Glittertind Massif

Scandinavian Mountains over 2000 metres - James Baxter

AreasGlittertind Massif › 13.5 Ryggehøi (2142m)

Ryggjehøe, 2142m, is a steep sided mountain with two ridges running east west which are relatively shallow and lead up to the summit like two ramps. Although an impressive mountain in its own right it is completely dominated by its massive neighbour Glittertind to which it is also connected via its west ridge.

The Route from Glitterheim Lodge
total distance for return trip12km   
total ascent and descent760m   
total time for return journey 5hrs
difficulty rating - 3season: mar, apr, may, jul, aug, septskiingno glacier crossingno climbingsuitable for wet conditions

Leave Glitterheim lodge follow the marked path up Veodalen to Spiterstulen. Follow this path for 300 metres over Steinbuelve stream and then for continue for another km until you come to a small beck draining a bowl to the west. Leave the path here and follow this beck north west up into the bowl across easy short vegetation. Head towards a very flat saddle in the low ridge ahead of you one km to the north west. On approaching the saddle the terrain steepens slightly but is still relatively gentle.

Ryggjehøi is easily ascended from Glitterheim lodgeOn reaching the saddle and gaining a view of Steinbuvatnet lake to the north, turn west and head up the stony slope for a half km to the bottom of the pronounced spur coming down from the east ridge. Keep a few hundred metres to the north of the knoll, Ryggjehøhaugan, 1656m as you approach the foot of this spur.

The route now goes up the spur which is covered in scree and boulders. It is quite steep, but never exceeds 40 degrees, and is quite short and within an ½ hour you will easily have reached the gentler ground at the top of the spur. During the ascent up the spur it is best to keep a good distance to the north of the crest of the spur as the terrain is easier here and in winter/spring a small cornice sometimes builds up over the steep drop on the south side of the spur.

Once the top of the spur is reached and you are on the east ridge proper it is a very pleasant walk to the summit in stunning surroundings. The route goes up the sloping plateau towards a smooth shoulder at 1995 metres for a km. During the spring there are large snowfields on the north of this plateau making a ski ascent very easy. These snowfields extend into the early summer and can be follow to the shoulder. In poor visibility you should be wary of straying to far to the north of the ridge as there is an unexpected corrie with a treacherous cornice here.

For the final section of the east ridge it is best to follow the apex of the broad arêteFrom the top of the shoulder, 1995m, there is a further km to the summit. Initially this continues across the pleasant sloping plateau but soon the gradient steepens and the boulders become bigger. At this stage it is more interesting to veer to the south and gain the apex of the broad arête which is beginning to form. This broad arête can be followed to the top without and difficulty but just before the to there are a couple of easy scrambling section which are slightly airy on the south side. These airy sections can easily be avoided by veering onto the slightly tedious boulders of the north side.

The return is by the same route back to Glitterheim. Alternatively, it is possible to descend down to Spiterstulen by reversing the alternative route described above. It is also feasible to combine the ascent of Ryggjehøi with Glittertind by descending down the west ridge of Ryggjehøi to the saddle, marked 1841m, on the south west of Steinbu-kampen, and then ascending the south west of Glittertind. It is much better, however, to do Glittertind first, and then Ryggjehøi second, as described on the Glittertind page. This saddle, 1841m, is also on route Gl.2 from Glitterheim to Spiterstulen and it is possible to traverse Ryggjehøi from east to west and then return to Glitterheim by descending east from the saddle into Storglupen and Steinbudalen. This east-west traverse of Ryggjehøi returning to Glitterheim lodge via Storglupen should take about 7 hours.