Ascent of Galdhøpiggen on 2010-08-27

Climber: El Alpine Club

Others in Party:Christian Miller
Martyn Nixon
Sokita Sun-Breger
Jeremy Brown
Date:Friday, August 27, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
    Elevation:8100 ft / 2468 m

Ascent Trip Report

‘The Highest point in Scandinavia & Northern Europe’

“Our hike started at Juvasshytta some 1850 metres over sea-level high on the Jotunheimen plateau. It was raining in Flåklypa an hour earlier but now it had begun to snow heavily and visibility was miserable for most of the day.”

“After an hour at 1pm we reached the traversing point. Here our summit guides roped our harnesses together and explained how to climb an ice capped peak in walking unison and to be honest it wasn’t long before we had the complete hang of it. The view was amazing.”

“At the detatch point around 2200 m.o.s.l. we had the climb in the bag. If only the snow would stop and allow some decent visibility. Luckily the mountain hut at the top was only 60 minutes away and the thought of a hot drink and food was enough to keep the icy pack moving. It was here that Miller hit a small crevasse and went down to being a body without legs. The fresh snowfall was now over 40cm deep and the going was getting tough in -4 Celsius and it dropped the more we climbed.”

“We accomplished the ascent to 2469 m.o.s.l. in around three hours in total. However this hike wasn”t over yet. We still had to descend 700 metres of ice in 35% visibility and we only had 3 hours of light left to be safe. Nixon surged ahead and caught the first traverse rope back down the climb leaving the other three waiting around 20 minutes for the second 11mm rope descent.”

“All four hikers made it back to Juvasshytta before 5pm making it slightly easier to drive the following 1500 metres down the mountainside before the heavy snow blocked us in for the night. Luckily for us we were in a 4x4 and made it back to our basecamp in Lom for cold beers and plenty of red wine!”

“The snowfall made the tv news bulletin that evening and made the Norwegian morning tabloids on August 28th. As we were still in August afterall and deep snow is not normal. The bus service was trapped indefinitely at Juvashytta and services were temporarily cancelled. Making it the only public transport service in the country cancelled on that day due to a summer snow blizzard.”
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2194 ft / 668 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.7 mi / 14 km
    Trailhead:Juvashytta  5906 ft / 1800 m
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Crampons, Rope, Ski Poles, Snowshoes, Guide, Hut Camp
    Weather:Snowing, Light wind (-4c)
Ascent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes

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