Dovrefjell

4-day backpacking trip from Kongsvoll to Gjøra

This time we have chosen to go to Norway in September especially because of the beginning of the autumn. Another big plus is that there are practically no mosquitoes around this time of the year. Dovrefjell attracted us because we can see musk oxen in the wild. Normally you can also see reindeer but these were startled by the hunters. It’s hunting season in September.

Thursday afternoon we fly from Brussels to Oslo. We arrive there around 5 pm. Immediate, we take the train to the city centre of Oslo. Here, we want to buy some freeze-dried meals and camping gas. At the XXL we buy some Real Turmat meals but the camping gas is sold out here. First there was an Intersport close to the XXL, but now it’s moved a little bit further so we rush to the Intersport for some gas.

We walk back to the central station to print our train tickets. This evening at 11 pm we leave Oslo to Kongsvoll. We arrive there at 4:30 am.

Day 1: Kongsvoll – near the hut Reinheim

Walking hours: 4h30
Photo moments: 3h
Distance: 16km
Altitude: 750m ascent, 300m descent

It’s still dark when we arrive in Kongsvoll. The first hour of the day we walk in the dark with our headlights. They are very useful now. Around half past 5 it starts to twilight. Now we can fully enjoy the landscape. Today we walk via the path from Kongsvoll to the hut Reinheim. It’s a very evenly climb until the hut. It’s also the day that we have the most chance to see the musk oxen.

Around 7 am we are at the crossing with the path that goes to Kongsvold. We continue the path to Reinheim at this crossing. After about a half an hour we see the first musk oxen. They are on the path, so we make a large detour around them. It’s recommended to stay at least 200m from them. From now on, we walk along the River Kaldvella until we are at the hut Reinheim. Across the river we see more herds of musk oxen. After a while we pass the lakes Stroplsjøen and Stroplsjøtjønna.

Around half past 5 we start to look for a place to put up our Trailstar. It was a tiring day, especially because of the lack of sleep in the train. We find a place with a view of the Snøhetta. We hike this peak tomorrow.  Our pitch is about 1km away of the hut Reinheim.

Day 2: Near the hut Reinheim – near the hut Åmotsvatnet

Walking hours: 6h
Photo moments: 4h
Distance: 15km
Altitude: 950m ascent, 1000m descent

When we wake up around 7 am, we see some musk oxen graze close to our pitch. We leave them alone and they don’t seem to care about us. Around half past 8 we start our climb to the top of the Snøhetta. The weather conditions are perfect, the sky is beautifully colored red.

We notice now that we could have walked a little bit further yesterday. After the hut Reinheim you can find also a lot of places to put up a tent. The first kilometers, the climb is very evenly on a very well marked path. Then you need to find your way over very large rocks. Sometimes you see an red T that marks the way, or a large pole that stands there in case of snow.

After we climbed 650 altimeters we are at a crossing with the path that goes to Snøheim. It’s still a climb of 300 altimeters to the top of the Snøhetta. At the top there’s a building and a beacon. A soldier that is working there explains to us that it’s used for communication. A helicopter had dropped him there. There is helipad on the top of the mountain. The building does not disturb when you look around. You can only see it just before you reach the top, and when you descend it disappears very fast. It’s very cold at the top and there’s a lot of icy wind. This you can notice on the movie that Charlotte had has made.

We start to get it cold so we decide to go further down. Now we descend to the hut Åmotsdalshytta. In this area we hope to find a spot to set up the tarp.It’s a difficult descent over large boulders. Footedness can be very useful here! We are very glad that it stayed dry throughout the day, otherwise it could be a very slippery affair. And the descent is already heavy without any rain. We find a place to set up the tarp about 1 kilometer from the hut Åmotsdalshytta. Here Charlotte takes the time to make a time-lapse. My right knee feels overloaded by the descent. Let’s hope it’s better tomorrow.

Day 3: Near the hut Åmotsvatnet – the lake Litlvatnet

Walking hours: 4h
Photo moments: 2h30
Distance: 12.5km
Altitude: 300m ascent, 250m descent

When we wake up at half past nine, there pass already some hunters on their way up to the Snøhetta. The mountain is currently still surrounded by fog. We eat our breakfast and let the sleeping bags vent. Around a quarter before 10, we start our hike. It seems like my knee is better for the moment. After about fifteen minutes we pass the hut Åmotsdalshytta.

From now the path rises slowly to the lake Langvatnet. On the way we see another tent. We take a short break at the lake at the northwest of the mountain Gråhøin. This is the highest point of today. There’s a very icy wind here so it’s a short break.

When we hike further, we see the lake Krokåttjønna. After about a descent of 100m we cross the river Urdvassbekken over very large boulders. In the summer the river is very wide. Then it’s possible that you need wade through it. Here you can see the river in the early summer. From now on, we walk about 2.5 km along the lake Krokåttjønna. We pass 2 sheperds with their fifty sheeps. We go to the side of the track and let them pass. The 2 dogs that are guiding the sheep’s are very busy to keep them together.

At the end of the lake, we climb a little bit. This is the last time that we have a nice view over the lake Krokåttjønna. Not long after that we can see the two lakes Litlvatnet and Storvatnet. Now we have a nice view over it. It seems impossible to put up the tarp along the lake Litlvatnet so we start to look for a place.

Soon we find a couple of place to sleep. Now we need to choose. The first place we had in mind is already taken by another hiker. About 20m from the track we find a lovely place with a view over the lake Litlvatnet. At this time my knee hurts quite a lot. So i hope that with enough rest today, it will be better tomorrow. There’s a long descent on the planning for tomorrow.  During cooking Charlotte sees a lemming. And I’m lucky because it stays quiet in a rock cavity.

Day 4: The lake Litlvatnet – Gjøra

Walking hours: 6h
Photo moments: 2h30
Distance: 21.5km
Altitude: 300m ascent, 1450m descent

When we get up, my knee still hurts a lot. It’s gone be a difficult day. We look at our options of taking another route to Gjøra. We decide to walk the route like we had planned until the river Linndøla. From there we are gone walk directly to Gjøra over a road with first gravel and then asphalt. Normally we walked via the hut Gammelsetra uphill along the mountain Svarthaugen and then back down to Gjøra. If we go directly to Gjøra we can sleep in a cabin for 2 nights instead of 1. Then my knee can rest so it’s hopefully better by the time we start our hike in Trollheimen.

Down at the lake we pass the hut Loennechenbua. The first part of the day we walk along the two lakes Litlvatnet and Storvatnet. There’s not really path here. It goes over very big boulders very close to the lake with occasionally a red mark to guide us in the right direction. We are happy that we didn’t walk any further yesterday because there’s no place to put a tent up here.

The descent to Gjøra starts when we are at the end of the lake Storvatnet. Now it’s about 1100 altimeters down. We can see that it’s weekend because of the many hunters we encounter. Now we walk in the valley Skirådalen. The descent goes very well but my knee is still quite stiff. We walk for a while and then, unfortunately, a rock slides away under my left foot. Because of this I land on my right knee, the one that already hurts. Not really ideal but nothing can be done about it. Anyway we need to get further. We want to get in Gjøra today. When we arrive at the river Linndøla we have already descended 600m. But it can’t be fast enough for me. From the moment I stop walking my knee hurts more. Especially when I start walking again it hurts even more. From now we follow a road with first gravel and then asphalt until we are in Gjøra.

At about a quarter past four we arrive in Gjøra. The owner of the campsite is not there but we can already choose a cabin and pay when he arrives. Now we have some time to go to the supermarket. We stay on this campsite for two nights.

Here you can find the gps track.

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