Ascent of Langlitinden on 2016-07-09
|Others in Party:||Twm Stone|
|Date:||Saturday, July 9, 2016|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Elevation:||4190 ft / 1277 m|
Ascent Trip ReportAndørja boasts Norway’s highest island top (excluding Jan Meyen and Svalbad) and is well worth the detour!
The latter part of our trip north of the Arctic Circle was marred by persistent rain but that wasn't going to stop us climbing one more significant mountain before we left. So we drove north from the Lofoten to Harstad and took the ferry to Rolla and thence sub-sea tunnel to the island of Andørja where we parked and set up camp very late, well past midnight, at the head of the fjord (Straumbotn).
We crawled out of our dripping tent at 10:30 the following morning and although the cloud base was still only 200 metres or so above sea level the drizzle had finally eased. The tallest insular mountain in Scandinavia was somewhere above us and merely a few hours effort away.
Breakfast and packing didn't take long and we set off just after 11:00 armed with map, GPS and Petter Bjørstad's trip report (for which many thanks). Of note the path starts north-west of the river (Bjørndalselva), not south-east as shown on the map.
The initial portion weaves through the birch and willow forest and is rather overgrown but is marked with blue paint blazes on tree trunks and rocks and by red wooden "luggage tags" hanging from occasional tree branches. A couple of wooden bridges aid crossing the river a little higher up. Once above the tree line the waymarks are red painted rocks and more rarely red paint-tipped small wooden posts. A smaller and larger lake between 500 and 576 metres of elevation confirm the correct route. I don't think the mountain is much climbed as we frequently found the red-painted apex rock at some distance from the more obvious cairn it had fallen off and reconstructed them as we passed by.
The path becomes less distinct and less frequently marked as one climbs, particularly over the boulder fields and several moderately angled snow fields that had to be crossed. Nevertheless the general direction on the upper slopes, east and then north-east, is clear even in the 40-80 metre visibility we endured and we only went off route a couple of times. Fortunately the steeper parts of the ascent were all on easy to scramble over rocks rather than snow and ice and there were no cornices at the top (just cliffs to the east). We made the rocky summit with its prominent cairn at 15:00.
The summit log is in a small white Tupperware box and the most recent entry was in 2015! Amazingly while at the top the cloud cleared to the east creating a sliver of blue sky and we had short-lived but stunning views down over the extensive Blåisen glacier and to the sea and also to the sub-peaks north-east and south to south-east poking above the clouds, a real unexpected bonus which transformed the whole experience immensely. We spent 30 minutes at the summit and then retraced our steps back to the base, arriving at 18:30. We hadn't needed the ice axes or crampons that we were carrying and were much less wet than feared. Onwards to Tromsø and home...
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||4167 ft / 1270 m|
| Route:||Normal route|
| Trailhead:||Straumbotn 23 ft / 7 m|
| Grade/Class:||YDS 2|
| Route Conditions:||Unmaintained Trail, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground, Scramble|
| Gear Used:||Tent Camp|
| Weather:||Drizzle, Cool, Calm, Low Clouds|
| Time:||4 Hours |
| Time:||3 Hours |
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