Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal
Bispen & Kongen, July 11 2008
To the main Bispen & Kongen page (maps, route descriptions, etc.)
Bispen & Kongen form ..
some of the most beautiful mountain scenery I know. They've been on my mind ever since I saw them upon a ski-trip to Finnan in 2006. When my friend Arngeir told me he would be hiking a Rauma mountain on this Friday, I suggested Bispen, and joined in on the hike. My general impression was that Bispen was a fairly hike. I also asked our Friend Torill to come along, and she in turn invited her friend Inka. One of the things I love about living in Møre og Romsdal, is that hiking mates are never hard to find.
We left the Stigrøra trailhead 8:45am. The early start was mainly because Arngeir had a long drive ahead of him (summer vacation). But it was useful in terms of the weather too. Supposedly, it would rain in the afternoon. The forecast mentioned thunder too. In any case, the weather was gorgeous when we left the trailhead.
I had no clue ..
whether there would be snow on the mountain, or not. I didn't think there would be, but I encouraged the others to bring ice-axes and crampons. Just in case. The only snow we found was along Bispevatnet and up to the Bispen - Kongen saddle. And this section does not warrant the use of crampons and axe. But even if our route to Bispen was facing north, there was hardly any snow left on the mountain.
I also invited ..
the others to a "contest", about not causing any rocks to "fly". There would surely be other hikers, and this mountain was scary in terms of loose rock, gravel and scree. I encouraged everyone to scramble on solid rock, wherever possible. It's this thing about "flying rocks"; it's not in one's nature to overfocus on this, unless you've been at the other end when the rocks come flying. And I've been at that end..
The walk/scramble up to Bispen was pure delight. The weather, the mountain, the surrounding scenery, the green valley and snowy mountains, and not least, good company. We reached the top of Bispen 10:43am. It took us 2 hours up, in (I would say) a normal pace. We stayed 45 minutes on top, just enjoying the day. I had been glancing towards Kongen for a while, and felt a strong desire to have a closer look at the southeast ridge. Just out of curiousity. I knew that Kongen wasn't supposed to be a very difficult mountain, but I assumed the route ran up the southwest ridge - from the Finnan - Kongen saddle. I decided to make my decision when we were back in the saddle.
A large number of hikers were on their way up the mountain. There was one guided group and one group of basejumpers. We'd better pay attention to loose rocks. And no rocks flew until we were almost back down in the saddle. But then there were no more hikers below us.
Arngeir had to hit the road, and I told Torill and Inka that I would take a look at Kongen's southeast ridge. They wanted to come along too. As clouds were moving in, I told them I would be hiking faster now. They looked at each other as in "what's that supposed to mean". I didn't mean to imply they were walking slow, and I wanted them to come along too, but given the poor weather forecast, I wanted to tweak the pace up one notch. These girls don't have a problem with notches and off we went.
We left the Bispen - Kongen saddle 12:04pm and hiked more or less non-stop until we were in the south face. The route ahead was fairly obvious, and there was even red paint! We scrambled alongside a gully filled with snow. When we had a steep mountain face ahead of us, we noticed the second red mark and crossed (on snow) the top of the gully we had followed.
The only logical place to go was up on the ridge that defined the right side of the gully. The scramble was easy, but of the kind that suggested caution upon descent. On top of the ridge, we were now in another wide gully where further progress was quite obvious. After a short scramble, we were on top of Kongen. The time was now 1:49pm. It took us 1h:45m to ascend the 500 vertical meters from the saddle.
Wow, this was truly some peak. Even if the summit area was flat, and by no means exposed, there was serious air all around. Bispen looked small, 150 vertical meters below. All three of us had the widest of smiles. How about this as a bonus?
There was now a massive rainshower above Puttegga, and we decided to head back down. The weather seemed to settle instead of deteriorate, which meant we could take our time. Other hikers were on their way up the mountain, and the same rule for loose rocks applied on Kongen too. We were back at Stigrøra 3:02pm, after yet another superb day in the Trollstigen area.
The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 300D + Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM F 4-5.6
(Full size images)
(Images scaled down.
To the Bispen - Kongen saddle
To the Bispen - Kongen saddle
Wide-angle view from Bispen
Wide-angle view from Kongen
85mm zoom views from Kongen
Other pics from Kongen