Ascent of Hálditšohkka on 2016-07-02

Climber: Peter Stone

Others in Party:Twm Stone
David Stone
Date:Saturday, July 2, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
    Elevation:4344 ft / 1324 m

Ascent Trip Report

From the Norwegian side. Only 6 km of (rough) walking from the trailhead to the high point, much shorter than the 50 km trekking path that leads from Kilpisjärvi in Finland to Halti.

First drive to Birtavarre on the E6, then take the minor road 25 km up the Kåfjorddalen to the trailhead at Lake Guolasjávri. This road is initially tarmacked but quickly deteriorates to a steep dirt track with increasingly rough surface and pot holes, nevertheless it is easily passable by a normal (low-clearance) car as long as you take the worst bits slowly.

The large parking area next to the dam has a range of information signs, one with a map with a marked route to the summit, and also some shelter by way of a picnic shelter and a rudimentary Sami hut in case of bad weather.

We started walking at 13:30 and arrived at the summit(s) at 16:00. An unusually fast time compared to my usual pace and other trip reports but then conditions were perfect with dry rock, firm snow fields, minimal wind and excellent visibility. Taking direct compass bearings obviated the need to use the famed reindeer fences as navigational aids. The boulder-hopping was relentless but nowhere near as bad as expected, however I strongly recommend heavy duty boots with good ankle support and thick soles. The national high point is a revealed location as one crests the higher top in Norway and the cairn so shapely and colourful that the destination is enormously pleasing. The panoramic views over the rocky tundra and down the main valley with string of lakes south into Finland outstanding with an overwhelming sense of remoteness and space. After all usual summit photos and signing the summit log we returned more circuitously to look at some of the border marker posts and make an ascent of the nearby higher Ráisduottarháldi (1361 m). We were back at the car by 19:00. So 2 hours 30 minutes up and 3 hours down.

Route descriptions I found helpful:
Europe's High Points, Reaching the Summit of Every Country in Europe. Authors Carl McKeating and Rachel Crolla. Published by Cicerone, 2009. Click here.
Trip reports on this website.

Line drawn map in the above book (particularly useful as the offical maps don't show the position of the famous reindeer fences that are about the only navigational feature to rely on in poor visibility).
Turkart 1:100 000 Nordreisa 2717.
Norge 1:50 000 Raisduottarhaldi 174S.
N.B. More recent maps may be available on the Nordeca AS website.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
The summit of Finland looking south-east (2016-07-02). Photo by Peter Stone.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1805 ft / 550 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1805 ft / 550 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.7 mi / 14 km
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1805 ft / 550 m
    Distance:3.7 mi / 6 km
    Route:Norwegian side
    Start Trailhead:Lake Guolasjávri  2539 ft / 773 m
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1805 ft / 550 m
    Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Route:via Raisduottarhaldi
    End Trailhead:Lake Guolasjávri  2539 ft / 773 m
    Time:3 Hours 

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