A Visit to the Hurungtinder in 1888

Hurrungane. Foto Tore Røraas/Marianne Gjørv

Hurrungane. Foto Tore Røraas/Marianne Gjørv

Den Norske Turistforenings Årbok

On august 3. I left Vormelid, with Herr Thorgeir Sulheim and Anders Eide, for my first visit to the Hurungdtinder. Thick clouds, snow and rain had prevented my getting the view of these mountains from the Keiser Pass to which I had long been looking forward; so that although I had read enthusiastic descriptions of them, I was not quite prepared for the grandeur of the beautiful jagged peaks that came into sight one after the other, as we approached the Maradalsbræ.

Very easy work up the bræ brought us to the foot of a long, steep snow couloir leading up to Gjertvasskar, between Gjertvasstind and Store Styggedalstind. Down this couloir came snow avalanches and stones at frequent intervals, but there was ample room for us to work up the east side in perfect safety. Herr Sulheim had expected to have a great amount of step-cutting up this couloir, but fortunately only 150 steps were necessary, just below the skar.

From the Skar we soon reached the summit of Store Styggedalstind, – up a snow slope and some rock, and along a short, but sharp, snow arête. From the top we were fortunate enough to have a magnificent view, and looking at the Gjertvassbræ far below us, it seemed almost incredible that Herr Sulheim would force a way down to it. However he did, and after some extremely interesting ice work, involving a good deal of hard work from the leading guide, and after considerable excitement over a snowed over crevasse, for particulars of which I refer my readers to Herr Sulheim, the late afternoon saw us at the foot of the Gjertvasbræ, gazing up at the wonderfull ice scenery behind us.

I believe this to be the first ascent of Store Styggedalstind by this route, though it had been twice ascended by Herr Carl Hall from Styggedalsbræ.

On august 14. I found myself, with Hr. Sulheim and Christopher Juraas, on the top of the highest peak of the Soleitinder, hitherto unascended. We had made the ascent from Berdal late in the day, hoping to descend to the bræ, cross it with the aid of a lantern, get up Riingsting to see the sun rise, and descend Riinggadn sæter. But clouds, snow, and rain, put everything except Soleitind out of the questions, and we arrived at Berdal sæter in the middle of the night, wet through, and stiff with stumbling among loose stones by lantern-light. Our perseverance in struggling on up Soleitind in spite of the weather, had however been rewarded by the sight of two very fine reindeer.

The walk from Gaard Eide to Berdal by Juraas is well worth taking for the sake of the beautiful view of Fortundal etc.; and I trust that before long the Turistforening may be able to put a small wooden hut near Berdal sæter, – such as I hear will probably be put in Midt Maradal, – and so open up this very interesting route to the Hurungtinder.

With Soleitind my mountaineering for 1888 ended, as the bad weather prevented the ascent of Skagadølstind, much to my disappointment.

In conclusion I must say, that I found Herr Sulheim a capital guide and a very pleasant companion, and that he was extremely kind to my friends and myself during our stay in his house.

Anders and Christopher both made good second guides.

Margaret S. Green