Visbretind

Scandinavian Mountains over 2000 metres - James Baxter

AreasVisbretind MassifStore Urdadalstind › Alternative Routes

There are 2 routes up Store Urdadalstind from any of the two starting points of Leirvassbu or Spiterstulen lodges. These routes are;

  1. Up the north ridge from either Leirvassbu or Spiterstulen lodges.
  2. Up the west flank and then the south ridge from either Leirvassbu or Spiterstulen lodges.

1. North Ridge Route

I have described the classic north ridge as the preferred ascent route in the main section starting from Spiterstulen lodge.

However I would recommend that this is used in conjunction with a return via Midtre Urdadalstind and the exciting arête south from there before heading back to Spiterstulen.

2. West Flank Route

The west flank is not a classic route, but is a bloodsome slog up a jumble of boulders. However, it does have the appeal of making a round tour if you wish to miss out Midtre Urdadalstind.

Store and Midtre Urdadalstind seen from Tverrbytnet to the north westIt starts pretty much at the outflow of Semelstjørni lake in Semelholet. If coming from Spiterstulen head up the east side of the Visa river on path Vi.1 for 2½ hours then take the unmarked path Vi.2 for a good ½ hour to the outflow of Semelholstjørni lake. If coming from Leirvassbu lodge head along the path Vi.1 for 1½ hours through Kyrkjeglupen to the watershed in Visdalen.

Continue past the watershed on the marked path for another ¼ hour making the short gradual descent into a grassy bowl on the valley floor. Leave the path here before it crosses the glacial stream flowing from the Visbreen glacier and head east across the tundra soon reaching and easily crossing this same glacial stream.

Once over the stream sidle round the bottom of the craggy north ridge of Semelholstind gently climbing stony tundra for a km until you reach another stream coming out of Semelholstjørni lake. Cross this stream and head up the east side of it where the terrain is less stony to the outflow, some 2½ hours after leaving Leirvassbu lodge.

Store Urdadalstind full size mapFrom the lakes outflow follow the rocky shore for a ½ km east then south until you at the bottom of the discouraging boulder slope. Start to clamber up the boulders making for the saddle between Store and Midtre Urdadalstind.

Initially the boulders are quite stable but as the gradient increases you encounter a few wobbly ones. After ¾ hour from the shore line the route ahead is hindered by line of steeper crags. It is technically an easy scramble for ¼ hour up through these crags but loose stones and the steep gradient complicate things and make it somewhat airy.

If this direct route to the saddle is deemed too precarious then it is easier to head south below the crags and make for the rust coloured pinnacle on the ridge just to the north of Midtre Urdadalstind.

When you are about half way there it is much easier to clamber up a spur of boulders to gain the main arête which can then be descended with some easy scrambling to reach the main saddle. When you gain the arête a wonderful view suddenly unfolds across the valley to the huge Heillstugu ridge.

Store Urdadalstind seen from Midtre UrdadalstindOnce at the saddle follow the arête up the south ridge to the summit. At the start of the ascent just north of the saddle there is an easy, but airy, scramble over a pinnacle. This is fun to follow but it can also be avoided on the west side.

After that it is more boulders as you head up the broader arête, but these are much less tedious than those encountered up to the saddle and the views down into the precipitous corrie on the east side of the mountain are awesome.

It take a good ½ hour to reach the summit cairn from the saddle. The return can be by the same route but the north ridge is much more fun.