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Melkefjellet and Istinden Ridge


Making the most out of the backcountry just behind Tamokhuset

Ski Touring Moderate

18 km
2.2 km
2.2 km
1 day +
Low Point
205 m
High Point
1.4 km
Melkefjellet and Istinden Ridge Map

This ski tour is perfect if you are looking at the forecast and only have a single day of good weather. The route links up some of the better north facing slopes just behind Tamokhuset doing 3 separate lines all of which in close proximity to each other offering steep powder runs and a scenic route to see other potential routes within the area.


Starting off at Tamokhuset ascend up the cut out ski trails until arriving on a mellow bench just below tree line. The normal route is to follow a summer road into the bowl but instead we opted to follow the ridge all the way into the upper alpine then follow the gentle slopes to the upper headwall of the cirque. Once standing on top it is kind of hard to spot your route down so it is worth taking a photo down low and using it as a reference for your ski descend.

There are a handful of small lines to choose from all of which are nice and steep but once in the upper bowl follow the skiers left ridge back up to the upper slopes. This little ridge is safe for climbing but once on top you are standing on top of a big northern headwall where the terrain below you is somewhat straightforward. Descend with a bit of caution as there are rock bulges in the line and once the angle mellows out do a long traverse to the northern edge of the high alpine lake.

Standing among the shoreline make your way up the standard route of Istinden by traversing up a steep convex slope before arriving at a nice and open bowl all the way to the upper ridge. Once on the high ridge this is where things get a bit more complicated as you need to descend following the ridge until there is an additional ridge on the skiers left side and the face directly in front of you. This section should only be done if you have crampons as it is often scoured snow. Riding down this lower ridge you need to keep descending until there is a small chute on the skiers right side giving you access to the main bowl. Once you feel confident that you’re at the right spot ride fall line all the way down to a summer road and follow it to the flats of the valley.

By now all the hard work is over with and the only thing between you and Tamokhuset is a 30 minute skin following the Nordic Ski Track. This tour is long but well worth the effort but each one of these runs is worth its own ski tour. The first two runs are classics within the area and the third line is just icing on the cake.

For more photos and information on the route check out this link https://www.whereiskylemiller.com/tamokdalen/melkefjellet-istinden-ridge/



Slopes become slightly steeper at around 25-30 degrees.

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.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between February and May


  • Bowl
  • Face
  • Alpine
  • Cliffs
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area