Rendalssølen seen from Veslsølnkletten
Like Storsølnkletten and Tronden, Rendalssølen rises mighty from the plains in the areas around Østerdalen. The views are just as grand as the mountain's appearance. Plains, forest and lakes as far as the eye can see. And then the 2000m Rondane peaks in the east.
Of those who come to visit this area, many will go for only the highest peak. And some perhaps two. But a traverse over all three summits will give you the ultimate memory of this area. The undisputed highpoint is the scramble up the north ridge of M. Sølen. A "T" trail will take you to the summit of M. Sølen (from several trailheads), while no trails leads to the northern and southern summit.
Seen from most angles, this massif may not look too different from other massifs you may have seen. But when M. Sølen is viewed from S. Sølen, you will probably not remember seeing anything similar in Norway. Seen from the north, M. Sølen has an alpine profile, perhaps not too different from some peaks in Jotunheimen.
Midtre Sølen is the highest mountain in Rendalen Kommune, and N. and S. Sølen is 2nd and 3rd highest.
Source: Petter Bjørstads list of mountains in Norway with PF > 1000m.
Primary factor: 1091m.
Saddle: The lowest saddle is located between the big lake Femunden 662m, and the lake Feragen 654m, but closer to the north end of Femunden. The saddle is marked as being 664 m. Feragen drains north to the city of Røros, then south in the river Glomma. Femunden drains south into Sweden, however there are numerous paths between these two rivers further south that will stay lower than say, 500 m.
On the list of Norwegian mountains with a primary factor of more than 1000m, Rendalssølen ranks as #42.
N. Sølen has a primary factor of 254m towards M. Sølen. The last adjacent 20m contours are 1460m, normally giving an interpolated saddle height of 1450m. However, based on our GPS readings, the saddle is probably lower, and we have approximated the saddle height to 1445m.
S. Sølen has a primary factor of 438m towards M. Sølen. The saddle is found in Sølenskardet pass, and is defined as 1250m on the map.
Note: Class ratings are in reference to YDS (Yosemite Decimal System).
Rendalssølen can be reached via several routes. As the hike would be long no matter what trailhead we chose, we focused on what we felt was the shortest traverse possible. This route is described below.
Nysætra - All summits round-trip (summer)
From the Trondsvangen junction in Alvdal, follow highway 3 south for approx. 19,3Km. Turn left towards "Jutulhogget" (which is a tourist attraction - the largest gorge in Northen Europe, 2,4Km long, 150-500m wide and up to 240m high) and follow this road for approx. 6,2Km into Tylldalen. Turn right towards "Rendalen" and follow this road for approx. 19,6Km. Just after Øvre Rendal, turn left towards "Fiskevollen". Cross the river Tysla over a bridge, and after approx. 1,1Km, go right towards "Fiskevollen". After 200m, pay toll at a self-serviced toll station (in June 2003, the fare was NOK 60,- for passenger cars to Fiskevollen) Continue on the road for approx. 22,8Km until you arrive Nysætra (signed). Park here, or follow a narrow, rough road next to the creek for approx. 700m to a locked gate (the road continues all the way to Sølenhytta, 4Km down the road). It is not necessarily clear if this bumpy drive is worth the meters you save on foot.
Perhaps those who know the area would follow this road as far as "Mefurua", on the other side of the mountains, by lake Sølensjøen. Then enter the trails from there. But as we were looking for the shortest traverse route, Sølenhytta seemed to be the best option as the start- and end point for the traverse. And it would only be 4Km on road (not trail) back to the car after the traverse was completed.
From Nysætra, or from the gate, follow the road into Mistdalen, all the way to Sølenhytta. Go left past the buildings, and cross the river Mistra over a bridge. Once across the bridge, you are off-trail. Aim for the ridge N of n. Sølenholet. You have also the possibility of going more to the north (left) and gain the north ridge to N. Sølen, but this is longer than this ridge. The ridge is wide at the bottom, and gets more narrow the higher you go. It never gets too narrow for comfort, if you don't go all the way out to the steep drops on your left. You arrive N. Sølen just south of the main summit, only a few minutes away. Despite the fact that you still have a long way to go, this was the longest ascent for the day!
From N. Sølen, follow the ridge down to the saddle between the two peaks. You have a steep ridge in front of you, and a 254m long climb (in vertical ascent meters). You are blessed with three route options: a) Stick to the far right-hand side and climb a class 4 route with hilarious exposure. b) Stick to the center ridge and climb a class 3 route with safety in the terrain. This is by far the recommended option, and high class fun! c) Go low to the left on a class 2+ route and avoid all the traversing cliffs on the high ridge.
Once on the summit, congratulate yourself with a splendid mountain. From this point, you will have to descend nearly 1100m in order to climb a higher mountain. From this summit, the trail begins. It climbs down to the saddle between M. Sølen and point 1682m. Then the trail descends SE towards lake Skardstjørna. It does *not* cross over point 1682m.
