Mjølvafjellet from Venjesdalssetra to Åndalsnes
|Estimated net time||6-8 hours|
|Difficulty||There are a couple of places requiring the use of hands as you approach Mjølvafjellet, but there are both wires and metal poles protecting you and aiding descent/ascent; small children make this hike.|
|Drinking water||Running water from the stream from a little above trail head|
|GSM coverage||Coverage along the whole ridge, but else quite patchy (July 2014).|
|Parking||Room for many cars at trail head by Venjesdalssetra, and also room for many cars at the car park by the buss/railway station in Åndalsnes centre.|
|Start height||373 metres|
|Vertical metres||1205 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||14.2 km|
This hike assumes you either have two cars, one parked down in Åndalsnes centre and one parked at trail head by Venjesdalssetra, or you get a buss or taxi from Åndalsnes to Venjesdalssetra. Note that there are buss service during the summer from Åndalsnes buss/railway station to Venjesdalssetra, at least Saturday and Sunday. Check this link for details.
From the intersection of roads E136 and 64 south of Åndalsnes centre drive 5.6 km on road 64 in the direction of Molde. Turn right towards Isfjorden, drive 800 metres, and turn right towards Liabygda. Drive 1.0 km and turn right towards Vengedalen, and drive another 1.9 km and again turn right towards Vengedalen. Pay toll at the unmanned toll booth (NOK 50 per 2013) and drive 2.4 km on the single lane road up to the car park at Venjesdalssetra. Park on either side of the road.
Start your hike by continuing 20 metres into the valley from the car park. Turn right through a gate where signed for "Romsdalsegga" and follow the path 300 metres south/south-west into the valley before it starts to climb towards right (west). Follow the path up into the valley and continue a little more than 1 km to a signed path junction at 840m. Turn left here and follow the path all the way up to the ridge (Romsdalseggen; the Romsdal ridge). Turn left and head south/south-east towards Blånebba, following the small cairns and red paint across the boulder. You will get up to a large cairn and the true summit is found right at the edge a few metres south-east of this cairn. To get as much good views as possible you should also continue to the next top, located 115 metres further east and also marked by a cairn. This point is probably one metre lower than the highest point.
Return the 1.6 km back to where you got onto the ridge and continue north-west to Mjølvafjellet, which is marked by a small cairn. There are several slightly exposed sections along this ridge, and you're likely to use your hands for balance, but all sections with a smallest degree of danger or difficulty are equipped with chains acting as fences.
From Mjølvafjellet continue north-west on a very well defined path, all the way down to the roads in Åndalsnes.
12. July 2014
This year's planned family hike was to do Romsdalseggen, but this year we decided to find a day with good weather, as opposed to the three previous years when we had set the date early (and had dreadful weather on all three hikes; Galdhøpiggen, Gaustatoppen and Snøhetta).
We decided to do what I assume is the most common way to hike Romsdalseggen, starting at Venjedalssetra, up into the valley, then across to Blånebba and all the way down to Åndalsnes centre. We drove from Brattvåg on a very nice Saturday morning and drove directly up to Venjedalssetra, where I dropped off Elisabeth, Njål and Sigurd. I then drove down to Åndalsnes centre and got the tourist bus back up the trail head. In this way the others were allowed a slightly easier start to the hike, and I got the opportunity to get some proper exercising done up where they were waiting for me half-way into the valley. While waiting they had found a large boulder where they did some fun bouldering. Despite the rest of the 50+ people on the same bus as me were way behind by now there were many tens of other hikers above us, and I assume there were at least a couple of hundred persons hiking Romsdalseggen today.
When we got up to Blånebba's summit we weren't sure what top was the higher; this top or the top another 120 metres further south-east. We therefore decided to continue the hike to the next top, and by now there was a clear race between Njål and me to get to the top first. Another guy, a little behind us, also sensed that there was a "race" and came running behind us at a considerably faster pace than us. But he started his running too late and didn't manage to catch us. He actually had a six-pack of beer in his back-pack and offered people to buy, at NOK 150 per 33cl can. He didn't find any customers. I spoke a bit with him and it turned out he did a fair bit of these mountain runs, and he also said that if I joined the Romsdalseggen run later in the year I would be invited to his post-run birthday party. I had no intention of doing this race and forgot the whole thing, but was reminded when I hiked Middagstinden the day after this race and chatted at the summit with the guy who had won the race.
After Blånebba we followed the wide ridge north-west to Mjølvafjellet, enjoying the views and noting that wherever there was any kind of scrambling or exposure the ridge was well secured with wires and various hand holds. Then after Mjølvafjellet it was a long walk, and fairly boring, all the way down to Åndalsnes. Towards the end of this descent Sigurd and I picked up the pace and started to run in order to get down to the car and drive it back up to where the path hits the road so that Elisabeth and Njål didn't have to do the final stretch on the roads. As we were waiting for them we saw dark clouds coming in from west, and 30 minutes after we were all in the car it was raining heavily and frequent lightning. I knew there would still be people up on the ridge, including families with small children, and they must have been really frightened.
We decided to drive to Fjellsetra and stay the night there, which meant we had to drive across Trollstigen. This proved to be an unfortunate move since there was a cycling race arranged up there, and together with a vast number of tourists the traffic was jammed for around an hour, with almost no cars being able to move in either direction. By the time the traffic was sorted the weather was again back to good and when we got to Fjellsetra it was again proper summer.