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Lodalskåpa (aka Vestlandsdronninga) is the highest point on the Jostedalsbreen - the biggest glacier in continental Europe. Høgste Breakulen (1957m) is the highest glacier point, but the peaks Brenibba (2017m) and Lodalskåpa (2083m) reach higher.
Brenibba and Lodalskåpa are often referred to as nunataks. Whether Lodalskåpa is a peak within an ice field or glacier can be discussed, but you cannot (per 2007) reach Lodalskåpa without crossing a glacier. Several guiding companies offer trips to Lodalskåpa and on the Jostedalsbreen glacier in general.
The fastest route to Lodalskåpa starts at Bødalsæter (585m), continues up Bødalen before ascending a steep hill known as Brattebakken. The route continues across Bohrsbreen glacier, then up to Lodalskåpa's southwest ridge near Ståleskar - the common entry point for all non-climbing routes to Lodalskåpa. The Bohrsbreen is considered safe with proper snow. During the summer, melting water makes the surface less trustworthy.
On the way to Lodalskåpa, you head across - or bypass Veslekåpa - a pointy point on the ridge. Use a rope here. Hanken is a distinct gap in Lodalskåpa's northwest ridge, and this is where you enter the actual mountain. Without snow, this is easy scrambling. With snow, the lower part (50 deg. angle, 60 vertical meters) is exposed and some prefer using a rope. The final leg to the top is much less steep.
The Småttene icefall is another popular route to the glacier. You have Lodalskåpa up on your right as you ascend the icefall, and at Ståleskar you follow the summit route described above. If you come via Tindefjellbreen, you can cross Strupebreen and cross over Lodalskåpa's east ridge (involves a steep gully), traverse below Lodalskåpa's south face (above the Småttene icefall) and gain the ridge between Lodalskåpa and Veslekåpa. This route is seldom used.
The Stryn/Luster kommune (municipality) border run across Lodalskåpa's summit, and while Store Skagastølstind is the highest mountain in Luster, Lodalskåpa is the highest mountain in Stryn. Veslekåpa belongs to Stryn. From Bødalsæter, the vertical distance to Lodalskåpa is approx. 1500m. Some extra if you traverse Veslekåpa. Time to the summit depends on how many you are, and snow conditions. In good conditions, a small team of reasonably fit people should make it top the top in 5,5-6 hours, small breaks included.
You'll enjoy the views. To the southeast, you have a clear view towards the Sognefjellet and Jotunheimen mountain ranges. The Hurrungane group with Store Skagastølstind (2405m) stand out from anything else in that direction. Except for Brenibba, Tverrådalskyrkja is the closest peak exceeding 2000m, only 26Km to the east.
From south to west, you'll see the Jostedalsbreen glacier (and connecting glaciers) until it "blends" with the horizon. To the west, you can also see Gjegnen/Blånibba (1670m) - a giant mountain in the Nordfjord region.
From northwest to northeast, there are Møre og Romsdal mountains as far as the eye can see. Those who are familiar with this county will easy recognize mountains such as Trollvasstinden, Eidskyrkja, Kvitegga, Smørskredtindane, Slogen, Jakta, Kolåstinden, Torvløysa, Karitinden, to name a few. A few coastal tops can also be seen behind the Sunnmørsalpene mountain range. The Romsdalen, Sunndalen and Trollheimen peaks are harder to identify. High Tafjord mountains makes it difficult to see that far.
Lodalskåpa (Norge 1:50,000: 2083m, Økonomisk Kartverk: -, UTM 32 V 405335 6852151) has a primary factor of 793m, towards the higher parent mountain Tverrådalskyrkja (2086m). The saddle (approx. UTM 32 V 417083 6857713) is found between the lakes Kupvatnet and Blankbergtjørni. Ref. Norge 1:50,000 (20m contours), the saddle height is within the range 1280-1300m, interpolated to 1290m.
Google's interactive map. You can zoom, pan and click on the markers.
Notes: Class ratings are in reference to YDS. Click here for more information.
The trails described below are not necessarily the *easiest* trails to this mountain.
Bødalsæter - Lodalskåpa (on foot, summer/autumn)
(all distances are approx. distances)
The starting point is the village Loen, at the eastern end of Nordfjord, 10,5Km southeast of the village of Stryn. From the centre of Loen, follow the Lodalen road (along Loelva river and then Lake Lovatnet) for 13Km. Turn left towards Bødalsæter (signed) and pay toll at the ticket automat (NOK. 40,- per Aug 2007. Only coins allowed).
Drive 4,1Km up to the parking, 450m west of Bødalsætra. In summer, small cars can drive this road. The road is closed in winter, and normally opens late spring.
Internet search: Bødalsæter is also found on the internet as Bødalseter, Bødalsseter, Bødalssæter, Bødalsætra and Bødalssætra.
From the parking, follow the path to Bødalsætra. Follow the Lodalskåpa trailsign, and cross Lodalselva river on a bridge. For the next kilometer, the path can be quite muddy. 1Km after you crossed the river, there is another trailfork. Continue southeast on a more rocky trail, crossing the drains from Lake Sætrevatnet.
You see two distinct waterfalls (Fessene). The path runs along the northernmost waterfall. After a steep ascent between the waterfalls, you enter a valley leading to Lake Kåpevatnet. It is an easy hike until you reach the steep hillside named Brattebakken. The path up the hillside is strenuous, but easy to follow.
At 1280m elevation, you've gained a ridge that will take you to Bohrsbreen glacier. The path is less pronounced in this rocky terrain. Keep an eye out for small cairns. On top of the ridge, there is a cairn (approx. UTM 32 V 403038 6852114) known as K-88. This is a useful reference point upon your descent. You'll now have Lodalskåpa in view for the first time, and what a view it is!
Cross Bohrsbreen glacier and aim for Ståleskar - the point where Lodalskåpa's southwest ridge meets the glacier. Melting water can create nasty holes on this glacier. Even if this is a "friendly" glacier, not knowing what what the water is causing, is reason enough to use a rope.
Ascend Lodalskåpa's southwest ridge, and follow a snowfield/glacier to the northeast. If you stay north of the 1940m contour, you'll avoid losing some vertical meters. Ahead of you is Veslekåpa. Either head across the summit, or bypass on the south side. Bypassing to the south means passing a section which will be exposed if the snow is hard. Use crampons. Your party should be roped from Veslekåpa to Hanken.
Hanken is a gap in Lodalskåpa's northwest ridge, and this is where you enter the mountain. If the mountain is free of snow, you can leave the rope, ice axes and crampons in the gap. The initial 60 vertical meters are steep, up to 50 degrees, and involves easy scrambling (YDS class 2+). With snow, this is a much more exposed route. Above the steepest section, the terrain levels out and you pass a proper cairn before you reach the even taller summit cairn.
During your summit stay, head eastbound until you can see down to Strupebreen and Tverrfjellet. You can then "imagine" the route that comes up from Strupebreen, crosses the lower east ridge of Lodalskåpa, traverses below Lodalskåpa's south face and takes you up to the Veslekåpa - Lodalskåpa saddle.
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