Scandinavian Mountains over 2000 metres - James Baxter
Areas › Rauddalen Area › 4.1 Store Rauddalseggi (2168m)
Store Rauddalsggi, 2168 metres, towers threateningly over the Rauddalen valley and Olavsbu cabin, where its west ridge looks particularly fearful. It is the highest mountain in the area and almost has a charisma that challenges you to climb it, especially when viewed from Olavsbu.
|The Route from Olavsbu Cabin|
At this point leave the marked path and head east up towards Skarddalsbandet for just over 1km on the unmarked and faint path Ra.7 until you are at the saddle between 1812m and the dark west ridge of Store Rauddalseggi.
From the saddle descend to the east crossing a gentle snowfield/glacier for ¼ km before crossing a small moraine ridge to reach another glacier. Cross this second glacier descending slightly for another ¼ km to reach large moraine boulders on the east side of it.
This crossing point of this second glacier is relatively steep and may contain some small crevasses. However, below this crossing point the glacier descends more steeply down to upper Skarddalsvatnet lake and is more heavily crevassed and has to be avoided. Once across this second glacier head diagonally down past some huge stones for a further 1½ km until you reach the shore of the lower Skarddalsvatnet Lake. Continue until you get to the glacial stream that flows from the north flank of the massif into the lake.
After crossing the second glacier to the east of the saddle their is a temptation to maintain height through the massive boulders and then head up a ridge. However, this route will lead up to steep wet slabs and a glacier/snowfield which has to be traversed to gain the main arête. This route is often problematic and is best avoided.
You will now be able to see the whole of the north ridge of Midtre Rauddalseggi, 2016m. This is the ridge to ascend. For the first 200m of ascent the going is easy, however for the next 300m of ascent the route is quite steep over bare rock covered in loose stone. Care must be taken to so as not to dislodge any loose stones and while crossing any of the bare rock slabs which may be slippery with water trickling down them. At last the gradient eases a touch and you suddenly reached the summit of Midtre Rauddalseggi. More details on this ascent are on the Midtre Rauddalseggi page.
From this mountain the route to the summit of Store Rauddalseggi now follows the main arête of the massif. Initially the descent goes down the west ridge and is steep and offers some interesting scrambling. Towards the bottom a huge rock with a gap through to the north side seems to block the way. Keep on the south side for a few more metres and you will see another smaller gap through to the north side at this point climb over the boulder and continue to the saddle.
From the saddle between Midtre and Store Rauddalseggi the route westwards along the arête is surprisingly wide and easy and offers fantastic views. After a km from the saddle you reach the first of 2 tops. Both appear to be the same height and are only 150m apart. Separating them is an narrow with a airy section some 10m beyond the first top.
It is generally agreed that the first or eastern top is the summit of Store Rauddalseggi. However it might not be and there is a good view down the lofty west ridge to Olavsbu cabin from the far and western top, making the crossing of this airy passage worthwhile.
The return journey is by the same route to the saddle between the two mountains. From here scramble up the west ridge of Midtre Rauddalseggi and descend the north ridge as the ascent route. Alternatively, if conditions allow make the difficult and tricky descent along the top and east edge of the glacier from the saddle. Much of this descent is across recently exposed, steep and slippery slabs covered in silt and stones and the top edge of the glacier itself. This descent route along the edge of the glacier is not for inexperienced parties and a rope could prove useful.