The Troll Wall is part of the Trolltindene mountain range, located on the west coast of Norway, 1,100 meters above sea level.
One of the highest natural stone walls in Europe is located in the western part of the amazing country of Norway, decorating the area of Ramsdal. The Troll Wall, which is more than a thousand meters above sea level, is part of the Trolltinden mountain range. In the largest places the summit overhangs the base by more than 45-50 meters, and this makes it even more mysterious, unique, but at the same time, adds a good share of danger.
The Ramsdal region is known throughout the world for its steep cliffs, picturesque views and deep valleys.
In the summer, wet weather most often prevails in these areas, which contributes to the filling of amazingly beautiful waterfalls rushing down the uneven, rocky walls.
In the wintertime, however, the daylight hours are quite short and temperatures are quite low. Therefore, previously “live” waterfalls turn into overhanging ice columns, which are conquered by many ice climbing enthusiasts. Almost all of the major peaks have terrific trails.
The Troll Wall, along with Trango Tower, El Capitan, belongs to the “Big Wall” group, combining popular and rather difficult to climb climb sites. This area is characterized by fairly frequent and massive collapses, one of which occurred in the fall of 1988. Then a huge piece of rock fell off and disrupted a large number of climbing routes. In total, the Troll Wall has 14 possible climbing routes: they can last from several days to several weeks. Some sections are quite difficult and extremely risky even for well-prepared professionals.
Legend explains the unusual name of the famous wall. According to an ancient legend, trolls, formerly inhabiting this region, enraged the Scandinavian gods with excessive pride and vanity, and for that they were severely punished – turned into stone. And even now, forever frozen, they defy men and gods.
The Troll Wall was first climbed in 1965 by a Norwegian-British group of climbers, and it lasted more than two weeks.
The route is now called Rimmon (after the biblical rock) and is still considered one of the most favorite routes of climbers around the world.
The weather in the Troll Wall area is excellent from May to October, but the best time to climb is from July to August. Weather conditions are influenced by the nearby coastline and the Gulf Stream. The usual phenomenon for this area is drizzling rain and variable cloudiness, but even such weather conditions do not prevent lovers of extreme climbing.
The only factor that can stop climbers is a storm. After it, the wall needs two or three days to become a comfortable object for climbing again.
The Troll Wall is also known as a favorite place for baseball players. In fact, this is where the culture was born. Despite all the difficulty in making the jump, because of the protruding shafts of the rock, it is very popular among those who want to make a base jump. Such extremists every year there are more and more.
The first-ever jump from this wall was recorded in the early eighties. But despite such a popularity of the Troll Wall, the Norwegian authorities in 1989, approved a law that states the prohibition of base-jumping from this facility, due to the large number of accidents.
In 1994 all lovers of leisure stunned by the death of the founder of basejumping – Carl Benisch, who spent the last seconds of his extreme life just at the Troll Wall. A jump from the wall was the cause of his tragic death.
The unknown, the mysterious and the obviously dangerous never ceases to attract desperate daredevils. Mother Nature never ceases to amaze those to whom it is important to feel a harmonious part of the planet. That’s why there are always lots of tourists at the foot of the Troll Wall.
Troll Wall (Trollveggen, Trollwall) is a part of Trolltindene massif in Romsdal valley near Andelsnes town in Norway. With a length of 1100 meters, is the largest vertical rock wall in Europe. In the steepest places the summit overhangs the base of almost 50 meters.
The Romsdal region, on the west coast of Norway, is known for its steep cliffs, deep valleys, and scenic views. In the summer, the area is often dominated by wet weather from the Atlantic Ocean, and then, incredible waterfalls rush down the granite walls. In winter, the daylight hours are very short, temperatures are low, and the waterfalls turn into multi-meter ice columns, some of which have already been traversed by ice climbing enthusiasts. Almost all of the main peaks in the area have impressive rock routes.
But the main object in the area is still the Troll Wall. The main rock here is gneiss. The wall has very little sunlight, even in summer, so many cracks are blocked with ice. The rocks are not strong enough. Severe rockfalls are common. On warm summer days, the snow on the shelves and other protruding terrain elements begins to melt, increasing the danger of rockfalls and watering the rocks. A big problem on the whole wall is orientation on the route. In addition, the possible sharp changes in weather, wet and slippery rocks, rockfalls can pose a real threat.
In the 1960s and 1970s, when the legendary Yosemite climbs were being made, climbers on the other side of the world were storming the 1,100-meter North Face of the Scandinavian Peak. At first glance, the wall appears to be just another rock ledge in a deep and majestic granite canyon. Then the view reveals “trolls” – rock spires and turrets framing the summit of Trollrygen. There are many legends, perhaps the trolls who once inhabited this coastal hill country and who to this day are the heroes of local lore, were turned into stone for their sins. Each of these spires has its own name, such as Trollkjerringa, which translates as “troll’s wife.” Beneath them stretched a huge wall: colossal corners, cornices, and crack systems. This is what attracted the attention of the climbers.
