UKC

Route description:

From Krossbu tourist hotel follow a path by the river called Leira until its possible to cross and head up a gully to the south of a top called Leirhøe (1511), from this point follow cairns if uncovered from the winter snows to point 1678. From here the glacier starts. To access Kalven locate a gully on the southwest side of the northwest ridge. The gully, often snow-filled is by far the only real access point on this face. Ascend the gully to the ridge proper and continue along the ridge which offers airy scrambling over Kalven until the ridge swings northeast to a defined col between Kalven and Skeie. This col can be utilised as an access/escape route. The southeast side is shorter and less steep than the northwest side that also contains several crevasses. From the col scramble up to where suddenly it becomes a climb. Two pitches of climbing are required to reach the ridge proper.

1) Grade 4, 30m. Climb the groove and slight overhang to a ledge. Mainly grade 3, a point through the roof at 4.

2) Grade 4, 30m. Traverse right approximately 10m on the ledge and then climb up to a slab. Follow this to a loose exiting gully. Mainly grade 3, a point of 4 on the slab.

It’s possible to abseil down the route.

From the top of the climb scramble along the southeast ridge to the lofty top of Skeie. From here descend an airy ridge until you come to the point that might require a rope again. Many teams locate a steep chimney on the northeast side and climb down 10m or so until it’s possible to traverse on a ledge back to the ridge proper (grade 3). It can be quite greasy and slippy, and therefore a rope might be required. From here the ridge continues, without much fuss until a small hill on the ridge forces you to take a rising slab on the Northeast side of the mountain. Under optimal conditions the climbing party will face no problems, however, under icy or poor snow conditions it might again require a rope. After this to the top of Veslebjørn (sometimes called Lille Bjørn as in Little bear), the ridge is relatively straightforward. Now the fun begins. From the top of Veslebjørn follow the northeast ridge scrambling down until you locate a rappel. Make a long rappel to a ledge system. From this point traverse and ascend a top and descend to another rappel (can be awkward and airy scrambling at times). The next rappel is rather strange. Many people use the following odd method: From the abseil point, abseil the horizontal section of the ridge until a steep wall cuts the ridge itself. Continue abseiling until you forced by the narrowness of the ridge to go on the west side of what is now a blade of rock. Climb, abseil, fight, horizontally along this section of ridge until you reach a broader relaxed section of ridge. Alternatively abseil the first section to the base of the steep wall, set up a belay and pitch the narrow ridge section to the too the side. More realistic, less hassle / safer. The first method is used a lot. However, if you fluff it on the abseil you could end up pendulum rather alarmingly. The reason of this rather pedantic abseil is the location of abseil point. After the madness of the abseil scramble easily over the next top and down over boulders to the col (Bjørnskaret). From here descend back down Leirbreen (Glacier) keeping Skeie and Kalven as a handrail back to land at the point 1678 or head down Leirbreen and back along the path next to river called Leira to Krossbu.

Escape routes:

1) Between Kalven and Skeie it is possible to descend both snow slopes each side of the col. The southeast is shorts and less steep than the northwest, which is steeper and requires crossing a bergshrund and crevasses. Although this northwest variant is the shortest way back to land.

2) From Skeie: Abseil down the climb and use option 1.

3) Between Skeie and Veslebjørn: At the lowest point in the ridge between these two tops, the snow slopes from Leirbreen nearly cut the ridge. It is possible to ascend and descend these slopes. They are often difficult to locate from the ridge and even in summer require snow anchors to safeguard ascent and descent.

4) From Veslebjørn it is possible to descend the southeast ridge towards Storebjørn and then traverse snow slopes back to Bjørnskaret.

ClimberDateStyle
Jamie Simpson ?/Aug/16 -
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