This is a peak of superlatives. It's the highest peak on the largest island in Norway. Though the elevation may seem low, the start is at sea level, and the views to the open ocean, the overhanging granite walls of the surrounding fjords, along with the isolation and rugged peaks all around makes this a winner. While the peaks of Lofoten are more well known, this peak offers just as fine views without the tourists.
A favorite peak for viewing the midnight sun in summer.
There are 3 peaks, the West, North, and South peaks. The low West peak is most technical, The North is the highest point along the large center ridge (985 meters), and the South is the highest point, a peak jutting out to the side from the main ridge. The awesome NE wall has received recent (2014-2015) attention by winter climbers including Ines Papert and some Scottish and Canadian climbers. The rock is gneiss, of medium quality, and the there are not clear consistent crack systems, so runouts are to be expected. Click the link for an article in Alpinist magazine.
KUGO 666: A great and more recent series of photos, plus a simple topo.
Norwegian website here
From Tromsø: A: Drive to Kvaløy, then take road 862 along the southern side of the island. About 5 kilometers before reaching sommerøy, there is a ferry to lauvik. From there follow signs to Mefjordvær. This is a summer only ferry.
B: Take the Hurtibåt (fastboat) from Tromsø to Gibostad. This is a fast route, but carless, so you'll have to hitch or take the bus to Mefjordvær.
C: Drive the long way around south on E8 till you reach E6. Follow signs to Finnsnes, the road numbers have recently changed, so I'm not naming the highway numbers here. The roads are excellent. Driving time to Finnsnes, about 2.25hrs.
From Narvik: Drive North on E6 until reaching Andselv, then drive on 86 until reaching Finnsnes. Driving time from Finnsnes to Mefjordvær is about 1.25hrs.
It sounds difficult, but if one buys a map and gets a current boat schedule, it's not that hard. Drive to Mefjordbotn, the head of the mefjord. From here one can see steep cliffs dropping into the sea to the right and to the left, the high dark walls of Breitind. Drive through two tunnels, a third open tunnel made of concrete follows. Immedietly after this tunnel turn around a corner and park on the right. There's room for about 15 vehicles here. . The faint trail starts just opposite the parking area.
The trail goes steeply up the rocky tree filled hillside, follow the yellow and red paint marks to a large lake with a small hytte and a few boats. When the lake is seen, begin traversing to the left of the lake along a rounded ridge. Stay to the left of the top of this ridge, and work your way to a stream. Cross this stream as soon as possible and follow above it's left bank (on the Breitind or East side). Do not wait to cross the stream as it turns into a gorge further upstream. Bypass a second smaller lake. From here there is a prominent coulior system that heads up to the North summit. This is a great springtime snow route, and is never harder than 3rd class in the summer.
To climb the South peak, continue past the lake toward the pass at it's far end. A gradual traverse upwards toward some large boulders on the ridge saves some time and effort. From here, cross the ridge and stay to it's right hand side, following grassy ledges and easy climbing. Eventually this peters out and it's best to traverse onto the ridge proper for some airy but easy climbing. There is the occasional third class move, and it's almost impossible to get off route. The summit is hidden until the last few meters.
Time to the summit from the car: 2 to 3 hours. Equipment: In summer just boots, in spring an ice-axe, crampons are rarely needed, only if conditions are icy.
This is Northern Norway. You're on your own. Just don't be rude.
When To Climb
For peak bagging summer and late spring as the couloirs are OK.
Winter: This is a mountain facing the open sea, and the winters are severe. The winds scream like a thousand devils (so the locals will tell you), and occasionaly vehicles are swept into the sea by avalanches. Of course, there's two months in the winter where the sun never reaches the horizon. For these reasons, winter climbing usually doesn't start until February, and lasts until late March.
The unique rules of Norwegian camping apply here. You can camp on undeveloped land as long as you're not in sight of any permanent dwelling. There are some good areas just after entering the Berg kommune(county). There are also small private campgrounds with hytte (cabins)scattered between Finnsnes and Mefjordvær.