OverviewSvartisen Traverse is in my opinion a very nice route for those who would like to spend a few days in solitude with almost no signs of civilization and probability of meeting another party close to zero. It is extremely accessible for such a route. We did it in 4 days but I would say it requires from 3 to 6 days depending on your fitness and desire to climb summits en-route.
Getting ThereIf traversing from South-East to North-West the starting point is Mo-i-Rana. From there either drive or take a taxi (about 600 NOK) to Svartisdalen.
On the North-West side take a ferry across the fjord and then a bus to Glomfjord and then to Bodo. Bodo has a train station with trains running back to Mo-i-Rana and a small airport.
Route DescriptionWe useda parking spot a couple of kilometres before Svartisdalen visitor centre (N66 28.903; E14 13.631; Elevation: 80m). From there find a fainting trail up the slope through a dense Arctic forest. At about 300m above the sea you are entering a hanging valley with a couple of lakes and wetlands. Continue up the valley until a larger lake at about 360m (N66 30.124; E14 15.908) turn left to follow a small stream up (direction - 300°). If you are planning to camp in this area better do it above treeline where the wind blows away at least some mosquitoes.
Go up the stream and then across the terrain with very easy route finding to a small rocky ridge to your right at 1286m (N66 32.298; E14 12.688). It is a long climb from the parking so you probably will camp here. there a re some pretty nice though rocky camping spaces.
Here the glacier starts. Finding your route trying to avoid larger crevasses cross the Østre (eastern) Svartisen towards the northern edge of Vesterdallen where it connects to Storglomvatnet. We found the way down from the glacier to Vesterdallen at a point (N66 38.561; E14 09.383; elevation 909m). The general direction of this leg that takes a bit less than a day is 348° but you have to find a route between crevasses.
There are many nice camping spots around this area between two parts of Svartisen.
Next day is the traverse of the Western part of the Glacier - Vestre (western) Svartisen. It was less crevassed than the eastern part. If the weather is good you would probably like to climb to the highest point of the glacier - Snotinden. Then go to Takenheimen hut on the brink of the glacier which has plenty of accommodation and all necessary supplies. Takenheimen coordinates are: N66 41.527; E13 49.717, elevation is 1164m. The general direction for the day is 289° but Snotinden would require a detour.
From Takenheimen a good trail goes down to Svartisen Visitor Centre, continuing to the ferry that takes you to the north side of the Holandsfjorden Nordfjorden to a bus stop and parking. If you prefer you can call a taxi from Glomfjord.
Essential GearRopes, harnesses, crampons. Rain gear.
Essential skillsRoute finding