Romsdalshornet up and down "Hall's renne"


Estimated net time 6-8 hours
Difficulty "Hall's renne" (Hall's gully) is the easiest of the routes to Romsdalshornet, and can be done solo without the use of a rope. However, by far most people will prefer to do this hike secured by a rope, and the first visit should be done together with someone who knows the route.
Be aware of the snow in the gully; if you slide here you will not
stop before you fall off the edge of the gully. If you don't have an ice axe and/or crampons you need to be secured by rope in this gully.
A major danger with Romsdalshornet is the avalanche (stones) danger; do wear a helmet, and be extremely cautious so you don't set stones in motion!!
Drinking water Minimal access to running water.
GSM coverage Poor coverage throughout the route. Coverage at the summit (July 2008).
Parking Room for many cars at the car park at trail head.
Start height 725 metres
Vertical metres 825 metres for the roundtrip
Trip distance 4.8 km
GPS-file X
Route photo  Approximate route up to "Hall's renne".


From the round-about just outside Åndalsnes centre follow signs for "Molde" on road 64. After 4.9 km turn right, signed for "Liabygda". Then turn right again 700 metres later, again following signs for "Liabygda". 1 km later turn right towards "Vengedalen", and turn right 1.9 km later towards "Vengedalen". Here you will find an unmanned toll booth (NOK 30 per 2008). Follow this mountain road upwards for 7.3 km until you find a car park on your left hand side, approximately 500 metres from the end of the road.

You are now located north-east of Romsdalshornet, and the route starts by crossing the road and heading for the foot of Romsdalshornet. You follow the path on the north-west side of lake Hornvatnet, and continue south-west until the terrain gets steeper and you have to start using your hands. It is difficult to give a detailed route description of the route from here up to "Hall's renne" (Hall's gully), but there are a number of places where you can find red paint on the rock. In general you first move to the left of the light patch in the mountain (looks like a wound in the mountain side), then move across to below the light patch, and then up to the left of the patch.

You will now find yourself just above "Hall's renne", around mid-way up the gully, on its right hand side. From here continue above this gully on its right hand side, gradually moving down towards the gully. When in the gully you are likely to have to ascend the steep gully on snow, all the way up to the vertical wall that leads up to the col between Romsdalshornet on your right and Litlehornet on your left. To get up this section to the col you climb on the left hand side of the vertical wall. From the col you climb directly up towards the summit.

The descent is done via the ascent route. The most critical section for the descent is probably down "Hall's renne" if it is filled with snow. If you are doing this hike by use of ropes you will probably abseil down from the summit to the col. Then be secured by a rope down "Hall's renne", and then abseil another two or three sections. A final note: don't lose concentration when you get back down to the path; it is still steep and the scree and gravel can be loose. It is also a good idea to wear the helmet all the way down to the lake.



02. July 2008

Since I first moved to Sunnmøre and started driving from Sunnmøre to eastern Norway I have adored the mountain Romsdalshornet. The first few years it was nothing more than that. Then one day when visiting my late fathers aunt I noticed that she had a painting of a mountain that I immediately recognised; Romsdalshornet. I politely expressed my "interest" in the painting. After having done my first "proper" hiking during autumn of 2006 (Råna and Store Smørskredtind together with Torill), I started to toy with the idea of climbing Romsdalshornet.
When auntie died early in 2008 and her belongings were to be distributed, my mother made sure that the Romsdalshornet painting found its way to my living room. From that day I started looking into possibilities to climb the mountain, and I got as far as realising that I could potentially climb Romsdalshornet on my own. But talking with more experienced hikers than me gave me second thoughts.
Then, one day late in June, an ad for the Rauma mountain festival landed in my post box. My wife hinted that this might be an opportunity for me; they were doing guided tours the whole week. Disappointment was considerable when I found out that all the climbs were fully booked already. By some coincidence I scrolled down the web-page of the mountain festival and found a section on "what if the guided climbs are fully booked?". Aah! I found a date that suited me and still had room for more climbers. I should of course have booked immediately, but since I hadn't ever climbed using a rope I decided to seek help with my "mentor" Arnt. After a session of climbing and abseiling (and his encouragements) in his back garden I felt I could handle a rope well enough to take on Romsdalshornet, hence I sent in my registration the next morning.
After a couple of weeks of shitty weather the big day produced gorgeous conditions, and it was more pleasure than nervousness when I left home 05:50 this Wednesday morning. I'm sure I was more tense than Knut, who I met on my way out of Brattvåg, he on his way to our daily Heimste Synnalandsheia hike, but I'm also sure I had more to look forward to than him ...
In Åndalsnes I met the three other hikers (Kristin, Marit and Thomas) and one of the guides (Nils Nilsen) at 07:50, and we drove up to trail head in my car. Here we met the second guide (Ole Tangen), went through the equipment, and set off at 08:30.
Around 300 vertical metres into the hike Thomas decided to throw in the towel; he didn't feel fit enough to continue to the summit, and didn't want to slow the rest of the group. I wonder if I would have been brave enough to make that call? Anyway, that left the reminding three hikers with two guides; pretty comfortable for all of us.
When we got into the sections requiring extensive use of the hands, the guides wanted us secured with ropes. Marit and me went with Nils (the green team), and Ole was leading the way with Kristin. It was still relatively easy going, but there is a major psychological insurance in having a rope as a security measure so my initial thought that "I could climb Romsdalshornet solo" isn't necessarily a valid assumption.

When we got to the area of slab around mid-way along "Hall's renne" we stopped for some food. Then continued down towards the gully and up the snow. And then the final section from the saddle up to the summit. Yezzz!!

At the summit there was another team (two "guests" and guide Tore Klokk). They had climbed the north wall, and were also going down this route. A few minutes after we arrived a team of three arrived; a young guide, a former guide (Oddmund, aged 70+?), and a journalist from Budstikka. The purpose of their hike was for the journalist to write an article for the newspaper about the "old" and the "new" guides. Oddmund, the "old" guide, apparently did his 122nd (and last) visit to Romsdalshornet, now making him the one with 3rd most visits to the summit. We were also told that Oddmund was the one who guided Arne Randers Heen on his 233rd and last visit to Romsdalshornet at the age of 84!

We spent around 30 minutes at the summit, taking photos and enjoying our lunch. It was a fantastic day, with no wind and plenty of sun, making you want to spend the whole day at the summit.

For the descent we abseiled three rope lengths, in addition to being secured by rope all the way down to just above where we got onto the path. The whole day had been uneventful with respect to any accidents, and it had a great day with excellent hiking company and two efficient and knowledgeable guides who made you feel 100% safe all the way.

In hindsight I don't feel the overwhelming enjoyment I normally should have experienced after such a hike. I think the reason probably is that I feel I didn't do this hike "by myself". It is a bit exaggerated to say that I felt like "a dog on a leash", but it is a greater sense of achievement when you have planned and conducted a climb on your own, as opposed to throw a lot of money on the table (NOK 1500) and ask someone to "please bring me up and down". It is, however, worth noting that this is no criticism of the excellent guides we had, but merely a personal reflection based on how I would like to achieve ...

Photos 02.07.2008