Finnan is the highest mountain west of RV63 (Trollstigen), north of Norddalsfjorden-Storfjorden and south of Isfjorden-Romsdalsfjorden. This is a *vast* mountain region. Finnan is located directly above the famous Trollstigen road and is a very popular mountain for summer skiing. The starting point is (close to) Alnesreset - the high point of Isterdalen (north) and Valldalen (south). Once on Finnan, it's smaller neighbour Alnestinden is also within reach.
The Trollstigen road is closed in winter, and a winter ascent of Finnan is a more serious undertaking. In addition to a very long ski-trip, the weather and avalanche hazard must be taken into consideration. From the road opens, and normally well into July, you can ski directly from the car to the summit. Snowmelt *may* however force you to carry the skis across short sections. This web-page will describe a summer-ski roundtrip that includes Finnan and Alnestinden. The route runs across a glacier, but you will be informed how you can reach Finnan without crossing glaciers.
The views are outstanding. In terms of primary factor, Finnan is #17 in Møre og Romsdal county. Within the vast region that Finnan dominates in height, you will find Nonstinden (1573m) in 13th place on the list created by Petter Bjørstad. This is so because the valley between Stordal (Norddalsfjorden) and Skjelbostad (Innfjorden/Isfjorden) has a signficantly lower pass than Alnesreset.
Finnan belongs to Rauma kommune, while the Norddal/Rauma border runs across the summit of Alnestinden.
Finnan (Norge 1:50,000: 1786m, Økonmisk Kartverk: -, UTM 32 V 428239 6925553) has a primary factor of 923m towards higher mountains east of Alnesreset. The defining saddle is Alnesreset, on the Rauma/Norddal kommune border (approx. UTM 32 V 430651 6923018) Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), the saddle is within the range 860-865m, interpolated to 863m.
Averaged over 15 minutes, my GPS reported 1793m on the ground.
Alnestinden (Norge 1:50,000: 1665m, Økonmisk Kartverk: -, UTM 32 V 428930 6923604) has a primary factor of 195m towards higher parent mountain Finnan (1786m).. The defining saddle (approx. UTM 32 V 428843 6924476) is found on the ridge between the two tops. Ref. Økonomisk Kartverk (5m contours), the saddle is within the range 1460-1480m, interpolated to 1470m.
Averaged over 5 minutes, my GPS reported 1673m on the ground.
Notes: Class ratings are in reference to YDS. Click here for more information.
The trails described below are not necessarily the *easiest* trails to this mountain.
Alnesreset - Finnan - Alnestinden (summer skiing)
From Ålesund, you can drive to Alnesreset via E136 to Åndalsnes, then southbound to the RV63 Trollstigen junction and all the way to the top of Isterdalen valley.
Or; follow E39 to Sjøholt, turn right towards "Stordal/Geiranger" and continue along Norddalsfjorden on RV63 to the place Sylte. Turn north and follow RV63 to the top of Valldalen.
The normal summer skiing route begins 500m north of the kommune border on Alnesreset. Either park on top of the valley, or find parking along side the road. In summer, this road is very busy.
At first, you follow the normal skiing route to Alnestinden, but after passing 1000m elev., you have to start crossing further right towards Finnan's south glacier. Once you have the glacier ahead of you; the normal skiing route runs up to your left and tops out on the Finnan - Alnestinden saddle. If you plan to cross the glacier, you should be in a roped team. Head towards a distinct snowfield (approx. 35-40 degrees) and ascend here. Then turn west and ascend the final 100 vertical meters to the top of Finnan (marked by a proper cairn with a summit logbook).
This route follows the Finnan - Alnestinden ridge and is quite obvious. Depending on the snowmelt, you may or may not have to carry the skis across shorter sections on this route. Alnestinden's north ridge is steep, and some may choose to ascend the upper ridge on foot. If this ridge has hard snow, this ascent is exposed to the east. You will find several cairns on Alnestinden. Expect to find the summit logbook hidden inside the tallest of the cairns.
Your reward is now the 800m+ descent back to the trailhead. You head out in a northeast direction before you turn southeast in the main valley. The glacier you cross upon descent is considered to be safe.
The skis are never "put away" for the season, but honestly, I expected that there would be no more skiing until next winter. But when Svein Myhre announced summer skiing to Finnan, I wasn't hard to persuade. The plan was to meet a party from Molde (Geir, Hans Petter and Brynhild) at Alnesreset 09:30AM. The weather was fine, just fine. We expected to face some clouds in the afternoon, but it would in any case be a warm day.
We left Alnesreset 09:55AM. I had never been up here before (well, as a young child, but never in my adult life) and was struck by the MIGHTY mountains surrounding us. I had grown accustomed to the sharp and wild Sunnmøre alps, but this was different. These mountains were HUGE!. While heading towards Finnan's south glacier, I realised that I had brought along too little water. 1 litre would surely not be enough. I had probably lost that amount by sweating already..
We roped up and traversed the glacier. The glacier exit point seemed mighty steep from distance, and I suggested to Geir that he just dragged the rope to the top and anchored it. Then we could just hold on to it while ascending. And so he did. But half-way up the hill, I had to admit that I had was wrong about the hill, and there was no need to hold on to the rope. Not being on "the peak of my skiing condition", the final 100 vertical meters to the summit were exhausting. But by 12:30PM, I reached the summit, a couple of minutes ahead of the others. I needed these minutes to get a 360 degree panorama without people in motion. Those images are HARD to put together.
To Finnan's north top
640m north/northwest of Finnan is point 1779/1780m, which has a somewhat airy ascent route. We headed over there to check out the conditions. A snowfield is helpful for downclimbing a small pass, but the snow had retracted. The slabs didn't look very inviting. Geir and Svein decided to do the climb, and then I noticed that there was an alternative route. By the time the others had reached the bottom of the pass, I considered if I should follow. I decided not to. The others were swiftly climbing up on the other side, and I would slow the group down. The party from Molde HAD to be back at the trailhead 15:30PM. This route didn't scare me, and I will go for it on my next visit to Finnan.
We had one more mountain to do, and we had to get going. We skied most of the way down to the Finnan - Alnestinden saddle, but had to carry the skis for a few minutes. We continued skiing up towards Alnestinden, walked on foot for a few minutes before we arrived the summit on skis, 14:40PM. The final drops of water were swallowed to the body's delight, but it was way too little. The sun, the temperature and the climb was tormenting the body. I wasn't exhausted, not by any means, but I was so damned thirsty. After a brief stay on Alnestinden, I headed down the mountain, with water as the main goal.
I left the summit 14:55PM. The others followed shortly after. I paused a couple of times for pictures before I ran down to the trailhead. I was back at the car 15:10PM and drank 1,5 litres of water from the nearby stream. What a delightful descent. The snow was just perfect. Too bad that the fun didn't last longer. The others followed after a little while, and were ready to head back to Molde by 15:28PM. Good timing.
To Finnan's south glacier
Across the glacier and to the top
360 deg. wide-angle panorama (moderately annotated)
50mm panoramas (heavily annotated)
Zoom panoramas (moderately annotated)
Other summit pics
Finnan's north top
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