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.
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.
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.