Norway has some very cool via ferrata routes like Loen and Trolltunga, but could not-so-well-known Romsdalstigen be the best via ferrata in Norway? It may as well be, at least for beginners. Romsdalstigen has two via ferrata routes: Introveggen and Vestveggen. If you are via ferrata first-timer Introveggen might be the perfect match for you! Stunning scenery, easy and safe route and lots of fun! Some info about Via Ferrata, before we dive into fun stuff:
- Via ferrata is a aided climbing route, which employs cables, ladders, bolts and other safety related construct.
- It is a safe way to explore steeper side of the mountain as you are always connected to the steel wire/fixtures with harness and two leashes.
- If you do not know how to correctly use the equipment and climb via ferrata safely, please go on a guided tour.
- You should be at least in average physical condition as it is not usually possible to climb down the via ferrata route once you have started.
In this post I will go through our experiences about the Introveggen, but if you are hardcore climber you may go to the Vestveggen as you may enjoy it more. Or do both on the consecutive days. Setting up for both of the routes is the same process and they start close to each other.
Preparations for the romsdalstigen via ferrata
There is two options for climbing Romsdalstigen via ferrata:
- Guided tour
- Self-guided, in which case you need to rent/have your own harness, helmet and via ferrata lanyards.
Both of these can be booked Tindesenteret’s site (Yes you need to book your spot for the self-guided as well to avoid over-crowding and pay the maintenance fee). Be sure to take lunch, enough water (water bladder in your backpack is great since you cannot drop it) and warm clothes for the top. Introveggen took us for about 2,5 hours to climb and 1 to come down, but we were going sonic fast. Be sure to leave early and reserve enough time! The previous/next day is also good time to see Trollstigen as it is only 20 min drive from the Romsdalstigen via ferrata.
Getting to the via ferrata parking place
Getting to the “best via ferrata in Norway for beginners” starting point: Time for personal experiences.. This morning we woke up in a tent at Troll Resort near Åndalsnes (5/5 camping ground btw). I slept only for about 3-4 hours that night since it was too cold for my sleeping bag. We start our morning routine nice and slow, and to our “surprise” we are late. If you are climbing the Via Ferrata self-guided you should get to via ferrata before the guided tour starts as they have priority. Ok, as we are already late and starting to get anxious and cranky, we angerly eat our porridge. We don’t like to be in hurry, but we also don’t like to be late. After eating, we pack our tent and jump to our car and start driving to the parking place pointed out in Tindesenteret’s website.
The parking place is at the start of the Rampestreken hiking route (also it is the place where you end your Via ferrata, since you need to walk down the hiking route). Directions to the free parking place in GMaps.
Getting to the via ferrata starting point
There was no clear GPS point or street name, where to start the via ferrata. But there was this map on the Tindesenteret’s website, which told us that there is a path through the forest to the starting point that branches off from the Rampestreken hiking route almost at the start. We start the journey and climb the Rampestreken hiking route with fury for about 30 minutes. We are starting to wonder, if we are on the right path, already sweating like grass on a summer morning. The forest trail seemed to start almost from the start of the trail in the picture? Suddenly, we see a sign of trail that goes to a right direction. Sign says “Helvete”. Good sign huh? Let us continue there.
Path to best via ferrata in Norway goes through Helvete?
No it does not, be better than us. At some point “Helvete” trail starts going up the hill and we are like “nope”, we don’t want to go up we want to go down to the starting point. So what do we do? Off-trail, a bright idea. Forest becomes slowly a jungle with vines and fallen trees, so we start to parkour over everything and I’m pretty sure it’s only the frustration now driving us forward. Remember that we are in hurry.
At some point we momentarily think that we should just call it a day and head back, but luckily we are too stubborn . Suddenly, a legit trail appears, it’s nice, it goes to right direction, yessss. Finally after a forest trip that felt like eternity we are at the Introveggen via ferrata starting point. We take a breather, eat peanuts, put on our gear and start climbing.
- Pro tip: do not go through helvete, go here, through the streets and save 1 hour in time. Unless of course you want some challenge.
- Pro tip 2: The “Helvete” trail goes up at some point, but also goes back down, so you can reach the destination by following this trail all the way. The trail we found later was the same “Helvete” trail. At some point you come to a crossing with signs to Bjørmosen and Helvete. Follow the trail to Bjørmosen after that.
Climbing probably the best via ferrata in Norway for beginners
Everything feels amazing, especially after a rough journey. The route itself is high-quality, well-maintained and safe. Introveggen was mostly mixture of climbing and hiking, which I imagine is the best combination for beginners. Views from the journey are magnificent. Everything was suddenly worth it.
As said before you should be in good physical condition to climb this, but you do not need to know any fancy rock climbing techniques, other than the via ferrata safety.
After enjoyable journey we start a down-hike back to our car. The down-hike takes about 1-1.5 hours in an ok terrain. At the car we were again all sunshine and puppies. It was amazing.
Need more destinations for your southern Norway road trip? Read about Jotunheimen here.