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Latest news November 2019
Our 2020 dates and prices are up! Availability is great at this early point. Please ask us about a trip - thank you.
Cross wild landscapes and stay in superb Norwegian mountain huts as you trek north from the long valleys of the Rondane national park, across open fjells to the rugged Dovrefjell national park.
At the most northerly point, reach the windswept peak of Snohetta, the main snow-capped mountain top in the Dovre range. Descend on the final day through the broad Stroplsjodalen valley, home to Norway’s ancient wild musk ox population.
The walking is typical of the Norwegian mountain experience, rolling landscapes patchworked by many-hued mosses and lichens, and a vastly varied set of terrains underfoot.
The Norwegian mountain huts are orderly and thoughtfully run with a hearty three-course dinner and breakfast spread typifying the Norwegian diet at its most traditional.
The starting point is easily reached from Oslo and for the first night there’s the choice of a smart hotel in the village of Otta or a mountain hut on the bounds of the national park.
On the final night we reach the upmarket 17th century gastro hotel Kongsvold Fjeldstue (with its famed wine cellar) or a good train ride into Lillehammer for a night in town.
An interesting experience on this trip is a Norwegian self-catered hut, an impressive example of national self-reliance and trust found in the middle of the mountains. A well-stocked kitchen and cosy woodburning stove greet you as you arrive from the tough day on Snohetta.
Walkers should be prepared for any weather from sun to snow and as Norwegians are quick to remind you, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”.
We hope you hope you’ll enjoy the combination of superb, wild Norwegian walking with comfy, hospitable nights and leisurely breakfasts.
Rondane to Snohetta (Self-guided)
19 July to 29 August 2020
Prices in GBP
Groups of 2+
Our main RTS
Here is our normal schedule of 5 stages.
Arrival day: Arrival at Rondvassbu
6.5km walk-in on a wide track from the bus stop at Spranget
Evening arrival at Rondvassbu, the biggest hut in the Rondane and very welcoming. (As an option, stay in Otta on the train line and take the bus in the morning. The 6.5km walk to Rondvassbu is quick before the first stage proper.)
Stage 1: Rondvassbu to Doralseter
Red3 grade, 19km with 680m ascent, 800m descent
Stride out to cross a low col, descend steeply to the wild Bergedalen, then change direction to the North West for the long walk out to Doralseter. For those staying at the hut, not the hotel, an exciting alternative start is the boat up the Rondvatnet. This is operated by the Rondvassbu hut and it lets us skip the first col.
Stage 2: Doralseter to Grimsdalshytta
Black3 grade, 18km with 770m ascent, 870m descent
We continue with a day of two fairly gentle cols across mossy moorland. The short Doralsglupen boulderfield is to be taken with care followed by the wild Gravhotangen plateau and a descent to the Grimsdalshytta hut through birch forest.
Stage 3: Grimsdalshytta to Hjerkinnhus
Black3 grade, 19km with 525m ascent, 540m descent
Again in the cross-country style we make a hillside traverse along the lush Tverrai valley, then cross the broad fjell between the broad peaks of Grahoe and Pikhett. Descend through wetlands to the Hageseter hut then skirt the easterly flank of Valacjohoe mountain to the outdoors centre at Hjerkinnhus. The regular bus goes up to the Snoheim hut.
Stage 4: Snoheim to Reinheim (ascent of Snohetta)
Black4 grade, 15km with 690m ascent, 910m descent
Today is a demanding ascent of Norway’s third highest mountain over tricky terrain. Descend along the easterly Snohetta ridgeline to Reinheim hut in its sheltered valley location. We give a low route if the weather prevents an ascent.
Stage 5: Reinheim to Kongsvold
Red3 grade, 17km with 110m ascent, 550m descent
Walk out along a wonderful gentle descent through the Stroplsjodalen valley, home to Norway's only musk ox population. Enjoy easy walking and great views.
Hotel at Kungsvold
Departure day: Departure from Kongsvold
Departure from Kongsvold after breakfast. We are on the Oslo-Trondheim train line and well-placed for Norwegian exploration. Please ask us to advise.
Our usual schedule of accommodation might not be available, especially if there is not much time between booking and your trip. We book accommodation as closely as possible to this itinerary and present a schedule for you to check before we proceed.
AccommodationOur standard schedule of accommodation consists of 1 night in a 3-star hotel, and 5 nights in mountain huts. The huts are comfortable and welcoming. Hut accommodation is in dormitories in bunks or if you are travelling as a pair we can arrange private rooms where available.
Your info pack contains full details of your accommodation including contact details and directions.
OptionsThere are a couple of options which might suit your preferences or travel to and from the trip. We can advise!
Your first night can be spent either in a hotel in the small town of Otta or at the grand Rondvassbu hut on the trail. We can discuss your travel plans and decide with you which might suit you best.
