Slettmark Mesmog Massif

Scandinavian Mountains over 2000 metres - James Baxter

AreasSlettmark Mesmog MassifWalking Routes › Sl.3

Sl.3 Torfinnsbu lodge to Gjendebu lodge via Langedalen Valley
9 hours / 18km
750m / 820m
In the summer an unmarked, faint and problematic path. In the winter/spring a ski route marked with twig poles.

This is a difficult and seldom used summer route which relies on lingering ice and snowdrifts to pass its most difficult section. If this has melted there is an alternative route which is longer but may involve clambering up wet, slippery slabs covered in silt and small debris.

Leave Torfinnsbu lodge and head west along the path Sl.1 for 2 km along the willow scrub and damp north shore of Bygdin lake. After 2 km you reach a fork a few hundred metres before the river. One fork goes up the east side of the river and the other side goes up the west side of the river.

The easiest but slightly longer route goes up the west side of the Langedalsåne river on the marked path Sl.1. If you take this fork you cross this river on a bridge and then head up Langedalen for 3 km until you reach Nedre Langedalstjernet. Here you must leave the marked path Sl.1 and cross the river Langedalsåne back to the east side again. You can cross on stepping stones at the lakes outflow. Once on the east side you immediately intersect the unmarked path Sl.3 where you continue north on it.

If you take the fork Sl.3 up the east side of the river you follow an unmarked but initially obvious path through the diminishing willow scrub. Soon the path crosses a number of easy sandy gullies with small rivulets in them where there is the odd cairn. After 2 km the faint path crosses two large streams. Both of these streams are quite braided and in normal flows it should be easy to hop across rounded stones. A km after the second stream you reach Nedre Langedalstjernet lake.

Continue up the east side of this lake across mossy turf to the north end where a stream tumbles down a valley often with lingering snowdrifts. Climb up this valley on the east side of the stream for ½ hour until you reach another lake, Øvre Langedalstjernet. This lake is often still frozen long into the summer with snowdrifts fringing the part of the lake lying on the ice especially on the west side. On the far side of the lake a steep slope heads up to a small saddle. The route Sl.3 goes over this saddle. You now have to decide if you go round the west or east side of the lake to reach the base of the slope leading up to the saddle.

You can go round the shorter west side if the ice and snow drifts still cover the north end of the lake. This is because steep wet slabs drop straight into the lake and block this route. If the ice is present then you can bypass this obstacle and reach the bottom of the saddle. Experience is needed to venture onto the ice here. If the ice has vanished or deemed to dangerous the you must go round the longer east shore of the lake across a jumble of boulders and scree. As you approach the north end the route gets squeezed between a buttress and the waters edge but a narrow passage of scree remains allowing a passage.

At the north western end of the lake there is a narrow steep, damp, slope of muddy slab, moraine and snowdrift. Clamber up this for ¼ hour until the terrain become more pleasant and eases as you reach the boulder strewn saddle.

Descend down the boulders and slabs of the north side of the pass in a slot for a ½ km until the valley opens out and the snout of Langedalsbreen glacier oozes over the valley below you. Head down across boulders to the eastern edge of this glacier and skirt round it edge for a km until you reach the point where the river flow out from beneath it.

Leave the glacier and pick a route down the east side of the river across boulders for km. Cross a ridge of terminal moraine and then cross the river to the west side. Continue down the west side of the river meeting first colonizing plants amongst the stones. Soon the stones give way to tundra as you gently descend.

Where the river starts to drop into a ravine the faint unmarked path contours round to the west and then drops down a steep broad spur. At the bottom of this spur you crash into willow scrub and soon beyond that the upper reaches of the birch forest. Bash through the scrub and forest for ¼ hour until you reach the Veslåe river. Either cross the river, which is difficult to jump, here or force a route down the south bank for a km until you meet the path Sl.2 and a bridge there.

Wherever you cross the river once on the north bank follow the marked path, Ra.3, which pleasantly descends through the lush birch forest for a short distance until you reach the two bridges of the Storåe river. Some 400 metres east of the second larger bridge is Gjendebu lodge.