About Vinnufossen and the Sunndal Waterfalls
Vinnufossen was a waterfall that we had never identified even though we had seen and photographed it as part of our late evening drive through the valley Sunndalen going east from Sunndalsøra to Åmotan (via Gjøra) and eventually to Oppdal well into our June-July 2005 trip to Norway. That all changed when all of the sudden we started seeing internet literature claiming that this waterfall was the sixth tallest waterfall in the world, and along with that notoriety came a bunch of photos from other people. We won’t get into trivial things about what’s taller than what and whether this waterfall truly should be considered as one of the highest in the world (especially if most of such lists are likely to be bogus in the first place). However, it wasn’t until recently when I was cleaning up our website writeups of the waterfalls in Norway and revisiting our photos did I realize that this was the waterfall these folks were talking about all along! Talk about serendipity!
In any case, this particular waterfall (or should we say waterfalls) stood out to Julie and I because it tumbled down the mountain Vinnufjellet like veins. It was almost as if we had a flashback of how waterfalls fell like veins in many of the mountains of rain-soaked Fiordland in the South Island of New Zealand. Except in this case, we were dealing with fine weather. The series of thin waterfalls (many of which I’d imagine might be more on the temporary or ephemeral side) were said to be fed by the Vinnufonna Glacier, and so it could be argued that the falls should be considered permanent given its glacial source (albeit in danger of disappearing in the near future due to Global Warming).
Anyhow, Vinnufossen was one of the first waterfalls we encountered as we drove east of Sunndalsøra into the valley Sunndalen. It was probably a good thing we saw this waterfall earlier rather than later when we started to get waterfall-fatigued from the sheer quantity of waterfalls we encountered as we drove through this scenic valley. This waterfall was roadside and quite easy to spot, but given the fairly high rate of speed on the Riksveien 70 through Sunndalen, we could have easily passed by and missed it if we weren’t still on the lookout for waterfalls during the drive.
Speaking of waterfall fatigue, indeed Julie and I saw many more waterfalls along Sunndalen, but we really had no way of properly associating the waterfalls we photographed with their proper watercourses on maps. In a way, it was reminiscent of our drive through Romsdalen where there were simply way too many waterfalls to track. Thus, we had a hard time figuring out their names and perhaps it was a futile effort anyways. After all, who’s going to spend their valuable vacation hours stopping at every waterfall they see and trying to identify each one of them by name? I guess you could say we got to a point where even we realized the futility of this effort, especially given the sheer quantity of waterfalls in waterfall-laced Sunndalen. That said, it didn’t keep us from trying to associate our photos with their possible names after the trip, which we’ll get into in the photo journal below.
In any case, I also devoted this page to showcase those other waterfalls in Sunndalen as one big collective of perhaps nameless waterfalls. Keep in mind that what we’ve shown below is missing many more that we didn’t bother to photograph (there were simply too many waterfalls to single out)!
From the junction of the Road 62 and Rv70 in Sunndalsøra, Vinnufossen was about 6.5km east of town along the Rv70. The rest of the waterfalls you see on this page were seen east of this spot and west of Gjøra all along the Rv70 as well.
For reference, the E6 highway passing through the town of Oppdal was about 36km east of Gjøra.
For further context, Sunndalsøra was 68km (1 hour drive) west of Oppdal, 128km (2 hours drive) east of Åndalsnes, 187km (over 2.5 hours drive) southwest of Trondheim, 466km (6 hours drive) north of Oslo, and 578km (over 8.5 hours drive with ferry crossings) northeast of Bergen.
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