Sorbmegaisa (1288 m)

Lyngen

The classic and best skitouring mountain in Kåfjord

Ski Touring Moderate

Distance
7.9 km
Ascent
1.3 km
Descent
1.3 km
Duration
5-6 hrs
Low Point
12 m
High Point
1.3 km
Gradient
40˚
VIEW ON MAP
Sorbmegaisa (1288 m) Map

Description

Sorbmegaisa is a my favourite ski mountain in Kåfjord. It has a moderate ascent, requiring some route-finding, and a great fall-line ski descent, plus the best views to the Lyngen Alps of all the ski peaks on the west side of the Lyngen Fjord. The mountain has a bad and fearful reputation since a large avalanche claimed the lives of five skiers in 2012, but their fatal route went down the massive bowl to the south of the standard route. Sorbmegaisa in Sami means "the place where you shall perish", and local skiers will likely remind you of this, but the name is in reference to the river Sorbmejohka, and the name of the mountain is derived from that, not the Sami`s fear of the mountain. The standard route follows first a usually tracked path through the forest. When you exit the forest, you can either a) Cut to the right and gain the main ridge (shown here); getting onto the ridge is a little tricky and you need to cross a short slope that has bushes under the snow, resulting in often facetted snow. It is a small slope, however. b) Follow the small ridge-feature lookers left of the large bowl ahead and cross onto the main ridge higher up. This is flatter overall, but you have a large slope above you. Either way, once on the ridge use your eyes to find a good route through the micro-terrain (the route does not show 100% where to go, there are several options), and ensure you manage the terrain well. At ca 1000 m the ridge becomes narrower and steeper. It is often wind-scoured, and ski-crampons may be needed. The summit plateau is wide, but there are massive cornices on the other side and a steep drop. It is close to impossible to find the true summit in the winter, and I stay clear of the drop on the other side by a wide margin. Several options exist to ski down, including more direct variations down the west face or the traverse over the south summit. The regular route is fun descent, however, and I rarely choose the alternative routes as they are either very avalanche-prone or do not add much in terms of ski enjoyment. The last 250 m vertical can be pretty tracked, but they get you back fast to the parking lot.

Difficulty

Moderate

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.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May

Features

  • Single Descent

Equipment required

  • Skins