Kågen Island Traverse

Lyngen

A long, difficult, but rewarding traverse of three summits on Kågen island in Arctic Norway

Ski Touring Severe

Distance
18 km
Ascent
2.5 km
Descent
2.5 km
Duration
1 day +
Low Point
4 m
High Point
1.2 km
Gradient
36˚
Kågen Island Traverse Map

This one one of the best tours in Northern Norway, linking up three summits on Kågen Island with great skiing along the way.

Description

The final descent of Store Kågtinden via the north glacier is a highlight by itself, but requires very solid skiing skills as it comes in at 45-50°.

This is a great late-spring tour (May-June), ideally done during the mid-night sun period.

The northern slopes of Kågetinden and eastern slopes of Brikågen hold snow longer than any other areas in that region.

Start the tour by hiking up Stokknesdalen.

The hike up the valley is easy, but subject to overhead avalanche hazard.

Follow the valley and then head up some steeper (30°+) sections to reach the small glacier below Storsandnestinden.

Ascent the steep final pitch to gain the ridge just below the summit.

The steepness here varies from year to year (35° or more), depending on snowdrift.

Often a boot-pack is needed to ascend the last meters.

A broad ridge leads to the summit of Storsandnestinden (1097 m).

This is the first stage and summit of the traverse! To continue, carefully work your way (skiing or down-climbing) down the narrow and exposed NW ridge until you get to a col (850 m).

Here you can drop into a wide bowl that offers great fall-line skiing all the way down to a little lake (500 m).

Put your skins back on, and wrap around a small hump to reach a bowl that you follow to the south slopes of Redotinden (848 m).

This is the second summit of the trip! Descend the north face (35-40°) of Redotinden with skis, hanging a left to gain the base of the SW ridge of Store Kågtinden.

The SW ridge of Kågtinden is over 35° in one short section, but usually scoured of by winds, so likely you will have to boot-pack.

After this last, long ascent you gain the the summit of Store Kågtinden via a short and easy - but exposed (few meters) - snow ridge - you are now on the highest summit of the island and one of the best ski summits in Norway! Click back into your skis, and make a few turns to the north, down the wide, flat plateau below the summit.

Find the entrance to the north glacier run (alternatively, you can ski the regular NE route at 35° to Isbuktvannet - route description will be published shortly). Be prepared for some turns in 45-50° terrain! After the initial very steep section, turn left (you can also ski right - that takes you down to Isbuktvannet) to access the north glacier.

The glacier has some small crevasses so consider taking a lightweight rope and crevasse rescue kit.

Ski this fantastic pitch to about 600 m elevation, then keep right to gain the slopes that lead past the slopes of Breikågen.

Another 550m vertical of great, low-angle skiing take you to the ferry dock at Storstein.

Difficulty

Severe

Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

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

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

May, June

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area