|Ørnenipa from Vatnedalen
|Estimated net time||3-3½ hours|
|Drinking water||No stable access to running water.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route (June 2012).|
|Parking||Room for a couple of cars at trail head, and more cars along the road.|
|Start height||935 metres|
|Vertical metres||435 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||9.1 km|
From the east end of Rjukan drive south on the road signed for "Tuddal". Drive uphill from road 37 approximately 7.5 km, and turn left towards Gaustablikk. Drive 3.6 km to Gaustablikk Høyfjellshotell (Gaustablikk mountain hotel), and then continue another 1.6 km. You're now in a junction where both the road straight ahead and the one to the left are closed with gates. Turn left and find parking on the right hand side of the road before the gate.
Start your walk by following the road uphill. Fork right after 800 metres, and then turn right in the T-junction 400 metres later. Continue 100 metres and leave the road to the left, where you will find an old wooden sign for "Ørnenipa". Follow the path 100 metres until you get to a mountain road, turn left, and then fork right onto a path after approximately 30 metres on the mountain road. From here follow the well defined path in a eastern direction up to approximately 1170 metres, where the terrain levels out. Proceed south-east, on the right hand side of lake Lusetjørn, and you will pass below Ørennipa on its south side. Walk past the steep south-west walls (but it's possible to find a route up these slopes, which will be a short-cut), and turn left to climb the south slopes of Ørnenipa. The summit is marked by a cairn.
Descend by reversing your ascent route.
30. June 2012
The plan this Saturday of my mum's 70th birthday party at Gaustablikk was to hike Gaustatoppen. But when I woke up to very grey weather I decided to wait until later in the day, and instead go for something else after breakfast. I was partly prepared for this, and knew exactly where to go; Ørnenipa. I had even done the drive on Friday night in order to locate the trail head.
But by Saturday morning the trail head suddenly moved, as the road I had driven the night before was now closed by a gate. This didn't come as a terrible shock to me, but when I had checked the night before I hadn't seen any gate to be closed. This meant I had to add 1.4 km to either end of my hike, and approximately 100 vertical metres, but on good gravel road this wouldn't add more than I could cope with.
My choice of mountain was based on the fact that it was a marked path to the
summit, which I suspected might come in handy if the fog closed in on the
mountains down to 12-1300 metres. As it was now there was good visibility up to
1400 metres, so I expected fair views from Ørnenipa. But a few seconds after I
arrived at the summit the fog came drifting in and visibility was down to a few tens
of metres. I just managed to get a glimpse of lake Tinnsjø before it was all
white. And because of this, and also that I had an appointment to go to Rjukan
before lunch, I left the summit after a short stop, and kept a reasonable pace
back down to the car.