Norwegian Mountains, Nordland

Stefjordnestinden, July 18 2007

For Information, maps, trailhead and route descriptions, click HERE.

A fun, foggy hike??

The hike up to Stefjordnestinden was great fun! The peak wasn't even close to sharp, the top was hidden in fog and a chilly wind reminded me how northern Norway can be in July. So what was the fun all about?

a) Routefinding. Making a guess on how to approach the mountain and commit accordingly. Committing certainly has its nerve. Especially if failing to get up means that you have to make a guess about another route. And all of the sudden, a trivial hike can become an all-day hike.

That said, Stefjordnestinden isn't that savage, but not straightforward either. Massive slabs narrow down your choices for ascent, and dense forest conceal routes that are doable.

b) Fog. I like fog. Not too much of it, though. It's nice to have views from time to time. But once in a while, fog is OK. The fog is a filter, screening out everything except yourself and the mountain. You feel your precense on the mountain. If you want to find your way up and down without the means of a compass and/or a GPS, you have to focus hard. Focusing means sensing every tiny detail that can be of help. Running water, distinct features, wind direction, snow fields, etc. It's good practice, and one day all this training might come into good use.

Stefjordnestinden wasn't even the goal for this hike. The day after having climbed Stetind, Torill and I decided to visit Kobbenestinden (1004m). According to the map, the logical starting point would be just north of Efjordtunnelen. The contours were a bit close around 200-300m elevation, but this was probably forest. And how hard could that be?

And we go where?

Arriving the parking area outside Efjordtunnelen, we discovered that there wasn't much forest, only slabs. However, a bit to the north, under the power lines, there was forest all the way from the road. But a distinct path headed out from the parking area. Should we follow the path or take our chances in the forest?

We settled for the path. We left the trailhead 09:35PM, and lost the path after 5 minutes. What now? Return to the trailhead? Head south up a basin that probably offered a route? Head northwest and aim for the waterfall, or head west and try our luck among the slabs? There was a grassy ledge that cut through the slab area, and this would be the shortest and most convenient route to the mountain.

We decided to for the ledge. The "nerve" involved the not-too-wide passage between the ledge and the upper mountain. It was difficult to tell from our position. We followed a stream westbound towards the slabs. The dry part of this stream allowed for fast progress up the forest. We reached the base of the slab area and followed it towards the north, until we were at the lower end of the sloping ledge.

The ledge was easy in the beginning, got very cumbersome through a forest section and exposed above the forest. The least exposed route was impossible due to wet, slippery rock. But further out, above the slabs, the rock was dry. With great care, we ascended a short slab section that took us to a point above the waterfall. We were't out of the slab area yet, but the rest of the route seemed easy enough.

Which mountain?

We headed towards a small lake (approx. 485m elev.) and concluded that there was no way of getting up to Kobbenestinden from here. The mountain face was steep, and everything above 750m eas hidden in fog. What now? Should we a) head up to Lake 533m and investigate some more?, or b) we follow the ridge towards Stefjordnestinden to get a better overview? We chose to combine option b) with the ascent of Stefjordnestinden. At least we would get a top.

200 vertical meters above Lake 533m, we noticed a route to Kobbenestinden that was proably doable. A grassy section would get us up from the valley, and then we would either ascend on snow or find our way up the slab section to the left? As weren't properly equipped for this type of ascent, our will to take on this mountain decreased by the minute, and we decided that Stefjordnestinden would be the goal for the day.

After some fun scrambling on rocks and cliffs, we arrived the top 12:30PM in thich fog. We circled the summit plateau, looking for a cairn, but found none. Eventually, we narrowed down a point that probably was the highest. We had passed a cairn just a minute earlier, but that was definetly not the high point.

Lunch?? Oh no..

It was time for a lunch out in the fog. I wasn't very hungry, but ate my 3 slices of bread. This was Torill's retribution for being forced to climb every rock and cliff that I found along the way.

A: - Hey, cool cliff!! Let's climb this one
T: ..silence..
A: - It's good practice, you know!
T: ..yes.. (grrr..)

Bringing lunch is the worst part of a hike. Well, not bringing it, but preparing it. So, normally I don't. The result is often headache later in the day. Do I ever learn? No. Torill, on the other hand, never goes on a proper hike without it. And she made sure that I didn't leave Stetind Hotell without one either. I had to eat it too. "She's evil", I thought to myself while chewing on the dry slices. "He's evil", she must have thought as I forced her to climb a cliff that she would have been very happy to bypass.

This is our wicked sense of humor :)

Which way down?

I wasn't particularly keen about descending our ascent route. The slab section we climbed had no footholds. Going up is far easier than going down. Moreover, it would be more fun to take a different route down the mountain. As far as I could remember, the route down the power lines didn't seem too bad, as seen from the trailhead. We agreed to try this route.

We went back to the small lake, crossed the river from Lake 533m and followed the power lines until they went to the north. There were no problems in descending this route, although it would have been quite an effort to ascend his way. It didn't take us long to reach the road and by 14:30PM, we were back at the trailhead.

The overall impression we got, based on local information, lack of cairns, paths, and the overall terrain, was that this mountain is not frequently visited. Perhaps with exception of the cabin owners at Stefjordneset. This was clearly not a mainstream mountain, which only added value to the joy of having been there.

The next day, we hiked Mulbukttinden.

Pictures from the July 18 2007 trip

Up the slabs

1. The route (taken after the hike) (311KB) 2. Along Kistbotnelva (410KB) 3. Along Kistbotnelva (305KB) 4. Along Kistbotnelva (362KB) 5. On the grassy ledge (347KB) 6. Exposed end to the ledge (409KB) 7. Nice viewpoint above the waterfall (237KB)

To Stefjordnestinden

8. Kobbenestinden (246KB) 9. Lake, approx. 485m (305KB) 10. Last view before entering fog (901KB) 11. Kobbenestinden (530KB) 12. Torill is scrambling (320KB) 13. On top of Stefjordnestinden (151KB)


14. Passing a cairn (330KB) 15. The trailhead seen from the power lines (433KB)

Post-hike pictures

16. Stefjordnestinden (347KB) 17. Mulbukttinden, visited the day after (709KB)

No Javascript:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Other Norwegian mountains