Uranostind & Falketind – 2014

Uranostind and Falketind are not the tallest peaks in the Jotunheimen massif, but at 2.157 and 2.067 meters respectively they are still sizeable mountains. They are popular destinations for hikers who want to enjoy the spectacular views in the Jotunheimen mountains, but who wants stay away from climbing and technical ascents. I bagged both of the peaks during a weekend trip in August 2014.

Key facts
Where: Jotunheimen, Norway
Terrain: Alpine, hiking and scrambling (non-technical)
Starting point: Koldedalsvatnet
Length: 16 km roundtrip from Koldedalsvatnet to each of the peaks
Elevation gain: 957 m to Uranostind, 867 m to Falketind
Time required: 8-10 hours roundtrip to each peak
When to hike: late summer, early fall

How to get there
Drive E16 to Tyinkrysset in Oppland, then head north on Fv53 to Lake Tyin. At the south end of Lake Tyin go right onto Fv252 (it’s a dirt road from here on) and follow the road to Tyinholmen mountain lodge, then head left onto the unnamed road leading to Koldedalsvatnet. The road from Tyinholmen to Holdedalsvatnet has some rough sections. A high clearance vehicle is recommended, but I saw people driving their sedans and stationwagons all the way up to Koldedalsvatnet. I decided to park my car at Tyinholmen and walk to the trailhead at Koldedalsvatnet, adding 8 km to my hike each way. It’s about a 4 1/2 hour drive from either Oslo or Bergen to Tyinholmen, plus another 1/2 hour if you can drive all the way to Koldedalsvatnet.

The hike
The road up Koldedalen is used by the power company and is closed by a gate about 1 km before the actual road’s end. The trail starts from the gate.

I left the road and hiked north from the gate, on a marked trail up the valley and on the west side of Lake Uradalsvatnet. The trail continued north up to the pass of Uradalsbandet where I left the trail and scrambled up the west side of Uranostind to the unnamed pass just north of the summit. From there I followed the ridge south up to the summit of Uranostind. I then returned the same way and camped out at Koldedalsvatnet. The hike between Koldedalsvatnet and the pass of Uradalsbandet was easy. The section from Uradalsbandet up to the ridge was steep with some loose rocks and scree, and involved some light scrambling. The last section up to the summit was very windy, and the ridge turned into a steep edge just before the summit.

The next day I headed west from Koldedalsvatnet through the valley south of Falketind. There is a trail going through the valley, but the markings were hard to find sometimes. From Lake Andrevatnet I turned north up along the river into the valley of Utladalen. The climb up from Andrevatnet to Utladalen had some steep sections and involved a little bit of scrambling. From Utladalen I turned east over the snow/glacier towards Falketind. From where the snow/glacier ended there was a steep scramble up to the summit. I returned to Koldedalsvatnet the same way.

Uranostind and Falketind are best hiked in late summer or early fall (August and September), when there is little or now snow. If you go too early in the season, or in a high snow year, the trail from Koldedalsvatnet to Falketind may be blocked by steep chutes of snow and ice covering the walls and straight down into the lakes.

These peaks are normally hiked as day hikes. Carry gear according to the weather forecast. I would carry at least a rain jacket or wind breaker, gloves, a beanie and a light base layer. I hiked in Brooks Cascadia trail-runners, but there are sections of scree and loose rock. If you need the extra support proper hiking boots might be better.

Useful tips for hiking Uranostind or Falketind
I did not get any cell service while hiking Uranostind and Falketind. If you are lucky you might get a weak signal up on the summits, but don’t count on it.

I never treat the drinking water when hiking in Norway. I just drink the water straight out of the streams.

No permit is required to hike Uranostind or Falketind.

Tyinholmen mountain lodge is open summer and fall and offers dining and lodging. I stopped and had traditional Norwegian meatballs when returning from my hike. A well deserved and hearty meal. By far the best meal I had on my trip to Jotunheimen.

Click here to see the pictures (high res) on Flickr.

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