Scandinavian Mountains over 2000 metres - James Baxter
Areas › Visbretind Massif › Access
The mountains of the Visbretind Massif lie in the middle of Jotunheimen and access is both from the Leirvassbu lodge and Spiterstulen to the north or less conveniently Gjendebu lodge from the south.
Leirvassbu lodge has a small private 14 km toll road up to it from the lower reaches of the Sognefjellsveien road, RV 55. This road is only open in the summer as snow drifts block it in the winter months. It is usually open from late May until the snow starts to build up in late October. During these months it is possible to drive up to the lodge. There is no bus service along this private road, but for a charge Leirvassbu lodge will pick you up and drop you off if pre-arranged. During the spring season the road is cleared up for 8 km where there is also a small cleared and during the Easter holidays congested parking area. From here it is a 6 km ski up to the lodge.
The turn off from the main road onto the small private road is at a bus stop called Leirvassbukrysset. There is a bus here during the Easter period from Lom twice a day and even from Otta. In the summer there are 2 buses a day from Lom to Sogndal and vice versa which pass this junction. The service is operated by Fjord1 Sogn Billag. For details Tel: +47 5767 6600. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. More details are on their website which has an English link. It is at www.fjord1.no/sognbillag.
Spiterstulen lodge is accessible from the beginning of March to mid October by a private 18km gravel road which heads up the Visdalen valley from the Riksveg 55 in the deep Bøverdalen valley. This road climbs up through the forest for about 16 km and the last 2 km are above the treeline. The road is operated and maintained by Spiterstulen lodge who also maintain it and clear it of snow. The last 2 km above the treeline needs allot of ploughing in the spring to clear drifts as it is exposed to winds. There is a fee for using the road which is payable at Spiterstulen lodge. The road is not suitable for vehicles over 6 metres in length
During the summer there is a twice daily bus from Otta train station to Lom. These buses connect with the Oslo-Trondheim train. At Lom you change buses and there are connecting twice daily buses to Spiterstulen lodge. The buses also connect on the return leg to connect with the trains at Otta. These buses only operate in the later third of June, all July and the first two thirds of August. The service is operated by Fjord1 Nordfjord-Ottadalen. For details Tel: +47 6123 4455. Email: email@example.com. More details are on their website which has an English link. It is at www.fjord1.no/nordfjord-ottadalen.
The easiest route to Gjendebu in the summer is to take the twice daily boat from Gjendesheim lodge on the road at the east end of the lake. This boat runs from mid June until mid September. The boat is operated by Gjendebåtene and they have a comprehensive website with an English link giving times, prices etc. The website address is www.gjende.no. When the boat is not running then the only alternative is to walk.
The walk to Gjendesheim lodge is a long days walk and lakes about 9 hours via Memurubu lodge. It is however only 5 hours to walk to Fondsbu lodge. During the winter and spring season the lake freezes over making it easy to ski down the lake in about 2-4 hours depending on conditions.
To reach Gjendesheim lodge you can drive from Oslo or Bergen via Fagernes in the summer. During the winter (usually from late October to mid April) however, this road is closed at Valdresflya, just south of Gjendesheim. There is all year access to Gjendesheim from the north via the town of Otta passing through the village of Randsverk. Buses go twice a day from Otta to Gjendesheim via Vågå during the Easter and Summer. The service is operated by Fjord1 Nordfjord-Ottadalen. For details Tel: +47 6123 4455. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. More details are on their website which has an English link. It is at www.fjord1.no/nordfjord-ottadalen.