Storgjuvtinden in centre
Storgjuvtinden is the 12th highest mountain in Norway, if one counts mountains with a primary factor > 100m. The mountain is connected via a ridge to the highest mountain in Norway - Galdhøpiggen (2469m), located central in the peak and glacier massif between Leirdalen and Visdalen valleys.
Storgjuvtinden, although surrounded by glaciers, can be hiked from Geitsætri in Leirdalen, without glacier crossing. Another interesting approach is to hike over Styggebreen glacier from Juvasshytta or Spiterstulen, hike down "Porten", and cross Storgjuvbreen glacier to the base of Storgjuvtinden.
Peak collectors will also take the opportunity to scramble up to the lower Ymelstind, just south on the ridge. Ymelstind is a more difficult approach, and is not covered on this page.
Described below is an alternative mid/late May route from Geitsætri in Leirdalen. Please note that snow conditions in this period may change from year to year.
Geitsætri - Storgjuvtind via Illåbandet glacier divide (mid/late May on skis)
Locate highway 55 over Sognefjell (Sogndal - Lom). Exit towards Leirvassbu (signed) and pay toll fee shortly after the exit (currently NOK 50,- for passenger cars). From the highway 55 exit, follow the road approx. 5,7Km and find parking alongside the road. From here, you should have the Geitsætri cabin (not a public hut) just behind you. Up to your left, you should see a valley (which is also the first valley on your left since you left the highway).
Follow a fence up towards the valley. In this season, there may be no snow at this elevation, and you should be able to see a trail leading into the valley. Stay on the right hand side on the yt. Illåi; river, and climb the foothills of Sauhøi (1770m). This is where you might reach the snow. Leave the Sauhøi ridge, and head down to the S. Illåi river and try to find a safe passage over to the other side (Skardbakken). This river may be extremely hard to cross if the snow bridges are gone, and fatal injuries have occured along this river. Use ice axe/crampons down towards the river if the snow is frozen.
Continue up the strenuous Skardbakken hill with Svarttinden in view up on your right. Eventually the steepness falls off, and you move from the ridge you're on, down towards the valley. Use axe/crampons here if the snow is frozen. You don't want to slide down into the N. Illåi river coming down the valley.
Once you're in the valley, at approx. 1450m, the steepness up to the N. Illåbreen glacier, and the foothills of "Illåbandet" (a glacier divide at approx. 1800m) is moderate, compared to the trip so far. As you move up the left-hand side of the glacier, you have the mighty Skardstind (2373m) and the characteristic Nåla (needle) up to your left. (Small streams of water come down from Nåla in melting season, in case you're low on water).
Switchback up towards Illåbandet, and arrive Storgjuvbreen glacier at approx. 2100m. The upper parts of Illåbandet may feel steep, and under hard snow conditions, axe/crampons may be preferred. Under better conditions, this hill should please most skiers (coming down).
Follow Illåbandet to the foothills of Ymelstind (up to your right) and start traversing the Storgjuvtinden hillside diagonal towards the horizon, just below the summit block. Just below the summit, and near the ridge facing Galdhøpiggen, there is a narrow access point between two rocks. Not more 40cm wide, but together with handholds, this move should not be to difficult. The summit is just over the top, once you're past the two large rocks. Different approaches alongside (below) the ridge leading towards Ymelstind surely exist. As the sun shines on Storgjuvtinden's east side in the morning, an early hike on hard snow (with crampons) is the best way of getting up the mountain side.
Trip report May 19 2002:
Story continued from Vesle Galdhøpiggen hike.
After the climb up to Vetlepiggen, I had got plenty more looks at Storgjuvtinden, and concluded that the steep hike up the hard snow wasn't such a bad thing after all. Due to little experience on crampons, I wasn't all that confident in my abilities on hard snow. In fact, the hike over Styggebreen glacier the day before, was the first time I ever wore crampons.
We started the traverse on the glacier mid-between Storgjuvtind and Ymelstind. We headed for the horizon at the far end of the ridge and hoped we would find a gentle pass up to the summit. The snow was perfect for crampons, as we had started early morning, and the sun was hidden on the other side of the peak. For every 50m or so, I looked back down and watched the hillside disappear. A sign of a steeper grade in the beginning. It didn't feel too bad, and I could focus on the task ahead. Although I'm sure this is a whole different mountain to climb in summer, where handholds are plenty.
Nearer to the summit, the grade felt steeper, and we took a few safety measures on the way to the top. Petter found the way between/across two large rocks, and we passed the hardest point without any difficulties. One minute later, we could walk onto the Storgjuvtinden summit and enjoy the massive scenery all around.
Next stop: Bukkehøi, 2314m
Pictures from the May 19 2002 hike:
See pictures from the whole trip