Fløtatind Peak, My Ski Touring Welcome To Norway


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | June 1, 2015      
Myself, first tour in Norway on the Fløt! This is a coastal fjord area, definitely the stuff legends are made of.

Myself, first tour in Norway on the Fløt! This is a coastal fjord area, definitely the stuff legends are made of.

Don’t look down. One slip and I’ll plunge 1700m down into an icy alpine lake. Solid rocks on the top of the peak are just 10 steps away with soaring views that temp you to stay. But below is the glistening face of Fløtatind, slathered with snow like a frosted bolle.

View from our room window at Phillipshaugen. Fløtatind is the obvious goal that Lou keyed in on from the first moment we were there.

View from our room window at Phillipshaugen. Fløtatind is the obvious goal that Lou keyed in on from the first moment we were there. It’s big, around 5,000 vertical feet of climbing that includes a dirt booter section this time of year. A lot of work, but totally worth it.

Crew today is Erlend Sande and his father, Endre, Lou and I, with well known Norwegian guide Tor Olav Naalsund.

We clip into our skis and ski one at a time down to a saddle. The snow is a bit variable, but my wider skis carry me over the transitions with little effort. The air is crisp, the views stunning. Each moment is exhilarating.

When I first began ski touring, I thought the goal of the day was finding the perfect run down. I’ve learned that it’s so much more than that: Being in spectacular mountains, forming friendships through shared adventures, breathing the crisp alpine air. I now enjoy the hike up the most. The ski down is a bonus. When the snow is good, it’s thrilling and memorable. When the snow is variable, it’s a good test of patience and humility. Fløtatind was all the above, a perfect introduction to Norway.

Just up the road from Phillipshaugen, the road ends at Brandstad. There is free parking at the trailhead.

Just up the road from Phillipshaugen, the road ends at Brandstad. There is free parking at the trailhead.

The approach began with some creek crossings and dirt hiking.

The approach began with some creek crossings, dirt hiking and pathways of budding wildflowers.

Just a few weeks ago you could ski the whole route from parking, good to know for future planning.

Just a few weeks ago you could ski the whole route from parking, good to know for future planning.

Erlend got famed guide Tor Olav Naalsund to come along.  He was a big help, and it was nice for Lou to relax and not be self guiding for a change.

Erlend got famed guide Tor Olav Naalsund to come along, he was a big help, and it was nice for Lou to relax and not be self guiding for a change.

Tor told us we could drink the water right off the creek. Beautiful.

Tor told us we could drink the water right from the creek. Beautiful.

Yours truly.

Yours truly. Yes, I am happy to be in Norway! This is looking towards Phillipshaugen. Valley would be to the right, and all the stuff to left is skied.

Erlend's father had this pair of Evi skis with custom topskin depicting a relative who was a blacksmith.

Erlend’s father had this pair of EVI skis with an interesting graphic on the topskin. According to Erlend the guy depicted is ‘is my father´s grandfather, Nils Sande. He was a blacksmith and a farmer at Sunndalsøra, the town you pass between EVI and Phillipshaugen. This is the graphic of the model Sunndalsfjella from EVI Skis. EVI skis owner Endre Hals worked on this model with my second cousin Trygve Sande, who is a former world cup downhill skier. The blacksmith Nils was Trygves great grandfather, and that´s why his photo ended up on the ski. For my dad, it was quite obvious that he had to get a pair of the skis with the photo of his grandfather, who also made his first skis when he was a child.’

About half way.

About half way. Big mountains around here. It’s exciting to see new vistas as we’d been skiing the same stuff most of the winter in Colorado.

Lou and Erlend's father, who's a heart surgeon. I think Lou was scamming a free consultation.

Lou and Erlend’s father, who’s a heart surgeon. I think Lou was scamming a free consultation.

Rest stop for Lou with essential rations he snitched from Phillipshaugen.

Rest stop for Lou with essential rations he snitched from Phillipshaugen.

Check out the view.

Check out the view.

At the summit, Tor pointing to where he grew up and his 'home' mountain.'

At the summit, Tor pointing to where he grew up and his ‘home’ mountain.’

In this view from near the summit, top of the famous Troll Wall peaks up in the distance.

In this view from near the summit, top of the famous Troll Wall peaks up in the distance. Norway has thousands of mountains; this is just a tiny slice of the pie. Spot the fjord?

The ski down was nicely long, with a short re-skin over a saddle.

The ski down was nicely long, with a short re-skin over a saddle. That’s Lou getting his VTA88 Volkl skis figured out.

Two old masters, Endre (orange) and Lou head down the vast summit snowfield.

Two masters, Endre (orange) and Lou head down the vast summit snowfield.

Tor took us down a different route than the up; red line is a small re-skin we did to climb up out of the cirque and return to trailhead.

Tor took us down a different route than the up; red line is a small re-skin we did to climb up out of the cirque and return to trailhead.

Snow condition was a bit variable but easy for all of us.

Snow condition was a bit variable but easy for all of us.

Me heading up last climb. We skied the gully system behind me.  Summit above and to the left.

Me heading up last climb. We skied the gully system behind me. Summit above and to the left.

Tor starts the final downhill. Arrow indicates location of Phillipshaugen.

Tor starts the final downhill. Arrow indicates location of Phillipshaugen Lodge.

Final descent to the hiking, Phillipshaugen circled.

Final descent to the hiking, Phillipshaugen circled.

Walking out didn't take long.

Walking out didn’t take long.

Fløtatind from Phillipshaugen porch.

Fløtatind from Phillipshaugen porch.

Map below, Flotatind marked.



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Comments

8 Responses to “Fløtatind Peak, My Ski Touring Welcome To Norway”

  1. Scott Nelson June 1st, 2015 3:08 pm

    Stunning! Looks like those Sopris climbs made for some good training. And good to see a cardiac surgeon out climbing and touring, instead of telling people to take up golf or something. Beautiful place!

  2. Joe John June 1st, 2015 4:52 pm

    Looks like viel spass.

  3. Phil June 1st, 2015 5:22 pm

    Nice to see the Norsk guide on telemark gear!

  4. Pete Anzalone June 1st, 2015 10:15 pm

    Wow, beautiful photos!

  5. Rikard Westling June 1st, 2015 11:17 pm

    Nice article!
    Here’s a video from the same area, just across the lake, Eikesdalsvatnet, from Flötatind. The peaks are Nyheitind and Sjövdöla. This was shot on the 9th of maj this year.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3pSA3wpRcs

  6. Eric Steig June 2nd, 2015 1:48 am

    Gorgeous. Reminds me of the Bella Coola area of British Columbia, but without the grizzlies…

  7. Lisa June 2nd, 2015 6:51 am

    Thanks for the compliments but our photos don’t even begin to capture the majesty of these mountains. Norway is truly one of the most stunningly beautiful places that I’ve been. And to experience it with friendly folks, sunny weather and ample snow…all in all, one of the best trips of my life.

  8. Terrance June 2nd, 2015 10:30 am

    Lisa,
    The ski down was a great idea.





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