Dovrefjell

Scandinavian Mountains over 2000 metres - James Baxter

AreasDovrefjell › 18.1 Snøhetta (2286m)

Snøhetta is a magnificent mountain. It is a large curved alpine ridge containing a vast bowl with a glacier. On this jagged ridge are 4 peaks, the main summit and 3 subsidiary summits, one of which needs climbing techniques to ascend. A traverse of this ridge is a classic expedition but an experienced team is needed to attempt it, as it involves both climbing and abseiling.

The Route from Snøheim/Reinheim Cabin
total distance for return trip14km   
total ascent and descent900m   
total time for return journey 6-8hrs
difficulty rating - 3season: mar, apr, may, jul, aug, septskiingno glacier crossingno climbingsuitable for wet conditions

From Snøheim or Reinheim make for the base of the west ridge. In good weather this is quite obvious as the top photo shows. Once at the base of the ridge the 2 routes up to the top simply follow the spine of the ridge from the height of 1600 metres.

Sn°hetta looms across the tundra from Sn°heim, the west ridge is on the rightUnfortunately the route up the spine is well marked with substantial posts, which distracts from the splendour of the environment but gives inexperienced walkers some confidence should the weather turn nasty.

From the base of the west ridge to the top there are 700m to climb which are evenly spread out over 3 km. The ridge tapers as it approaches the summit but the is no exposure to the long drops below.

The summit itself has been slightly vandalized by the military who have chosen to erect a small communications hut on top. This hut does not distract from the view which even by Scandinavia's high standards is stunning.

Sn°hetta Midttop and Hettpiggen as seen from the summitTo the west, above the spire of Larstind, are the endless summits of Romsdal and Sunnmøre and further south Jotunheimen. While in the east Rondane rises proudly out of the tundra.

If this view were not enough the jagged ridge of Snøhetta curls round to the south encircling the large glacier far below. From the summit it is a long ½ hour walk along this ridge to Midttoppen which is relatively easy and well worth the time to gain the view over Hettpiggen and Vestopppen.

The route south to these tops involves climbing, so unless suitably equipped and experienced, you must return to the main summit.

The difficult Hettpiggen and Vesttop from the MidttopAs mentioned earlier the descent can be back down the west ridge to Snøheim or Reinheim, or alternatively you can descend to Åmotsdal cabin down the north ridge. It is not difficult but is quite stony.

The route goes down the north ridge for 3km descending 700m. Here, near the lower Larstjornin lake it levels out, and heads northwest for a further 3 km descending gradually for another 300m until it reaches the charming Åmotsdal cabin.

This cabin is not only one of the nicest in Norway but is a excellent base from which to explore the region and make day tours to the Scandinavian mountains over 2000 metres of Larstind (climbing needed) and Svånåtind.