Great ski touring classic in the heart of the Romsdalen Alps. Nice summit with a good mellow ascent towards the final 400 vertical metres. A great stone cabin on top of the mountains where you can seek shelter from the wind.
You can start from Øvre Kavli or the shooting range in Isfjorden. From the big parking lot at the shooting range follow the tractor road that starts from the north-east corner of the car park. Instead of crossing the first bridge over the river Skardelva you take the suspension bridge close by. Continue up the wooded ridge on the east side of the river, up to Vårseterhjellen. At this point the two paths meet.
Startng from Øvre Kavli follow the tractor road until it crosses the river Heiaelva. Continue around the bend (50 m) and go straight ahead. Look for the sign towards Måsvassbu. It is indicated by signs and red marks. Cross over the marsh and up a short distance to Vårseterhjellen.
Follow this route to Loftskardsetra, and continue north towards Loftskardet. After passing Fantesteinen (a rock) you eventually reach a flat at around 560 metres of altitude. Be aware that you are now entering a runout zone for avalanches from both sides of the valley. To avoid avalanches from Skarven it is common to cross the river and follow a height that runs along the west bank. When you approach the runout zone below Loftskardtind it is best to ski somewhat to the east again. When the ascent of Loftskardet begins you aim for the saddle that stretches between Loftskardtind and summit, 1087 metres. This is avalanche prone terrain, and it is important to consider closely which route to follow. Just before the top there is a nice stone cottage, from where you simply follow the ridge to the summit of Loftskardtinden. You can also combine this trip with a travers to or from Galtåtind.
If the snow conditions are good, you have many different runs to choose between, but it follows the same route as the ascent, more or less. Please note that the flanks by Loftskardtinden are avanalche prone. Assess the snow conditions closely before descending. You can also descend on the other side of the mountain, down Ljøsådalen to Skorgedalen. For sure you will expereince a thrilling and fun descent down the mountain.
Avalanche risk in Romsdalen!
The weather circumstances and snow conditions can soon change. Always pay attention to the risk of snow avalanches when planning for your ski touring experience. Ski touring in Romsdalen requires competence in analyzing the data from weather and avalanche risk reports and forecasts. For your own safety seek sufficient information in the planning process. Read about the mountain and consider the avalanche problem in the area you are in. A warning is an aid, not a facit. Always make your own reviews locally. You customize your own risk in vulnerable areas by choosing when, where and how you go. Make the safe choice! Check the latest updated avalanche forecasts for Romsdal here: varsom.no
We always recommend to bring a ski guide, for your own safety, and because the guides knows where to find the best snow, in all kind of weather. The ski guides in Romsdalen are high skilled, acting professional, and have valuable experience and local knowledge. Some of the ski guides have fulfilled the NORTIND certified guide program, and are trained to high, international standards for working with people in challenging mountain terrain. Look for the NORTIND and IFMGA autorization emblems on the guide companies' pages.
Useful maps and readings:
Romsdalsfjella, Hiking map for Romsdal. Målestokk 1:80 000.
Recommended book to read before ski touring in Romsdalen is "Ski touring in Romsdalen" by Halvor Hagen.
Belonging map to Ski touring in Romsdalen: "Kart til skifører" by Halvor Hagen.
Can be purchased in the local book store Romsdal Libris in Åndalsnes, and at Norsk Tindesenter - the Norwegian Mountaineering Centre