|Bispen from Trollstigen
tourist-centre, via north ridge
|Estimated net time||4-5 hours|
No real difficulties, but there is definitely a need to use the hands in
some sections during the ascent.
Be aware that along the north ridge there is a major danger of falling stones, and you should be very careful when ascending and descending the sections with loose stones.
|Drinking water||Access to drinking water around lake Bispevatnet.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage through most of the route, but not all. Coverage at the summit.|
|Parking||Plenty of space at the car park at the Trollstigen tourist centre. The car park can get busy during the day at the peak of the summer season (July).|
|Start height||698 metres|
|Vertical metres||780 metres for the roundtrip|
|Trip distance||6.7 km|
|Route photo||Route up north ridge of Bispen.|
There are two alternative routes to get to the trail head of this hike:
From Ålesund drive road E39 towards Sjøholt, and turn right towards Stordal. After 43.9 km you get to Valldal and turn left towards Åndalsnes. Continue on this road for 34.5 km until you get to the Trollstigen tourist-centre, and park here.
On road E136, approximately 4.4 km south-east of Åndalsnes, take road 63 south through Isterdalen (signed "Geiranger" and "Trollstigen"). After approximately 9 km you get to the Trollstigen zigzags. Continue up these narrow and sharp bends, until you see the Trollstigen tourist-centre at you right, 15.1 km from road E136. Park here.
From the Trollstigen tourist-centre car park walk north (towards Åndalsnes) to where a small bridge is crossing the river on the west side of the road. Cross the river and head back south along the other side of the river, on a clearly visible path. Follow this path south for 170 metres, and then head uphill (west) along this path. Follow the path in a west/north-western direction until you get to lake Bispevatnet. Continue on the right (north-east) side of this lake all the way to the saddle between Bispen and Kongen, making sure you gain some height towards the end. From the saddle head south, aiming more or less for the summit of Bispen. There are small cairns (20-40 cm high) from a little above the saddle to the summit.
At first you stay a little to the right of the centre of the ridge, having to use your hands to aid you in some of the moves you have to make. After a flatter area above half-way to the summit you move towards the left of the ridge and walk along a narrow section of the ridge. If you are not comfortable with exposure you might want to use your hands across this section. After this you gradually move right, finding the small cairns that will guide you to the summit.
Note that if you loose track of the small cairns and the partly visible path there are still a very good chance that the route you have selected is as good as any other route to the summit.
The descent route is the same as the ascent route.
11. July 2008
I started my summer holidays this Friday, and was due to drive from Brattvåg to Sarpsborg. This means passing the fantastic alpine area of Rauma, and hence a visit to one of the Rauma mountains was quite inevitable. I asked Arnt if he fancied a drive to Rauma to join me for a hike, and he was as always on. He suggested we did Bispen, and also suggested to invite Torill (who in turn invited Inka).
All four of us met at the Trollstigen tourist-centre just before 09:00 this perfect morning, and were soon on our way. I noticed that my guide to Romsdalshornet the previous week, Nils Nilsen, were on his way to guide to other climbers up the south-east wall of Bispen.
We followed the path up to Bispevatnet, and then walked on firm snow along the lake. There was some snow in the saddle between Bispen and Kongen, but from where the ridge up to Bispen got steep all the snow was gone, and hence allowed for comfortable scrambling up to the summit.
At the summit we did the mandatory rounds of photographing, before trying to create some more spectacular images by doing various forms of split jumps. As we were about to descent another person joined us at the summit, and while descending down to the saddle we met a number of base jumpers who were on their way towards the summit.
At the saddle I parted with the three others; since I had a 7-hours drive ahead of me I pretended to be a sensible person and headed back down to the car while the others took on Kongen (while driving down Trollstigen I got a text message from Arnt that they had conquered Kongen successfully). The positive thing for me is that I still have Kongen to look forward to ...