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/ Norway touring-Jotunheimen or Sunnmorsalpane?

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ebdon on 27 Mar 2018

I’m after some Norwegian ski touring advice, I was planning the 5 day Jotunheimen haute route next week but due to various reasons my group can no longer do it. I now have the option of either day tours around the Jotunheimen area or going to Sunnmorsalpane.  I’ve never been to Norway before and don’t really know the terrain – I’m looking for fun skiing, big days and getting some summits in (weather permitting) and don’t know which option is best, I read somewhere that for day trips much of Jotunheimen is pretty gentle and rolling? Also if the weather is a bit mixed (as it looks like) I don’t know if there any low level good tours available.

Anyone got any tips?

Thanks!

 

ebdon on 27 Mar 2018
In reply to ebdon:

Also does anyone have any info re acess in jotunheim. I read somewhere some places are accesed by publicly operated snowcats?

Pete Houghton - on 27 Mar 2018
In reply to ebdon:

Having never been to Jotunheimen I can't compare the two, but I had an absolute hoot in Sunnmoresalpane this time two years ago.

A friend of mine is there right now, this picture was taken yesterday: https://www.instagram.com/p/BgzNji1hJTF/

...and if you are looking for a place to stay, I heartily recommend the cabins in Saebö that this view is taken from... complete with log-fired fjord-water hot tub, jetty for plunge pooling, and fishing rod available on request so you can at least try and catch a fish without success. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bg0Ul4thGyo/

You are generally looking at a couple of kilometers of walk-in or flat skinning, 500-1500m ascent days, and a mix of short-lived powder in a whiteout and great long spring snow descents. I don't know what conditions are like there right now, but I'd be happy to recommend a couple of tours and locations that I had great success in when I was there. Conditions allowing, there are descents available for every ability. Hire car is a good idea, obviously.

Post edited at 13:24
ebdon on 27 Mar 2018
In reply to Pete Houghton:

Thanks very much we will have a car so are pretty flexible. I'll check out those cabins, one of the main reasons i wanted to go to jotunheim was that apparently one of the huts had a swimming pool!

HeMa on 27 Mar 2018
In reply to ebdon:

Are you touring for turns or just touring?

If just touring, then Jotunheim *might* be better.

If you prefer the downhill, Sunnmorealps or Hurrungane might be better options.

ebdon on 27 Mar 2018
In reply to HeMa:

thanks i am definitely looking for some turns. Do you know what the access to hurrungane is like? The internet seems to suggest large parts of the only road in that area is closed for the winter?

Pete Houghton - on 27 Mar 2018
In reply to ebdon:

These are the huts:
http://www.hustadnes-fjordhytter.no/

Plug this into googlemaps to find them:
62.206207, 6.497260

There is a great tour you can do with I think about 1400m of up, where you ski this north-east facing combe down to the fjord ( 62.170119, 6.471669 ), hop on a boat (that you've previously arranged to pick you up), and they'll drop you right on the jetty of those huts. Top day out.

JuneBob on 27 Mar 2018
In reply to ebdon:

I'm in sunnmøre right now. Weather is fantastic, east facing has pretty decent snow, but the avalanche risk is difficult. There's a persistent weak layer with no sign of it subsiding, wind slab on top, and there's been a fair few remote triggered avalanches so you have to be careful. Net result, everyone here is on Easter holiday skiing the "safe" routes, so the popular ones will be tracked out by the time you get here as there's no snow forecast. But if you get good weather you do get the epic views down to the fjord which you don't get in jotunheimen, and there's plenty to do to keep you occupied for a week. This is my second visit here, it's quite spread out, but there are many options. I've always had bad weather skiing in jotunheimen, so can't give much info about there, I'm also not sure which roads are open there, it's still quite early, I don't usually consider there until late April early may. I may try slogen on Friday from patchelhytta, I can post some more info then.

Pete Houghton - on 27 Mar 2018
In reply to JuneBob:

>  Slogen from Patchelhytta

This was a serious highlight of my trip there. We approached the hut in twenty meter visibility and a raging blizzard the day before, then skied the main face of Slogen with about a foot of fresh snow. Some of us then booted up the couloir right by the hut on the other side of the valley to Slogen, for another cracking descent before heading back to the car.

Absolutely incredible place to hang out, and Patchelhytta is a bloody palace. It's huge.

ebdon on 28 Mar 2018
In reply to ebdon:

Thanks all - after much tooing and froing we've book a place in Stryn, just south of the main Sunnmore range, if anyone has any route ideas or conditions report I'd be glad to here them - very jealous of the weather out there for the moment, I think I picked the wrong week to take off over Easter!

JuneBob on 28 Mar 2018
In reply to ebdon:

I did the race at stryn last weekend, but it was shortened due to bad weather. Look up Stryn rando 3000, they have the 3000 and 1600 routes, that should give you some ideas to start with. Also it's not too far to stranda, so you can still easily access a bunch of stuff in sunnmøre. 

Have a poke around here:

https://mrfylke.no/Morotur/Turar?search=&activeFacets[morotur/turtype:Turtype]=Skitur&filter[]=attr_turtype____ms:Skitur&listview=map

Otherwise get the guidebook.

JuneBob on 28 Mar 2018
In reply to ebdon:

And, east -> north facing is still good conditions, everything else not so. Seems there may be some snow on the way so that could make things nicer. The forecast here is difficult, so hopefully you'll still get some nice days.

Make sure you download the following apps: varsom (avalanche forecast), regobs (in the field conditions reports, and map showing steepness; very useful to find the way up/down 0deg if you're uncertain about avvy risk), and yr for the weather.

 

JuneBob on 31 Mar 2018
In reply to ebdon:

To follow up, the avalanche risk has dropped to 2, but the problems remain albeit less likely. We did a quick compression test yesterday on an east facing slope, and while both the shallow (10-15cm) weak layer and deeper (70cm) weak layer were still there, it took a fair few taps to fracture and the fracture was rough and irregular. We also encountered whomping on a different aspect (south facing) in shallower snow pack. Do your own research and tests when entering avalanche prone terrain.

East to north facing slopes currently give the best skiing, with nice consistent dense powder. Other aspects are badly sun and wind affected. Conditions will change, depending on weather. Plan your trip carefully using the resources I listed above.

My trips from last week which are generally considered "safe" i.e. very little over 30 degrees (with link to my strava route so you can easily find them):

Fremste Blåhornet - west and slight north facing, snow was ok:
https://www.strava.com/activities/1474754960
Kvitegga (not the big one, which is likely also good, but a nicer one with view over Geiranger), east facing, quite tracked out, but still good snow:
https://www.strava.com/activities/1476577581
Brekketind shoulder from Patchellhytta, great east facing skiing, no-one else had skied it:
https://www.strava.com/activities/1480219445

Then I also skied Slogen, but that is up to 40*, and 45* at the very top, so you need to know what you're doing. Again east facing and great snow:
https://www.strava.com/activities/1480219649

Patchellhytta is an excellent hut, and there is fairly easy terrain around if you're creative. The 2-3hr ski in from the car park is a bit heavy though.

Have a great week.


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