Scandinavian Mountains over 2000 metres - James Baxter
Areas › Hurrungane › Detailed Information
Hurrungane is arguably the finest area mountain area in Scandinavia. The towering mountains and sharp peaks, which are scattered throughout, are connected by web of jagged razor thin arêtes. Huge vertical walls, some nearly 1000 metres high loom above crevassed glaciers, which thunder down into massive valleys.
The very rugged landscape has been formed by vigorous wet west coast glaciations acting on the harder, resistant gabbros and gneiss rock types found in Hurrungane. However, this mighty massif, violently carved by aggressive glaciers, is also surrounded by tranquil alpine meadows and an idyllic, but rugged, pastoral history.
Hurrungane can be divided into two massifs of quite different character. In the northeast is the graceful Fannaråken Massif and in the southwest is the turbulent wild spires and exposed arêtes of the main massif. All but two of the mountains over 2000 metres lie in this wilder massif and amongst them are the most challenging 2000 metre mountains in Scandinavia.
Four of the mountains here need climbing experience and equipment, and six of the mountains demand crossing crevassed glaciers. There are 14 mountains in this region altogether and another additional 11 secondary peaks.
The valleys which surround the Hurrungane massif are deep glacier carved gashes in the landscape. Utledalen and Fortunsdalen are especially deep and as they descend are eventually submerged to become two arms of the huge Sognefjord. Despite the steep sides there were some areas that could be cultivated or were suitable of livestock.
As land became scarce in the Sixteenth century some of these remoter areas were settled. None was more remote than Vormeli farm whose only link to the world was over the Keisar Pass to the north west and on to the hamlet of Fortun. Many of these old farms, and their seters in the summer pastures, were abandoned during the course of the last 100 years. Thankfully many of these abandoned farms and seters have recently been restored and are superbly atmospheric overnighting cabins.
It was in this arena that Norwegian Mountaineering "tinderangling" flourished during the last decades of the 19th century. The birth of tinderangling was probably 21 July 1876 when the much respected W.C. Slingsby made the first ascent of the most cherished Scandinavian mountain, namely Store Skagastølstind.
Following this famous solo ascent an increasing number of Norwegians and a core of Danes, especially Carl Hall, started to climb the remaining Hurrungane mountains and peaks. In the course of the next 15 years most of them of them had been climbed, and by the turn of the century, the early pioneers of Hurrungane turned their attentions to new routes and ridge traverses of which Hurrungane has a magnificent abundance of.