On our fourth day road tripping, we planned to do our first hike. We wanted to start by the Kjeragbolten hike, that is why we slept at the Lysebotn campground. But we faced a major problem: it was raining a lot and during the night, there was a lot of wind. The Kjeragbolten hike is quite dangerous when there is windy and rainy conditions. We went to the parking lot and the information guy told us it was not worth it today. We should come back tomorrow when the weather will be better.
We decided to do the hike we pnanned to do the day after: The Preikestolen hike, also known as the Pulpit Rock. This hike is the most popular one in Norway because it is a short and easy hike compared to the Kjeragbolten or the Trolltunga. When I say easy, it is physically difficult but not technically difficult.
We had to drive for around two hours to get there, including taking a boat. (We took a LOT of boats in Norway).
So the first thing to check to go on either hike (even for the Trolltunga) is: the weather. Especially if you want to take the right camping for the night. And you want to take the right camping because you don’t want to have to lose time driving. There are SO MANY people in this hike, it is the most accessible one, you want to be the first one to go hiking. This is the second thing on your list: Get up early to hike. Don’t underestimate other hikers. They will wake up early too to climb.
We arrived to the Preikestolen parking around 11AM. We had a hard time finding a parking spot, this is where we realized we should have checked the weather because now we were going to hike under the rain and with too many people.
I don’t have beautiful pictures of the fjord or of the Preikestolen because it was raining too much, I didn’t want to ruin my camera and there was too much wind (everything was flying around and we couldn’t even eat on top because of that). Though, you will have a preview of what you will see if you go under a storm! (Especially when I’ll put the video online).
The hike is 3.8km (4.18 according to runkeeper) up and 3.8km back. It might seem short but you will have twice the time if you arrive late and hike with a lot of people on the way. It took us 1:40 to hike up and the same down. With a total of 8.36km and 3h20 both ways.
The first 500m was really hard for me. It is a pretty sharp slope that finishes on a flat land from where you can see that your pain is not over yet.
You can see the other slope you are going to climb at the end of the flat land. There is 500m of big natural stairs to climb up the mountain. When I say stairs, it is rocks that looks like steps (and one step is more like two or three at the same time).
I am not a big athletic person, I run from time to time but running for more than ten minutes is an exploit. I trained for my trip two months before going. I knew I couldn’t hike for ten hours if I didn’t train. I remembered the summer 2014 where I hiked the Mont Tremblant in Québec and I suffered a lot for a three hours hike. I didn’t want to repeat the experience. I trained by running every two or three days for half an hour on a treadmill with a slope that changed from 5 to 9 every three or five minutes. Maybe it is not a lot but at least, I will have some condition or cardio endurance before going. It couldn’t be worse than doing nothing.
And I was glad I trained because the cardio is what I am missing the most and what is required to climb steps like that.
After this hard climb, the rest is pretty flat. going up sometimes but not that much. People was what stopped us a bit. In facts, the path is not that large so you have to queue a bit to pass on some spots.
The weird thing about all the three Norwegian hikes I did this summer is that you don’t see the Preikestolen, the Trolltunga, the Kjeragbolten before being few steps from it.
Though, the view before reaching the last spot was amazing. You can see other mountains with waterfalls AND their source. You can see the lakes on top of the other mountains. It is pretty nice to see.
As it was the first time we took height over the fjords, I wanted to stay forever to watch this contrast between the water and the mountain. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t with us.
I was very surprised because most of the landscape was composed of rocks and I was expecting more trees, more green stuff and Norway is really rocky. Maybe it is because of it’s half year under snow?
When we arrived at the Preikestolen, the wind and the rain were so strong, I was afraid we could fall (and that my camera was going to die). I didn’t reach the very last end of the rock because of that. The two others did and I was so scared for them.
Tourists are kind of crazy on that hike. They don’t care about others, they just care about them. We were taking pictures when some guy almost pushed us to take one. What’s the problem with them? Isn’t it dangerous enough with the bad weather to push us? I didn’t really liked the hike because of that. Too many people.
Though the view is really nice even if the weather was bad. I only regret that we couldn’t go another day to just stay longer on top and take time to have a better look. With that wind and rain, we didn’t see much of the rock (we couldn’t climb on the other side to take picture because of the wind), or the other side of the fjord. Everything was kind of gray. It gives a certain charm but I would have preferred to see blue water and green trees.
If the weather would have been better and if we would have left earlier it could have been nicer and I think I will go back someday to hike in better conditions to change my mind about the Preikestolen.
I am glad I did it though because it is something to do in Norway and it was worth it.