Ascent of Store Blåmannen on 2019-07-27

Climber: Rafee Memon

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, July 27, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Store Blåmannen
    Elevation:3425 ft / 1043 m

Ascent Trip Report

The previous day was dreary in the Tromso area and I was a bit bummed to be stuck inside. It looked to be shaping up to be another dreary day with thick fog lasting well into the morning, but by around 11am, the fog was finally lifting. I set my sights on Store Blamannen (the "Great Blue Man"), the highest peak of Kvaloya and an unmistakable landmark from the Tromso area.

It was a short twenty minute drive from my Airbnb in Kvaolysletta to the trailhead, which was a nondescript pullout on the side of the road. Apparently the peak is an incredibly popular climb, and I got one of the last spots in the pullout (there are several other pullouts very close by). The fog was still dense, but I could see bright sunlight not far above me.

I started up the trail, immediately passing a sign confirming that I was going in the right direction. The trail first passed through marshland on wooden planks and low vegetation before traversing through a steep muddy hillside. I had some difficulty following the exact intended trail, but it didn't matter much so long as I was heading up the grassy ramp and not cliffing out.

After the grassy hill, the fog had mostly lifted, and I got my first clear view of the summit far above, reminding me a bit of Half Dome as it appears from Yosemite Valley. I took a short break to put on my hat and sunscreen. From there, the slopes turned to granite (also very Yosemite-like!) and I carefully worked my way through the benches to the base of the final summit scramble. The intended route appeared to wrap around to climber's left, but there was a chute directly up the face that looked like it would work just as well. I needed to make a few third-class moves, but it most certainly could have been kept to class two if I had wanted. From the top of the chute, it was a short easy boulder hop the rest of the way to the summit.

There were a few other groups hanging out at the summit having snacks, and looking around, it was definitely a swell place worth enjoying for a bit. Uncharacteristically, I hung out for about twenty minutes and snacked on my Lay's Stax chips. On the descent, I made a more concerted effort to follow the intended route, but still improvised in spots. By now, the sun was shining incredibly brightly and it was getting warm. I drove back to my Airbnb and showered before heading to Tromso for dinner with my family.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3341 ft / 1018 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3341 ft / 1018 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Mud/Swamp, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3341 ft / 1018 m
    Distance:2.5 mi / 4 km
    Route:East slope, right side
    Start Trailhead:Road  84 ft / 25 m
    Time:1 Hours 49 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3341 ft / 1018 m
    Distance:2.5 mi / 4 km
    Route:East slope
    End Trailhead:Road  84 ft / 25 m
    Time:1 Hours 33 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rafee Memon
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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