This weekend the Norwegian Alpine Centre opens with exhibits and a “mountain library”. Already, you can challenge your fear of heights in one of the country’s biggest climbing walls, and enjoy a brand new movie experience.
Like a miniature version of the majestic Romsdal Alps all around, the town of Åndalsnes has got a distinctive new building: Norsk Tindesenter (The Norwegian Alpine Center). Inside the “peak” there’s a 21 meter tall climbing wall.
“Climbing here is accessible to all ages. You can start when you’re four. But there are maybe five people in Norway who can manage the most challenging parts,” says managing director of the centre, Anita Vik Buckley, to Visit Norway.
The climbing wall, film experience and restaurant opened earlier this month, on 14. May. The coming Saturday will see the opening of the rest of the centre – that is, the exhibition, and a “mountain library”.
Get a taste of the film.
The whole project is based on the work and collections of the Norwegian climbing pioneer Arne Randers Heen (1905 – 1991), who opened the centre’s precursor, Norsk tindemuseum, in 1990. He was known as the “King of the Romsdalshorn”, because he ascended the famous peak 233 times – and built a cabin on the peak. He went climbing all over the world and made several first ascents.
“Once he rode his bicycle down to Switzerland and ascended the Matterhorn. Then he rode back,” says Buckley, to illustrate the man’s character.
The new centre is a continuation of what he started.
“It’s an experience centre focusing on Norwegian mountaineering history. It’s a new and modern museum with interactive installations and a film auditorium where you can watch a film of peaks and trolls,” says Buckley.
“There are several mountain museums around Europe, but most are focusing on the flora and fauna. Here, it’s about the activity – with climbing, base jumping and skiing,” she adds.
The centre’s climbing walls are a great place to train if you want to conquer the spectacular mountains all around. Some of Norway’s most famous landscapes and landmarks are found right here, with the Romsdalseggen trail, the Troll Wall (the tallest vertical rock face in Europe), and the dramatic serpentine road, Trollstigen, to name a few.
“We want more people to get out in Norwegian nature, and to teach them about safety in the mountains,” Buckley says, referring to Visit Norway’s own #BeSafie project.
Norsk Tindesenter opens this Saturday, 28 May, and is open every day throughout the summer. The climbing walls, film experience and restaurant, Spiret Spiseri, are already open.
Sweat trickles from sunburnt foreheads as we climb the last, rocky slope of the Romsdalseggen ridge, feet already sore inside the hiking boots.
Climbing parks are great for body and soul. First and foremost, they offer tons of fun. Today the season starts at Oslo Summer Park, one park among dozens that have opened all over Norway in recent years.