Sunnmørsalpene or Sunnmøre Area Mountains Guide

Randers Topp og Bladet, Sunnmøre

The wildest alpine valley I ever saw was not in the Alps, it was the valley Norangsdalen at Sunnmøre, Norway. - English climber William C. Slingsby.


Sunnmøre is located at the northwestern corner of Southern Norway. Not far from the open waters of the Norwegian Sea rises the sharp peaks of Sunnmørsalpene - the Sunnmøre Alps. These great mountains have been the marks of seamen for centuries. Not strange when you see the high, sharp peaks that rise directly from the sea. This is an eldorado for climbers and skiers, nothing less!
Slogenm, Sunnmørsalpene or Sunnmøre
Slogenm in Sunnmørsalpene or Sunnmøre


Together with Lyngsalpene in Troms and Hurrungane in Jotunheimen, Sunnmørsalpeme are the only mountains in Norway with a very high alpine character. The peaks rise directly from the fjords around to a heigth around 1400 meters. Between them are deep avalanche-ridden valleys with bottoms at about 200-300 meters. For the people living in the area, the steep mountains have always been a problem. Each winter avalanches take roads, and sometimes houses too. But for the experienced Sunnmørsalpene should constitute challenges rather than dangers. Good snow-conditions nearly every winter invite to summit-trips, with following skiing in deep powder down the long valley sides, all the way down to the fjord. Can life be better?

Legal status

Sunnmørsalpene does not have any special legal status, but then again: does it need so? The fjords are already cultivated as far as possible, and most of the alpine valleys are too avalanche-ridden to be safe. And the mountains itself? It would be impossible to build roads or cabins up there.

In general Sunnmørsalpene are so wild that special rules are not required. At least as long as the situation is as it is today.

Sunnmøre - Routes

Getting there

You can fly from Oslo, Trondheim and Bergen to Ålesund, there are also a daily bus-service from Bergen passing Volda, Ørsta, Vartdal and Barstadvik before reaching Ålesund. If you come from Oslo it easiest to take the train to Åndalsnes and bus from there to Ålesund, where you can go south to the mountain areas. The starting points of Stanndal, Urke and Øye is harder to reach with public transport.

If you come with car, parking is usually no problem. Some of the roads in the area are closed in winter. These include Norangsdalen (Øye-Hellesylt), Standalen (Ørsta-Standal), Geiranger-Langvatn, Ørnevegen (north from Geiranger) and Trollstigen (Åndalsnes-Sylte) The other roads will normally be kept open, but can be closed at some occasions due to avalanches.
Map of Sunnmørsalpene


Sunnmørsalpene is above all a land for day trips. Most of the summits are accessible on a daytrip from a nearby road. This goes for hiking and skiing as well as climbing.


Hiking in Sunnmørsalpene can get somewhat limited. Many of the summits can be reached without climbing gear, but you should nevertheless be experienced to do this. The terrain is often steep, especially near the summits, and the consequence of stepping wrong can be severe.

But hiking trips in the valleys are possible. From Kolås you can go to Vartdal og Barstadvik through Romedalen. And you can go from Urke to the lodge Patchellhytta, and from there on to Habostad. From Patchellhytta the steep summits of Smørskredtind and Slogen can be reached on foot. Actually most of the summits on the eastern side of Hjørundfjorden can be reached on foot. But remember, be careful!


Although Sunnmørsalpene does not offer high walls or other technical challenges to climbers, it offers alpine peaks and quite a number of very interesting pinnacles. Experienced climbers can reach most of the summits in Sunnmørsalpene without using their gear, but the climbing gear can get more in use at the pinnacles. "Bladet" (the blade) must be one of the most known of these. This 20 meter high rock looks like a knife and climbing on it looks stunning, although not too difficult.

For the inexperienced, there are possibilities to hire guides at Ørsta for climbing trips. Undoubtly an experience for lifetime!


Ski touring in Sunnmørsalpene is absolutely stunning. Due to being so close to the sea, the mountains get huge amounts of snow. The quality of the snow depends on the weather and the temperature. The best snow usually falls in the period January - March. At this time of the year you may experience dry powder down the endless valley-sides.

