Norwegian Mountains, Møre og Romsdal

Bispen & Kongen, July 11 2008

To the main Bispen & Kongen page (maps, route descriptions, etc.)



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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.. 

On Bispen

On Bispen
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To Bispen

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.

Descending Bispen

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.

To Kongen


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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

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Gudbrandsjuvet, Valldal

1. Trollkyrkja 2. Gudbrandsjuvet, Valldøla river 3. Gudbrandsjuvet, Valldøla river 4. Gudbrandsjuvet, Valldøla river 5. Gudbrandsjuvet, Valldøla river 6. Gudbrandsjuvet, Valldøla river 7. Gudbrandsjuvet, Valldøla river

To the Bispen - Kongen saddle

0. Trip tracks 8. Bispen and Kongen seen from Alnesreset 9. Leaving Stigrøra 10. Up along the stream 11. Bispen above 12. Moving out-of-sync 13. Passing Bispen 14. Alnestinden had skiers today 15. Inka, Torill and July snow 16. Along Bispevatnet 17. Kongen comes into view 18. In front of Bispen 19. Trolltindane

To the Bispen - Kongen saddle

20. Heading up Bispen 21. Ascending Bispen 22. Arngeir and a fine viewpoint 23. Moving on up 24. Slightly steep.. 25. Inka and Torill, scrambling along 26. This is the path, is it not? 27. Arngeir - surfacing 28. Isterdalen 29. Torill, Inka and fun terrain 30. Arngeir on the summit ridge 31. Trollstigen down below 32. Trollstigen down below 33. Finnan seen from Bispen 34. Everyone accounted for! 35. A miserable attempt 36. The trailhead 37. The south ridge

Wide-angle view from Bispen

38. Wide-angle view from Bispen

To Kongen

39. Descending Bispen 40. Kongen ahead 41. Looking back on Bispen 42. The southeast ridge 43. The southeast ridge 44. Entering the south face 45. The only way is up 46. View up the mountain 47. The gully we followed 48. Torill and Inka enjoyed the scramble 49. Switching gullies 50. The crux section 51. A new gully 52. Inka arrives on Kongen 53. Torill arrives on Kongen 54. The Kongen summit cairn

Wide-angle view from Kongen

55. Wide-angle view from Kongen

85mm zoom views from Kongen

56. 85mm zoom view from Kongen 57. 59mm zoom view from Kongen

Other pics from Kongen

58. Finnan seen from Kongen 59. Dronninga 60. Dronninga 61. Dronninga 62. The southwest ridge 63. Åndalsnes and Isterdalen


64. Bispen 65. Bispen and Trollstigen 66. Descending Kongen - the gully below the summit 67. Desending Kongen - the crux section 68. Tourist attraction or a broke climber?

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