• Ruten
  • 1516 m
  • Primary factor 788 m
  • Espedalen, Oppland, Norway
  • Location: North 61:28.126, East 009:33.309
  • Climbed Novmber 5, 2005.
  • Difficulty: YDS class 1


How to get there: Lillehammer may be the best starting point of reference. Drive 6 kilometer north along E-6 to Fåberg. Make a left across the river as you drive Hwy. 255 towards Gausdal. After 16 kilometer you reach Segelstad Bru. Make a left here (still on Hwy. 255) and cross the river. The signs will say Espedalen and Skåbu.
From Segelstad Bru the distance to the trailhead is about 60 kilometer. Drive up the valley, then along the lake Espedalsvatnet. Shortly before you arrive, look for the mountain resort/hotel Dalseter on the left. This hotel also has a skilift on the left hand side of the road. Immediately after this hotel, look for a road called the Peer Gynt road, turning sharply right. Drive this road 700 meter to a self-serve toll station. Most likely you should park here in order to avoid the NOK 60.- (2005) in toll, since the trailhead is only 650 meter ahead. Continue by foot or car, along the road. As the road makes a distinct left turn and heads very gently uphill, locate a post with several signs on the right hand side of the road. There is space for parking on the side of the road just opposite of the trailhead. This trailhead has elevation 960 meter.
Route description: From the trailhead, follow the pretty big trail in the direction of the higher mountain ahead. Almost immediately, there is a trail fork where the correct trail stays left, there is a sign here. Ignore an old 4WD track/trail that crosses your path. Further ahead the trail crosses a small creek then more or less follows this creek a short way uphill. Another sign is seen near the treeline. From here, the trail runs uphill, well marked with cairns and wooden poles. As you gain the horizon, the Ruten summit comes into view a short distance ahead. A final sign is placed at the base of the very last summit slope.
Comments: I was headed down to Lillehammer to do some shopping. Fog and rain and not much to do, but I needed to get some more gasoline for the generator at my cabin. As I got to Saksumdalen, I spotted some blue patches of sky further up north and decided to make a hike. I drove up to Espedalen, I had for some time been looking for a chance to climb Ruten. The weather continued to improve and when I parked at the trailhead there was blue sky all over me, however clouds around the horizon.
I started hiking at 1100, reached the top at 1205, stayed 15 minutes, then descended in one hour reaching the car at 1320.
An interesting place called "Hell". About 17 kilometer before the trailhead, just south of the long lake Espedalsvatnet, is an interesting gorge called "Helvete" or Hell. A stop to look at this is highly recommended. There is parking on the left (west) side, this is about 43 kilometer from Segelstad Bru. In the tourist season, a small entrance fee is collected, this is likely illegal (read about the Norwegian "Every man's right" law) since it can be viewed as blocking access to a wilderness area. Pay, or just walk around the fence, then descend to the gorge that was created by the big river Vinstra, about 9000 years ago. This river and the lake drained this way and carved the gorge. Later, the river cut a passage about 22 kilometer further north and started its current path towards the Gudbrandsdalen valley.
What is left is the biggest gorge of this kind in Northern Europe. Big, circular holes are carved in the rock. The gorge is very deep and narrow, in a few places the distance across from rock to rock is as little as a meter.