Scandinavian Mountains over 2000 metres - James Baxter
Areas › Rauddalen Area › 4.9 Vestre Rauddalstind (2059m)
Vestre Rauddalstind, 2059m, is towards the west end of a 8 km long ridge which contains 3 mountains. Much of the south flank of this ridge is defended by steep slabs and turf and is virtually impenetrable. The north side of the ridge has some 6 glaciers along its length. It is up these glaciers or the ridges between them that the best routes up to the mountains are found. It is possible to traverse the whole ridge in one long day either starting or finishing at Vestre Rauddalstind.
|The Route from Leirvassbu Lodge|
From Leirvassbu lodge and head south down the locked gravel track, Ra.1, for a km before turning west and for another 6 km past a series of lakes, over a watershed and then into Gravdalen. The track keeps to the north of the valley floor as it heads down in the deep gap between Høgvaglhøi and Surtningstind.
After passing the entrance to Simledalen valley to the south, Vestre Rauddalstind starts to dominate the skyline to the south of the river. After 6km the track crosses a bridge over to the south side of the quite large Storutla river. Cross the river over this bridge just above a damned lake and start traversing up the turf slopes.
The first point to aim for is the knoll 1630m on the west ridge. This is an easy, but sustained, ascent up a long turf and stone slope for a good hour. As you approach the ridge you can bear east up the ridge towards an outcrop of red iron-rich rock which sits on the main ridge above the knoll 1630m.
The turf and stony terrain continues up to this rusty outcrop and beyond up the easy, broad ridge all the way to the foot of the final slopes of Vestraste Rauddalstind. The last section to this top is reasonably steep and you have to clamber over large blocks, but does not involve any scrambling. It is best to veer towards the south of the ridge up here where the terrain is not so steep.
From the top of Vestraste Rauddalstind the view up the last section past the shallow saddle and up the steep west ridge suddenly unfolds.
The terrain is now large boulders and blocks and this continues down the short shallow incline to the saddle which only takes ¼ hour to walk to. After the saddle the boulders and blocks continue but the slope is much steeper. In places it is necessary to use hands to clamber over some of the steeper sections.
Occasionally it may be easier to weave through avoiding the steeper, or less stable, block sections by veering onto the south flank. In general, however, this section is not difficult.
The return is by the same route. Alternatively continue the grand traverse of the whole ridge over Store Rauddalstind and Austre Rauddalstind and return to Leirvassbu lodge, via Simledalen valley, or finish at Olavsbu cabin, also via Simledalen, allowing 12-14 hours for either of the complete traverses.
The descent to Olavsbu cabin down the south side of Austre Rauddalstind is very steep and is not recommended with a rucksack. See the Austre Rauddalstind page for more details.