Location: North 60:55.810, East 007:00.821 (GPS at the summit)
Difficulty: YDS class 2
Climbed on November 22, 2008.
How to get there:
The mountain Stiganosi marks the highest point of
Syrdalsbreen. This is the high point on the large and
very rugged penisula between
the famous Nærøyfjord (on the UNESCO world heritage list) and the
end of Aurlandsfjorden (going to Flåm.) In summer, the easiest access is via
a trail up the valley Jonadalen. This trail starts in Undredalen, just north of
the short daylight section of highway E-16 between the two tunnels that are
11 and 5 kilometers long, respectively.
This report describes a winter route, via the DNT self service hut Grindaflethytta.
Grindaflethytta is almost perfectly located between Flåm, Stalheim and the
railroad station Uppsete, in a rather large mountain area that sees little use in winter.
From hwy. E-16, the best starting point is the farm Fyre where a small road crosses the
river about 1500 meter south of the famous Stalheim hotel. The location of this
side road is N60:49.404. E006:41.291, elevation 310 meter. One can travel to this
location by bus from Voss, in order to be more independent and retun by a different route.
Follow the road as it runs by the Fyre Farm, then climbs uphill as a forest road. There are
a couple of signs pointing to Grindaflethytta along this road. The proper route should head
a bit south, then more east as it enters the valley Øvsthusdalen. This valley ends
near Stangahøgdi, where the route crosses a saddle at elevation 1230 meter. There
are some large poles indicating the correct route across. Descend to lake 1144, then continue
north-east along several lakes in Fyresdalen. This valley widens and turns more east as you
approach the Grindafletvatni (1081m) lakes with the hut near the north-east outlet. This
hut has 8 beds plus additional matress space.
The location is N60:50.604, E006:54.947, elevation 1090 meter.
From Grindaflethytta, there is a cairned route headed north towards Syrdalsbreen.
First, this route climbs the 1530 meter saddle between points 1603 (west) and 1610 (east).
Descending slightly, continue north on the broad ridge near point 1536 before descending
to the high saddle just south of Storebreen (1662m)
at elevation 1370 meter.
Climb the south slopes of Storebreen, then contour north-east, leave the trail
(that now descends into Jonadalen) and descend slightly to
the saddle separating Storebreen from Syrdalsbreen (1530m). From here, continue
north-east to the high plateau of Syrdalsbreen. There are two high points,
the south point is located at N60:55.640, E007:00.666, while the main cairn is
located further north at location N60:55.810, E007:00.821. These two points are
very nearly equal in height.
Grindaflethytta can also be reached from the railroad station of Uppsete. For
a possible route see the description
of Fossdalsskavlen. Comments:
This trip came off to a pretty bad start. I spent Friday morning at home and allocated
one full hour for my travel (by public city bus) to Bergen bus station where our long distance bus
was supposed to leave at 1120. However, I failed to realize that the first winter snow
was falling and creating a sense of chaos in the traffic. No bus on my local "mountain"
(Natlandsfjellet), without much alarm I jogged down to the main street below. However, no
bus there either. I called the taxi service and asked for a cab to the intersection of
Natlandsveien and Natlandsfjellet. "Sorry" was the response, we only send taxis to home
addresses, not to any street intersections. "What about this gas-station", I asked, upon
which the operator simply hung up on me. At this point, I started to get a sense of urgency,
however, the bus showed up and I still had high hopes of catching the long distance bus
in town. My bus proceeded at a snails pace and at each and every stop there were 10-15
people, all paying the driver with (large) bills. We quickly slipped 10-15 minutes behind
a normal schedule. My prospects looked grim, but at this point I had no other option than
riding the bus, then running across to the main bus terminal.
Arriving there, 5 minutes late, my bus and the rest of the group had departed. Stuck in the
first winter chaos with a backpack and skis, I walked across to the railway station and asked
about trains to Voss. No train until quite a bit later. I called Frode (he was already at Voss)
and informed him that I would be late, that the group should just proceed and that I would catch
The next challenge was to get a taxi to take me back home. Easier said than done. I was stranded
at the official taxi stop by the railroad station. No taxis. I called, they said a car was on its
way. No car. I called again, would it be better if I ordered a cab to the hotel Terminus across
the street? "Much better", another taxi lesson learned. The taxi driver turned out to know the
area and informed me about a bus serving Gudvangen from Voss. That sounded good as parking in Voss
would give me flexibility on my return travel.
Arriving in Voss, the next bus left at 1430, but where to park? The Fleischer hotel parking had a sign
saying that one could only park with a proper "parking permit" displayed. I walked into the reception
and asked the girl if she could issue me a "parking permit" valid until Sunday. She was polite
and service minded, I got my permit and travelled onwards with the bus at 1430.
Hiking up the hill from Fyre, I soon arrived at the snow level and started skiing up the valley
after the group that had started out about 1:30 before me. I figured that I would arrive to a warm
hut with dinner ready to be served. After about two hours of skiing, I noticed the lights from
the group above me. They were just crossing the steeper hill before the main saddle and soon the
lights disappeared. However, I understood that I would soon catch up and after skiing downhill on
the opposite side, I caught up while they were having a rest. The weather was a bit windy with
snow drifting, low clouds and therefore quite dark. We arrived at the hut around 2000. Nice to
get in and start a fire while preparing a three course dinner. By midnight everybody was ready for
The next day came with a cloudless sky, brilliant stars and about minus 15 degrees Celcius.
The scenery was remarkable, small summits around this wide basin, pre-dawn light, the white snow
covering every slope except a few rocky cliffs.
We got started around 0815 and had a nice ski trip to Syrdalsbreen, arriving there around 1250.
After 15 minutes (it was cold to hang around any longer), we skied back via the summit
of Storebreen, arriving back at the hut by 1600.
Another nice evening with a healthy meal, then a bit earlier to bed. We all had
a good workout, this being the first ski trip of the season for most of us.
Sunday morning, we cleaned out the hut, then set course for the mountain
Fossdalsskavlen (1551m), due north
of the railway station Uppsete. Today, the wind had died down and we had a near perfect
day of powder skiing in virgin terrain. Not a single ski track to be seen anywhere. White, soft
slopes with a very low sun hitting the south and east facing terrain, dark, blue shadows ruling
the west and north facing. The trip came to a proper end with a very nice, 700 meter vertical
deep powder hill to Uppsete with arrival about 1.5 hours before the train departure.
No problem, as Odd Erik had a cabin there providing a comfortable chair from which I could
sense the weak heat from the sun as it travelled low across the mountain ridge before dropping
below about 30 minutes before our scheduled departure.
Many thanks are due to Frode Atterås, the designated leader of this trip. We were
12 people, including two sporty girls with good strength and style.
A very nice beginning of a new ski season ended back home
with a warm sauna followed by a delicious Sunday dinner.
Early morning, the landscape (north) as seen from
the Grindaflethytta mountain hut.