Tverråtinden summit sidge
Store Tverråtind is the 18th highest mountain in Norway (if one counts mountains with a primary factor > 100m) and is located in the Galdhøpigg massif. The Tverråtindane ridge consists of two noticeable peaks (2309m and 2302m) with Svellnosbreen glacier as the northern neighbour, Tverråbreen glacier to the south, N. Illåbreen to the west and Visdalen to the east.
A non-technical route to the summit is from Geitsætri, along/over N. Illåbreen glacier and up the western ridge. Another popular route runs from Spiterstulen, across the Svellnosbreen glacier and up to the St. Tverråtinden north-west ridge from Svellnosbrehesten.
The route between the two summits (the lower is not ranked) apparently requires climbing, but it is said that the steepest part can be avoided by seeking to the right. Peak 2302m is best reached from Spiterstulen in Visdalen.
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 - Store Tverråtind via N. Illåbreen glacier (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).
Cross the N. Illåbreen glacier, heading towards Tverråtinden's western ridge. From Illåbreen you can hike up a snowfield (there is some steepness, but not scary) and join the ridgeline a bit further up. Once on the ridge, follow it all the way to the summit. Note that just as the ridge turns from south-east to east, the ridge is quite narrow. If you don't stay high on the ridge (means a little rock scrambling), then use caution as you seek to the right (south) to avoid the ridge rocks. The south side is not dangerously steep at the western side of the ridge, but gets much steeper towards the summit. As you're on the high ridge, you see the much less steep north side that offers easy access from the Svellnosbreen glacier.
From the summit, you have a good view of the distinct ridge running from the main summit to peak 2302m. The ridge looks relatively easy all the way to the foothills of 2302m.
Trip report May 20 2002:
Story continued from Bukkehøi, 2314m hike.
Before we decided to break camp #3 and leave Jotunheimen, we decided to nail our fourth peak. As camp #3 was located central on the N. Illåbreen glacier, Store Tverråtinden was a natural target, just a short trip on skis away.
We approached the mountain base in south-east direction, and skied until we found a collection of large rocks. The skis came off and crampons on. We hiked diagonal towards the ridgeline, mostly on hard snow (early morning), but as there had been heavy snowmelting, some crossing over rocks was required. After having been blessed with unbelievable good weather the past days, this morning was foggy. All good things have to come to an end, and we didn't take much notice in the weather change. It made climbing the ridge all the more interesting, as we couldn't see what was ahead of us.
Some caution took place as we passed some large rocks on the right-hand side, just before the high ridge. But it was never spooky in any sense. Some additional humps along the ridge were at first wrongly perceived as the summit, due to the dense fog.
But once on the true summit, the fog suddenly burned off, and the landscape completely opened up before us. I was extremely happy that we were on the high point, and 2302m was not ranked. Although the narrow ridge leading to 2302m was quite doable, the steep 2302m face looked like a whole different challenge. After enjoying the majestetic views all around, we hiked the same way down, broke camp and headed home. It's still hard to comprehend how blessed we were in terms of the weather. An unforgettable week-end.
Pictures from the May 20 2002 hike:
See pictures from the whole trip