Store Russetinden East face and Normal route

Lyngen

A Peak whose East face is one of the biggest adventure freeski lines in the region and whose normal route is one of the most beautiful, particularly in the midnight sun..

Ski Touring Extreme

Distance
7.2 km
Ascent
1.4 km
Descent
1.3 km
Duration
5-6 hrs
Low Point
23 m
High Point
1.4 km
Gradient
54˚
Store Russetinden East face and Normal route Map

The impressive 1000m + East face of Store Russetinden is a gem. Not only because it is one of the biggest faces in the region, offering extreme skiing at its best, but also because of its beauty and mystique. Just the look of it will undoubtedly leave any skier with a lasting impression and will create strong emotions... it's wild. You need many skills to handle yourself in a safe way on such a big face - the potential reward is amazing skiing and an adventure to remember!

Description

The normal route descends the same route as you climb up. This in itself is a great ski tour offering some steep turns and is not to be underestimated. If conditions are favorable, and you decide to ski the east face, make sure to be dialled on the route finding of the face. You may need special equipment according to your choice of route and snow conditions. Crampons and ice axes are mandatory but having proper rope skills will add to your safety. The line is usually skied without rappels but you need to be prepared and to know the conditions. It is possible to scout the line from the road E6 further east and binoculars will come handy to plan the descent.

Regardless, this is a line for very skilled and experienced skiers who have not only a great knowledge of assessing snow stability, but also the necessary mountaineering expertise. On such a big face there is not much room for mistakes and the exposure is high.

This line faces east which means that the sun will hit very early, potentially warming up the face quickly in the spring. Be aware of this and how the sun can affect the snow pack, refreeze and bonding of new snow. You are continuously skiing in a position of high exposure and appropriate sluff management is very important.

The face was first skied by Andreas Fransson solo back in 2009 or 2010. Since then many skiers have enjoyed this impressive descent.

Start by following the normal route up towards the summit of Store Russetinden. Make sure to park with respect to the locals and using one of the smaller roads below the E6.

Follow the stream south and skin up on the east side of the stream towards the upper valley between Store Russetinden and Rakeltinden.

At about 1000m elevation you reach the last steep slope climbing towards the summit. The terrain gets significantly steeper here - around 35°- and you are in avalanche terrain on the whole upper pitch. There can be rocks sticking out and sometimes, if the snow is hard, it will be necessary to boot up with crampons, but in good conditions you'll be able to skin. The last section towards the summit is always climbed with crampons.

On the summit you can either choose to ski down the Normal route that you just climbed, offering fun skiing with a perfect angle, or continue the adventure into the east face. All routes lead back to E6 by some more or less tight trees by the bottom. Find the best way as you go.

Store Russetinden often holds good snow late in the season. Spring skiing in the midnight sun on the normal route is a beautiful experience! For the east side, it is up to the skier to carefully evaluate the conditions for a safe descent.

As usual, the mapped-out ascent/descent line is a rough indicator of where the route goes to give the skier an idea of the route. Use your skills to make tracks in the best place according to the conditions and enjoy this truly amazing mountain - regardless of where you decide to descend!

Difficulty

Extreme

Extreme skiing terrain above 45 degrees. These routes are reserved for experienced experts.

High Exposure (E3)

3 out of 4

In case of a fall, death is highly likely.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

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

Best time to visit

March, April, May

Features

  • Face
  • Alpine
  • Cliffs
  • Couloir
  • Tree Skiing
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area