Scandinavian Mountains over 2000 metres - James Baxter

AreasBreheimen › Brenibba › Alternative Routes

Brenibba can be climbed from two very different locations starting from either the west side or east side of Jostedalsbreen Ice sheet. The west side is probably the easiest, certainly in the summer, and lends itself most easily to combine an ascent of Brenibba with Lodalskåpa. The two routes from Jostedalen valley to the east are longer but marginally easier in the spring on skis, especially if the route through the birch forest from Bødalsæter is full of deep wet spring snow for four km.

Both Alternatives go from Fåbergstølen. The first route follows the walking path Bre.25 for 15 km. Park at Fåbergstølen and walk down the road for a km until you get to the river flats. Leave the road and follow these flats along the north side of the river towards Fåbergstølsbreen for three km until you get to the glaciers snout. Continue up the north side across slabs and gravel for ½ km until you get to the small stream which descends from a small lake to the north. This stream can sometimes be awkward to cross. Do not follow the glacier after this stream but head up its west bank for a short distance and gain a ridge.

Follow pleasant ridge up in a north west direction for an hour climbing steadily towards first one and then another prominent knoll. The second on the edge of the Jostedalsbreen ice sheet. Once here rope up and continue north west for another seven km towards the very shallow saddle between Brenibba and the knoll 1872m, which lies one km to the west of Brenibba. After two hours you should reach this saddle. At the saddle then turn east and ascend the short shallow ice covered ridge to the rocky outcrop which is the summit. Brenibba is about 6-7 hours from Fåbergstølen. In spring on skis the return will be quick but in the summer allow 5-6 hours. It is also possible to continue to Bødalsæter in 4-5 hours by reversing the ascent route given in the main section which is the continuation of Bre.25, or return to Fåbergstølen by reversing the ascent route given in the next paragraph via Stordalen.

Park at Fåbergstølen and head north up the west side of the river which flows across a glacial river plain or sandur. This sandur the largest in mainland Europe and is nearly 1000 acres of sand and gravel interspersed with braids of the glacial stream which brings the deposits down from the glacier. The path follows the western edge of this sandur for four km through tangled birches that line the rustic path. After the sandur the path continues on the west (south) of the river through dwarf birch and over moraine ridges for another four km until you reach the south the Lodalsbreen glacier. Continue along the west (south) side of the glaciers snout until you have passed the stream that descends for the ice fall above you to the west.

Looking from Brenibba east into StordalenOnce you are north of this stream leave the main valley and climb steeply up to the west for 400 vertical metres across largely scree and a bit grass for an hour until the gradient eases. At this point head north along an obvious shelf for a km passing under the shallow snout of another small glacier descending from the west. After this glaciers' snout veer north west straight up the slope on the north side of this small glacier towards knoll 1688 metres. Halfway up this section the glacier merges with the ice sheet and the remaining km is across glacier for which some glacial experience and equipment is required.

From knoll 1688 metres head south west for two km up a shallow east rock and glacier ridge with a fantastic view over Småttene to Lodalskåpa. After the two km veer south to gain the very shallow west ridge which is easily followed to the summit. Brenibba is about 6-7 hours from Fåbergstølen via Stordalen. The return is by the same route or by reversing the alternative route above to Fåbergstølen. One can also continue to Bødalsæter as described below.

For experienced parties looking for a challenging day the trip from Fåbergstølen to Bødalsæter via Brenibba then to Ståleskardet saddle and via Lodalskåpa is a classic, but is likely to be in excess of 15 hours on foot in summer, and 14 hours on skis in the spring.