MASSIV Day 4: Sognefjellshytta – Fannaråken – Ekrehytta

Day four and the first minor deviation from the original MASSIV trail set. Instead of staying overnight at Fannaråkhytta I continued down the mountain to meet the family and stay at Ekrehytta, which belongs to Anjas brother.

Today’s hike was not physically challenging but quite tough mentally. The glacier guide across the Fannaråk glacier didn’t start until 12:30 and would be set at the speed of the slowest at the party. Having caught a quick glance at some of the people planning the hike yesterday, I figured they’d spend at least six hours just on the glacier alone if I were to join the guided traverse. Screw that!

The distance today was a mere 16km and total ascent of 895m, which compared to the previous two days isn’t that much.

Solo glacier traverse

Together with a local mountaineer and glacier guide at Sognefjellshytta we studied the map, looked at the geological stats for the glacier and based on that we plotted a route that would be reasonably safe to traverse alone. Mostly on the outskirts of the glacier and some directly across. I WOULD STRONGLY RECOMMEND AGAINST FOLLOWING IN MY TRACKS UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND ACCEPT THE RISK!!

The glacier is spectacular as all glaciers. It is however disturbing how much is melted. Crossing alone would simply not have been possible at an acceptable risk only years ago.

The traverse went surprisingly fast, probably because I was 100% focused and concentrated on what the ice looked like, what the surrounding shapes were, where and how the melt water was flowing, and how to avoid the steepest slopes in case of a fall. Using the hiking poles and digging the feet in worked. Had I been in any doubt I had turned back. Glad it went without a hitch.


Fannaråkhytta 2068

Nice to be back at Fannaråkhytta for first time since Covid. Super nice hosts, serving a nice cup of chocolate before I started the 800m descent down the mountain. I believe Fannaråken with its peak at 2068m is the highest point on the entire MASSIV trail. Today also concluded the first of the four alpine mountain areas; Breheimen. Which means I’m now in Jotunheimen.

This is also the highest altitude toilet I have ever visited not counting aircrafts.

A poo with a view – at 2068m

Arrived safe and sound at Ekrehytta, where the family will join me shortly. Fire place burning and water collected. Time to kick back and stretch the legs.

Today’s statistics

  • Total distance hiked: 15.88km
  • Total time: 6:18 hrs.
  • Total ascent: 895m
  • Total descent:1096m
  • Max elevation: 2068m
  • Today’s favourite item: My hiking poles, substituting for an ice axe across the glacier
  • Today’s crap moment: None so far
  • Today’s word of wisdom: Lace your boots tight before steep descents. It helps you keep your toe nails a bit longer.
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Gunnar Florus Mountaineer