• Midtiskartinden
  • 1135 m
  • Primary factor 640 meter
  • Location: North 67.44125, East 15.24481
  • Voss, Norway
  • Difficulty: (YDS) class 3
  • Attempted March 24. 2017.


How to get there:
From Bodø, drive E-80 towards Fauske. Note when you arrive at the small fjord Valnesfjord with the big lake Valnesfjordvatnet inland on your left hand side. Cross the bridge and turn left onto Hwy. 530. Drive this road until you pass the the location where Hwy. 531 enters from your left (this is an alternative route), then about 4 kilometer until an intersection where a smaller road runs left, signed with Jordbrua. Turn left here and continue to Lillevatnet/Litivatnet, then find parking below a couple of houses at location N67.41006, E015.31953, elevation about 114 meter.
Route description:
From the parking, proceed up towards the first house. Pass this on the right and continue passing a second house, before entering the forest. The terrain/vegetation is a bit awkward here, you cross a creek and continue north-west. You should pick up a vague trail marked with red markers attached to the trees. Follow this steeply uphill to gain access to more open terrain on the upper side of a cliffband (that you have passed on its left (west) side.
Continue north in more open terrain towards the SW end of lake Nordskarvatnet, Ascend the first, main ridge, less steep if you move further right (north). The terrain is nice and easy, cross below point 551m, and head (slight descent) north in order to ascend close to some birch trees near the lower end of the first of the Nordskar lakes, elevation near 500 meter.
From here, ascend up the east ridge to reach the main crest of Nordskarfjelllet.
Next, traverse north and descend to the col, approximately 790 meter. Continue uphill to point 930m. Be aware that (in winter) there may be a cornice along your right hand side. From point 930m, the ridge now turns west, descend to the new col, then ascend the slope towards the summit. The top part is steeper and may require some easy climbing. In winter, this final ascent may be icy and require the use of a short rope for added safety.
We had the annual national meeting of all the DNT mountaineering sections in Saltstraumen, near Bodø, this weekend. Friday was reserved for skiing and when I suggested climbing Midtiskartinden, Stig Anton said that he wanted to come along. We left our hotel shortly after 0730, an easy drive to the trailhead followed.
When leaving the trailhead at 0900, the weather was quite reasonable with good visibility. The first leg involved crossing a couple of creeks and climbing steeply along a route marked with red ribbons, up through dense sprouce forest. We were happy when leaving this forest behind, as we continued uphill in more open terrain, towards the plateau at about 500 meter of elevation.
We had a short discussion about the choice of route, I mentioned that the ridge further east (right) most likely stayed at or below 30 degree slopes. The ridge ahead was steeper, but less prone to avalanches due to its southern orientation. We decided to climb the east ridge, then curve north and cross the Nordskarfjellet mountain.
The plan worked fine and we continued along the connecting ridge. This involved a descent to the first col followed by an ascent to the next hump before reaching the last saddle.
The weather now turned considerably more nasty, the wind picked up and clouds, or the same thing, fog reduced visibility to a minimal level. We skied up to the rocks at the upper part of the peak.
At this point we left the skis and put on crampons. We had one ice axe each and this final part of the ascent turned more tricky as we got higher. At roughly 1110 meter, we hit a crux section, slabby rocks completely coated in blue ice. Stig Anton with lots of ice climbing practice ascended this section with care, also using my axe on the return climb. I decided to turn around here as this climb was sufficiently exposed to require a short rope for protection. Too bad, being extremely close to the summit, but not quite there.
Our return ski was hampered by zero visibility in a complete white-out. We followed our GPS track back to Nordskarfjellet, then beck down the same route. Visibility returned at the lower elevation and we skied back to our car by 1700. A pretty good, 8 hour work out in rough terrain.
Many thanks to Stig Anton Hordvik for good company. Photo credit: Stig Anton Hordvik.