Storebjørn (directly translated to Big Bear) is a characteristic peak in the middle of the mountainous area Jotunheimen – also known as The Home of The Giants. The mountain got its name because it resembles a bear looking up at the sky – and it is also the highest peak surrounding the Smørstabbreen glacier, the largest glacier in Jotunheimen.
Storebjørn is a fairly easy peak to climb during summer, but a guide and glacier gear such as ice axe, crampons, harness and rope is required. This 8-9 hour hike includes great contrasts, starting in a landscape of rivers and green meadows, followed by crossing a glacier with majestic mountains and blue ice around you. Standing on the summit, after ascending more than 900 vertical meters, the view makes you feel like you're on top of the world. You can also spot the highest peak in Norway, Galdhøpiggen (2469 m), from here.
The best starting point for summiting Storebjørn is Leirvassbu mountain lodge, where I work. We offer guiding to all peaks and glaciers in the surrounding area, and Storebjørn is the most popular hike, both summer and winter.
Ice screws and snow anchors are necessary to conduct secure crossings where there are large crevasses or steep ascents. Our mountain guide at Leirvassbu, Dawa Tenzing Sherpa, has climbed Mt. Everest eight times, in addition to working as a guide in Jotunheimen for seven years.
Can you spot the bear? Storebjørn is also a great destination for ski touring, offering good snow conditions typically from late March till early May.