From lake Skardstjørna, follow the trail as it continues SW and leave the trail when you reach a cairn, 10 minutes later. Then pick a NW route to the summit of S. Sølen. The summit area is quite long, and the actual summit is located on the far west end.
Descend back to lake Skardstjørna, follow the route through Sølenskardet pass, and make your way through the forest, on a direct route towards Sølenhytta. The Tannvorda mountain above Sølenhytta can be used for navigation, when you're in the forest.
Our variation to this route, was to hike straight down (north) to the west side of Sølenskardet pass. By early June, a long snowfield ran almost from the summit and all the way down to the pass.
Sunday morning, June 08 2003, my friend Petter and I drove from Alvdal towards Rendalen, aiming to traverse all three Sølen summits. We realized this would be a long and hard day, but yesterday's hike to Storsølnkletten was a useful experience in that respect. Today's hike would be a little longer, it would take a little more time, and the vertical gain would be a little higher. There would be no flaws regarding food on this hike, and we came well prepared.
As we got closer to the mountains, we were struck by how large they seemed. It was clearer than ever that the hike would be long. The initial plan was to park at Mefurua, NE of the massif. But we changed this plan, and hiked from Nysætra. It would be easier to gain distance on a good forest road than on a trail. This was the concept. We left the trailhead at 09:15AM and reached Sølenhytta cabin 1 hour later. We took a direct route towards the ridge left of n. Sølenholet, and were pretty excited about the mountain, the views, the nature, and the weather that seemed to hold up.
We arrived the summit of N. Sølen 12:15PM, and took a well deserved summit break. We had a fine view towards the huge lake Femunden in the north. But more eyecatching was the steep north ridge towards M. Sølen. I had been watching this ridge as I ascended N. Sølen, and knew it wasn't as steep as it appeared when viewed head on. But still I wondered what kind of challenges the ridge had in store for us. I am not a braveheart when it comes to steep mountains, but I felt nothing but true excitement when I looked at this ridge. I couldn't wait to get started.
We left N. Sølen 12:30PM, headed down to the saddle and began the ascent. We decided to stay close together, in case someone kicked a rock. A thumbling rock on this ridge would accelerate to hazardous speed in an instant. The ridge offered one obstacle after the other. Numerous traversing cliffs had to be climbed. We were following a class 3 route, which demanded some exposed class 4 moves if we wanted to stay permanently on the high ridge. But by seeking slightly to the left (without descending from the high ridge), we always found a way to proceed. Down to our left was a more gentle route (class 2+) which would avoid most of the high ridge obstacles, but we never left the high ridge.
We reached the summit of M. Sølen at 14:00PM. Two down and one to go. I felt incredible strong and excited. Another small break and some food, and we were ready to take on the remaining 400m ascent to S. Sølen. From the summit, we could see two hikers on the S. Sølen ridge, and on the way down to the pass, we met two other hikers. Suddenly, the mountain was "crowded". We chatted with the ones we met. They had come from the east, and only had plans to visit M. Sølen.
We arrived "Sølen" and lake Skardstjørna at 15:00PM. Now we were only vertical meters away from the last summit, and we were happy to get on with it. I found the ascent much easier than any of the others. It must have been the gentle angle. We could hike head on, and not switchback, as we did on the way to N. Sølen. We took our time, constantly enjoying the views and the hike, and arrived the summit at 16:15PM. We looked back on the massif, with a gratifying feeling about the accomplishment. Far down there, we could imagine Sølenhytta. And even further away, somewhere in the horizon, there was the car. The hike was not over!
We left S. Sølen 16:30PM, and decided to take the fast exit off the mountain. Petter aimed for a long snowfield that was running all the way down, while I was hiking the outskirts of the snowfield. Petter was sufficiently equipped, but I didn't want my boots to be filled with snow. I envied him the pleasant hike down the snow, while I was struggling with the boulder on the side. Always on top of some small, local avalanche of scree or small boulder. Nevertheless, we arrived the base of the mountain together, and took a very direct course back to Sølenhytta, where we arrived 18:00PM. The remaining 4Km to the car was done in 40 minutes, so the pace was well above the day's average. This time, there was no nausea and headache. I felt exceptionally good, and tried talking Petter into hiking Tannvorda on the way back to the car. He didn't have any particular interest in that mountain, and it was getting late as it was. The idea of a good steak and a couple of beers made me soon forget about Tannvorda. The major work on this project was now done. We had done 6 ranked peaks in two days, climbed over 3200 vertical meters, and hiked for 17 hours in total. Only Tronden was yet to do, but as Petter put it - "I can't imagine any sort of weather preventing us from reaching that summit". It very much looked like this ambitious project would be a 100% success.
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