The Troll Wall (centre). Store Trolltind is the highest point along the ridge.
|Elevation||1,700 m (5,600 ft)|
|Møre og Romsdal|
|Location||Rauma, Møre og Romsdal, Norway|
|Topo map||1319 I Romsdalen|
The Troll Wall (Norwegian: Trollveggen) is part of the mountain massif Trolltindene (Troll Peaks) in the Romsdalen valley, near Åndalsnes and Molde, on the Norwegian west coast. Trollveggen is part of the Reinheimen National Park in the municipality of Rauma in Møre og Romsdal county. The Troll Wall is the tallest vertical rock face in Europe, about 1,100 metres (3,600 ft) from its base to the summit of its highest point. At its steepest, the summit ridge overhangs the base of the wall by nearly 50 metres (160 ft). The Rauma River and the European Route E136 runs just to the east of the wall.
The rock is gneiss, formed into a broken rock wall of huge corners, concave roofs, and crack systems, topped with a series of spires and pinnacles on the summit rim. The rock is generally loose, and rockfall is the norm on this north-facing big wall. There was a series of large rockfalls on the wall in September 1998, radically changing the character of several climbing routes.
The Troll Wall has been a prestigious goal for climbers and base jumpers alike. Carl Boenish, the "father" of base jumping, was killed on the Troll Wall in 1984 shortly after setting the world record for the highest base jump in history. Base jumping from Troll Wall has been illegal since 1986.
The Troll Wall was first climbed in 1965 by a Norwegian team. The Norwegian team, consisting of Ole Daniel Enersen, Leif Norman Patterson, Odd Eliassen, and Jon Teigland, finished one day ahead of the British climbers Tony Howard, John Amatt and Bill Tweedale, who established the most popular climbing route on the wall, the Rimmon Route. As of 2003, this route was reported unclimbable because a rockfall in September 1998 destroyed five of its pitches.
The wall saw its first winter ascent in March 1974, when Wojciech "Voytek" Kurtyka from Poland spent 13 days repeating the 1967 French Route. In 1979, the wall was free climbed for the first time by local climber Hans Christian Doseth and Ragnhild Amundsen.
Today, there are many routes on the wall, ranging in length and difficulty. The classic Rimmon and Swedish routes were normally free climbed in a day or two until being heavily damaged by the 1998 rock falls. The longer and more engaging aid routes, such as the 1972 test piece Arch Wall (climbed by Ed and Hugh Drummond in 20 days), or the 1986 Death to All/Pretty Blond Vikings, which cuts through the steepest part of the wall, require advanced knowledge of big wall climbing and several days on the wall.
Due to the serious character of the wall, in addition to a cold and damp climate, new routes on Troll Wall are rare. In February 2002, a Russian team established the Krasnoyarsk Route during 19 days. The 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) long Krasnoyarsk, graded f6c+/A4+, is generally thought to be the hardest aid route on the wall and was awarded first prize in the 2002 All Russia Winter Mountaineering Championships.
The most recent contribution to climbs on the Troll Wall is Katharsis, established by Polish climbers Marek Raganowicz and Marcin Tomaszewski over 18 days in January and February 2015. According to Planetmountain.com, the new route shares the first two pitches of the French Route, before forging a line between the Russian Route and Arch Wall. The team reported of difficulties up to A4/M7.
In July 2010, Arch Wall, previously a serious aid route of difficulty up to A4+, saw its first all-free ascent by local climber Sindre Sæther and his father, Ole Johan. Arch Wall is about 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) of climbing over 37 pitches, and it took the two a total of 36 hours of climbing to reach the summit.
In July 2012, Sindre and Ole Johan Sæther repeated the feat by free climbing the Krasnoyarsk Route.
The Troll Wall gained further notoriety as one of the pioneering sites for European BASE jumping during the first half of the 1980s.
The use of parachute equipment not adapted for cliff jumping, the need for jumpers to find exit points by trial and error and difficulties associated with retrieving injured jumpers led to a relatively high number of fatalities. This resulted in Norwegian authorities making BASE jumping from the Troll Wall illegal on July 25, 1986.
Despite BASE jumpers facing heavy fines, the loss of their equipment (and potentially their lives), the Troll Wall remains popular with both local jumpers and tourists as BASE jumpers have been able to use wingsuits to jump from the Troll Wall's highest point and make a safe landing.
- Store norske leksikon. "Trollveggen" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2010-10-27.
- "TROLLVEGGEN", alpinist.com, 1 September 2003. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- Troll Wall: the Untold Story of the British First Ascent of Europe's Tallest Rock Face, v-publishing.co.uk. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- "Base Hopper died after crashing in the rock wall", vg.no, 18 July 2003. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Nebell, Anne Grete; Bø, Bjarte (1999). Klatring i Romsdal (in Norwegian). Sogge Fjellsport. ISBN 978-82-995032-0-4.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Trollveggen.|
- Trollveggen BASE picture gallery
- Trollveggen official homepage
- Some information on the routes on Troll Wall
- John Amatt on the first ascent of the Rimmon Route
- Updates, topos, and more on the climbing in Romsdal
- Base fatalities list
- UKClimbing.com on the free ascent of Arch Wall
- "The First Ascent of the Troll Wall" by Tony Howard