Note: This page of the website will continue to grow. Descriptions of additional activities will be given and highlighted, and group activities and sign up information for these will be listed.
For activities not described below, visit the website: www.visitandalsnes.com
This is an excellent website for the immediate area of Åndalsnes, available in English, with many of the links in English as well. We highly recommend you visit and explore this website.
We give here several area maps, at various scales, some interactive, that should allow attendees to orient themselves to the town, the local area, and the greater surrounding area.
Click the image to view a full version of Åndalsnes Center Map
Click the image to view a full version of Romsdal Map
Click the image to view a full version of a Regional Map
Click the image to view a full version of Fjordane Area Map
A good and useful topographic map of the area is the Romsdals-alpene 1:80,000 map 'Turkart I malestokk'. It is available through the local tourist office 'Turistkontoret' tel 47-71-22-16-22; fax: 47-71-22-16-82, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Touring Away From Åndalsnes
Norway presents many outstanding opportunities for tourism, including many sites in fjordland, near and more distant from Åndalsnes, and extending north to the Arctic Circle. Some information is given under TRAVEL elsewhere on this website. Some of these possibilities require too much time to carry out during the conference and would have to be planned for days prior or after. Other touring activities, by car, bus, train, and/or boat can be planned for the days of the conference, and still allow attendees to return in time for the conference (at 4:30). This includes many/most of the activities listed on the visitandalsnes website.
The official guides service for ASIC 2006 is Norgesguidene, our chief contact being the mountain guide Åndalsnes Haslestad. He is available by email (when not guiding in the field) at email@example.com. His telephone is 47-48-15-68-45. The norgesguidene website is www.norgesguidene.no. At the moment it is only available in Norwegian, but they hope to have an English version before long. The guides will be available for a variety of local activities, including rock climbing, mountaineering, scrambling up peaks with and without ropes, and hiking. Åndreas Haslestad will be teaching a course in the Alps during our conference, so tours will take place with other guides in his group.
I have arranged with the guides that group activities will be offered for Tuesday and Thursday (other days or other tours can be arranged privately with the guides).
The local guides for these services can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org, and booking will be made through this group. The web site (in Norwegian) is: www.norgesguidene.no. Three group tours are offered, one hiking, one hiking/scrambling, and one hiking on a glacier. These are listed below. Norgesguidenes also offers climbing guiding, as described below (it may be possible to combine technical climbing trips with me and my guide, Guido Bonvicini, and the local guides). (Other activities, such as rafting, kayaking, biking, and so on, are offered by other groups). For the group tours we begin with some clothing recommendations, and for climbing offer some equipment recommendations:
Equipment and clothing for the tours:
Even in the summer, it can be cold in the mountains. The tours booked in advance will take place even if weather is marginal (although weather may necessitate a change in target), so participants need to be prepared with appropriate clothing:
- Warm underwear
- Warm sweater or jacket
- Windbreaker and trouser
- Some rain clothing or gore-tex
- Hood and gloves
- Sunglasses and sun cream
- Small backpack (minimum 30 litres)
- Gaiters and/or mountain walking boots (because some tours might cross some snow-covered areas)
For those who want to do climbing routes you could also bring:
- Climbing harness
- Climbing helmet
- Climbing shoes
- Belay device
- Belay sling
- 3 screw gate carabineers
All of the above climbing gear except for climbing shoes can be rented from the guides. Climbing shoes must be brought or rented separately.
Organized and Guided Activities
Type of Tours
The guides have recommended group non-technical tours in three categories: Walking, scrambling, and glacier, which can be booked for Tuesday and/or Thursday. Because some participants might not have transport, the guides arranged a bus or other transport to Trollstigen (at the top of the waterfall, where there are shops and parking) and all the tours can start from that location.
Note on geography: If one heads south from Andalsnes there are two roads: The eastern road (still heading south) goes through the Romsdalen valley, which has the Trollswall to the west and other mountains and walls to the east. The western road (also heading south) goes through the Isterdalen valley, and shortly climbs a zigzag road (Trollstigen) adjacent to and over a large waterfall (the Stigfossen). At the top of the waterfall (at about 2000 foot elevation), there are parking, shops, and a dramatic viewpoint, and this is where the organized tours will begin.
For the three following tours, make reservations directly with Norgesguidenes, but also let me know which tour or tours you are booking, which days, and how many are in your group.
