Landslide geotourism series. Geosite 1: Skredan

by Louise Vick

Geosite type: Landslide/rock avalanche

Distance from Tromsø: 10 minutes drive (or bus) and 3 hours return hiking

Coordinates: 69.593284, 18.960780

Find me: Landslide on Norgeskart, landslide on Google maps, trail head Norgeskart, trail head Google maps

Aerial photo from Norge i bilder Tromsø 2011 series

About the geosite: Skredan is a spectacular landslide which sits above the village of Kaldsletta, 13 km south of Tromsø city centre on the mainland. It is a type of landslide termed a rock avalanche, meaning that a volume of rock collapsed and travelled in an avalanche train down the mountainside. We do not know a lot about this particular rock avalanche, for example when it occurred or if anyone was living there at the time. It is unlikely to have caused any damage as it did not reach the farms below, and based on other data sets could have occurred up to thousands of years ago. The hazard and risk posed by further rock avalanches from this area is currently under investigation. The avalanche is very prominent. It has a high and steep head wall/cliff at the top, and very prominent lobes of shattered rock debris sitting on the mountainside below. The avalanche has not traveled very far in comparison with other similar avalanches in the area. More geological information can be found in Andreas’ masters thesis (Norwegian).

Photo taken by NGU, 2007

Get there: Drive or take the bus to Solligården from the city. Park on the road at the trail head on Solstrandveien. There is a track up from the road. You will follow the trail to Sollidalsaksla part of the way. The summit of Sollidalsaksla is at 799 metres elevation, however we never go above 500 m in this excursion. A small gapahuk (shelter) can be found half way up hte marked trail, which provides a nice lunch spot. At roughly the point where the trail reaches the 425 m contour you will need to depart the trail and head south.  This part of the route requires some careful scrambling through bushes and rocky ground to reach the head of the landslide area.

The gapahuk part way up provides a nice shelter for lunch. Geo-2012 students enjoy a break from the autumn rain

You can check your phone to make sure you are in the right area (Norgeskart is very helpful). As a bonus you traverse through many blueberry patches, and the view across Tromsøya and Kvaløya is gorgeous. Are you approach the landslide area, be careful! It is a steep drop off. Make sure to keep away from the edge of the cliff. The view from the scarp is amazing- you really can’t understand the scale of this landslide until you see it. Avoid walking down into the debris, as it may be quite loose and prone to rockfalls.

Recommended trail based on the Norgeskart basemap

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