• Finnan
  • 1786 m.
  • Primary factor 835 m.
  • Location: Near Trollstigen, Romsdal, Norway.
  • Location: North 62:27.252, East 007:36.541 (GPS on the summit)
  • Difficulty: YDS class 2
  • Climbed July 1 2009.


How to get there: This mountain is the highest west of Hwy.63 connecting Åndalsnes and Valldal. Åndalsnes is located at the end of the valley Romsdalen, connected to Hwy. E-6 via Hwy. E-136 from Dombås. Hwy. 63 forks south from E-136 about 5 kilometer south-east of Åndalsnes. This road is famous for its section Trollstigen, a spectacular hairpin-curve road that climbs a steep mountain slope with postcard quality waterfalls all around.
Drive up this road to the highest pass where the border between Rauma and Valldal is clearly marked. There is parking on your left side of the road. This is the trailhead, location N62:25.953, E007:39.453, elevation about 870 meter. Park here.
Route description: This mountain is well known for good skiing, often well into the month of July. Traverse north until you find snow (if skiing), then head uphill while traversing further north. Enter the big bowl (containing a small glacier) south-east of Finnan, your elevation should be about 1200 meter at this point.
From here the route is pretty obvious. Continue skiing up the middle of the bowl, traverse left higher up and gain the ridge in the middle of the only section where the slope connects with the ridge (there are cliffs elsewhere). The very highest part of this route is pretty steep and has some exposure since the slope directly below is quite steep. If the snow is good, one can ski across and gain the ridge. With hard snow, one might need crampons and an ice axe here.
As soon as the ridge has been gained, one turns right and climbs this rather broad ridge all the way to the summit. Be aware of possible cornices and the vertical cliffs on your right hand side as you ascend.
The ridge may have sections without snow late in the season, in this case one may as well leave the skis behind and continue on foot.
Comments: I did this trip with my son Pål Jørgen, age 20. We stayed in a small camping hut near Valldal and arrived at the trailhead shortly after 0700. However, breakfast should be made and consumed, my skis needed klister wax etc. The morning was nice and sunny and we were in no hurry whatsoever.
The biggest surprise of the day came when moving the skis out of the ski bag. There were only three ski poles! What happened to the 4th. clearly left behind in Bergen, will remain a mystery. Well, the old Vikings skied with a single pole, so Pål Jørgen would also manage. A second complication on this trip was the lack of a practical knife. We had left Bergen without bringing a knife, but as we bought bread and cheese for breakfast, we did need a knife. I checked around the local store in Valldal (Ica), but with no success. I could buy 25 tiny plastic knifes, however they seemed totally useless relative to the purpose of cutting bread. I finally bought a pair of scissors costing about as much as our entire supply of grocery, from now on we would slice our bread with the scissors.
We left around 0800 and immediately knew that this would be a hot day. Thus, at elevation 1160 meter, we made our first break next to a small creek that supplied us with more water. We carried a rope for the glacier, however, upon closer inspection we decided that our route of ascent would cross good snow with no crevasse danger. Thus, the rope and our harnesses were left at a prominent rock. Skiing was good and before long we carefully crossed "the crux" of the route, the pretty steep access from the bowl and up to the south-east ridge of Finnan.
As soon as we had gained the ridge, we observed that the ridge was free of snow for most of its steeper part. No use to carry the skis up here, we parked them at elevation 1540 meter.
We arrived at the summit by 1130, 3.5 hours of good uphill with very hot weather. There was not a single whisper of wind. Clouds almost all around us, but we had sun and blue sky directly overhead. Time for more water and some snacks. Time for photography, time for just sitting at this nice peak and look around on the facinating landscape of this region of Norway. We registered our names in the mailbox summit book. I made a note that this summit completed my ascents of the 50 most prominent mountains in Southern Norway. In fact, Finnan was the only peak remaining for almost the last two years.
We enjoyed this fine summit for a full hour before starting to think about descending. The descent was rather nice, I enjoyed seeing Pål Jørgen doing Telemark turning shifting his single pole from one hand to the other. A short foot hike back to the road pass, arriving by the car shortly before 1400.
The weather was so nice that we first played tourists and drove down the Trollstigen section of the road, before turning back to our base camp in Valldalen. More breakfast, a basket of fresh strawberries, more good weather before a well deserved dinner at the local restaurant. Tomorrow will be our last day of this summer trip north of Bergen. Our goal tomorrow will be Breitinden. We have already looked at the route from the summit of Finnan. There is little snow and we will set out on foot.