In July 1965 the Norwegian and British teams simultaneously approached the foot of the wall. The main task at that moment was more to discover an acceptable way to the summit than to perform true climbing feats. The four Norwegians began to work their way up the line along the obvious inner corner and chute system on the left side of the wall. This historic ascent took 11 days. The route was rarely repeated. The route was not so much difficult as very dangerous because of the large number of “live” stones in the troughs. The first explorers had a lot of difficulties because they used soft hooks which were very hard to pull out. According to Norwegian mountain ethics, you can’t leave your gear on the trail. The harsh Norwegian principle that guards the pristine nature of these walls these days categorically forbids leaving all sorts of climbing debris on the mountain, such as fixed ropes after descending from an unsuccessful ascent attempt and the like.
The team, consisting of three British climbers, decided to take a straighter line in the center of the wall. After an exemplary route through dubious systems of cracks, traverses, blindly around columns separating from the main wall, traversing long walls covered by impressive ledges, the difficulty of some of which corresponds to the modern highest categories of free and artificial climbing, they reached the top in 5 days of continuous work. Their route, now known as the Rimmond route, became the most popular line on the wall. Nowadays it is usually walked in 1 day.
In 1967, a French team walked a beautiful directissima through the center of the steepest part of the cliff. The climbers roped for 21 days to the summit and broke away only in the last 200 meters. In 1971, a determined British team climbed the French route in bad weather for eight days. Since then, there have been many attempts on the wall in general and the French line in particular, but very few have been successful.
In 1972, fighting for an easy style of climbing, climber-poet Ed Drummond and his partner Hugh Drummond (just namesakes) set themselves the task of climbing a new route up the steepest part of the wall without using siege equipment. The climb was a true test of the climbers’ “strength.” With only 12 days’ supplies, the friends were forced to wait out fierce storms that forced them to sit all day in unreliable hammocks or on narrow shelves. After 20 days of struggling, the completely exhausted climbers reached the summit. For the last three days on the wall, they had no water or food. They called their route “The Arch Wall.”
Since then, six more new routes have been built to the Troll Wall. The wall’s potential has yet to be fully unlocked. All of the more than a dozen available routes follow the major obvious crack systems, but there are opportunities for new lines using modern ITO techniques. Some routes now offer excellent sections where ITO can be replaced by difficult and dangerous free climbing. As elsewhere in the world, there is a tendency on the Troll Wall to do routes with as much free climbing as possible. Another interesting trend is to do existing routes in winter. The winter conditions in the area of the Troll Wall are very difficult and in their severity can compete with many mountain areas of the world.
The Troll Wall is also known as a favorite method for base jumpers. This is one of the places where this activity originated. In 1980, Finn Jorma Öster skydived from the Troll Wall for the first time. After him, until 1986 there were completely 300-400 jumps from the wall. However, since July 25, 1986, the authorities banned jumps from the Troll Wall. Basically, this was due to the fact that in the early days of base jumping parachute equipment was poorly adapted to jump from various objects, in addition, basseurs had to find comfortable places to jump literally by trial and error, which led to a large number of accidents in a relatively short period of time. However, with the use of the wing suit, jumps from the Trollveggen array became less dangerous. If the unlucky bather remains on the wall, it is often impossible to remove him with a helicopter, and rescuers have to climb the wall, risking their own lives. The riskiness of rescue operations was also one of the main reasons for the ban. It seems that in the foreseeable future it should not be abolished. Despite the tough penalties (large fine if a jumper is caught), baseball players continue to make spectacular jumps off the Troll Wall.
The Troll Wall area enjoys good weather from May through October, but the best time to climb is July and August. The weather here is influenced by the proximity of the coast and the Gulf Stream current. Cloud cover and drizzling rain are common, so many climbs take place under these conditions. It usually takes several days after a storm for the wall to return to optimal climbing conditions.
Set of necessary equipment varies greatly depending on the choice of route. On “fast” routes (Rimmond Route, Swedish Route) a small backpack and equipment for free climbing will suffice. On the more difficult routes, such as the Arch Wall, you will need a large set of assorted iron, a platform, a torch, bivouac gear, water and food supplies for 10-12 days, and so on.
Road and lodging
Andalsnes is the center of the entire Romsdal mountain region. There are trains from Oslo to here. The Troll Wall and many other climbing and mountaineering sites are only a few kilometers from Andalsnes. AAK Fjellsportsenter organizes tourism in the area and offers travelers a variety of services, up to and including instruction in rock climbing, ice climbing, and alpine skiing. There are several huts and campsites in the area. In addition, do not forget that in Norway, you can put up a tent anywhere where it is not separately prohibited (national parks, private estates, farmland, and similar places). From Russia to Norway, and in particular to the Troll Wall often get to Finland by car through the territory of Finland (it’s easier to get a visa here!), then take a ferry to Norway (so as not to burn expensive European gasoline), and there again in his car to the place.