Rondane Area Mountains Guide

Rondane Area

Introduction

At first glance one would think that the name "Rondane" comes from the round shape of the mountains of Rondane. The contrasts of the huge round mountains from the flat terrain around has inspired both the local folklore and quite a number of visitors. In these mountains were the original hunting grounds of Ibsen's Peer Gynt. But he was not the first hunter in Rondane. Today it's still possible to explore the hunting graves of reindeer hunters several thousands of years ago. Such experiences together with magnificent tours through the wilderness to exposed peaks like Rondslottet will really make you enjoy Rondane!

Terrain

Most of Rondane is a high mountain-plateu at about 1000 - 1500 metres above sea level. From this plateu a number of great mountains rise in the central mountain area, up to about 2000 metres. The mountains are fairly round, and do not have very sharp peaks as you would find in Jotunheimen for instance.
Rondane in winter coating
The mountains of central Rondane can be divided in three distinct areas. These are divided by the lake Rondvatnet going north-south and the valley Langglupdalen going east-west. The area north of Langglupdalen consists of three round peaks, Høgronden, Midtronden and Digerronden. These three mountains stand there as giant guards watching the path from Bjørnhollia to Dørålseter. The central area, south of Langglupdalen and east of Rondvatnet has the highest and roundest of Rondanes mountains. Rondslottet (2178) is the highest, and is accessible on day trip from lodge Rondvassbu summer and winter. Many of the peaks in Smiubelgjin, the area west of Rondvatnet are also accessible from Rondvassbu. These peaks are sharper, although none of them require climbing you should be sure to find the right way up.

But Rondane is also a wilderness. In the valleys and on the plains you will find plenty of time and space to be alone, just you and the nature. Bright rivers, flowers, wildlife...

Wildlife

The wildlife in Rondane does not differ much from the wildlife in other mountain areas in Norway. The only "big" animal you will find in the highest mountains is the reindeer. But the forests around Rondane are full of moose. Other animals present are rabbit, red fox, arctic fox, lynx, wolverine and various smaller animals (mouses, weasels, lemmings) as well as different kinds of birds (including everything from small sparrows via seagulls and ravens to eagles).
Mountain flower

Legal status

Rondane was declared a national park in 1962, and thus became the first national park in Norway. The idea of national parks was born in the United States in the late 1800's, but did not have any relevance in Norway before the 1960's. At this time the economical growth in Norway made environmental problems apparent, and a wish to save some areas for the future arouse.

Due to the national park there are few environmental problems in Rondane today. Those that exist are related to conflicts between reindeer and tourism. In the late 1980's one of DNT's paths were moved to give better room for the reindeer-herds.

Rondane - Routes

Getting there

If you use public transport your best option is to take the Dovrebanen railway to Hjerkinn. From here you can start your hiking, or you can go by bus down Folldal where you can start from Dalholen or Grimsbu. If you stay at a hotel at Høvringen your first night, they usually can pick you up at Otta train station. This might be a good option.

Drivers can park at all the possible starting points, but most will park at Høvringen or Mysuseter, which are closest to the central mountains of Rondane. There is a parking fee at Mysuseter.
Rondane Mountain Routes

Routes

Hiking

The fact that the central mountain area in Rondane is concentrated on a fairly small area makes the route decicions in Rondane fairly easy. You really should see this central mountain-area, so your route really should cross the triangle between Bjørnhollia, Mysuseter and Dørålseter. One of the most popular routes in the area is the route from Dørålseter to Rondvassbu. For those going the other way around, it's possible to "cheat" by hitching with the boat that usually crosses the lake Rondvatnet each morning. This boat is also a nice start for daytrippers to Rondslottet. By taking the boat, you can approach the mountain from the north, and avoid using the same path up and down. The other routes through the central area, from Dørålseter to Bjørnhollia and from Rondvassbu to Bjørnhollia can also be recommended.

But the central area of high peaks in Rondane is not all of it. The more open terrain in the north is also worth a visit, not least to get a chance to feel the contrast between the peaks and the more open and flat terrain.

As in Jotunheimen, the routes through the central mountains go in valleys. A daytrip to one of the majestetic peaks is recommended. You will get a total different view of the area!

Skiing

Rondane is a very nice area to ski. Most of the mountains are faily round, and thus also possible to reach on skis. Another factor is that Rondane usually has better weather than any of the other mountain areas in Norway, due to being east of Jotunheimen and Reinheimen. Some years there might me problems with little snow. It can be wise to check this out.

Suggestion

Intermediate

Start at Hjerkinn. Follow this route: Hjerkinn-Grimsdalshytta-Dørålseter-Rondvassbu. At Rondvassbu you can stay a day and go to one of the wonderful peaks nearby. Rondvassbu-Bjørnhollia-Rondetunet. Here it should be possible to get a bus or hitch to Ringebu from where you can take the train to Hjerkinn or elsewhere. This route is possible to hike or ski.

Tourist Information Centers Around Rondane Area Mountains: Visit Dovrefjell Area Mountains Guide

Skiing in Rondane



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