The Lambda couloir of Store Russetind

Lyngen

A striking feature on an impressive mountain

Ski Touring Extreme

Distance
4.6 km
Ascent
933 m
Descent
933 m
Duration
3-4 hrs
Low Point
22 m
High Point
955 m
Gradient
51˚
The Lambda couloir of Store Russetind Map

The north west facing Lambda couloir got its name because of the greek letter that resembles this striking feature and couloir of the Store Russetinden. Even though the couloir itself doesn't top out on the summit, the line is as impressive as it is eyecatching. You can spot the Lambda couloir from long distance and for expert skiers, it's an inviting target for an adventure!

Description

The couloir often holds good snow until late in the season because of its NW aspect. Enjoy skiing facing the fjord on this beautiful steep ski descent as the sun hits it in the late afternoons of May.

The line was first skied in May 2012 by Swedish skier Johanna Stålnacke (who at the time was living in Tromsø) and Madeleine Lagergren, Lars Linaker and Gorm Gunleiksrud. They called the couloir the "Lambda" because of the look of the line seen from across the fjord. The higher neighbouring line on Store Russetinden, the east face, was first skied a few years earlier by the fellow swede Andreas Fransson, a good friend of the Lambda team.

Start by parking on the right spot! That is not on the main road E6 but on a smaller road (the old E6) closer to the fjord. Please make sure to not disturb the locals and park thoughtfully.

From the parking you skin up and cross the E6 road. Aim for the east side of the river. Follow the riverbed south and at around 300-350m altitude, head up left towards the prominent couloir. The terrain quickly gets steep and you'll soon need to put the skis on the pack and start booting. Crampons and axe are recommended.

Be aware of the snow conditions and safety both climbing up and skiing down. There are rocks on each side of the couloir and often boulders melted out at the bottom of the line. Any fall could be devastating. The couloir is consistently steep at around 45° and has passages up to around 50°. Climb the couloir to its top, a natural spot where the cliff wall puts an end to the snow. Ski down the same way.

This is a straightforward line navigation-wise and with good snow conditions the couloir skis well all way without the need for any rappels. It is easy to spot the line from the road and get an idea of the snow cover.

There are alternative ski lines both in the neighbourhood such as the lookers right "Lambda leg" couloir (which is more narrow) and also further lookers left of the Lambda features. All alternative lines are very steep and the technical difficulty and need of gear on these lines are depending on the snow conditions.

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

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

March, April, May

Features

  • Alpine
  • Cliffs
  • Couloir
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area