Rauddalen Area

Scandinavian Mountains over 2000 metres - James Baxter

AreasRauddalen AreaWalking Routes › Ra.3

Ra.3 Fondsbu lodge to Gjendebu lodge
5 hours / 16km
330m / 410m
Marked path in the summer and in the winter a ski route marked with twigs.

Leave Fondsbu lodge and head north on the gravel track round the west end of Bygdin lake for ½ km crossing the bridge over the tumbling Mjølkedøla river. 100 metres after the bridge leave the track on the right which now heads up the hill and start following the cairn markers at the start of the path.

For the next hour the path follows the north shore of Bygdin through waist high willow scrub. There are a few small streams to jump and the odd boggy section to force through on this section which had a rich variety of wild flowers in the summer. After a good hour the path starts to traverse up the hillside to the north, climbing slowly up to the cascading Høystakka torrent tumbling down the hill from the north. As you near this torrent the path zigzags straight up the hill for ¼ hour until it levels of at the edge of a plateau. Here there is a large suspension bridge over to the east side of the torrent.

Cross the bridge and start to head north across pleasant open tundra for 2½ km crossing the odd damp area until you arrive at a well marked junction and the path Sl.1 which heads off to Torfinnsbu lodge some 4 hours to the west. Don't take this fork but continue north along the marked path across the flat tundra around the foot of the west ridge of Slettmarkpiggen for another 2 km until you reach the shallow watershed by a small tarn at 1372m which lies between 2 knolls.

Pass between these knolls and start the long gentle descent across the tundra in the shallow open bowl of the upper Veslådalen valley. On your east the huge Slettmarkbreen glacier and the alpine mountains around it start to appear, while to the west the path Ra.4 from Rauddalen area joins. Continue down the valley towards the large cliff of Gjendetunga where the path crosses to the north side of the growing steam on a seasonal bridge.

Just after the bridge the path enters the upper birch forest and follows in down towards the green waters of the huge Gjende lake. Eventually the forest becomes denser and lusher. The last 3 km through the forest is idyllic as you spill onto the fertile plain at the west end of Gjende lake. There are two adjacent bridges to cross over two arms of the Storåe river as it forms a delta. Gjendebu lodge lies just beyond the second bridge.

In the winter and spring the ski route, which may be marked by twig poles, follows the same route.