First Descent of ReindalstindenHow two British skiers, Graham Austick and Ali Street, made a first descent of Reindalstinden, one of the most impressive mountains on the Lyngen Peninsular in northern Norway.
The Lyngen Alps rise directly out of the sea and lay 300 miles inside the Arctic Circle; they are warmed by the Gulf Stream and, as a result, are covered in deep powder snow from February until late May.
The jewel of the range is the mountain Reindalstinden, which rises 1343m from the ocean. There is no easy ascent route up and mountaineering skills of ice and rock climbing are needed to ascent to the summit. The ski descent is equally as challenging with slopes of 55 degrees weaving through cliff bands and couloir systems.
The ascent began by being transported on the Lyngen Lodge Boat the Spirit of Lyngen to the beach at the foot of Reindalstinden across the Lyngen Fjord. A steep 800m couloir was climbed on rock and ice that required focus and precision climbing on the exposed terrain which led to the final summit glacier climb.
With the technical climb behind them, the skiers reached the summit at 1.10pm and were presented with one of the finest mountain landscapes over the ocean in the world.
The ski descent was the reason for the climb. And the unskied descent which lay ahead that would test the skiers’ navigation down the 1,000m face filled with cliffs and intricate couloirs. With the adrenaline pumping, the skiers left the summit and enjoyed smooth turns in powder to the entrance of the line. Ali and Graham found their descent line and skied through rocks to enter into a steep couloir that would eventually lead to a rocky beach where the boat was waiting.
The descent was sensational and Graham and Ali had been waiting about five years to ski this line. Due to its steepness and exposure the snow needs to be in perfect condition. Both Ali and Graham made it safely down to the beach to finish what for them is the finest ski tour and steep ski of their skiing careers to date.
“Reindalstinden is a mountain with unique character in one of the world’s most impressive regions. This has been the finest ski descent of my life”. Graham Austick.
“It’s a privilege to ski such a magnificent mountain in what must be one of the world’s most unique adventure skiing destinations”. Ali Street