Our adventures

Haute Route Jotunheimen

Join us on a week-long randonee ski tour in the heart of Jotunheimen, perhaps Norway's best-known mountains. On the tour, we will make our way to some of the highest summits in Norway, and stay in cosy mountain cabins.

This route is in the process of establishing itself as Norway's answer to the Alps' best-known ski tour. The Adventure Tour starts at Gjendesheim in the southern part of Jotunheimen, and it takes us five days to cross the mountains to Krossbu. We stay in lovely cabins en route, where we are served delicious meals (three-course dinners) and sleep soundly.

Every day, we will make our way to at least one summit of 2,000 metres with spectacular views of the snow-covered Jotunheimen mountains. The tour has a few long legs, and we are even going to attempt Norway's highest mountain, Galdhøpiggen. This requires participants to be in good shape and to be competent and experienced skiers.

Day 1: Arrival Oslo – to Jotunheimen

From Oslo or Oslo Airport (OSL), it takes around five hours to get to Gjendesheim, a lovely cabin run by the Norwegian Trekking Association on the fringe of the Jotunheimen mountains. At Gjendesheim, you will meet your guide who will talk you through the route and the plans for the following days.
Why not set aside one day for sightseeing in Oslo before the trip starts? We are happy to help you organise this.

Day 2: First day of skiing 

After a good breakfast at Gjendesheim, we get ready to finally start skiing through the Jotunheimen mountains, perhaps Norway's best-known mountains. This is also where the highest mountains in Norway are found. We do a long skiing trip on the first day of the trip, across Besshø and down to Memurubu. We follow the winter trail from Gjendesheim to Glitterheim to the eastern end of Bessvatn lake, and from there we follow the ridge up to Bukkehø and on to the top of Besshø (2,258 metres). The route we take down depends on the conditions. The day's leg: around 17 km, 1,258-metre ascent. Highest point: Besshø 2,258 metres.

Day 3: Memurubu - Glitterheim

This leg is relatively long, and we can make our way up several 2,000-metre summits if the weather is on our side. We follow the summer route across Raudhamarn to the top of Surtningssue (2,368 metres). From here, we follow the ridge north where we can ascend several 2,000-metre summits before ending up at Søre Veotinden. We have several options for making our way down, and one of them is to ski down the Styggehøbrean glacier down into the Veodalen valley and down to Glitterheim. In poor weather, we follow the path marked by wooden poles from Memurubu to Glitterheim. This is one of the toughest legs on the trip, where we climb several summits, and take our climbing skins on and off several times during the day.

The day's leg: around 19 km, 1,400-metre ascent. Highest point: Surtningssue: 2,368 metres.

Day 4: Glitterheim - Spiterstulen

We may be a bit tired today after yesterday's leg, so it's good we have a shorter leg ahead of us today. We ascend Glittertind (2,465 metres), Norway's second highest mountain. We go up the normal route to the top, where we are rewarded with fantastic views, and we can see, among other things, tomorrow's destination, Galdhøpiggen. We ski down to Spiterstulen, where we will spend the night.

The day's leg: around 15 km, 1,100-metre ascent. Highest point: Glittertind: 2,465 metres.

Day 5: Spiterstulen – Leirvassbu 

Today, we will make our way to the top of Norway's highest mountain! This is one of the longest legs on the trip, and we have a good, long day of skiing ahead of us. We follow the normal route up to Galdhøpiggen (2,469 metres). From the top, we ski down a south-facing gully due west of Keilhaustopp to the Svellnosbrean glacier, and we then make our way to Midtre Tverråtinden and down the south-facing gully of the Tverråbreen glacier. We then make our way up Bukkeholstinden, and ski down its south western face down the Søre Illåbrean glacier, and on down to Tverrbytende. We then make our way up Søre Tverrbottinden, and down the south face to Leirvatnet lake before we finally ski down to Leirvassbu. 

The day's leg: around 35 km, 1,800-metre ascent. Highest point: Galdhøpiggen: 2,469 metres.

Day 6: Leirvassbu – Krossbu

We wake up in fantastic Leirvassbu, where we can enjoy the view and get ready for the final leg of the trip. Our last, great trip is to the top of Storebjørn (2,222 metres). We follow the normal route from Leirvassbu up and on through Bjørnskaret ridge and down the Leirbrean glacier and on to Krossbu. Here, we are picked up by a minibus, which takes us back to Gjendesheim, where we eat a final dinner together and spend the night.

The day's leg: 14 km, 1,200-metre ascent. Highest point: Storebjørn: 2,222 metres.

Day 7: Back to Oslo – journey home

Transport from Gjendesheim to Oslo or Oslo Airport (OSL). We recommend that foreign groups spend a night or two in Oslo, the capital of Norway. The city has many interesting museums and attractions.

Take a good look at this list, and make sure you bring everything you need. We encourage you to use what you have for this trip, and purchase items if youre missing something important on the list below. We have divided the gear list into three categories:

1) Required: If you do not own this gear, you must acquire it for your trip. 

2) Recommended: Gear we suggest to be comfortable, but it is not imperative.

3) Optional: Fun, additional luxuries.  