- Walk to the top of the Trollwall:
Start from the viewpoint on top of Trollstigen. From here it is a 3-4 hours walk east to the top of the Trollwall. At the ridgetop there is a magnificent view down into the Romsdalen valley (almost 5500 feet below-the top 3000 feet are overhanging)and across towards the Romsdalshorn and Venjetind. The tour takes about 6-7 hours from Trollstigen and back again. Price: 700,- nok pr person. Minimum 3 persons, and maximum 15 persons. On the Norgesguidene website http://www.norgesguidene.no/ (not in English) click on Romsdalen and Romsdalhorn. This has two pictures of the Trolls Wall from the peak Romsdalhorn, across the valley. This hike brings one to the ridge line one can see in the photos.
- Scramble up Bispen via the north ridge:
This is a nice walk/scramble to the top of Bispen, a mountain to the west of Trollstigen, at about 4750 ft. elevation. There are some exposed places on the way, and some scrambling. The top opens up spectacular mountain scenery. The tour will take about 6-7 hours from Trollstigen and back again. Price 700,- nok pr person. Minimum 3 persons, and maximum 10 persons. On the Norgesguidene website, click on Romsdalen and click the plus next to Bispen (under Sommer), then one the links below. These show photos of both the hike and the climbing routes on Bispen.
- A walk up the Finnanglacier:
This hike starts from Trollstigen and heads west and a little south. It follows a path up to the glacier west of Lake Bispevatnet, and continues along this glacier to the Finnanglacier. The glacier is climbed up to a high ridge (at about 5500 ft.) that affords a look down into a fjord (the Innfjorden). This tour provides superb scenery toward the west cost of Norway, including glaciers and fjords. The return follows the same way back to Trollstigen. The tour will take about 6-7 hours. 600,- nok pr person. Minimum 3 persons, and maximum 10 persons. On the Norgesguidene website click Romsdalen, then the plus next to Finnan, then one the links below for photos.
There are some spectacular local mountain climbs that are long and include some rock climbing, but not very difficult technically, and there are many opportunities for rock climbing, at all levels of difficulties and all lengths. These can be booked individually with the guides. Here are some recommended options. The first three are spectacular peak climbs, and the last two are rock climbing on cliffs that also afford fine views and scenery.
The spectacular appearing Romsdalshorn is a sharp peak to the east of the Romsdalen valley, and across from the Trollswall(at about 5000 ft. elevation). The climb to the top is Norwegian grade 4-. Although it's an advantage to know a bit of climbing beforehand, it's not an absolute demand, because the technical climbing is quite easy. For beginners, the guides offer a half day introduction to climbing before the climb. It is an absolute necessity that participants be in good shape, used to walking in high and wild mountain environs, and able to handle the heights and exposure. This is a Norwegian classic climb, famous the world over. Note well: The tour takes from 8-10 hours. Price: 1800,- nok for the guide + 700,- nok pr each person. Maximum 3 persons pr guide. On the Norgesguidene website, click on Romsdalen then Romsdalhorn for photos.
- Venjetind via 'the Standard Route' (scramble):
This is an easy scramble to the highest peak in Romsdalen (6000 ft.). Venjetind is east of Romsdalhorn and reached not from the Romsdalen valley, but from the valley to the east, Venjedalen. The route follows paths to the northern ridge, and thence south to the top. This is the easiest way up, and opens up spectacular views. The summit is itself not difficult to reach, but it's a long and exposed scramble, taking about 7-8 hours. Price: 1500,- nok for the guide + 500,- nok pr each person. Maximum 3 persons pr guide. On the Norgesguidene website click on Romsdalen, then the plus next to Vengetindene, then one of the links (all the phots are the same, of the top).
- Bispen via the east ridge:
A fine climb, on the east ridge of Bispen (see the scramble listed above). On the ridge, the view of Romsdalen is outstanding. The climb starts on a path up from Trollstigen until the climbing begins on the east ridge. There are seven pitches of Norwegian grade 4+. The return is via the northern ridge. The tour takes in all about 8-10 hours. Price: 1800,- nok for the guide + 700,- nok pr each person. Maximum 2 persons pr guide. On the Norgesguidene website click Romsdalen, then the plus next to Bispen, then one of the links below for some photos.
- A day on the crag Norafjell:
The ridge separating Romsdalen and Isterdalen ends nearest Andalsnes at the crag Norafjellet (~3000 ft). Norafjell is a great crag with many routes that were highly frequented in the 70's. This recommended climbing route takes place on a pillar facing south-east, and offers great views of the Troll Wall), Romsdalshorn and the Venje Peak Massif.
