Ramnefjellsfossen (which perhaps was more familiarly known as Utigordsfossen [Utigørdsfossen] or Utigardsfossen [Utigårdsfossen]; also spelled Ramnefjellfossen) was a very tall waterfall spilling into the beautiful but deceptively calm and dangerous lake Lovatnet (pronounced “LOO-vaht-nuh”; meaning “the napping lake”?). Prior to our visit in late June 2005, Julie and I anticipated a visit to this waterfall largely because of its notoriety as being one of the tallest waterfalls in the world at a reported 800m. The height of the falls had since been disputed and was now more like 500m tall, but we were more attracted to the dramatic lakeside scenery of the colorful lake surrounded by glacially scoured mountains than the encyclopedic trivia concerning its height.
During our visit, it turned out that the road that was supposed to lead us beyond the headwaters of Lovatn and towards Kjenndalsbreen Glacier (one of the northern arms of the much larger Jostedalsbreen) was closed at Rauhella, which was right across the lake from the former hamlet of Nesdal. We ended up stopping the car and taking photos right from the road closure, but in hindsight, we really should have taken the time to walk along the road to get better views of Ramnefjellsfossen framed by Lovatnet and the surrounding mountains of Lodalen. We even saw other people ride bicycles beyond the road closure which I thought was an ingenious way to experience the Lodal Valley from the town of Loen, especially that remainder of the road up to the glacier and the Krunefossen Waterfall along the way.
I had mentioned that the lake Lovatn was deceptively calm and dangerous. The reason why was because we had read from the tourism literature that this place was notorious for a pair of deadly landslides in which rockfalls from Mt Ramnefjell dropped into Lovatnet causing tidal waves that had wiped out the lakeside communities of Nesdal and Bødal. This might have also explained why the entire Lodalen Valley was so eerily quiet during our visit. It definitely was a sobering reminder of the forces involved that often form such dramatic scenery that we behold today.
Nonetheless, as you can see from the photos on this page, we felt like we really need to come back here and have a second take at this hauntingly beautiful place. Maybe next time, we’ll find a way to rent a bike and experience the entire valley in this manner.
Julie and I drove to this waterfall from the town of Loen, which was on the far east end of the Nordfjord about 58km (over an hour drive) northeast of Byrkjelo, 6km east of Olden, and 11km southeast of Stryn along the Road 60.
From Loen, we then followed the local county road 723 (which was a narrow road) along the northern and eastern shores of Lovatn before we eventually reached the closure at Rauhella. The views of Ramnefjellsfossen you see on this page were from that spot.
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