We heard a lot about the beautiful hike in Romsdalseggen so we really were looking forward to hiking Romsdalseggen ridge (the locals can’t stop praising how glorious it is) and we made sure to have time to explore it. We have seen the Romsdalen valley down below just a day earlier when we hiked Stabbeskarret (part of Trollveggen) and we loved the sight of lush green valley down below. It seemed that the valley was never ending (in fact it’s one of the longest in this region), and the emerald watered river Rauma runs along it like a beautiful ribbon. Wherever the valley widens, there are fields of gold, crofts of amazing deep green, and forests. It is just a sheer pleasure for the eyes. It is not densely habituated and fits perfectly between the high rocky ridges and cliffs of Trollveggen on the west and rugged ridge of Romsdalseggen on the east.
We also heard words of great praise about the Romsdalseggen hike. Often, when hiking, we stop and speak to locals or fellow walkers -they are a fantastic source of local information as well as hiking or exploring ideas. It was the case with Romsdalseggen too, the hike was recommended to us on numerous occasions by Norwegian hikers. ‘There must be something in it!’ we thought as we drove towards Andalsnes, the largest town in the area.
Getting to Romsdalseggen
The ridge hike starts in Venjesdalsetra and finishes in Andalsnes, therefore it makes more sense to use the dedicated bus service from Andalsnes rather than taking a car (there also is a toll on this road 75NOK for a car / 250 NOK for heavy vehicle which is already included in the bus ticket price). Having a dedicated bus is another proof that the hike is popular amongst walkers and is worth checking out. The bus leaves daily from a signed bus stop (very easy to find) – there is a ‘Romsdalseggen hike starts here’ flag, at the corner of Climbing Museum / Tourist Information / train station in Andalsnes. It runs daily at 9.30am with additional services from beginning of July to mid-August), tickets can be purchased in the Tourist Information (150NOK per person in August 2018) or online HERE.
Hiking Romsdalseggen ridge
That Sunday seemed a good day for a hike, weather improved a bit, and we were excited to explore new area.
Bus to Romsdalseggen left Andalsnes at 9.30am sharp and was full even thou it was outside high season. We arrived to Venjesdalsetra within 20 minutes. Great news is that the bus took us quite high up over sea level and it considerably shortened the ascent up to the ridge. The path was clear, easy to follow and signposted (in Norway all paths are marked with red dots or red T, no matter what difficulty level they are). Also, for those who do not particularly like airy ridges there is an easier path which omits the steepest and airiest parts. It also starts at Venjesdalsetra and forks from the main path at 2.5th kilometre at the plateau, and is signposted to Hognosa. It joins back the main path on 7th kilometre. Please note that taking this detour will add 2 extra kilometres to the hike.
We got off the bus full of beans and happy to be starting a new day with a wonderful hike. At first the path was well built and a pleasure to walk, then it became wet and muddy, still not too steep. We were eager to climb a bit higher up and hoped that the clouds sitting on the mountains around us will lift to show the area in full glory.
First two kilometres passed very quickly and we found ourselves on a flattish plateau Jamnabotn. There is a little stream with clean water marked Drikkevatn (2nd kilometre) so we refilled water bottle and helped some French girls to decipher the signpost.
Very soon we reached a point where the path forked. Straight ahead was a detour via Hognosa which I mentioned before, easier path for those who don’t like heights.
We turned left and faced a steep and rocky ascent towards the main ridge. Hiking it was quicker than I anticipated and very soon we were high up, on the main ridge. Beside the red trail marks this trail also has posts which show the progress of hike (as pictured below: 5.5km still to go and 4.5 km hiked already)
For a moment we were tempted to add a Blanebba mountain (Norwegian difficulty standard RED) to the day’s itinerary, very temped indeed. It was signposted from main ridge and looked not too long a hike, maybe additional hour. But the clouds were still sitting low on all surrounding mountains obscuring the views so we were not sure whether there really was a point to climb additional mountain and still have no views (and we are suckers for a good view!). Not being in a hurry, we waited for about 1 hour to see whether the clouds clear, which they did not, and so we gave up an idea of climbing Blanebba. Should the clouds clear we would definitely give it a go!
Yes, it was a bit disappointing that we climbed so high and could hardly see a thing at all from the main ridge. The mist was coming and going, but never for too long and never giving us full view of what’s around. We knew that straight ahead there was Trollveggen (famous Troll Wall), Romsdalhorn and further to the left –the high rocky ridge of Store Vengetind. We weren’t too lucky to see them in full glory thou. But, to be honest, from time to time the mist cleared and we enjoyed view down to Romsdalen valley and high cliffs just below our feet!
At first the ridge was a wide and bouldery plateau, it narrowed as we progressed and soon we faced its famous airy part. To tell the true, all descents and ascents which could be a bit of a challenge were secured with chains, which was very helpful. I have a reasonably good head for heights and didn’t find any part of the ridge a problem, Bea is not as confident but again, she found the ridge ok, she found the chains helpful.
