Knight's leap

The Sjodal area has many attractions in terms of nature and culture. Many of these form the “backdrop” of tourism, without being specially geared up to it. As an example we can mention the many prehistoric hunting traps, the cabin of the legendary Jo Gjende, literature with a particular connection to the area (such as Ibsen’s Peer Gynt), the cultural heritage of the seters, ancient and vast mountain pine forests, special quaternary geological sites and various areas of special protection. Examples of easily-accessible and publicised attractions and areas include Ridderspranget, Besseggen Ridge, Gjende and Hulderstigen.

Ridderspranget (“Knight’s leap”) is a gorge in Sjoa, famous in a saga story. The story tells of a knight called Sigvat at Kvie in Valdres, who some time in the 14th century took a girl from the knight Iva Gjæsling at Sandbu in Vågå. The girl, who was called Skårvangs-sole because she was so beautiful, loved Sigvat and did not want to marry Iva. Sigvat tok the girl, set fire to the Sandbu farm and headed off up the Sjodalen Valley. Iva took chase with his men and caught up with the Kvie knight at the canyon. Sigvat took the girl under his arm and jumped over. To show what would happen to anyone who tried to follow, Sigvat pushed one of his own men down into the falls.

Ridderspranget is signposted from the Rv 51 road. At the car park there are simple facilities including an information board, benches and tables, a toilet and rubbish container. From the car park it is only a short walk to the canyon. There are limited safety measures at the edge of the gorge. We warn strongly against attempting to jump over the gorge. This can have fatal consequences.

For more information on outings in the Sjodalen Valley click here