It was one of the first times I was climbing the north face of Romsdalshorn, a iconic rock tower that dominates Rauma valley, and while navigating in the face I hear a crashing noise comming from above me. I thought it was a big block that some climbers took down, so I put all my body as close to the wall as I could and when I look up I saw a men falling dawn the wall. He wasn't falling, but skydiving. A red suit passed close to me and continue flying down the valley 1500 meters below screaming excitement yeaaahh's. That flying man was Tom Erik Heimen. Tom Erik has been base jumping and skydiving for 20 years, opened many new jumps in Norway and set some incredible records. He is also a expert skier and steep skier and was one of the first ones to mix skiing with BASE jumping. He is also a great endurance athlete, last year he did the 7 topper in Romsdal, running and jumping in under 23h. This is almost 10.000 meters of elevation!
I meet Tom Erik several times in the mountains and we did some trips together and I don't remember exactly when but some time last year we started talking about this challenge. It would be fun to see who is faster climbing up & down this iconic summit.
Romsdalshorn is a 1550m summit situated in the oposite side of Trolltind and Trollwall and it was climbed first in 1828 when Kristian Hoel and Hans Bjermeland. The 2nd ascent was by C. Hall, M. Soggemoen and E. Norahagen in 1881 and since then it became a classic climb. In 1920, a group of norwegians, OH. Furuseth, P. Sabro, R. Ødegard and H. Nygard climbed the noth face, that has become today probably the most popular climbing route in Romsdal.
Last week good waether came back and Tom Erick and I had free time to try to do-it. We text to meet by the parking at the evening of July 11th. At that time of the day the sun hits the north face making the ascent or flight even more enjoyable. The plan was that we started together from the trailhead, with all we needed and with no external support. I was going to climb the north face (300m IV) and downclimb the Halls Renne (450m III) and Tom Erik was going to climb Halls Renne and fly over the north face, so we would cross sometime in the route.
At 6:30 PM I arrived at the parking in Vengedalen and went for a reco loop. Last week was snowing and I wanted to check that it wasn't wet or that wasn't some (more) loose rocks on the climb. Arriving back at the parking I meet Tom Erik who had done some reco's the day before too.
We had tell some friends our plans and Matti, Raymond, Sue, Colin and a few more come to watch and film.
A bit after 9pm we started running up. I felt good and saw that I could run and push all the "easy" uphill part to the gap, below the begining of the climb, which I pass in 20 minutes. I climbed the route in 10 minutes, without taking any risk and checking the solidity of the holds. I reach the summit just past half hour, I was so thriled sinse my best time to that moment was 33'50''. I search for the summit book at the summit stoneman and wrote Kilian 30'45'' . I started downclimbing the south side, now entering to the shadow. I reached the gap between Romsdalshorn and Lite Romsdalshorn on a steady but safe pace, it is not dificult but falling in the hole route have huge consequences. about 100m under the summit I crossed Tom Erik, who was climbing up super fast. We high five and continue our ways. At that point both knew it would be super close. When I hit the trail I coudn't stop watching to my right looking for a silhouete passing me in the air. I came back to the trailhead after 52'26'' and just the time to take a breath I saw a shadow turning from the north wall at an astonishing speed. The difference was so small!!
What is very interesting is that is was super close, so let's have a look at the details:
3.4km distance, 850m of elevation.
Kilian: Gear weight 700gr/ Uphill time 30'30'' / Summit time 1'08'' / Downhill time 20'48'' / Max speed 18,3 km/h/ Total time: 52'26''
Gear: Sense Softground 7, a sense tee and shorts, a pulse belt, a GoPro Hero 7, suunto 9 and a phone.
Tom Erik: Gear weight 12kg / Uphill time 45' / Summit time 7' / Downhill time 2' / max speed 250 km/h/ Total time 56'24''
Gear: Shoes Sense7 FG Shorts Longsleeve Fleece Backpack Phoenix-Fly Sukhoi 3 Wingsuit Vision WS 235 parachute Hybrid LD4 ultralight Rig-Adreanlin BASE Helmet Goggles 2Gopro GPS device Phone Gloves Suunto 9