It should be mentioned here that skiing in Sunnmørsalpene also is an activity you should be experienced to do. The terrain is steep, and avalanches is a common problem. The most common skiing technique in Sunnmørsalpene is telemark, the reason being that you have to ski up as well as down.

Day trips on ski can be done almost all over Sunnmørsalpene. Longer stays are especially attractive at the lodges Patchellhytta and Standdalshytta in Standdalen. Note that the road thorugh Standdalen is closed in winter, so you'll have to ski the few kilometres to the hut.



The summer hike from Patchellhytta to Slogen is fantastic. You can reach Patchellhytta from Urke. Remember that the summit is steep!


The ski trip from Standalshytta to the summit Kolåstind is a fantastic trip. Enjoy!

Sunnmørsalpene or Sunnmøre Tourist Information Center

Alesund is a small fishing port in Norway. Located in the Sunnmøre area in the northern part of Norway's fjord area. The view from the top of Aksla Mountain is particularly spectacular. At the base of Aksla Mountain is a park with the statue of Gange Rolf, a local hero who was the ancestor of William the Conqueror. Skjerdingen Mountain also offers spectacular view from the top. Ålesund is the base for exploring the Sunnmøre area, which has many picturesque fjords, islands, mountains and fishing villages.

Tourist Information Office

Destination Ålesund & Sunnmøre
Skateflukaia, N-6002 Ålesund
Tel.: (+47) 70 15 76 00 Fax: (+47) 70 15 76 01

Sunnmøre Alps

Majestic peaks and alpine mountain formations set the Sunnmøre Alps apart from other mountainous areas. The mountains rise straight from the sea to a height of 1,500 - 1,600 metres. The Sunnmøre Alps stretch from Nordfjord in the south to Storfjord in the north. The Travel Association (DNT) have 3 huts in our region, Patchellhytta, Standalhytta and Tyssenaustet. If you are planning a mountain-holiday, organized tours or climbing, contact Ørsta Tourist Board or SunAlp Christer Lundberg Nes

SunAlp Christer Lundberg Nes

Furebakken 3
6100 Volda 978 620 493
phone:(+47) 90 93 48 84

Ørsta Tourist Board

Webjørn Svendsensgate 9
NO-6150 Ørsta
Parkveien 7
Telephone: 70 06 85 18
Fax: 70 06 75 05

People who viewed 'Sunnmørsalpene or Sunnmøre Area Mountains Guide' also found interest in following Norwegian articles . . .

Troms Area Mountains Guide

Introduction Troms is the second northernmost county in Norway, and certainly very different from the northernmost, Finnmark. Whereas Finnmark is characterized by wide valleys and a great mountain...

Trollheimen Area Mountains Guide

Introduction As "Jotunheimen", the word "Trollheimen" is inspired from the folkloric beliefs that mountains originally were trolls that were turned to rock at sunrise. If so, the original trolls must...

Reinheimen Area Mountains Guide

Introduction "Reinheimen" is a newly invented word. The purpose is to get a common name of this large mountain area, previously known as Tafjordfjella, Romsdalsfjella and Jettaområdet. The area spans...

Jotunheimen Area Mountains Guide

Introduction "Jotun" means giant, and that is exactly what Jotunheimen is - home of the giants. In ancient Norse mythology the gods lived in Åsgard, the humans in Midgard, and the bad giants - in...

Lofoten Area Mountains Guide

Introduction Lofoten is a very special area of Norway. It entirely consists of a row of islands, reaching out from the mainland into the Norwegian Sea. And the islands are mountainous. Sharp peaks...

Stølsheimen Area Mountains Guide

Introduction Stølsheimen is one of many mountain areas in Western-Norway that offer great opportunities to hikers and skiers. Although not very high, the mountains' great difference in altitude make...

Helgeland Area Mountains Guide

Introduction For the northbound, Helgeland marks the start of Northern - Norway, and what a start! The contrast from the relaxed forests and farmlands of Trøndelag is great, especially for those...