After my quick trip in Jotunheimen, I had a few days of decent weather forecast to spend, so I decided to backtrack and return to the Romsdalen valley near Andalsnes, possibly my favorite place in Norway. Yesterday morning I hiked to the top of Trollstinden, the huge mountain whose east face is the famous Trollveggen (“Troll Wall”), the largest vertical mountain wall in Europe. The west side of the mountain is hikable, but when you get to the ridgeline at the top, you stare straight off into an abyss of almost 6,000 vertical feet! The actual famous Trollveggen face is just on the other side of the pinnacle in the photo above, and it drops down 1000m (3300 ft.) sheer vertically – actually a bit overhanging even in parts.
Peering over the edge of this enormous cliff was spinetingling, and I could only do it for a few seconds before jumping back and shaking my nerves out. It didn’t help either that there was a hammering wind blowing off the ridgeline. I had the urge to huck a big rock over the edge, but I’m old enough to know that that’s a really stupid idea so I resisted the tempation. Taking photos from the top was a bit precarious; I’d bend my tripod over the edge, compose the shot with the camera’s live view, then reach out quickly and hit the shutter, then jump back again to safety. The mountain wall is so gigantic that I could barely fit the whole thing in the frame, even with my super wideangle lens at 7mm (14mm equiv).
Anyhow, the view off the top is of course utterly awesome. I tried to get up there for the sunrise, but the cloudy skies nixed that idea. I want a sunrise shot from up there so badly that I am going to wait here in Andalsnes for several days to try it again in better light. The forecast calls for rain for the next couple days then a sunny day on Sunday, my last possible day to hike before I have to drive back to Oslo. But the weather forecasts here really suck, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
While I’m at it here’s a photo of the famous Trollstigen (“Troll Road” – are you catching the theme around here?). This unlikely road between Andalsnes and Geiranger is carved into the side of a massive steep cirque, and switchbacks something like 11 times along the way.