The Romsdal Alps are a sort of “Scandinavian Chamonix” Tom Patey wrote after a visit in 1959. He expressed in a very good way the feeling you have when standing in the Romsdal valley. On one side rises the famous thousand meter vertical Troll Wall and on the opposite side stands the beautiful 1550 meter tall Romsdalshorn with its typical silhouette, often compared to the Matterhorn.
The Troll Wall with its vertical climbing routes and also its prohibited skydiving activities are only for the few. The Romsdalhorn, however, with climbing routes in Norwegian grades 3 and 4 corresponding to YSD 5.4 and 5.5, is a realistic alternative for a wider group of mountaineers. The Romsdalhorn is in fact one of the classic climbs in Norway and a major attraction for mountaineers along with the Galdhøpiggen, Glittertind and a few others.
As a consequence of a bet the Romsdalshorn was first climbed in 1828 by the two locals Christen Christensen Storsveen and Hans Haldorsen Bjermeland. They arrived at the foot of the North Wall but chose to go round to the south side where they climbed to the summit along the route later named “Halls renne”.
In 1881 the Dane Carl Hall finally reached the summit after six unsuccessful attempts. Together with Mathias Soggemoen and Erik Norahagen he stood on the summit where he disappointedly could see the cairn raised fifty years earlier. Hall is remembered for having done the best known second ascent in Norway and having given his name to the route up the mountain from the south.
The Romsdalhorn is for ever linked to Arne Randers Heen, called “The King of Romsdalshorn.” Starting in 1928 he climbed the “Horn” a total of 233 times. He built a stone hut and several cairns and even a small flower garden on the flat summit. In 1985 at the age of eighty he climbed Romsdalshorn for the last time.
In the Norwegian Mountain Museum (Norsk Tindemuseum) in Åndalsnes collections from Arne Randers Heens adventures in the Romsdal Alps are on display.
The North Wall is to the left of the right skyline. Note the person down to the right.
Arne Randers Heen up side down on his summit hut.
The hut in modern time, 1995.
Sitting in the stone chair reading the summit log.
To Get There
The closest town is Åndalsnes located at the mouth of the river Rauma.
From Oslo E6 Northward to Dombås 375 km
From Trondheim E6 Southward to Dombås 160 km
From Dombås E136 Westward to Åndalsnes 105 km
By air to Molde and train to Åndalsnes.
From Åndalsnes to Isfjorden and continue to the end of the road in Vengedalen. From here there are several climbing routes to the summit.
This is the old way up the mountain used by the first party. This route is somewhat easier than the North wall with climbing of 3+. The start is from inner part of the Vengesdalen leading up to the col between Lille Romsdalshornet and Romsdalshorn. From there the summit is reached by the south ridge. Allow 8 to 10 hours to complete the tour.
This is one of the most popular climbing routes in all of Norway. Start again from Vengedalen and walk up towards Litlfjellet and continue to the start of the North Wall. From here it is 300 meters of climbing with sections of grade 4. Beware of rock fall especially if there are parties higher up. Allow 8 to 10 hours to complete the tour.
The Troll Wall seen from the summit of Romsdalshorn.
On the Romsdalhorn North Wall route.
Rappelling down the Romsdalhorn North Wall route.
Romsdalshorn seen from the river Rauma.
Climbing the North Wall Route
Maps and books
From Romsdalen, Turkart, 1:80.000
One Man’s Mountan by Tom Patey from 1971. Chapter: With Arne Randers Heen on the Romsdalshorn.
A Romsdalshorn patch.
No permits or fees.
An SPer on the summit of Romsdalshorn with the Troll Wall behind.