About the hike

  • elevation gain: about 970 m
  • total length: 10,3 km
  • duration: about 7-8 hours
  • trail head: at Venjesdalen valley parking lot
  • getting there: by car (road 64, at Isfjorden the 177, then take the toll road) or by bus (from from the bus terminal in Åndalsnes at 09.30 am, stops right at the parking lot at the trail head)
  • type of hike: medium difficulty, getting up the ridge can be a bit tough
  • here you can download a nice pdf with some good information on hiking the Romsdalseggen ridge
  • toll road fee for access to Venjesdalen valley: 50 kr per day

The map

Romsdalseggen map (c) Norgeskart
Romsdalseggen map (c) Norgeskart

Our adventure hiking Romsdalseggen ridge

The morning at Venjesdalvatnet greeted us with sunshine and only a few clouds. We had a quick breakfast (no fight this day 🙂 ), packed up our gear and moved the car back to the trail head.

Morning view of the Trolltinda mountains
Morning view of the Trolltinda mountains

 

The hike started between birch trees at a small river in a swampy area, and quickly took us above tree and shrub and tree level to the Hesteheian moors . The sun was extremely hot, burning down on our backs, and the air hung humid and still in the valley. The hike went up the back of the mountain, shielding us from the wind. After reaching the plateau with the Hesteheian moors, we hiked on the grassy grounds to a crossing, from where on the path tackled the ridge on the back of the mountain. The ridge was supposed to give a splendid view down the Romsdalen valley with the river Rauma, the Romsdal fjord, and the Trollveggen wall, Romsdalshorn and Vengetindene mountains.

View of the river Rauma and the Trolltinda peaks from Romsdalseggen ridge
View of the river Rauma and the Trolltinda peaks from Romsdalseggen ridge

 

The climb was a bit exhausting in the hot sun, and once we reached the top, my shirt was soaked in sweat. Glad that it is so customary for girls to take off their shirts, so i could let it dry in the wind. So much for Norway being cold… Galdhøpiggen the day before had been warm as well, but since the path was way more exposed, we had more cooling wind than here.

Norwegian summer hiking dress code
Norwegian summer hiking dress code

 

The view from the ridge down the valley was really breathtakingly rewarding – sunlight and cloud shadows playing on the fields and the river Rauma, winding down through the valley in many bends, and the carved out shapes of the mountain ranges forming a dark backdrop. We took a few moments to catch our breath, dry our shirts and take some pictures of the amazing view. We also met a Norwegian family, who told us this kind of weather was exceptional, and that actually this year the temperatures from April on have been very warm, making this the hottest summer in the last 100 years. So apparently we had been very lucky to travel to Norway now 🙂

Yay, we've walked a bit of Romsdalseggen ridge
Yay, we’ve walked a bit of Romsdalseggen ridge

 

We continued on the path in the direction of Åndalsnes, on towards the Mjølvafjellet peak, the whole way walking along the edge of the ridge, with this great view of the valley and river down below. In the east, at our back more clouds piled up, and it turned more shady and colder. Glad that for mountains I always bring windproof and warm clothes as well, I would have gotten cold pretty soon.

Taking a sneak peak below Mjølvafjellet
Taking a sneak peak below Mjølvafjellet

 

Some parts of the path there were chains hooked to the mountain, making it easier to climb steeper passages. To me, such passages just add to the fun, with a little bit of via ferrata feeling.

Hanging out at the Romsdaleggen ridge hike
Hanging out at the Romsdaleggen ridge hike

 

After an hour, we reached the top of Mjølvafjellet, and had lunch break – looking on down the flat top of the mountain made up of rubble where the path lead on. Since Romsdalseggen hike is not a round trip (usually you go by bus from Åndalsnes to the trail head and then hike back), I had decided we hike back to the trail head and our car on the path branching off after the Mjølvafjellet, leading back to the Hesteheian moors. So after the peak I kept my eyes open for the intersection of the paths. Luckily, everything was so well marked that it was no problem finding the hike back.

After the peak of Mjølvafjellet
After the peak of Mjølvafjellet

 

By the time we were on the way back, both Nils and me were tired – the little sleep of the last nights seemed to catch on – and we were eager to get back to the car, have a nice dinner and a plunge in the lake Venjesdalvatnet. Also, it started to drizzle a bit – nothing serious, just a regular afternoon shower – but it just added to the feeling of wanting to get back soon. Luckily, the path was enjoyable, and we even got to see our first Norwegian rainbow. Now that gave our spirits a good boost 🙂

Rainbow over Isfjorden
Rainbow over Isfjorden

 

After a while though, Nils started to lag behind – his feet had started to hurt, apparently his hiking boots were not as comfortable as he had thought. I convinced him to try using the hiking poles to put less pressure on his knees and feet. He grudgingly accepted, but the last two hours of the hike across the moor and down into the valley we spent more or less in silence, me trying to keep the mood up. I know it’s not easy to hike with hurting feet, and so I really credit Nils for not being in an extremely bad mood.

Eventually, we got down to the trail head. Since Nils had said he didn’t want to hike the next day, since his feet needed a rest, I rescheduled our original plan – we would have driven on to Geiranger that evening to hike along the famous fjord the next day – and we decided we’d stay here in Venjesdalen valley another night, drive to Ålesund the next day and do the Geiranger hike the day after. That way, Nils would also have a day of coffee and city, something he started to miss with all the hiking and nature. So, we drove back to our nice spot on the lake Venjesdalvatnet, set up the tent and looked for a spot to swim and (finally, after five days) have a chance to wash my hair. There were several people fishing or boating on the shore, so we had to wait a bit to have some privacy. By then I felt too cold to go swimming, but washing my hair felt really, really good. We also did laundry, and hung it on the tent to dry.

Fresh washed laundry and hair
Fresh washed laundry and hair

 

Next thing was dinner – we wanted something really nice tonight, so Nils (who had really taken to cooking food on my cooker) prepared a great meal of mushroom-bacon-cream-sauce with wine and rice and a can of vegetables… a meal for kings, which we killed together with a bottle of red wine. Camping deluxe 🙂

best camping and hiking dinner ever
best camping and hiking dinner ever

 

While sitting down to eat, the sky turned into yet another amazing sunset, and we sat next to the tent, watching the colors change from burning orange to bright red and then go dark, and the mountain shadows moving higher and higher on the eastern wall of Venjesdalen valley.

Sunset over Venjesdalvatnet lake
Sunset over Venjesdalvatnet lake