Loftet (2170m), Norway, 20th January 2012

I headed up to Jotunheimen again with old friend, Jørgen, in the hope of finding an improvement in conditions to be able to ski something a little more interesting further in the Leirdalen valley.

As the road is closed for the winter past Leirdalvassbu, the options are pretty limited so we plumbed for Loftet which forms the first peak on the west side of the Leirdal valley from the road. The face is north north east facing depending on which particular line down you take but on all accounts very similar to the couloir I wanted to ski further down the valley.

As the road is closed at the moment, we had to skin up around 15mins before climbing the mountain proper. It’s a pretty straightforward skin up although it was icy in some places. There is still clear evidence of the Dagmar storm and rain affected snow which has refrozen to ice in places although it had filled in again in many others.

There’s not really much of note to this tour to be honest. We got there pretty late which meant coming down as the light was starting to fade but we were lucky to get beautiful weather.

We skinned up and skied down the same line to get us back to the car. It’s a pretty even gradient the whole way up and down. A nice cruisy tour for any standard of skier.

We were up and down again in around 4 hours with 1200m of vertical gain from the car. The conditions up lead to some conservative skiing on the way down, expecting to bottom out on a hard, icy layer but that didn’t always happen. Too late after the event!

A nice cruisy tour to get the legs going. Needless to say the conditions weren’t encouraging enough for me to want to check out the couloir I had in mind. I cannot imagine conditions improving anytime soon to be honest. The slightest wind is blowing the snow away and temperatures are in the -10 to -15 range making it difficult for the new snow to bond to the hard icy layer. Or maybe the couloir is nice and protected… Hmmmm. I shall persevere.

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