Layering is extremely important in a variable climate like Norway. This list will guide you through the essentials. Remember the Norwegian saying "There is no bad weather, only bad gear", and prepare appropriately for any weather. The weather during this time is usually dry, but rarely over 10 degrees celcius. Dress appropriately as you know your body better than anyone. You can read about weather where youre traveling here.

The video below is for SUMMER gear, you can use it as a baseline in order to pack for your winter trip. The weather in Norway at this time can vary from a dry, cold winter to a more harsh climate depending on the year. Make sure you pack effective gear and try and keep weight relatively low. Welcome to Norway!

Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions.

We always recommend wool in the Norwegian Mountains, but if you already have synthetic layers and don't want to buy new ones, synthetic is okay. 

 

REQUIRED:

SKIS, BOOTS, POLES

Touring skis, boots and backcountry ski poles. 

HELMET

Safety first! Make sure it fits over your thin, windproof hat and does not move when you shake your head.

SKI CRAMPONS

To assist in steep ascents. If comfortable, bring an ice ax as well or whippet.

BEACON, SHOVEL, PROBE

Bring extra batteries for your beacon and make sure your beacon currently has above 90% battery.

BASE LAYER - 2 SETS

2 sets of wool long-sleeved top and bottom. Warm, Extra Warm or Expedition thickness is recommended. 

MID-LAYER A medium thickness wool or fleece top to go over your base layer. 

INSULATED JACKET

A thick, warm, insulated jacket to put on during breaks. We recommend a puffy jacket with down or synthetic. 

SHELL / RAIN JACKET

Gore-Tex or similar is mandatory. Extrememly important in Norwegian climate. The jacket must be waterproof, have a hood, and make sure you don’t get wet even if it rains all day. We recommend jackets with pit zips for ventilation. 

MEDIUM INSULATED JACKET

Use a synthetic or down jacket that fits over your base layer and mid layer, yet underneathe your rain shell. Should be comfortable with full range of movement when all layers are on.

EXTRA TOP LAYER

Bring an extra medium thick layer to add underneathe your medium insulated jacket in case you get cold easily. 

GLOVES & MITTENS

1 thin pair of wool gloves to protect your hands. 1 pair of over mittens for additional warmth with windproofing. 1 extra pair of thick mittens in case yours get wet. 3 in total. 

HATS

2 warm hats. 1 thick, 1 thin. Make sure at least one has a windproof lining. 1 sun hat to protect your face.

HIKING SOCKS

4 pairs, we recommend wool, above the ankle or higher. 2 thin. 2 thick. We recommend a 5th pair that are extra thick for evenings. 

BOOTS

Bring lightweight boots.

SKI BACKPACK

Ski pack for emergency gear and daily needs: food, water, beacon, shovel, probe, layers, first aid kit, etc... 40-50 liters recommended. 

SUNGLASSES 

UV rated, we recommend a strap to keep them in place and so they don't get lost. Bring dark lenses with plastic frames, not metal. 

SUNSCREEN / CHAPSTICK

Make sure the Chapstick has UV rated sunscreen in it. We also suggest cold cream such as Dermatone to help protect your skin. 

WATER BOTTLES

Insulated water bottle, 2 liter capacity. Do not bring a camelback bladder, this will freeze in cold temperatures. 

TOILETRIES

Personal basics: shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, etc...

PERSONAL MEDICATIONS

Make sure you bring any personal meds you need on your trip, and ensure the Hvitserk office is updated on your allergies or needs. 

SHELL PANTS

Waterproof shell pants. Gortex is best. We recommend heavier duty pants to keep you warm with zips for ventilation. 

HEADLAMP

Make sure you bring extra batteries as they die faster in the cold. 

INDOOR SHOES

It is customary to leave wet shoes at the door and change into indoor slippers.

 

RECOMMENDED:

WOOL UNDERWEAR

We highly recommend bringing wool underwear and bra. No cotton.

COMPRESSION SACKS FOR GEAR Recommended for storing your gear, keeping it dry, and compressing your down jackets to create more space. 
BALACLAVA AND BUFF

A wool layer to protect your neck and face. 

THERMOS

We recommend a thermos for hot drinks to have with you all day. We suggest a large, 1 liter thermos.

FIRST AID KIT

If you have certain hiking aids specific to you: i.e. blister care or ibuprofen, etc...

CAMERA

Be prepared for the cold. Insulating your camera will keep it working for the entire trip. We suggest bringing an extra battery pack. 

CASUAL CLOTHES

Cozy clothes to wear when we are not participating in activities and eating dinner.

SITTING MAT

Strongly recommended to insulate you from the ground.

SWIMMING SUIT OR SHORTS AND BRA

For sitting in the saunas. 

 

OPTIONAL:

ANTIBAC

If you need it for the bathroom or lunch. 

WET WIPE OR TOILET PAPER

If you have a bathroom emergency while hiking. We use "pack it in pack it out" ethics, so you will need to carry out your used items and throw them away later.

EAR PLUGS

If youre a light sleeper.

JOURNAL AND PEN

 In order to take notes and write about the trip.

SNACKS

Chocolate, nuts or energy bars if there is something particular you enjoy eating. You will have the opportunity to buy snacks on your trip.

HEADSET

If you would like to listen to music or an audio book while skiing.

Bed linens and towels are included all nights.