Ragged Range Of The Troldtinder Or Witch Pinnacles
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
Direction—We are facing now northwest, that is, back down the valley. Surroundings—The posting station is behind us, and beyond it the valley widens around a low, marshy floor. The Romsdalshorn is now at our right.
A considerable number of travelers seem to be making the same excursion to-day, and horses and drivers are waiting for the return trip after luncheon.
There are Witch Peaks innumerable in various places in Norway—the name is a favorite one for application to almost any ragged height that has any suggestion of the sinister about it—but these are the Witch Peaks, everywhere acknowledged as having the best title to the name. That long, jagged wall of archaic rock is actually higher than the Romsdalshorn. People say that, after sundown, when those pinnacles stand out against the strange, pale glow of the west-ern evening sky, or, above all, in winter, when their uncanny silhouettes have for a background the weird red flicker and gleam of the aurora borealis, there is something positively unearthly in their threatening beauty.
The post-boys tell one a fantastic tale about how a wedding procession was going down this road one day, long ago—the fiddler, the priest, the bride and groom, and all the guests—when, for some reason, they were all turned to giant shapes of stone. If you are skeptical, they help your imagination by pointing out the resemblance of specific peaks to the different members of the Brudefolge (bridal train).
The mountaineering book by Slingsby, already referred to, gives an account of the author's difficult ascent of the Troldtinder several years ago. Others have done the same thing since, but the number of expert Alpinists who attempt it is small in proportion to those who merely ride up the valley in pony carts, to gaze at the beckoning summits from this safe and commonplace roadway.
That gate yonder serves to keep within bounds cattle of some sort pastured near by. Similar gates are common on country roads all through this part of Norway, and during the tourist season flaxen-haired children are pretty sure to be near by, ready to run and open the gates, in hope of some trifle of smaapenge (small change, i. e., copper coins) from the travelers.
Map 2 should now be consulted again, in order to recall the exact situation of Trondhjem, on a deep fjord of the same name, in latitude 63° 30'. It is farther north than any place we have yet seen in Norway. The red 91 marks the spot where we are to stand as we overlook the historic town.