July 2018 • Canon 60D camera
Distance (round trip)
Duration (round trip)
Boy was it hot today! I was visiting Norway during a rare heatwave in the country. And today I planned to do a quick hike to a viewpoint above Åndalsnes town before catching a bus to Geirangerfjord. The hike itself takes 2.5 hrs round trip, but I was aiming to do it in under 2 hrs in order not to miss my bus. Some of travel colleagues said it was Mission Impossible...
I was confident in my endurance levels that I could make the hike to the top and back in under 2 hrs. From the city centre of Åndalsnes you can walk to the start of the trail for the Rampestreken viewpoint. A steel ramp leads you up to the trail. As you walk up the sound of the town below slowly fades away. The place was quiet with the sound of a few birds. Ahead of me I could make out a couple on the hike but no one else. It felt like I had the hike all to myself.
This first section is quite easy and so I had quickly hiked up on the trail filled with exposed tree roots. This made the ground uneven and a bit awkward at times as there were areas just full of tree roots you had to step over. I wasn't expecting so many tree roots and this slowed me down a bit.. With the heat of the sun burning down on me, it made the hike up difficult. The trees gave some protection from the light of the sun, but the trail was now quite steep.
Some parts on the trail you had to walk on rock cliff edges with a steel chains that you can hold onto as you climb up. Along the way you had helpful sign posts pointing you in the right direction on the trail. Even though I was rushing, I still had time to soak in the surrounds and take some photos. At one point I could see the viewpoint in the distance above. It was a lovely day with blue skies, so I imagined I would get clear blue skies at the top to see the town below.
The town of Åndalsnes is situated on the Romsdal Fjord, at the mouth of the Rauma River. It is surrounded by mountains and is often called “the alpine town of the fjord”
At around 430 metres, the final stretch of the hike was a steel staircase and a stone step stairway. These stone steps are called Romsdalstrappa. They are the work of Nepalese Sherpas, who were skilled in making this final steep section accessible. As I ascended further up, I was above the trees and resist the temptation to look around until I got to the viewpoint.
I was sweating in the heat and was breathing heavily as I was still on a tight deadline to get up and back down again for my bus. As I reached the end of the stone stairway, I felt a sense of achievement and excitement to see the view below...
62.5609° N, 7.7124° E
You walk on a see-through metal grid platform that extends out from the edge of the steep cliff. At 537 metres above sea level, it felt like you was walking on air. The end of the platform reveals a panoramic view of the fjord, the surrounding Romsdalen Valley, mountains and the town of Åndalsnes below. It was an awesome view.
I stood there silently, with the gentle breeze cooling me down from the sweat and heat of the sun. I had perfect weather to see everything below and in the distance. It was a nice reward to have a couple of minutes on the platform alone to admire the magnificent, breathtaking view.
I can highly recommend this hike when the weather is good with clear skies. A great reward awaits you when you make it all the way to the top. One point to note is that on a busy day you might have to wait your turn in line, to stand on the platform. I was lucky that there was no-one around for me to take my time to admire the views and take photos. As with all hikes, come prepared with clothes layers to pack on or off based on weather. Bring plenty of water, snacks and a good pair of hiking boots. There are a lot of uneven surfaces on the trail so you will need some sturdy footwear to make it easy.
The hike is classed as moderate which, for regular hikers, that would be correct. I managed to get hike up and down in under 2 hrs due to the tight deadline I had. Normally it would take 2.5 to 3 hours at a normal pace. If you don't hike much, you might find this hike challenging in some places due to how steep it can get. But don't let this put you off - the pay off at the end is worth giving it a go!
The start of the classic Inca Trail with a gentle hike on a sunny day