. The snow was knee deep and I had to break trail from the parking area. I skied gently down and across the valley to the beginning uphill slope to Kruk. Satisfied that I now know how to climb this mountain, I turned around about 3 kilometer short of the summit in order to get back home before dark.

Second trip: I had been 3 days at the eVITA winter school in Geilo, this is an annual meeting. The week had started with the very sad news that my best colleague, professor Magne Espedal, had died while on travel to Stuttgart. He was only 67 years old.
After the meeting, early afternoon on Friday, I drove across Golsfjellet and decided to stay overnight at the nice guesthouse, Furulund, in the small village of Røn. Røn is located about 14 kilometer north from Fagernes along Hwy. E-16.
I was served a very nice breakfast at 0800 and left shortly thereafter. Despite my earlier visit, including a description of how to drive, I did not immediately find the road. I resolved to rewrite the description and it should now be very accurate.
I left the car shortly before 1000. The temperature read -15 Celcius, but it did not feel very bad. I followed a groomed track down to the bridge, then broke trail up on the opposite side. The snow was not too bad, and I advanced fairly quickly. After an initial climbing traverse going left, I hit a pretty distinct river gorge and decided to head uphill on its right side. Higher up, there were some visible cliffs, but what looked like a nice route continued uphill on the left side. This plan worked just fine and pretty soon I could see the summit cairn.
I arrived at the top at 1150, the visibility was ok, but not really good. After about 10 minutes I headed back down, arriving back at the car by 1300.