Below is a little insight of the airiest parts of the hike:
About half way, after 5th kilometre we reached the highest point of the hike, Mjolvafjellet 1222 metres high. It was a wide bouldery area again, lots of space to fit all the keen walkers without disturbing one another. Luckily, the clouds cleared a bit and we were finally able to see some of the famous Romsdalseggen views: Romsdalhorn standing proud with its summit sticking out of the clouds like a scarf, Trollveggen partly hiding in mist, but still very dramatic and the valley –greens and yellows of fields, river Rauma like an emerald ribbon.
I welcomed the thought of reaching the highest point of the trek with a bit of relief and also sadness. Relief, because the hardest part is done and from now it will only be easier. Sadness, because the airy ridge was already behind me and the most exciting part of the walk was over. I thought that from there on there will only be a long and boring descent to Andalsnes. I couldn’t be more wrong. Not only the gentle descent was not boring, in fact it was very nice and varied- with some narrower sections still to come, and another source of drinking water signposted on 7th kilometre.
I liked it a lot up to the last 1.5 kilometre. Then we reached the very end of the ridge (with a cute stone built hut) and awaiting us was a steep and hard descent from over 700 metres over sea level to Andalsnes.
Despite the Sherpa steps (steep stony steps built in 2013 by Nepalese Sherpas) it was a struggle back down, painful and hard on the knees. While descending we passed Andalsnes viewpoint (steel viewing platform Rampestreken) and even the fantastic views to the fjord did not make it any more bearable. When the Sherpa steps finished we descended just as steeply thru a forest, used hard tree roots as steps.
It was a great relief to finally arrive down at the street level and see our baby camper waiting for us patiently. After 8 hours hike (last hour was the hardest!) we were happy, content and already planning next days journey! We would love to hike Romsdalseggen again, in better weather to be able to enjoy the extensive views to the surrounding majestic mountains.
How to hike Romsdalseggen ridge Norway
A quick recap of the walking options:
- Vanjesdalsetra to Andalsnes via the Romsdalseggen ridge, distance 10.5km, time 6-8 hours
- Vanjesdalsetra to Andalsnes via Hognosa (avoiding the airy parts), distance 13.5km, time 7-9 hours
- walking opposite direction, Andalsnes to Vanjesdalsetra is not recommended unless there is somebody coming to pick you up. The dedicated bus does not take passengers back to Andalsnes. Also, as the walk would start from sea level, there would be considerably more overall ascent.
Wild camping near Romsdalseggen ridge and campsites information
After the hike we faced the daily dilemma of finding a place to sleep. Romsdalen is a bit tricky to find a spot to wildcamp.
There is one good spot where wild camping is not forbidden – car park next to Trollveggen Besokssenter along road E136 (it’s large, there are large log-wood tables on the side and a toilet available at Trollveggen Stasjon 7.00 – 21.00 just a 100 metres away).
Along the nearby Trollstigen road (road number 63) it’s hardly possible to find a decent wild camping spot between Trollveggen Centre and Andalsnes. There are two campsites thou. We have visited them both and can advise on which one is better.
First one is called Trollstigen Camping. It’s next to the road (on west side), well visible from afar, signposted. The reception/cafe and facilities buildings are grass-roofed, there is a large car park. This campsite was costly, 200 NOK (240 NOK with electricity).
The other campsite Trollstigen Resort, was the one we chose to stay at (and then to stay an additional day!). It was located a bit further, on the junction of road 63 and 174, in Soggemoen, literary 5 minutes drive further from the first one. The buildings were not so well visible from the road (entrance to the campsite is just around the corner, from road 174, easy to find) This campsite had a wow factor. Apart from decent facilities, good campground and huts, very friendly staff, they also provided (free of charge) fire wood for grills and bbqs, and there were many located in all parts of campsite. Wi-fi signal was very good even thou we camped in the furthest corner of the grassy area. Not to mention the price, which was 175 NOK for a camper (electricity included). If I am ever in the area again I will definitely stay in the Trollstigen Resort.
*ROMSDALSEGGEN RIDGE HIKE QUICK INFO*
Height: 1222masl Level of difficulty: 4/5* (Norwegian standards RED = demanding) Total time: 6-8 hours (length 10.5km)
Path begins at: Venjesdalsetra (dedicated bus service from Andalsnes Tourist Information / Train Station)
Marked path: yes
What we love about Romsdalseggen hike: the views to Troll Wall and picturesque Romsdalen valley. It’s a very varied walk, interesting and enjoyable till the very last kilometre. I would love to hike it again!
*Level of difficulty explained: 1– easy walk, mostly flat 2-easy hillwalk, good path 3-moderate, possible some steep sections 4-long hillwalk, possibly some scrambling involved, possibly pathless 5-difficult, possibly pathless, long, requires technical skills
NORWEGIAN DIFFICULTY LEVEL EXPLAINED: GREEN – easy , BLUE -moderate, RED – demanding, BLACK -expert