The alarming heights of the Trollstigen (Troll’s Ladder), a trans-mountain route between Valldal and Åndalsnes, are equally compelling in either direction. The road negotiates the mountains by means of eleven hairpins with a maximum gradient of 1:12, but it’s still a pretty straightforward drive until, that is, you meet a tour bus coming the other way – followed by a bit of nervous backing up and repositioning. Drivers (and cyclists) should also be particularly careful in wet weather.
From Valldal, the southern end of the Trollstigen starts gently enough with the road rambling up the Valldal valley. Thereafter, the road swings north, building up a head of steam as it bowls up the Meiadal valley bound for the barren mountains beyond. Now the road starts to climb in earnest, clambering up towards the bleak and icy plateau-pass, the Trollstigplatået, which marks its high point. Beyond the Trollstigplatået, the sheer audacity of the road becomes apparent, zigzagging across the face of the mountain and somehow managing to wriggle round the tumultuous, 180-metre Stigfossen falls. Beyond the hairpins, on the northern part of the Trollstigen, the road resumes its easy ramblings, scuttling along the Isterdal to meet the E136 just 5km short of Åndalsnes.