Raggejavreraige (aka. RJR) is the deepest cave in Scandinavia and is located in northern Norway in a mountain above Tysfjorden. The cave is 580m deep and 2000m long, carved out from limestone by an underground river.
I had heard about a deep cave situated close to Stetind from a friend and after some googling I found the RJR-cave. I have made a lot of alpine climbing and have plenty of experience with ropes but I have never made any cave exploring before. Luckily I have a friend in the caving-business whom I could talk to about everything I did not know before which made me
feel a lot safer.
More coming soon...
Road access to the cave is limited. The nearest road ends at the village of Drag. From Drag there is scheduled boat service that can be taken to the small and friendly village of Musken. Accommodations at the local school and arrangements for drop-off and pickup by motor-boat can be arranged from Musken.
Boat Service Drag-Musken:
There are three entrances to the cave located at elevations of 582m, 80m and 3m. The lowest point of the cave is at 2m so due to tide and waves the lower exit can sometimes be submerged.
The top entrance to RJR is about 2km east of the village Musken. From the lake Råggejávrre follow the water north for 500m down a wide and shallow valley. The entrance is on the east side, some 30m up from the valley floor. It’s not particularly distinctive but its strong, inward gust of wind erases any doubt that it is a large cave. The cave consists of about 2 kilometres of passages that alternate between steep rifts or shafts and horizontal or low-slope passages.
RJR's most dominant features are the two shafts, each more than 100m deep. First you will find the 80-degrees and 152-metre Storstupet ("Big Shaft"). All of the water falls down a parallel shaft only a few metres away. Halfway down Storstupet is a window connecting back with the wet shaft, so descending cavers can enjoy all of the sound and fury of the wet shaft in relative comfort. All of the water from the parallel shaft sinks into the floor at its bottom, and is not seen again in the cave. RJR's other major shaft is the impressive 100-metre Litlestupet (Little Shaft), possible to partially bypass though a tunnel known as Knivgangen ("Razor Passage"). Unlike Storstupet, Litlestupet is dry, quiet, and free-hanging.
The lower exit which is in a cliff a mere 3 metres above the fjord is not easily accessed without pre installed ropes or a boat. If you exit here and don’t mind getting wet there’s no need to worry about hitting any rocks in the water, since the fjord is 450m deep..
The upper exit is also located on a cliff but here you will find fixed ropes that makes the airy 10m traverse a bit safer. The first 5m is slim and you will have to crawl before you enter a massive hallway. There is a distinct trail between this exit and the fjord, ask the locals and they will drop you of/pick up by boat at the right place.
Me and 7 friends arrived to Drag late in the evening where we slept in our cars. The next morning we took the ferry to the small village of Musken. The ferry took about 30min and cost around 135 SEK. I had already made arrangements by phone for housing and boat transport to the cave. When we arrived at the port in Musken we were met by Ketil who drove our luggage in his tractor to our house where Karl-Gunnar was waiting to show us around. I explained that we wanted to explore the exit right away and just 30min later we were met by Arvid and his boat who drove us to the cave exit. We explored and mapped the lower sections for about 3 hours before Arvid picked us up again and took us back to Musken.
The next day we set out for an early start, around 06:00 Arvid once again came to pick us up in his boat but this time he dropped us off just halfway to the exit. We started following a vague trail that soon disappeared completely, hiking up the mountains searching for the cave entrance. After 2h of walking we found the lake Råggejavre, frozen and covered in 20cm of fresh snow. After an hour of searching we found the cave entrance.
The landscape around us was covered in snow except for the entrance that was a dark spot in the middle of all white. Cold and wet we could really feel the warm winds as we got closer to the cave entrance and was quick to enter the significantly warmer environment inside the mountain.