Ascent of Gluggarnir on 2016-06-22

Climber: Denise Mclellan

Date:Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Location:Faroe Islands
    Elevation:2001 ft / 609 m

Ascent Trip Report

Our trailhead was at 61.55452, -006.89522 at some former coal mine workings at 308m, south of the road between Tvoroyri and the tunnel to Hvalba, on Suderoy island. This can be accessed in an ordinary 2wd car by turning off the main road about 0.5km before the zig before the tunnel entrance onto a narrow tarmac track that winds about 2km up the hillside. There is a sign saying 'Warning' and something in incomprehensible Faroese at the road junction, but we saw no apparent dangers.

At the end of the tarmac there is a flat area where you can park. The track goes three ways: south along the base of the cliffs ( our return route) past some spoil heaps , north around the base of the cliffs and east to former mine buildings. We went north along the track about 50 m then cut up steep grass (south west) up a broken shoulder and into swirling cloud. After 20 mins ascent, we found a convenient gulley which we ascended to the plateau above, with a few easy scramble moves. It may be possible to avoid this by continuing further along the track north and then ascending. After 45 mins ( from car) we reached a flat plateau area with steep drops. We decided this was Galvurin,574m, though there was no distinct high point or cairn visible in the cloud (61.54811, -006.90052, 571m on GPS).

We continued SSE along the ridge, steep drop to our right (south), descended to a col at 554m and then ascended to the south corner of the ridge, the high point, with cairn. We decided this was the island high point, Gluggarnir, 610m. (61.54640, -006.89126, 614m on GPS).

The way on did not look appealing in the cloud with apparent steep drops, but the map said we had to go south to get to the other contender for the high point. So we tentatively descended the steep, mossy, greasy rocks, trending slightly south, right of the ridge line to reach a col with narrow traversing sheep track after about 5 minutes. We then ascended back to a wider grassy ridge top, descended a little past a deep mossy gulch to the left, then back up to a wide grassy plateau. This has a concrete trig -like plinth on it, c 1 m high , with mossy boulders on top, located on a cracked concrete base embedded in the grass. We decided in the thick cloud this was Eystanfyri Herdabladid, which some maps show as the high point. ( 61.54430, -006.88825, 610m from our GPS) .

We continued south along the now wide and grassy ridge past another col to the fourth possible high point with medium cairn: Mjostiggjur, possibly, but maps vary. ( 600m, 61.54378, -006.88000).

From here we turned east on a rockier ridge, generally descending easily and suddenly dropping below the cloud. We crossed to the north side of the ridge at a fenced col, noting a line of cairns to the right, south ( not our route) and an interesting little summit east, again not explored. We descended easily over broken rocks to the bowl.

We then traversed the bowl in a generally northerly direction, under the ridge we had come along, crossing the ridge which descends north east from the high point at an obvious low col. Once in the second northern bowl, we joined the mining track at the cliff base, past a dome of spoil, blocked mine and rusty ore carriages and rails. This took us directly back to the car. Total time 3.5 hours.

Richard will up load the GPS track of our route.

We camped at Vagur, where the campsite with tent area and electric hook ups is in the grounds of the football pitch on the west coast and west of the centre of Vagur. The showers and kitchen with cooker and fridge and wifi are very new and excellent. We did find one campsite at Tovroyri, on the north side of the estuary, and at the south end of town, on an astroturf football pitch, but could see no tent pitches and did not investigate the facilities at all. Another campsite is marked at the head of the estuary which we could not find, but did not ask. At Hvalba we could not find the campsite, but did not ask, but did note one electric hook up at the public toilets to the west of the upper village.
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