Mountain area: Jotunheimen
Map: 1618-III Glittertinden
Primary Factor: 975m (Galdhøpiggen)
Hiked: Aug 2001
Glittertind seen from the trail
Glitterheim - Glittertind trail
|Difficulty:||Easy. Axe and crampons may be required|
|Time:||3-5 hours round-trip|
|Starting Elevation:||Approx. 1400m|
Glittertind is the 2nd highest mountain in Norway, but the highest point in Norway with the permanent snow cap. The heights differ from map to map, but I've settled with 2452m as height, and 2464m with the snowcap.
Based on Petter Bjørstad's research, Glittertinden is the 97th highest mountain in Norway, in terms of primary factor (84 mountains have a primary factor of more than 1000m). The primary factor is 975m, towards the higher Galdhøpiggen.
From highway 51 (Fagernes - Vågåvatnet), at Randsverk, exit west towards Glitterheim just before Randsverk. The exit is marked by a white sign. Follow this road for 23km, through a toll gate (currently NOK 20,-). You pay in an envelope, so carry enough in coins. You have to pass a couple of additional gates on the way to the parking at the Jotunheimen National Park border. On a summer weekend, the parking can be absolutely full.
Follow the remaining 7Km to Glitterheim tourist hut. From Glitterheim, the trail up to Glittertinden is "T" marked all the way to the snow. Very soon you have Glittertinden summit in view up to the left. The trail follows a northwest direction before it goes west over the snow at 2400m. You have to pass a false summit on the south side before you reach the summit.
We phoned Glitterheim before we started, and was told there was fresh snow on top. Thus, there was no need for ice axes and crampons. But I have seen pictures of Glittertind with the top swimming in blue ice. Check the conditions before leaving, or carry ice gear to be on the safe side.
Estimate 3 hours to the top. The elevation gain is gentle all the way. No sudden climbs. A nice hike for the entire family. The trail changes from soil to rocks above a certain elevation. Check the snow conditions at the top before you leave. Expect sudden changes in the weather. The summit was hidden in fog when we started. Above 2000m it got cold and windy. When we arrived the top, the sun broke through the clouds and we had a nice 15 minutes before it started to snow. A few hours later, the clouds disappeared all together, giving the late starters a fantastic view over Jotunheimen.
My friend Bjørn and I have for the last 4 years kept up a tradition of hiking a mountain every autumn. After Storronden, Slettmarkpiggen and La Plata Peak (Colorado), it was about time to do Glittertinden. Third on the team was my friend Even.
They drove from Oslo, I drove from Bergen, and we met at Bygdin. As I was one hour ahead, I had the opportunity to quickly hike Bitihorn. As I came down, they had just arrived the parking. Good timing. Friday night was spent on Hindsæter Fjellstue with nice cold beer and good red wine. Hindsæter had the most excellent 3-bed room.
Next morning we left one car at Bessheim and drove the other to the Jotunheimen National Park border, 7km away from Glitterheim. The hike to Glitterheim took us 1 hour 10 minutes. After taking some weight from the backpacks, we were on our way to Glittertind. The trail was crowded, as one would expect this time of the year. We were curious about the weather. As we started, we couldn't see the top. Halfway up, the weather cleared, and there she was. Beautiful. On such a gentle slope, it didn't take us long to reach the top. Mother nature allowed us to spend 20 minutes on top in sunshine, with a view towards Surtningssui and the glaciers nearby.
Bjørn discovered two cans of beer in his backpack, which he had overlooked back at Glitterheim. I had a short moral discussion with myself, but it tasted terrific. Then it started to snow, and it was time to head down.
After a nice dinner we tried to kill the remaining hours of the evening with a few rounds of cards. Nobody said it, but I think we got bored. I was not looking forward to a night together with 19 others in the sleeping room, and delayed the inevitable to 23:00PM. To my big surprise, I was the last one to go to bed. Fortunately, I had my headlight with me, just in case. The room was totally dark, and as I carefully tried to minimize the beam, I dropped the light. I felt everyone in the room moved in agony. I didn't sleep much that night.
My hopes for a round-trip on the Nautgard massif vanished the next morning. The rain and clouds suggested that I hike to Bessheim was more in order. Halfway we catched up with a couple that started 3 hours earlier. In other words, our speed was acceptable. On the way up from Russvatnet, we met the Nettavisen editor, on the way from Oslo to Molde. On foot. That'll teach him not to make bets. 5 hours after we departed Glitterheim, we were on our way (in car) back to pick up the other car. My Opel Corsa, with 3 people and 3 backpacks is not the ultimate vehicle for the gravel road from Randsverk to the National Park border. After counting teeth, we sat course for Oslo. I had to pick up my dog after the summer, and was about to hike Gaustatoppen the next day, on my way back to Bergen.
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