Varden and Smatinden

Lofoten

Two classic ski touring peaks which make for an awesome quick hit.

Ski Touring Difficult

Distance
11 km
Ascent
928 m
Descent
928 m
Duration
5-6 hrs
Low Point
43 m
High Point
519 m
Gradient
37˚
Varden and Smatinden Map

The peaks of Varden and Smatiden are conveniently situated close to the towns of Kabelvag and Svolvaer and are popular ski touring objectives. Their awesome scenery, accessible location and easily manageable ski terrain make this area popular with local and visiting skiers alike. The skiing here generally faces east, and can provide a good option if looking for shelter from strong westerly winds.

Description

Starting from the parking there is a longish flat section of a cross-country ski track to skin up. Once at the ridge coming down from the bottom of Varden, head left and skin up the ridge. The ridge is never that steep and makes for a good line of ascent before cutting back into the main bowl. It is usually possible to reach the summit of Varden without too much trouble. From here you can ski all the way back down, or alternatively, to get some more skiing in, skin back up to Smatinden as shown here which makes for an attractive loop.

The summit area of Smatinden is a great place to take in 360 degree views. The west side of Smatinden also has a lot of great ski terrain and can be approached separately from the west. The slopes coming off the summit of Smatinden face directly south and are steeper (40 degrees in places) than that of Varden, so be sure of the quality of the snow and watch out for a risk of wet slides (also from the steep ground above the stream just before the terrain flattens out). Once down on there flat ground by the lake, enjoy the extra exercise you'll get from polling back out along the cross-country track!

Difficulty

Difficult

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

Low Exposure (E1)

1 out of 4

Exposure is limited to that of the slope itself. Getting hurt is still likely if the slope is steep and/or the snow is hard.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

February, March, April, May

Features

  • Bowl
  • Face

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area