Store Smørskredtind

  • Store Smørskredtind
  • 1631 m
  • Primary factor 1306 m
  • Saddle: Highest point on Hwy. 655
  • Location: N 62:11.990, East 006:43.930 (GPS on the summit)
  • Location: East of Hjørundfjorden
  • Climbed September 20, 2003.


How to get there: We started from the farm Skylstad in the Nordangsdalen valley. This is about a 6 hour drive from Bergen. From Bergen, drive north via Byrkjelo to Stryn. From Stryn, take the road towards Nordfjordeid until you reach Hornindalsvatnet, make a right there towards Hellesylt. Before descending to Hellesylt, make a sharp left on Hwy. 655 towards Ørsta. This road climbs to a gentle, low pass then descends into the dramatic Nordangsdalen valley. The first farm is Skylstad, there is a sign for the Patchell hut as well as parking on the farm property on your right. There is a nominal (NOK 20.- in 2003) charge for parking.
Route description:
To the Patchell self serve hut: As you face the mountains across the fields on the Skylstad farm, you see a creek coming down the steep slope from the hanging valley above. The trail heads more or less straight up this slope a bit left of the stream. However, you must first cross the main river in the Nordangdalen valley. Locate a nice, old stone bridge to your left, this is the crossing. You can hike left along the side of the farm building to a farmers road that takes you across the river. Turn right and follow a farm track upstream along the river to a fork with a sign for the Patchell hut. The direction of this sign is unobvious, take the left fork and head uphill along the edge of a field, then slightly right until you locate a gate in the fence and a more distinct trail behind it. From here on, the trail is quite clear as it heads uphill, increasingly steeper. After about one hour (based on a two hour hiking time), the slope gets less steep and the trail continues into the hanging valley. A more gradual climb brings you to the saddle where the drainage runs in the opposite direction, this is also the location of the Patchell hut.
From the Patchell hut to the summit: The route heads straight up the north-west facing gully that separates the Nordre Smørskredtind (1606m) from Store Smørskredtind. This gully is often filled with snow (can be hard as ice), however when we climbed in late September, the gully was almost free of snow. The snow in the upper part did not extend to the rock on the sides. Obviously, the conditions here are quite variable, we found this part to be the hardest part of the route and by far the most dangerous due to rock fall in the gully. The soil and small rocks were frozen hard, the rocks on either side were polished with a thin layer of ice. Crampons were essential despite the lack of snow. One section of the gully is only about one meter wide, and the exposure to rocks from above was substantial.
Eventually, even this long gully tops out at a nice saddle, elevation 1450 meter and coordinates N 62:12.116, E 006:44.247. The rock wall to the summit is towering above. Climbers looking for technically more difficult routes may consider starting up from this saddle. There is a small glacier on the south-east side, it was quite a bit crevassed, but the route needs only do a descending traverse on the west side, thus avoiding any trouble. Regain the lower part of the steep rock face and locate a cairn on or near what is the ridge line when viewed from below. Climb across this ridge and enter a distinct gully on the far side. Ascend a bit, then traverse across to the left side before continuing up. The climbing is generally (YDS) class 3 with a few, short class 4 sections. Careful route finding may find somewhat easier alternatives in a couple of spots. Our line of climb subsequently headed slightly right until the northern part of the summit ridge clearly stood out above. From this point, the climb continued on an ascending traverse to the southern and highest summit.
Comments: I made this climb with my friend Jan-Frode. We started from the Patchell hut at 0915, made the summit at 1315. We enjoyed a fantastic view and weather for 45 minutes and returned to the hut at 1830, 4.5 hours on the descent. The north facing gully was almost melted out, we never climbed on snow. The previous days had been rain, the night before the climb was clear and cold, several degrees below freezing. The result was thin layers of frozen water covering the rocks in many places. The gully had substantial rock fall dangers, both spontaneously and triggered by climbers. We were alone on this peak and any other team would have caused serious safety problems.