Loftet seen from Bukkehøi
Loftet (the loft) and Dumhøi marks the northern entrance to Leirdalen valley, leading straight into the heart of Jotunheimen. Unlike the wild peaks all around, Loftet has a large, flat summit plateau. From Loftet, one can hike southbound over a number of friendly 2000m peaks, all the way to Store Smørstabbtind.
Even if the mountain is in the
outskirts of Jotunheimen, the summit still offers spectacular
views. Especially towards the east, where the 2300m peaks around
the Illåbre glaciers are stretching from the Leirdalen valley.
Loftet is normally approached in three ways: a) Over Storbreatinden, Hurrbreatinden and Veslfjelltinden, b) from Bøvertun, up along Drangsbrean glaciers and c) from Jotunheimen Fjellstue. The latter is described on this page. This is also the most popular trail.
|Trail: Jotunheimen Fjellstue -
On the NE side of highway 55 (Sognefjellvegen), locate Jotunheimen Fjellstue, a couple of kilometers SW of the exit towards Leirdalen/Leirvassbu. Plenty of parking around.
From Jotunheimen Fjellstue, follow the highway for a few hundred meters. Just before øvre Halsatjørn, locate a visible (not marked) trail that runs up an obvious ridge. Follow this ridge upwards to the base of Veslloftet (1630m). Once below Veslloftet, continue SW and when the steepest sideo Veslloftet is over, you should see cairns that lead SE upwards. The trail runs to the left of a creek and takes you into the valley between Loftet and Veslloftet.
Up to your right you see the Loftet ridge, normally covered in snow. You may choose if you want to head straight for the ridge, or head NE to the start of the ridge (with Veslloftet on your left). If you decide to head straight up, notice a possible long snowfield to your right. You should consider sliding down there. It will save you a lot of time and strain on the knees. The hike up alongside the snowfield is over rocks, but the rocks are small and seem to have found their place.
Once on the snowy ridge (the snow is on the map) you have a long hike ahead. If you run into rotten snow, this could be a strenuous hike. You should aim for the upper part of the Høgskridubreen glacier and get some fantastic views down towards Leirdalen. From here, it is still a while until you reach the summit cairn, but the terrain is no longer steep. You will probably struck by how big and flat the summit is.
|Trip Report July 07 2002:
Troll was on the way up north for his summer vacation, and I was free to hike with lighter weight in the backpack. On my way home back from Otta towards Bergen, my plan was to hike Store Smørstabbtind. But a wild guess changed my plans. I saw the clouds over Jotunheimen and guessed they would cover the highest peaks. As such, I chose Loftet as the target, also influenced by the lovely weather by Jotunheimen Fjellstue.
I asked the people inside about the trail and they sent me off-piste on the ridge leading up from the building. When I got to my senses, the terrain was fairly obvious to understand, but still I hiked all the way up the west ridge and met the proper trail just below Veslloftet. I quickly hiked up to the Loftet ridge, and as the views began to vanish, I prayed to the weather Gods to spare me for the Ragnarok I encountered on Fannaråken the day before. They were listening and provided me with fog and snow as I struggled with the rotten snow up the ridge.
But soon they decided to call the prank off, and when I got to the upper part of the ridge, I got my views back. Once on the summit, 2.5 hours after I started, I noticed that Store Smørstabbtind was partly fogged in. Loftet felt nothing like a peak. It was just way too big and flat. But I cherised every bit of the mighty views, and did not regret the choice for one second. With help of all the snowfields I could find, I was back at the car 1.5 hours after I left the summit. This time on the proper trail.
Pictures from the July 07 2002 Hike:
Other scenery from this hike