Slettmark Mesmog Massif

Scandinavian Mountains over 2000 metres - James Baxter

AreasSlettmark Mesmog MassifWalking Routes › Sl.2

Sl.2 Torfinnsbu lodge to Gjendebu lodge via Svartdalen
5 hours / 15km
560m / 490m
Marked in the summer with cairns. Unmarked and not recommended in the winter

From the lovely Torfinnsbu lodge head north up the easy slopes on the very scenic path into the jaws of Torfinnsdalen valley. This takes you past the hugely impressive east face of Østre Torfinnstind after 2 km. From this foreboding wall saunter along the level path on easy terrain for another 2 km making a slight detour to cross the small bridge over to the east side of the Torfinnsdøla river, which is normally to high to jump over. Along this stretch there are marvellous views ahead to the soaring pyramid of Knutsholstind. Shortly after the bridge the path climbs slightly and becomes stony as it crosses a rocky spur. At the top of this spur a view across the lakes up Svartdalen unfolds fully.

The path gently drops down the spur to reach the less stony shore of the largest of the three Svartdalstjønnin lakes. Follow the pleasant east shore in majestic surroundings for a km until about ½ way up the lake until you meet a stream descending from the steep saddle to the east called Svartdalsbandet. Here there is a fork with the unmarked path Kn.1 which goes over this saddle and onto Gjendesheim lodge. Don’t take the fork but continue up Svartdalen and easily jump the stream. As you head north past the end of this lake the huge outcrop ridden west face of Knutsholstind dominates. From the end of the largest lake the path crosses easy flat stony tundra for another 5 km passing the two smaller Svartdalstjønnin tarns and a very shallow watershed until reaches the crossing over the Svartdalsåe stream. Cross to the west side of the stream over stepping stones and start to contour down the west side of the valley as the stream drops away into a deep ravine.

After an easy km you cross a small beck coming of the north ridge of Svartdalspiggen. Beyond this beck the path continues to gradually descend on the crest of a broad tundra covered spur for ¼ hour until you reach the lip of the hanging valley. Here there is a magnificent view down to the deep green waters of Gjende and the lush birch forest at its west end. Here nestled in the trees is Gjendebu lodge. However between here and the lodge is a steep path with the steepest section imminent.

Clamber down the marked path and soon meet a few short areas of bare rock. Each of these are quite short but you will need to carefully clamber down them. After ¼ hour the path becomes less steep as you continue to descend down zig zags for another ¼ on the west of the deep ravine. As you meet the willow scrub the path the path veers west ways from the ravine and descends diagonally across moraine ridges and willow scrub for ½ km until you enter the birch forest. Continue through the flat birch forest for another km on the marked path until you reach the Veslåe river. Here there is a bridge over to the north side where you meet the path Ra.3 between Fondsbu and Gjendebu lodges. At this junction turn east and head down through the lush birch forest and flower filled glades for about 700 metres until you reach 2 bridges in quick succession over the Storåe river. Gjendebu lodge lies 400 metres west of the second bridge.

During the winter and spring the steep section of this path at the northern entrance to Svartdalen is avalanche prone and dangerous. It is recommended that you do not go this way. Instead the winter route, which is marked, goes through Langedalen further to the west on the path Sl.3.