Camping in Jotunheimen

The Jotunheimen Circuit Hike

Jotunheimen Circuit Itinerary, 8 days with full camping gear, August 2016: 

Gjendesheim-Glitterheim-Spiterstulen-Leirvassbu-Olafsbu-Gjendbu-Memurubu (via Bukkelægret)-Gjendesheim (via Besseggen)

  • Generally, this trip was characterized by bad weather except for the two last days (Bukkelægret and Besseggen). In fact, after having completed the Circuit I took the bus back to several of the places I failed to visit when I passed them  the first time: Spiterstulen-Galdhøpiggen and Leirvassbu-Kyrkja.
  • I arrived at Gjendesheim on the public bus. The weather was clear, hundreds of people were queuing to catch the boat to Memurubu for the Besseggen hike. I left in the direction of Glitterheim in the opposite direction.
  • The trails are incredibly stony, hiking poles are a great help. Nevertheless it is very slow going.
  • Routefinding is not an issue however, as the trails are clearly marked with the red T. Furthermore the general direction is quite clear.
  • Glitterheim is a very atmospheric hut, with a great dining room. The bad weather conditions forced me to give up climbing the Glittertinden Summit.

    Bukkelægret, Jotunheimen
    Bukkelægret, Jotunheimen
  • A combination of snow and rain and poor visibility led me to give up both climbing Galdhøpiggen and camping outside and instead to sleep inside the lodges in both Leirvassbu, Olavsbu and Gjende.
  • Even with mist and rain, the walk up to Leirvassbu was beautiful though Kyrkja was hardly visible.
  • A massive snowfield had to be climed in snow and rain on the way up to Olavsbu
  • Olavsbu is perhaps my favourite hut in Jotunheimen: A self-service hut with food storage and kitchen equipment.
  • At Olavsbu hut two young men searched desperately for their father who had not turned up. A search team was almost called, but was canceled after a German woman said she had passed a red tent pitched just 20 minutes from the hut. Apparently he had camped there due to the bad weather and forgotten to tell his sons about it..

    Between Gjende and Memurubu
    Between Gjende and Memurubu
  • It was one of the hut wardens at Olavsbu that recommended me the wonderful old farm-turned-lodge Avdalen in Utladalen
  • The ascent over Bukkelægret is aided by chains, that are hardly necessary in dry conditions. In wet conditions I would not attempt the ascent. The highlight of this day was, however, the descent on a ridge down to Memurubu Lodge.
  • Aiming to beat the crowds at Besseggen, I started to walk from Memurubu in the evening aiming to camp on the trail. 300 meters ascent from Memurubu I was surprised by a sudden snowstorm and camped on the spot.
  • Besseggen is all that it is said to be, it is also incredibly crowded with unexperienced hikers (as well as experienced) in fine weather

    Snowstorm Besseggen Jotunheimen
    Surprised by a snowstorm in mid-August at the Besseggen trail, 300 meters above Memurubu

General information:10 important tips hiking in Jotunheimen, DNT, online maps at, Visit Jotunheimen,

One thought on “The Jotunheimen Circuit Hike”

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