Slettmark Mesmog Massif

Scandinavian Mountains over 2000 metres - James Baxter

AreasSlettmark Mesmog MassifMidtre Torfinnstind › Alternative Routes

Midtre Torfinnstind is the middle point of a jagged massif with another 2000 metre mountain and a 2000 peak on each side of it. The traverse of this massif over the two mountains and the peak is a classic mountaineering day.

Midtre Torfinnstind full size mapThis traverse can been done from east to west or west to east with the east to west traverse being easier. This is because there are the four sections that require climbing each at grade III to grade V and these can be all abseiled, leaving just an easy sections of scrambling at grade II to ascend.

These are essentially the only two alternatives up Midtre Torfinnstind; the east ridge as part of the east-west traverse and the demanding west ridge as part of the west-east traverse.

  • The East Ridge from the saddle with Østre Torfinnstind is described on the main route page.
  • The West Ridge is very challenging and is composed of 3 steep crags, the hardest of which is grade V. The other two are grade IV and grade III. I describe each of these crags in turn here.

West Ridge Lowest Crag

If climbing the West Ridge start at the deep claustaphobic cleft between Vestre and Midtre Torfinnstind. The bottom of this cleft is the base of the lowest crag. Start by following a confused shelf formation from the apex of the cleft on the south (right) side for about 10 metres which is up to grade IV, some of it across looser rock. From here it is easy to scramble up 15 metres of ledges to the final 5 metes which is also a grade IV climb through soild blocks.

The top of the lowest step on the west ridge of Midtre TorfinstindThere is also an alternative route of grade IV, which goes straight up for 10 metes from the top of the cleft and then to the north (left) under a overhang, before cutting back to the crest again and continuing up for 15 metres between big blocks to the top of the crag.

If you are abseiling the lowest step the start about 20 metres from the bottom of the middle crag. It the longest and the most challenging to abseil as it involves a small pendulum near the top which is difficult to avoid. Thereafter the abseil goes down a vertical section of 18 metres slightly on the south side of the ridge apex. The lower part of this step is somewhat loose and care must be taken here to make sure the rope does not dislodge stones on top of you.

A 60 metre rope will allow you to drop into the deep cleft about 5 metres to the south of the apex. With a 50 metre rope you will have to land on the apex of the cleft which will involve a swing against the natural fall-line. Once in the cleft climb up to the apex and climb out on the west side. Almost immediately there is a loose ledge to the south for about 7 metres. Take this ledge to a small shoulder. Due to the loose nature of the rock on the abseil section it is best to climb out of the cleft onto the shoulder before the next member of the party begins to abseil down.

West Ridge Middle Crag

The middle crag on the West Ridge of Midtre TorfinnstindThe middle step is the easiest of the three crags and is only about 15 metres in height.

The climbing here is no more than an easy grade III with plenty of good holds. It is also the least exposed of the three crags

It starts about 20 metres for the top of the lowest crag.

If you are descending this crag it is a simple abseil down the face of the crag with no problems.

West Ridge Upper Crag

This 23 metre climb is the hardest of the three crags. It starts some 10 metres from the top of the middle crag. Initially there is a 3 metre downclimb into a notch at the foot of the crag which is no more than a difficult scramble and not exposed at all.

The 4 metre grade V slab on the upper crag on the West Ridge of Midtre Torfinnstind is just above the abseilerFrom the bottom of the notch climb up a few metres and then follow a vague shelf to the south (right) under a bulging slab. The shelf ends under the south (right) side of this slab and it is possible to climb two metres up into a small recess. Standing in this recess it is possible to lean onto the slab and with a friction hold gain a further metre and a more secure handhold at the top of the slab.This is an exposed move but there is ample protection. From here it is a much easier 6 metre climb on the north side of another overhanging block to the summit, which is atop the crag. The awkward 4 metre slab climb is grade V.

If descending the upper crag it is a relatively straight forward abseil of 23 metres into a 3 metre deep notch. A 50 metre rope is adequate for this abseil.

The return

If you have ascended the difficult West Ridge the best return route from this summit is to continue east down the much easier East Ridge to the saddle with Østre Torfinnstind. It is not possible to safely descend from this saddle down the gully to the south so it is necessary to climb the West Ridge of Østre Torfinnstind with the 15 metre grade III crag. Descend from this mountain by reversing the main ascent route as described on the Østre Torfinnstind page.