Store Skagastølstind is the 3rd highest mountain in Norway, located in the Hurrungane mountain region on Sognefjellet. The mountain is the highest among "Skagastølstindane", and the traverse across these peaks is known as "Skagastølsryggen". The mountain was first ascended by the British mountaineer William Cecil Slingsby in 1876. A legendary achievement in the early days of Norwegian mountaineering.
The summit is located on the Luster/Årdal kommune border, Sogn og Fjordane county. The height 2403m has for a long time been the official height of the mountain, but the official height is now 2405m.
There are numerous routes to Store Skagastølstind, and all involve various level of climbing in very exposed terrain. "Storen" - (the big one) which is the popular name of the mountain, is mostly climbed in the August timeframe, just before the new snow falls. The most popular routes offer easy climbing when the rock is dry. With rain, ice and snow, everything gets more challenging. Some climbers will climb this mountain unroped. In addition to the steep faces and exposure, rockfall is a major problem. The rockfall is both caused by the climbers and for natural reasons. Fatal accidents have occured on this mountain because of rockfall.
Skagastølsryggen and Styggedalsryggen are two of Norway's finest ridge traverse routes that both lead to Storen. These routes are long, exposed and require climbing in parts of the routes. But the most used route runs from "Bandet" - the pass that divides Skagadalen and Midtmaradalen valleys. From "Bandet", one proceeds to "Hjørnet" ("the corner") where you have several options. "Andrews' Renne" is a popular couloir, but offers the longest pitch of climbing. From "Hjørnet", several routes can be followed. "Heftyes renne" is the most popular of these routes, although it has the most difficult "crux" of all routes; 4+ in the Norwegian climbing scale. The normal descent from the summit is a 40-45m long rappel that ends close to "Hjørnet". A "feature" that is not easily forgotten.
When William C. Slingsby, Emmanuel Mohn and their guide Knut Lykken headed for the top one July day in 1876, they passed below the south face of Storen, headed up a glacier that is nowadays called "Slingsbybreen" (the Slingsby glacier) and entered a col between Vesle and Store Skagastølstind. Only Slingsby continued from this col which today is known as "Mohn's skar".
The primary source for climbing in this area is "Klatrefører for Jotunheimen", written in Norwegian (ISBN 82-991002-1-6). A lot of information also exists on the net. Search keywords are "Store Skagastølstind", "Storen", "Skagastølsryggen", "Skagastølstraversen", "Turtagrø", "Jotunheimen", "Hurrungane", "Sognefjellsveien". Visit the websites etojm.com and bergatt.net, for good information about the Norwegian 2000m mountains.
For guiding to Storen, contact Turtagrø hotel or Norgesguidene. If you plan to climb this mountain, *strongly consider* teaming up with someone who knows the route and the mountain. Be aware of the rapidly shifting weather conditions. Travel light, but be prepared for weather changes and sudden drop of temperatures.