The lower part has easy and varied climbing. The approach is short and the climbing easy, so it makes for a pleasant place to try climbing multipitch routes. Up higher on the pillar (e.g. Storsvaet) there are several choices, including challenges for the more experienced climber. The return is by rappel back to the foot of the wall. It's up to the participants to decide how long the day will be. Price: 1500,- nok for the guide + 500,- nok pr each person. Maximum 3 persons pr guide. One photo of the crag is given here.
- A day on the crag Hornaksla:
Hornaksla is a beautiful cliff in Romsdalen valley, across from and a little south of the Trolls Wall. It faces south and starts right at the road. It's naturally divided into two sections: The Slabs and the Main wall. The quality of the stone in this area offers fine and firm climbing in nice formations.
On the Slabs one can try routes from Norwegian grade 3 to 7, including many one pitch routes, and some up to eight pitches. For beginners, this is a good place to become familiar with the use of ropes and belay devices, on rock that is not too steep.
The Main Wall is steep (near vertical, or some overhangs on some routes), with routes up to 10 pitches in length. This is for those who climb quite a lot and are comfortable with Norwegian grade 5+ and up.
Price: 1500,- nok for the guide + 500,- nok pr each person. Maximum 2 persons pr guide. One photo of the crag is given here.
General Description of Activities:
There are numerous rock climbing sites, and bouldering sites, many quite close to Åndalsnes, and others up to an hour distant by car. The most famous is undoubtedly Trollveggen, the largest cliff face in Europe, rising about 5500 feet from the road, the top 3000 feet being overhanging cliff. We do not expect attendees to climb any routes on this face for three good reasons: 1) The route is not entirely stable and a few years ago had a large rock fall destroy the center of the traditional routes; 2) The difficulty of climbing up the overhanging face is extreme, and the route requires several days at least; 3) The easiest route, one available at the probable ability level of the most skilled attendees, climbs buttresses and cliffs adjacent to the main face, but is 48 pitches long.
However, there are numerous excellent quality sites for rock climbing, from single pitch areas, to very long multi-pitch faces, in the area, some very near the Trollveggen, on both sides of the Romsdal valley. There is additional climbing available in other valleys that are accessible from Åndalsnes for day outings. Many of the easier climbs, especially those on the multi-pitch routes, are not bolted, or just have anchors for belay stations at the end of pitches, and traditional protection must be used. There are however, some areas with easier climbing that are equipped with bolts, so that only quick draws would be needed.
For the primary book on local rock climbing, with English descriptions included, see Klatring i Romsdal by Anne Grete Nebell and Bjarte Bo (ISBN 82-995032-0-5). It is usually available via various sources on the web, and can be obtained locally in the Åndalsnes area. These authors also have a website: http://home.no.net/bjartebo/main.html. See also www.norgesguidene.no, and of course the links on www.visitandalsnes.no.
Under the assumption that most attendees will not be attempting serious mountaineering, if for no other reason than time would not allow attendance at the conference, the information here will focus on what might be described as relatively non-technical hiking, and scrambling. Many of these tours achieve the dramatically situated tops of local peaks. Many of you have seen such pictures or will see them if you visit the various Romsdal/Åndalsnes websites-these are the pictures of hikers sitting or standing on out-jutting rock formations, their feet hanging over thousands of feet of air, with valleys, lakes, and fjords far below. These objectives are available to people without much technical background. Of course the approaches tend to be long, so a certain amount of fitness and hiking experience is a good idea. In addition some approaches, while not technically challenging, require a good deal of 'exposure' (e.g. ridges or faces with long drop offs to the side), and these sections often require that the group use ropes for safety and assurance (ropes are provided by the guide(s)).
Some peaks are accessible on signed/marked routes, and do not (necessarily) require guides. Perhaps the best known is a hike/scramble on a route marked with cairns that starts above the Stigfossen waterfall on the Trollstiggen road (the valley to the west of Trollveggen), at the parking lot and buildings. It then climbs east in the direction of Semletind achieving the crest (termed Trolltindan) near the top of the Trollveggen face. This is in fact one of the hikes listed in the section below: Hiking.
One book describing access to peaks in the area is Fra topp til topp I Romsdal by Iver Gjelstenli (ISBN 82-91883-00-9). It is available locally and possibly through the web. It is mostly in Norwegian, but has a brief English summary for each route.
