Store Kongstind and Løva, June 25 2016

Lofoten, day 3 continued

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Municipality Location
Store Kongstind 552m 62m Vågan GPX
Løva 640m 290m Vågan

Summer vacation 2016 continued…

Løva in center, Store Kongstind to the right

Anne and I had hiked Haveren earlier in the day, and while waiting for our friends Anne-May and Jan to return from their motorcycle trip, I figured I had time for one more hike. I decided to go for Løva, yet knowing absolutely nothing about the peak. Løva is Norwegian for “the lion” and from a certain angle, you can clearly see the face. A roaring lion, if I am not mistaken…

I took the car and drove in the direction of Svolvær, turned left at the Osen exit , drove 1,6km along Kongsvatnveien and parked by a large building at the northeast end of lake Litl-Kongsvatnet. I followed a smaller road 150m until I saw the Kongstinden trailhead.

Løva and Store Kongstind seen from Litl-Kongsvatnet

I decided to keep a fast pace so I could return to the cabin before it got too late in the evening. After 1,3km, I passed Lille Kongstind (approx. 380m). There was a visitor’s register here, but I didn’t take the time to sign in. From here, Store Kongstind looked like a beautiful, pointy peak and as I had seen a map with a path up to this top, I didn’t expect to run into any problems.

Store Kongstind seen from Lille Kongstind

0,8km afer passing Lille Kongstind, I stood on top of Store Kongstind. The time was 7:34pm and I had already been on the trail for almost an hour. I couldn’t see Løva properly because of fog, but I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be a walk in the park.

Løva (right) seen from Store Kongstind

Two women were sitting just below the summit, ready to make up a fire for coffee or something. But they were missing matchsticks, and unfortunately I couldn’t help them. When they learned that I was heading towards Løva, they expressed concerns and recommended that I shouldn’t go there without someone familiar with the peak. Well, good advice should definitely be taken into consideration, but not necessarily followed. So I said thanks for the information and continued towards Løva.

Couldn’t help with matchsticks, but we had a nice chat

Løva has indeed challenges in store for visitors! The first presented itself as a through a steep rise on the ridge. At first glance, this looked very challenging but when I got up close I found a crack with excellent handholds. And after a short, exposed and easy scramble I was on top of the first of 4 humps on Løva.

Løva’s first obstacle. However, the ascent wasn’t difficult

I had a feeling that this was NOT the hardest part and I could definitely feel the adrenalin. From the first hump I could now see the 3 other humps ahead of me. It was still impossible to tell how easy or difficult this would be.

The route ahead from the first hump. No telling how easy or difficult this would get…

The hike across the 2nd hump was straightforward but when I stood in front of the 3rd, I thought I had come to the end of the road. Was I willing to climb up here?

OMG! But wait! Isn’t there a path?

The answer seemed to be a firm NO, but then I noticed a faint path that bypassed the third hump down to the left. Care was needed to avoid stumbling into the steep gully below, but after having passed this hump I had a feeling that I could actually make it to the top.

Having passed hump #3 (center), I thought I would get an easy ride to the top

I had to get back on the main ridge and there was only one way up. The first part was easy, but then I came to an exposed slab section where I had to figure out how this could be done safely, both up and down. After negotiating this problem, I was convinced that I would make it to the top. There were a couple more obstacles of the easier sort, but finally – at 8:20pm – I was on top of Løva.

The route up to the main ridge

The adrenaline level quickly dropped to normal level. I was not worried about any single point upon the descent, but had to move carefully in this unforgiving terrain. Back on hump #1, I was below the fog and could take a picture towards Store Kongstind

Store Kongstind seen from hump #1 on Løva

Back on the ridge towards Kongstind, I could increase the pace, and after passing the summit I started jogging. I passed a few hikers on their way up to Kongstind and I caught up with the two women after passing Lille Kongstind. They told me that they had been following my ascent of Løva and they were glad to see me safe and sound. I thanked them for their concern and continued jogging down the mountain. I was back at the car 9:35pm, and it was high time to return to the others. And perhaps I had earned myself a cold beer? Yes, I definitely had…

Trip statistics: 6,7km, 850 vertical meters, 2h:55m

Pictures from the trip: 


Leave a Reply