Knutshols Tjønnhols Massif

Scandinavian Mountains over 2000 metres - James Baxter

AreasKnutshols Tjønnhols Massif › 8.1 Knutsholstind (2341m)

Knutsholstind, 2341m, is the highest mountain in the alpine area between the major lakes of Gjende and Bygdin; which comprises 3 of our regions. Knutsholstind is a huge steep-sided pyramid which was once thought to be the highest mountain in Jotunheimen due to its sheer presence. On the east side of Knutsholstind is Knutsholet, a massive corrie some 800 metres deep containing a vast and heavily crevassed glacier. This glacier is surrounded by several other spectacular alpine peaks also.

The Route from Torfinnsbu/Gjendebu Lodges
total distance for return trip17km   
total ascent and descent1350m   
total time for return journey 9-11hrs
difficulty rating - 7season: jul, aug, septno skiingno glacier crossingno climbingpossible but not advisable in wet conditions

From roughly 1850 metres the path ascends more directly and the way up looks daunting but as it unfolds is not as bad as it looks. Initially the path keeps to the north of this gully and then veers more into the centre of the gully. As you ascend the gully starts to disappear as the spurs on each side come together. From the centre of the gully the route now veers onto the south spur. The path now splits into a number of options but the best bet seems to continue on the path that follows the spur for another couple of hundred metres until you are at an elevation of about 2000 metres.

Knutsholstind is one of the finest mountains in JotunheimenFrom about 2000 metres elevation the path now leaves the steep spur and heads across the gully to the north for about 100m. It then cuts back to the spur again and crossing over the spur continues to ascend for about 100m, but now in the gully to the south of the spur which is equally fully of steep loose scree. After ascending for 100m on the south of the spur the path again cuts back to the spur and crosses it into the northern gully again for roughly another 100m. As this gully get steeper and steeper the path now cuts back onto the spur again and makes a final 100m climb up an easing gradient to the cherished summit.

The ascent from the lake at 1490m is a sustained 40 to 45 degree climb for 850 vertical metres. Some of the sections involve a small amount of scrambling and much of the ascent is up scree and loose rock. To be honest it is not very pleasant and care must be taken. It is also necessary to try and keep to the path as much as possible. In many places there are an unhelpful proliferation of cairned routes each one vying with each other, so awareness of ones location should always be maintained.

The reward for this slog is a cherished top and a superb view. I may keep harking on about views but the one from Knutsholstind is unbeatable for sheer panorama. It is even more impressive than the notorious view from Surtningssui summit.

The return is by the same route. If you found the ascent was a slog you will find the descent to be an absolute bugger!