You have the option to experience the self-catered Reinheim mountain hut. We really recommend this as a superb Norwegian experience. This hut is distinct from the normal catered huts on this trip. Self-catered huts are stocked with supplies for dinner, breakfast and a rudimentary packed lunch. Guests arrive and find a bunk. Duvets, pillows and blankets are provided; please bring a sheet liner as you would for a catered hut. Make the fire in the stove or use the gas hobs to boil water. Choose your food from the storeroom and cook by yourself or with any other guests. There is a live-in warden on hand to answer any questions about the workings of the hut. In the morning there is a form on which to declare what you have used; Alpine Exploratory is later billed for your stay. This is part of the simple, imaginitive and fair style in which Norway’s mountain life operates. Your info pack contains full details of how both styles of hut work.
The final night is spent in the 17th century Kongsvold Fjeldstue gastro hotel, famed for its wine cellar and opulent menu of local food. For those who'd prefer a simpler stay, it's easy to take a train from Kongsvold's station to Lillehammer for a celebratory night in town. The next morning, Oslo airport is then in easier reach.
Norwegian HutsThe hut system is possibly our favourite out of any nation and really typifies the Norwegian experience. A stay in one is a glimpse of the small things which form the culture. For example, in hot or cold weather it is expected that you will be trekking with a thermos flask, as is the Norwegian way, so in the evening all guests line up their flasks, labeled with name and hot beverage of choice and miraculously come breakfast they are full and ready to provide sustenance for a day on the hills. Food in the huts is chiefly Norwegian, with all that can be grown in Norway if not the local region. Hearty mountain food is found for dinner as you might expect!
A touch we appreciate is that lunch is made at the breakfast table from the excellent breakfast spread. Expect Norwegian cheeses, cured reindeer sausages, robust home-made seeded bread, a whole section of the buffet dedicated to pickled fish and vegetables as well as more conventional choices. Meals are communal and an excellent opportunity to dine and chat with local trekkers (when invariably they switch to their superb English). You'll have to tear yourself away to bed early or risk a spirited night of beer and cards.
OttaOtta is the everyday Norwegian town, of modest size but with plenty of shopping, handily positioned on the train line and the gateway town to the Rondane. Our notes give great detail on all travel options but here are the basics. From Otta to the trail head is by bus or taxi, depending on the month and day of the week. We will of course advise and make any taxi arrangements for you.
From OsloThe train runs North on the Dovre branch, to Otta in about 4 hours from Oslo or 3.5 hours from Oslo airport (Lufthavn).
It might suit your timings better to take the bus from Oslo or Oslo Lufthavn to Otta. The bus departs Oslo bus station in the morning and arrives into Otta in the mid afternoon. Some buses call at the airport on the way North.
From BergenThis is not an easy connection; the way would be to take the bus to Fagernes and then change to the bus to Otta. Or...the train. A comfy but longer option. It is easiest to take the train from Bergen to Oslo, then change to the train northbound to Otta, perhaps with a night in Oslo depending on timings.
ReturningThe trip finishes in Kongsvoll, next to the Kongsvold Fjeldstue hotel. A train station serves the hotel and the train will stop for pre-booked journeys. From Kongsvoll station, Lillehammer is easily reached and from Lillehammer we are on the fast line to Oslo.
There are many options after your trip, for example the train North to Trondheim. Please ask us for options!
Our approach to the Rondane-Snohetta
We take five days to link Rondvassbu in the Rondane national park with the summit of Snohetta and a descent to Kungsvold. The cross-country element takes three days, the ascent takes one and the walk out takes the final day.
The walking can be tough but in general the terrain is less tricky underfoot than the long boulder and rockfield sections that can be found in the neighbouring Jotunheimen national park. Any sections of boulders here are short and manageable. Most walking is on packed earth paths or moorland. Small stream and river crossings are plentiful and well served by bridges or easy rock-hopping.
We can adjust your trip in various ways, as follows:
Flexible tour lengths
The tour works well with shorter or longer itineraries; just let us know how long you have and we can suggest.
As normal we'll book your final night in a local hotel in Otta. If you prefer to stay in a hut on the last night that's also no problem.
If you'd like to stay in fewer dorms, please let us know. We can usually book private rooms in most of your huts. Unfortunately because of the way the huts operate, it's not possible to book private rooms in the huts for solo travellers.
Your trip comes with a year's membership of the DNT, Den Norske Turistforening, the Norwegian trekking and travel association.
The DNT has been running since the late 1800s and is responsible for Norway's national parks, the network of 500 mountain huts, plus tourist information offices in Norwegian towns. You'll quickly get used to seeing their red T waymarks.
Membership gives lower prices in some huts, which we have factored into the cost of our Norway trips, and also gives you direct benefits like discounts in DNT shops and some others.
We are delighted that our trekkers become bona fide DNT members like so many Norwegian trekkers, thus supporting the maintenance of the national parks.
In the run-up to your trip we will ask the date of birth of everyone in your group, as it's required for the DNT membership, and also a phone number to which your membership number can be texted. You can then use the DNT app on your Android or iPhone to show your membership to hut wardens and others.
Key information Summer 2020
Trip name: Rondane to Snøhetta
Prices Summer 2020
5 stages, 6 nights, per person:
Research Summer 2020
The ferry from Rondvassbu (Photo gallery)
Alpine Exploratory's service
The trip within Norway
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