Romsdalshorn is not among the highest of the Romsdalen peaks, but on the other hand, it is one of the few Norwegian mountains that "everyone" has heard of, seen, or seen a picture of. The mountain is definetly in the same "league" as Galdhøpiggen, Glittertinden, Snøhetta and Gaustadtoppen. The classic views towards Romsdalshorn, are from Romsdalen, Åndalsnes and Vengedalen. When seen from distance (see picture below), the neighbours Vengetindane and Trolltindane are perhaps more dominating, and catches your attention first.
There are no easy walking routes up to Romsdalshorn. The most frequently used routes are "Normalvegen" (the normal route) via "Halls renne" and "Nordveggen" (the north wall). The north wall is a harder route (5 rope lengths), but is nowadays the most used route. Depending on your source of information, the difficulty grades range from 3+ to 4+ (Norwegian scale). 4- seems to be a reliable estimate. There are numerous climbing routes, and a traverse of Romsdalshornet and its lower neighbour Litlehornet, is a classic route. Rockfall (caused by climbers and precipitation) is a significant danger on this mountain.
In 1828 (!!), Romsdalshorn was climbed by the local farmers Kristen Hoel and Hans Bjermeland. They built a cairn which could be seen from Åndalsnes. This early ascent was a remarkable achievement, 48 years before William C. Slingsby climbed Store Skagastølstind. Apparently, the climb (not to mention the descent) made an "impression", and none of the climbers had a strong urge to repeat the climb.
The "officially recorded" ascent of Romsdalshorn was made by Carl Hall, Mathias Soggemoen and Erik Norahagen, Sep 1, 1881. In the modern age, Romsdalshorn is tightly coupled with the legend Arne Randers Heen, who ascended Romsdalshorn 233 times and (a.o.) built the shelter on the summit. A classic story about Randers Heen is when he waved the Norwegian flag on top of Romsdalshorn, during WW2. The Norwegian flag was forbidden during the German occupation.
There are many remarkable stories connected to Romsdalshorn and Romsdalen, and it feels unjust to just briefly touch on them. I would therefore refer to the existing literature, and "Klatring i Romsdalen" and the Arne Randers Heen biography would be a good place to start.
Romsdalshornet (Norge 1:50,000: 1550m, Økonomisk Kartverk: 1549,94m, UTM 32 V 437451 6929493) has a primary factor of 420m towards the higher parent mountain Vengedalstindane. The defining saddle (approx. UTM 32 V 439406 6928781) is found on the ridge between Olaskartinden and Vengetindane. Ref. Norge 1:50,000 (20m contours), the saddle is within the range 1120-1140m, interpolated to 1130m.
The routes described below are not necessarily the *easiest* trails to this mountain.
Vengedalen - Romsdalshorn via "Nordveggen" (north wall) (summer)
From Åndalsnes, follow highway RV64 eastbound (Molde) to the place Isfjorden. Turn right towards "Liabygda" and follow this road approx. 750m. Turn right towards "Liabygda" and drive 1Km to an Y-fork. Turn right in the Y-fork (signed "Vengedalen") and drive approx. 1,9Km. Turn right onto the road into Vengedalen. Pay toll at the beginning of this road (NOK 30,- for passenger cars per August 2006) and drive 6,7Km upwards, passing Lake Vengedalsvatnet. At approx. 660m elevation, you should see the path that leads up to the ridge above you. Find parking on turnouts alongside the road.
It is not within the scope of this site to describe climbing routes. For information about climbing in and around Romsdalen, refer to the book "Klatring i Romsdalen". Changes to the book are published on the internet. This site may be of help.
How to get to the north wall:
From the trailhead, a path runs up to the ridge between Romsdalshorn and Litlefjellet, and the path more or less remains visible up the ridge until you reach "Gapet", a distinct gap in the ridge. Getting directly across this gap is can be somewhat tricky until you discover how it is best done. Proceed upwards until the mountain requires climbing.
Per Aug 2006, there were bolts in place for belays and rappels for the various rope lengths. Within each of the lower rope lengths, you have alternative routes of varying grades. The lower rope lengths are considered to be around grade 4, plus or minus, Norwegian scale. The upper rope lengths are easier, around grade 2-3.
Rockfall from other climbers and heavy rain is a significant danger on this mountain. There are almost no sheltered zones. Handholds/footholds that may at first seem solid, may not be. Climb this mountain with caution!
Overall time spent on the mountain will vary depending on number of climbers and their abilities. Expect somewhere between 6 and 9 hours for the entire trip. There is no running water on the mountain, so fill the water bottle(s) in Vengedalen. Be prepared for a sudden change in weather, and dress accordingly.
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