Slettmark Mesmog Massif

Scandinavian Mountains over 2000 metres - James Baxter

AreasSlettmark Mesmog Massif › 6.1 Mesmogtind (2246m)

Mesmogtind, 2264m, lies in the Gjendealpene, the wild and seldom visited area between lakes Gjende and Bygdin. This area is cut in half by the dark deep valley of Svartdalen. On the east side of this valley looms Knutsholstind while on the west side Mesmogtind towers over the valley. Indeed Mesmogtind is the highest mountain on the west side of Svartdalen. It is a steep tower-shaped mountain with 3 ridges separating 3 glacier filled cirques.

The Route from Torfinnsbu Lodge
total distance for return trip22km   
total ascent and descent1210m   
total time for return journey 9-11hrs
difficulty rating - 7season: jul, aug, septno skiingpartial/difficult glacier crossingdemanding scrambling/optional climbingnot suitable for wet conditions

From Torfinnsbu lodge head west along Bygdin, under the imposing crags of Torfinnstind, on the path Sl.1 to Fondsbu lodge. This boggy and scrub filled path leads past the hut at Nybue and then crosses the Langedalsåne river over a bridge some 3 km from Torfinnsbu lodge. From here the path follows the west side of the river for 4 km as it ascends the 400m to Langedalstjernet. Cross the river again here at the outflow to the lake.

Mesmogtind full size mapFrom the outflow head up the easy gentle slope across moss and alpine flower meadows to the glacier two km northeast of the lakes outflow. After ½ hour you pass to the west of small lake and veer to the north and skirt round the west side of a large moraine pile. As you skirt round this moraine pile veer east again until you reach the glacier and then make for the saddle.

The glacier has retreated considerably since the map data was compiled and is now without crevasses across its entire western area. The final section of the route up to the glacier is reasonably steep and if the blue ice of the glacier is exposed will require crampons to ascend.

South face traverse

From the saddle the south east ridge that leads up to Mesmogtind looks daunting. However, once the ascent is started each obstacle is overcome without too much difficulty until you are half way up. Here the ridge reaches a flatter shoulder strewn with scree. At the end of this shoulder the ridge steepens considerably and involves some grade V climbing. Instead of tackling this, the route now traverses across the south face to the south west ridge.

This traverse is across a 40 degree snowfield until after mid summer when it is steep scree and outcrops for ½ km. An ice axe is essential as there is a rock band below the snowfield. During the traverse slowly gain height until you reach a point below the south west ridge.

Mesmogtind has a lofty profile from all anglesThe further you traverse towards the saddle with Langedalstind the less the gradients are. On reaching the west side or the top of the snowfield you will have to scramble up one of the numerous gullies to gain the south west ridge.

Again the further west you go the less the gradient of these gullies. I think it best to aim for a point 1/3 of the way up from the saddle to the summit.

South west ridge

If one aimed for the suggested point the final 2/3 of the ridge to the summit does present the occasional obstacle. This is especially so in the middle third of the ridge. All these obstacles can be avoided by skirting round them on the south side of the ridge. Indeed most of the route up the middle 1/3 follows a line on the south side of the ridge some 10-15 m below the arête.

Mesmogtind in the middle flanked by Kvitskardtind and Langedalstind seen from the northThe top 1/3 of the ridge follows the lofty arête and is quite easy and leads to the summit with a magnificent view over to the Knutsholstind massif and indeed the rest of Jotunheimen.

The return

The return can be by the same route. Alternatively it is worth considering continuing west to Langedalstind and then descent down its west ridge to Langedalen and return to Torfinnsbu via the path Sl.3 which is slightly more challenging and would add another hour.See the Langedalstind page for more details.

It is also possible to return via Kvitskardtind from the saddle between the two and this would add another 2 hours.

For the ambitious a 13-15 hour tour over all three mountains is a grand trip with Mesmogtind being the middle mountain.