In Romsdalen you become a “Mountian King” or “Mountain Queen” if you climb seven of the most spectacular and popular summits – Juratind 1712m, Vengetind 1852m, Kvanndalstind 1744m, Romsdalshorn 1552m, Store Trolltind 1788m, Dronninga 1544m and Kongen 1614m. Normally each of this mountains is a day-tour, but if your fast you can do two or three in a day. For many years I’ve been thinking about doing all seven in one long day. But I’ve never tried – there has always been some god or not-so-good reasons to postpone it. Last fall, when I mentioned the plan to Ola Hovdenak, a Norwegian ski mountaineer and friend, we both realised that we had been thinking about the same thing. So, we had a plan – this spring we would try to be the first to do all seven summits in less than 24 hours.
We wanted enough snow so we could use skies a lot, both up and down. The ideal would be a cold period after some warm weather. Then the climbing would be dry and the snow would be fast. This year there was not much snow in Romsdalen and super-warm weather melted a lot of it in early May. I started to get desperate and was afraid the whole project would melt away. We did not get that period of cold weather, but on the last weekend of May the forecast promised good, but really warm weather. To much snow had melted so we would need to carry the skies a lot and the snow was be soft and not so good for trail-breaking, specially up high and where we could not use skies. But we also knew that we wouldn’t get any better conditions this year so we decided to give it a try.
We started at night on May 26. It was quite cold and we had good conditions on Juratind, our firs mountain. Then we drove to Vengedalen and skinned up Vestgjelet and up to Store Vengetind. From Vestgjelet we skied the small couloir east and down on the glacier to Søre Vengetind. Then we climbed Vengetindstraversen to Søre Vengetind, then Kvanndalstind before we skied down the glacier to the base of Halls renne on Romsdalshorn. After Romsdalshorn we drove to Trollstigen and did Store Trolltind in really bad snow before we finished with Dronninga and Kongen. We toped out Kongen 20 hours and 2 min after we started. We had done a total of 6455 vertical meters and almost 60 kilometres.
We used Dynafit ski mountaineering race gear the whole day and only carried the gear we knew we would need, also on the climbing. We used car to get between the mountain-areas and had two bikes placed in Vengedalen the day befor so we did not have to run the 4k to get to the car again. Except of that we did not use any sort of aid – no stashed gear and no pre-made tracks (the last would have helped us a lot).
Looking at the numbers, 6455 vertical meters in 20 hours is not very impressive, but considering that we did quite a lot of scrambling and climbing and that we had hard trail breaking on the last half of the day, I was quite happy with the time. But it can fore sure be done a lot faster. I hope someone else tries it, other-ways I might have to try again.
Here is a short video shoving us topping out on the last summit. The snow here was representative for the conditions we had the last half of the day.
And here is some pictures, click on images to see larger version