Rauddalen Area

Scandinavian Mountains over 2000 metres - James Baxter

AreasRauddalen AreaWalking Routes › Ra.2

Ra.2 Leirvassbu lodge to Gjendebu lodge
6-7 hours / 20km
140m / 560m
Marked path in the summer and in the winter a ski route marked with twigs.

Leave Leirvassbu lodge and head south down over the bridge and down the track on the west shore on Leirvatnet. After a km leave the track when it veers west and start to head up the marked and obvious path on the west flank of a ridge which descends from the Høgvagltind massif so the south.

After another km the path climbs over the apex of this ridge and soon reaches a saddle at 1518m . The path now descends the south side of the saddle across large boulders towards the north shore of the Øvre Høgvagltjørnin lake. Continue past this lake on easier tundra for 2 km passing the smaller Nedre Høgvagltjørnin lake to reach a well marked T- junction with the path Ra.8 which heads south over the river to Olavsbu cabin. Do not take this fork but continue east for 5 km along the surprisingly long north shore of Langvatnet lake across easy tundra terrain.

Over half way down the lake is the Urdadøla stream to cross on stepping stones, preferably where it enters the lake. Just before the end of the lake the path cuts north of a knoll and reaches another fork. At this fork a path Me.2 heads north up into the stony Urdadalen and on to Spiterstulen lodge. Don't take this fork but continue down the main valley for a km to the picturesque Hellertjørnet lake.

As you walk down to and around the east side of the lake the view down the broad lush U shaped Storådalen valley unfolds behind the steep nose of Hellerkampen. At the outlet of the lake the path traverses down a small step with the magnificent 25 metre Hellerfossen waterfall cascading down beside you. At the bottom of the waterfall and cascade the path meets the larger Semelåi stream which is crossed on a bridge placed every summer. If it is not in place stream must be jumped or waded.

After the Semelåi stream you reach the flat level fertile Storådalen valley floor. It is a utter joy to descend the north side of this valley for the 7 km to Gjendebu lodge. The first 2 km is across grass and tundra until you get to the small, locked and private Storådalsbue cabin. Just after this cabin there is a junction with the marked path Me.5 to Memurubu lodge which goes up the slope to the east.

Continue down the open valley and soon enter the upper reaches of the birch forest. As you saunter through this idyllic flower-filled forest there are stunning views to the glacier clad slopes of the Gjende Alps south of Gjende lake. It is a pleasant and easy 1½ hours from Storådalsbue hut to Gjendebu lodge.

In winter and spring the ski route, which is marked with twigs, pretty much follows the same route. It just deviates ½ km around to the north and then east of Hellerfossen to avoid the steeper section in the vicinity of the waterfall.