A rather long and monotonous trek of endless stones and gravel. Also some thick fog made orientation a bit tricky. If you go do bring a GPS. Hiked together with my friend André Gerber (SUI).
The plan was to go to Halti first, then to Ráisduottarháldi, but I made a mistake on the way up and followed the wrong set of cairns. As a result, Ráisduottarháldi came first, Halti second.
Reached both nor/fin summits from norwegian side. Not so easy navigation in case of worse visibility:-)
it took 2 attempts for such a small mountain:
Attempt 1: 23 May 2015
After arriving in Kiruna and renting a car we drove to Lake Guolasjavri. where the road was impassable for about 10km: so skis and snowshoes all the way to the lakes edge where we camped (tent). early am we set of across the frozen lake (cuts about 1hr from journey). Weather was bad and didn't clear - however following the fence was possible and that got us to a hight of 1300m where the weather got too cold, wind too high and visibility too bad to attempt the traverse to the summit - so we returned back across the lake and made our way down
Attempt 2: 29 May 2015
same start (but we were able to drive an extra 100m up the mountain :)) - Camped closer to the lake / weather was better and we set of in the morning again in some light clouds. here following the fence we discovered that it actually takes you away from the summit and adds about 1 to 1.5km to your total trek - so with a map and compass or GPS there is a deep valley which head almost all the way to the summit (great for ski up and down). at the summit we were greeted with blue skies - great summit day with beautiful views.
Fence: many people refer to this as a good route - perhaps in the summer - during winter crossing the lake and going up the Valley is a lot better / faster and more scenic.
Lake: still frozen solid but late afternoon - water started to pool on top of the ice from melting snow - so occasionally you sank 30cm (and got wet). the lake is used to power a hydro power station so its water level decreases by 26m (local mountain rescue team info - so there are huge cracks on the edge where the ice sinks (treat like crevasses) but we didn't see any big enough to be dangerous.
I reached the top from norwegian side (N° 112 047 according to summit's book!). In spite of a limited number of meters to climb, distance is quite long (about 6 km) on rocks. Crossing the reindeer fences and finding summit access may require some time. Don't go there without good weather, good map (norwegian 1733 at 1/50000) and of course a good GPS.... and spare batteries. it's not at all a place where to get lost, so prepare carefully your ascent though there are actually no difficulty. Don't make any confusion about the actual location of finnish summit with another lower summit being on the right and visible during the way up, rely on your GPS and good judgement, quite an interesting exercicze, even in good weather! View on the way and from the top are just amazing.
The ascent can be done of course in summer months Under the midngight sun allowing some flexibility (we had permanent daylight on july 9th...)
The road to the trailhead was rough, but got there with a subcompact five-speed rental car, so no worries there. I did not find the route to the summit to be "well marked" after a while. . .at all. I had the coordinates, so it wasn't an issue, but I'd recommend you have a few waypoints to keep yourself on track. There are dozens of cairns on the way up marking multiple paths, but once up the initial climb, I lost them all and followed a fence for a while until I noticed I wasn't making positive progress. . .
After getting my pictures at the Finnish HP, and logging the summit register, I set off for the actual summit (Raisduattarhaldi) on the return. The summit log there is in wooden box labeled Halti--can't miss it. If I hadn't been able to see the giant summit cairn from the Finnish HP, I wouldn't have been able to find it without coordinates--once you start up the slight slope, you cannot see the peak for quite a while.
Overall, I'm glad I took the short route to the summit. The drive down the fjord (Kåfjord) is very attractive. I also highly recommend hiking a mile to Sabetjohka after the hike (the trailhead is on the dirt road you take to Halti's TH). Deep gorge with (only) a pedestrian bridge across it, constructed just to see a fantastic waterfall tumble into the gorge. That's public money well spent!
It was a really enjoyable hike but also a very difficult one. I went there a bit too late (or early) and the snow was too soft so it was very hard to walk. It took me about 2 days walk from few km after Birtavarre (the road from Birtavarre to Guolasjarvi lake was blocked by the snow) to hike to the summit and back. I slept in one of the shepherd's houses near the lake which door was broken and therefore 2 out of 3 beds were covered with snow. Thanks a lot to Joerg Marretsch and HenneB for their advises and help in researching the route.
Fun boulder hopping ascent of Finland's highest from the Norwegian side. First I went too far, even though I found a yellow cairn which fits the description of the summit, but the elevation shown by the GPS was wrong. Luckily I decided to hit the next higher peak on my way back, which also had a yellow cairn near the summit, this time accompanied by a register and the correct elevation. So make sure to hit all three bumps on the plateau (that way you will have been to the summit for sure), because it is too remote to go back a second time.....
Easy climb from lake Guolasjarvi over rocky terrain and some snow patches. Reach the summit after 3 hours with incomming fog.
Allways foggy during decent. Climbers must have experience in use of maps and/or GPS.
We reached the top from the huts in a couple of hours. It's a hike up, basically jumping from one boulder to another until you reach the top. Nice weather and very good views from the highest point in Finland. Otherwise, nothing special