Festningen (1399), the Lyngen peninsula, Norway

Festningen (left) and Urdkjerringa (right) as seen from Ura in Kjosen.

Festningen was first climbed by Elizabeth Main (a.k.a. Mrs. Aubrey Le Blond) and the Swiss guides Emil and Josef Imboden on August 30th 1898.

"We hoped to climb another peak before starting homeward. This was a fine, high, square-topped rock mountain at the head of the Kjosen glacier*. No one knew whether or not it had a name, so we christened it the Fæstning, or Fortress. I cannot give its height, nor have I been able to give the heights of any of the peaks we ascended except the Kjostind, which is 5,414 feet; but I fancy that the Stortind and Isskartind and a few others must be close on 6,000 feet, which, as the rise is direct above sea-level, is a considerable height — double the average height of the very striking peaks of the Lofoten islands, and about the same as that of the Matterhorn from the Schwarz See.

I have little to say about our ascent of the Fortress; it was a steep climb, but nowhere difficult. We went up from the Kjosen glacier by the south-east face to the east ridge and thence to the summit. We took five and a half hours from Lyngseidet to the top, including a halt of three-quarters of an hour."


Mrs. Aubrey Le Blond: Mountaineering in The Land of The Midnight Sun (1908).

© Geir Jenssen 2009