Uranos Massif

Scandinavian Mountains over 2000 metres - James Baxter

AreasUranos Massif Uranostind › Alternative Routes

There are four routes up Uranostind:

  1. The main route up the Uranosbreen glacier which is described below.
  2. The steep West flank.
  3. The north ridge from Skogadalsbøen lodge over the subsidiary peak of Slingsbytind.
  4. The classic, but demanding, traverse up the exposed south side over the subsidiary peak of Søre Uranostind.

The steep west flank of UranostindThe West flank of Uranostind is steep and uncompromising and is not really a first choice route. It is not a winter alternative at all as it is avalanche prone.

The route starts on top of a prow just to the east of Urdadalsbandet, a watershed north of Urdadalsvatnet lake. From the prow ascend steeply up snow slopes and scree until you reach the much steeper crags of the upper mountain.

At the foot of these crags head north across scree and snow above a band of crags into a bowl to the west of the main saddle between Uranostind and Slingsbytind. Once in the bowl climb up to this saddle. From the saddle climb up the broad north ridge to the summit as described in the main section below.

To reach the prow at the bottom of the ascent either climb up to it from Urdadalen valley starting ½ km north of the watershed or approach it from the south on a remarkable shelf of red iron-rich rock. To get onto this red shelf follow the preferred route as described below until you are between the glacial lake at the southern edge of the Uranosbreen glacier and a knoll with a height of 1487m. Then climb up the ridge for another 15 minutes until you are at about 1550m, then you veer west contouring round the steep hillside until you arrive at the shelf, which is followed for 2 km to its northern end at the prow. Allow 8-10 hours for the return trip from the start on the north east side of Koldedalsvatnet lake.

Uranostind full size mapThe route along the north ridge from Skogadalen valley is probably the simplest route but it is also the longest route. It only feasible to start this route from Skogadalsbøen lodge and this is a long days march.

Leave the lodge and start to head up the path Ur.1 through the birch woods in Skogadalen valley for 5 km until the trees thin out in a bowl in the valley floor. Leave the valley floor and head south up the reasonably steep side of the valley for 2 hours towards the remains of a small glacier, now essentially a snowfield just below the ridge.

Cross the snowfield and start to head up the now gentler, but stony, slope for ½ hour to the top of the knoll 1900m. From the top of this knoll head south east along the ridge to a saddle in ½ hour before you start to climb up a narrowing arête for an hour until you reach the peak of Slingsbytind.

Continue down past a couple of easy scrambling sections for ½ hour to the saddle with Uranostind. From this saddle climb up the broad north ridge to the summit as described in the main section below. This route is much more demanding in the spring due to the steep slope out of Skogadalen valley onto the ridge and also steep cornices on Slingsbytind. In the summer it is perhaps the easiest of the routes to do alone. Allow 10-12 hours for the return trip from Skogadalsbøen lodge.

The daunting view from the peak of Søre UranostindThe south ridge of Uranostind is one of the most classic ascents in Jotunheimen. It involves some easy short climbing sections to grade III and a few longer scrambling sections, however, the exposure on some of these sections is terrific.

Start at the same place as the preferred route described below by Koldedalsvatnet lake and follow the route for about 3 km to the silty lake at the snout of the Uranosbreen glacier.

Skirt round the west side of the lake to the foot of the south ridge, and start heading up it. The ascent up the ridge is mostly across boulders but as you get higher and the ridge gets sharper there is the occasional easy scramble, culminating in a exposed notch just before the peak of Søre Uranostind.

From this peak a foreshortened view hits you along the straightforward ridge to the bottom of the daunting bulk of Uranostind. Head along this easy ridge over a rise to the bottom of the climb. The next section is the crux of the ascent. Head up the narrow arête on the east side and then cross over to the west side to reach the bottom of an obvious chimney.

Climb the short chimney to gain the ridge again. Continue up the narrowing arête until you are forced onto a very exposed slab on the east side. This easy slab has a crack a metre below the crest perfect for feet. After this slab is another shallow chimney on the east side. From the top of this shallow chimney is there is a simple scramble up a couple of prows to reach the summit.

The easiest descent is down the north ridge to the saddle with Slingsbytind and then down the preferred ascent route as described below. Either of the other two alternative ascent routes described above are also possible. Allow 8-10 hours for the return trip from the start on the north east side of Koldedalsvatnet lake.