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"Norway's most beautiful valley"

Numerous people have said it and I've never heard anybody protesting. However, if somebody ever claims that there is an even more beautiful valley, that would have to be his or hers childhood valley.

The valley Innerdalen lies north of and runs parallel to Sunndalen. Go to Ålvundeid (southeast of Kristiansund) and then the local road up Virumdalen to Nerdal (free parking). From there on you walk on a "tractor road", four kilometers to Innerdalshytta, a little shorter to Renndølsetra. The road is rough and narrow and the first part is very steep. This road is closed for all but the residents' motor vehicles and four-wheel-drive is indispensable.

Please note that there are several valleys called Innerdalen. The one in question lies in Nordmøre.

Olav Innerdal

This is Olav Innerdal in 1955 [my rather unsharp photo]. Together with his wife Betzy he ran the small farm in Innerdalen.

During the 1950s the popularity of mountaineering rose and Innerdalen became a center for this activity. Olav Innerdal was a skilled mountaineer himself, and together with mountaineer organizations (Norsk Tindeklubb and a group at the Norwegian Institute of Technology) he started mountaineering courses in 1963. These courses are still repeated every summer.

Olav's grandfather Halvor built a tourist cabin in 1889 (used from 1893) and taking care of the guests was from then on another activity for the family.

The old cabin is now (2006) being rehabilitated by the local tourist organization (KNT) and will have 27 beds. (Sleeping on the floor is also possible.) The old barn (behind the camera) is included in the rehabilitation project, but no cattle will ever enjoy the result.

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Update 2012 and overview. The old cabin (right) is fully rehabilitated and the barn/cowhouse (center) now contains a sleeping quarter, firewood storage and toilet facilities. Behind the barn the old and abandoned farmhouse is visible. Further away stands a storehouse and the "new" tourist cabin.

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Olav's son Iver and wife Torill took over in 1984 and in 1989 a new and modern tourist cabin (also) with 27 beds was ready.

In the background right Innerdalstårnet or Dalatårnet, or simply Tårnet i.e. the Tower. Mountaineers prefer the front, it's possible to "walk" up the back side.

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In the background Skarfjellet, another target for mountaineers. To the left the brook coming down from the valley Giklingdalen. A tourist trail goes through this valley to Fale in Sunndalen. Alternatively, be content with the splendid view of Sunndalen from above and then return.

Behind the (1989) tourist cabin a part of the smaller upper lake is seen. There is fish in both lakes and it's possible to hire a boat. (There is no fish in the lake in Giklingdalen. They say it's killed by the shock of snow avalanches from Skarfjellet hitting the lake and breaking the ice.)

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The south side of (the "new") Innerdalshytta facing Tårnet and Skarfjellet.

The summer is largely over, but on fine October days like this one a few nature lovers may find their way here. The summer guests are mostly mountain hikers, participants of mountaineering and other courses, "Sunday visitors" walking up from the parking at Nerdal (4 kilometers and partly steep), and special gatherings, like wedding parties.

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Renndølsetra is still a summer farm. It belongs to the owner of the valley, the Opdøl family. There have been summer farms in Innerdalen for more than two and a half century, but this is the only one left. Basically it has for a long time been a tourist cabin with twenty plus beds.

It's early spring, the snow melts late this year, and it's too early to bring the cattle to these pastures.

In the background the lower and largest Innerdalen lake.

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Renndølsetra is a tourist cabin and a summer farm where the guests may enjoy both the animals and the homemade dairy products from them. The host is Eystein Opdøl, the owner.

Here the calves are relaxing on the pasture with Dalatårnet ("The Tower") in the background.

heritage Renndølsetra has been awarded the St.Olav's Rose, Norwegian Heritage. This honor is shared with some ninety other very different enterprises promoting Norwegian heritage.

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Goats on Renndølsetra.

I forgot to ask if they serve goat milk (it's terrible) or make brown goat cheese (it's wonderful, but only for a true Norwegian).

henNeither did I ask about the breakfast egg

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Renndølsetra in October. The summer season is over and the cattle and the people have gone home to the farm.

Behind the yellow birch is a rowan tree, red from berries. This is one of those years when the branches of the rowan trees are hanging by the weight of the berries.

The lake behind the houses now lies in the shadow of Skarfjellet and before midwinter there will be sun only on the surrounding peaks.

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A rock in the outlet of the upper Innerdalen lake. For more than ten thousand years, since the last Ice Age, Skarfjellet in the background has shed rocks. The end of the scree (= "sloping mass of débris at the base of a cliff") seems to run from here and along the far side of the lower Innerdalen lake. When partly covered with vegetation such screes make an interesting landscape, but unfortunately they're not easily accessible.

The outlet from the lower lake seems to run through the scree, therefore the water level varies strongly with the flow into the lake.

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Entering Innerdalen 28 May 2005. This is the highest point on the "tractor road" from the parking at Nerdal to Renndølsetra and Innerdalshytta. The mountain to the right is Innerdalstårnet or Dalatårnet, or simply Tårnet i.e. the Tower. On the left side of Tårnet Innerdalen continues further eastwards.

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Summer evening in Innerdalen, 23 August 2006. The shadows are getting long and the evening mist is appearing.

This is on the highest point on the road from Nerdal. It's narrow and on the Nerdal side extremely steep, and here creatures without wings shouldn't leave the road. Only the owners are allowed to drive here, with 4 wheel drive! In the old days the Innerdal family lived in Innerdalen the whole year. At least on one occasion Olav Innerdal asked his mountaineer friends at the university in Trondheim to carry supplies up the icy road.

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Leaving Innerdalen 5 October 2005. The shadow of Skarfjellet falls on the lower Innerdalen lake and the shadows of Tårnet and Tårnfjellet can be seen on Renndalskamman (left of center). Still the brook coming from Giklingdalen (between Tårnet and Skarfjellet) can be seen as a white band.

The landscape of Innerdalen has been protected by law since 1967, the watercourse since 1973, all thanks to the efforts of Øystein Opdøl, the grandfather of the present owner Eystein. This means no new and better road and no fancy tourist buses to Innerdalen.

Tourist buses to Innerdalen! God forbid!

There are two pictures from Innerdalen in the 'Wallpaper 1920×1080 pixels' section

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updated 2009-04-29