Gjendebu – Bukkelægret – Memurubu, July 14-16 2023

A classic Jotunheimen walk with good friends

Sjugurdtinden above Memurubu


Date Peak Height PF Location MAP
15.07.23 Point 1490m 1490m 140m Lom, Norway MAP
15.07.23 Sjugurdtinden 1305m 30m Lom, Norway MAP

Our route from Gjendebu to Memurubu

Friday, 14/7: On Thursday, I packed the car for the summer and drove to Sogndal. After work on Friday, the car was packed full, and we were ready for the summer vacation. In addition to the usual bags and stuff for 3 weeks, we had two bicycles (one EL-bike), camping gear, a dog and the dog cage – all within the car. I LOVE my Caddy Maxi!

Our summer vacation would begin at Gjendesheim, in the heart of the Jotunheimen range. Our friends Lena, Terje, Tordis and Geir had given Anne a hike across Besseggen + accommodation as gift for her 60th birthday. Besseggen is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Norway. I personally don’t think it’s all that special and have avoided going there. Until now. There was no escape now. Moreover, the weekend forecast was miserable. On a positive note, we would start the vacation in the company of good friends. That always counts a lot! And Besseggen was probably quite alright! We then sat the course for Gjendesheim – across Sognefjellet.

The drive across Sognefjellet is always special…

We knew that as long as we were guests, we could park at Gjendesheim. But on the next day, when were going for Besseggen, we were just tourists and had to park the car 1,7km away from Gjendesheim. So, we moved the car in the evening, saving valuable time the next morning.

On our way to Gjendesheim from the parking at Reinsvangen

We had to walk the dog anyway…

Arriving at Gjendesheim – this time on foot

Then it was time to call it a day and gather strengths for the next day. The weather was still OK, and we could only hope that the forecasted rain would be delayed.

We had a room to ourselves, which was really nice. Tordis and Geir came just in time for dinner and Lena and Terje would arrive the next morning. The 3-course dinner was just superb and it we called it a day early on. 

Personally, I avoid places this like this. Only because we had a room to ourselves, I was not freaking out. But having to park 2km away was very unpractical. But, I focused on staying positive.

Saturday: The boat from Gjendesheim to Gjendebu left 7:45am, which meant we had to get up early and have breakfast at 7am. We got a text from Lena at 4:42am that they were on their way. One hour later, we got a text saying that Lena and Terje wouldn’t be coming after all, as Terje had gotten sick. With the fever and all. That was really disappointing news, but the rest of us just had to continue with the plan.

Ready for adventure!

Dogs were not allowed inside the boat, so I was standing on deck with Karma while the others were enjoyed comfortable seats inside. I didn’t mind at all, as the weather was OK and the scenery amazing

Gjendebu, here we come…

After a while, we arrived at Memurubu, and I could see the trail from the mountain we would be coming down later in the day.

Memurubu and the path down from Sjugurdtinden – which we coming down later in the afternoon

And then we continued towards Gjendebu. This was not business as usual to Karma. But like always, she handles any new stuff with positivity

I’ll explain later, Karma…

Eventually, we arrived at Gjendebu and it was close to 8:30am.

Arriving at Gjendebu

We were more than ready to get on with the 11,4km hike to Memurbu.

All good?

There were some vertical meters involved, though. We were starting at approx. 1000m elevation and would hike all the way to close to 1500m before descending towards Memurbu.

First up, was a 1,6km leg along lake Gjende. It wasn’t the most exciting terrain, but we killed time with chatting…

Along the lake

Next followed an ascent up to 1485m and this route is known as “Bukkelægret”. It’s steep and I wasn’t 100% sure that we wouldn’t run into problems with respect to getting Karma up here.

Getting ready for the climb up Bukkelægret

The lower part went just fine. Karma scrambled just like she’s done her entire life…


But eventually, I got really steep, and I decided to guide her. She would probably been better off on her own, but I know that she can sometimes make mistakes and go for a steeper climb than she can deal with.

It’s steep…

I left my backpack and guided her up the steepest section safely. Then I went back down to pick up my backpack. The backpack was quite heavy, as in addition to the normal gear, I was carrying a tent. More about that later. But I have to be honest and say that the hike up Bukkelægret was bloody hard work!!!

Working our way up Bukkelægret

There were chains in place, useful to humans. I decided to avoid them while guiding Karma up. It went OK. As an advice to others – it will help a lot if you and the dog are comfortable with this kind of terrain. And then we were above the worst part!

I must admit I was happy about an easier path ahead of us…

We could now just cruise towards the mountain plateau…

Almost on the mountain plateau

When we reached the plateau, we had a wonderful view towards the mountains on the south side of lake Gjende.

Oh, that’s nice!

So far, it hadn’t rained, and we were very thankful about this. But how long would this fortune last?

A happy bunch!

The main goal for me on this hike was point 1490m west of Sjugurdtinden. This was a pf100 top and it didn’t take a lot of persuasion to get the others to come along…

Point 1490m (in center)

Karma was sticking to us (like she always does), except for the occasional sanctioned detours…

We’ll wait…

We were now in the heart of the Norwegian 2000m peaks, but we were glad we were below that elevation today…

Not so pleasant above 2000m today…

Eventually we reached point 1490m – only a short detour from the path.

A merry bunch on point 1490m

The spirit was high! The big question was – what would the weather be like the following day? At least, we wouldn’t have to worry about searching hard for the trail to- and across Besseggen

The trail from Memurubu to Besseggen

After descending the ridge from point 1490m, we got Memurbu in view.

Towards Sjugurdtinden

Besseggen was getting closer all the time, and I just couldn’t believe how visible this route was, from a distance…

My oh my…

As we progressed along the ridge, we felt the rain coming closer and closer. And as we passed Sjugurdtinden, the rain hit us…

On the trail to Memurubu

When we arrived at Memurubu, the problem that the girls had ordered a room for them, while the boys (except me) had a separate room. The plan was that Karma and I were going to spend the night in the tent I had been carrying. But what sounded like a good idea a few weeks ago didn’t seem so nice now that it was raining cats and dogs…

FORTUNATELY, we were able to rebook and so we got a 5-bed room all to ourselves. I was so thankful for not having to spend the night in a tent with the dog, while it was POURING down outside. “Thankful” doesn’t really cover it. I was totally overjoyed when we got this problem solved.

Another great thing was that Anne has the responsibility of walking Karma before bedtime. A responsibility she always takes without any arguments. Bless her heart…

You’re my hero!

But what about Besseggen the following day? Well, after some discussions we agreed that this was not something we should do in this kind of weather. Tordis and Geir had already been there. Anne and I didn’t want to do it with this kind of weather. The final decision was that if the weather didn’t improve (radically), we would take the morning boat back to Gjendesheim.

Once the decision was made, we all felt a relief…

Sunday: The next morning, the weather was better, but rain showers were roaming.

Besseggen is officially a no-go

Our decision on returning stood firm.

Heading for the boat, with one question lurking – did we make the right decision?

So, instead of Besseggen, we all ended up on Griningdalskampen. Report coming up…

Trip statistics: 15km (incl. parking walks), 915 vertical meters, 5h:32m (the hike)
Pictures (Canon EOS RP/Iphone 13 Pro Max) from the hike:

Leave a Reply