Several sources are on the web on the Åndalsnes site, but not all are in English. Available locally and reproduced here is a single sheet giving a summary of 20 or so hikes in the Åndalsnes area, with a map on the reverse side showing their location. One interesting listed as 3.1 below, hike rises directly from town, up a steep tree covered hill. This steep but not too long trail rises a few thousand feet, and offers some outstanding views of the immediate area. The list of hikes below gives the name of the hike, denoted 'route', the location reference to the map, denoted 'code', the difficulty of the hike, denoted 'grade' (A is easy, B+ harder), the time for a one way trip (or round trip denoted t/r), and the amount of meters of climbing (H-stff)
|Walks (Click here to get a location map of various walks)|
|1.2||Torvlk - Skorgedalen||A||2||300||This walk goes along a tractor track. You pass the idyllic Skardvatnet (lake). Beautiful view especially from the Torvik side.|
|1.3||Skorgedalen - Selseter||A+||0,5||70||An easy walk on good dry ground - along a tractor track. Nice area around the Selsetervatnet. Fishing by permit.|
|1.4||Hegerholm - Nakkensetra||B||4||430||A fairly steep, but dry path. Beautiful view towards the Romsdal Alps with superb photo possibilities.|
|1.5||Skorgedalen - Ingridseter||B||2||550||A nice walk through the idyllic Ljosadalen valley. Some wet ground. many possibilities for continuing from Ingridseter.|
|1.6||Brevik - Ingridseter||B||2||550||A relatively heavy ascent up to the pass of Brevikskardet. The path is good and dry though, and the second half of the walk to Ingridseter is easy. Fishing by permit in Brevikskardet.|
|1.7||Hatlen - Masvassbu||B+||4||660||Moderate ascent to Loftskardet, subsequently descent followed by almost flat ground. Fishing in Masvatnet. Accomodation available at Masvassbu (DNT standard key, off season)|
|1.8||Skrokkenseter - masvassbu||A||1,5||190||A very obvious path, but wet terrain. Fishing in masvatnet. Accomodation available at masvassbu (DNT standard key, off season)|
|1.9||Skrokkensetra - Brevik||B||5||700||A good, but fairly long walk in varied terrain. fishing in Satvatnet and Brevikskardatnet. A quite demanding descent from Brevikskardet on the end of the walk.|
|2.4||Vengedalen - Litlefjellet||B+||0,5||140||A short but somewhat steep path. marvellous roundview towards Trollveggen, Romsdalen, Romsdalshorn and Vengetindene.|
|3.1||Åndalsnes - Nesaksla||B+||2 t/r||700||A rather steep but very good path with a beautiful view over Åndalsnes, Isfjorden, up the Romsdal Valley and out the Romsdalfjord.|
|3.2||Nesaksla - Isfjorden/Venged||B||5||800||A moderately long walk through varied and nice high-mountain terrain. Some ascents and descents with interesting views.|
|3.7||Vermedalen||B||4 t/r||330||Moderately ascent up from the Romsdalen valley, but the Vermedalen itself is flat and easy, with a very idyllic and peaceful landscape.|
|4.1||Klovstien||B+||1||850||An exiting climb up the old track. Marvellous view towards Stigfossen (waterfall) and the famous mountains surrounding the Isterdalen (valley).|
|4.2||Trolltindene||B||8 t/r||750||A fairly easy, but demanding walk up to the backside of the Trollveggen. About half the route goes over quite rough terrain with rocks and screes. Impressive landscape.|
|5.1||Innfjorden - Sjolbotnen||B||6 t/r||750||The first part ascends up from Innfjorden before you descend more easily down into the peaceful valley of Sjolbotn. Nice view.|
|5.2||Bostolen - Storvatnet||A||4||150||An easy walk in a idyllic landscape. Mountain dairy farm at Bostolen. Fishing in Storvatnet. Some wet ground.|
|5.4||Masvatnet - Stortrollvatnet||A||2 t/r||160||An easy walk with nice view over Mandalen mountains. Fishing in Skardvatnet. Some wet ground.|
|5.6||Stavvatnet||A||2||220||An easy walk with nice view over Mandalen mountains. Fishing in Stavatnet. Some wet ground.|
**As this Activities portion of the website develops, we will add sections on additional activities including fishing, biking, skiing, golf, tennis, boat and fjord trips, kayaking, rafting, helicopter touring, glacier tours, train tours, and automobile tours.