Frostisen (1724 m)

Narvik

A long skitour over one of Northern Norway's largest glaciers

Ski Touring Difficult

Distance
25 km
Ascent
2.2 km
Descent
2.2 km
Duration
1 day +
Low Point
15 m
High Point
1.7 km
Gradient
25˚
VIEW ON MAP
Frostisen (1724 m) Map

Description

Frostisen is one of the highest summits in Northern Norway, yet it is relatively unknown. The peak is heavily glaciated, with the Ruostajiekņa/Frostisen plateau glacier being the 15th largest in Norway, covering an area of about 25 square km. Together with neighboring Reintind (1674 m), Frostisen creates a spectacular sight towering over the Skjomen Fjord. All routes to the summit are long and start from sea level. The route described here starts from Sør-Skjomen, just 45 min driving from Narvik. The drive there along the Skjomen Fjord is an experience in itself - including views of the now legendary Gagnesrenna couloir. Park the car along the main road in Sør-Skjomen. A car road (private) takes you to a tractor road leading up the right side of a river.

As you cross the river, stay left (south) (do not follow the marks on the trees leading north-west) and continue up gentle slopes towards Vesterkarelva. A powerline is visible to your right. At about 600 metres the slope angle decreases as you enter the open area of Vesterkarelva. To your right you can see large bowl.

Here you have 2 options: Work your way up the bowl on its right/northern end. This requires good snow stability and route-finding skills, and the route is also used for the descent. Alternatively, you can follow the normal route to Gagnesaksla (looker's right side), and descend ca. 150 m back to the route. Continue to travel over flat, undulating terrain until you reach the glacier. The glacier has crevasses - this route does not pass the large crevasse zones, but roping up is still advised. The traverse of the glacier is flat and lengthy, but you are rewarded with great views and an alpine feeling. When you reach the base of Frostisen peak, take the left ridge, and stay left on the ridge itself to avoid crevasses. Be careful near the summit - cornices are a real hazard here. To your right (SW) there is often a rocky, safe area to rest and transition.

For the descent you have two options: Follow the way you came up or, snow stability permitting, ski the east face (40-45 degrees) back to the glacier. For crossing back over the flat glacier you usually do not need to put skins back on.

Additional information:

You can alternatively reach this peak by its NW side - described here: http://alpine-coast.no/NO/topptur-guiden/ofoten/242-ballangen/1948-frostisen-1724moh

The description is from Micke af Ekenstam`s excellent guidebook to the area, available now in its 3rd edition in English: https://www.friflyt.no/bok/ski-touring-around-narvik Highly recommended!

An aerial view of the Frostisen glacier is available here: http://old.grida.no/photolib/detail/frostisen-glacier-nordland-norway4cd7#

Difficulty

Difficult

Serious gradient of 30-38 degrees where a real risk of slipping exists.

Medium Exposure (E2)

2 out of 4

As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

February, March, April, May, June

Features

  • Alpine
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area