Lake George

Lake George
Lake George - from Tongue Mtn Range - 11/11/2011

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen) - Lysejford, Norway - 11/7/15

Our vacation to Norway started with a flight from JFK airport in NYC to Gothenburg Sweden via Helsinki Finland on 11/5/15.  We had 8 days to spend in Scandinavia and we knew they would go by quickly.  November is not the ideal time to visit, but it was the time that worked out for our schedules. Weather would play a large part in our planning.  From the forecast, it appeared that the better weather would be in the first few days of the trip.  With that in mind, we decided to head for our number one goal first - Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen).

Pulpit Rock is an enormous outcrop of rock which overhangs Lysefjord.  It was named by Lonely Planet as "the world's most breathtaking viewing platform".  We were excited to make the trek there, but we had a full days ride form Gothenburg to get there.  We spent 11/6 driving from Gothenburg to Preikestolen where we had a reservation at the fantastic Preikestolen Mountain Lodge, operated by or affilliated with the Stavanger Trekking Association.  We took the southern routes E18 and E39 to make our way towards Preikestolen.  The journey took us about 11 hours to get to the lodge, but since it was our first trip to Norway, the hours flew by as we looked at the beautiful countryside.  Preikestolen lies in Ryfylke in the northeast portion of the county of Rogaland.

We woke up on the morning of 11/7 to the beautiful view below!      

View of Revsvatnet from the Preikestolen Mountain Lodge

The forecast was for a mix of sun and clouds with a chance for a morning shower.  We ate breakfast at the lodge and got started on the trail at 8:30.

Preikestolen Mountain Lodge (Preikestolen Fjellstue)

An artist's rendering of the area.  The arrow points to the lodge.  Pulpit Rock is just NE of the arrow (where a man is waiving). 
 The trail is 2.5 miles one way, and climbs about a 1000 feet in that distance.  One amazing fact is that sherpas from Nepal were brought to Preikestolen in 2013 to improve the trail by hauling rock and fitting it into walkways and steps where erosion had taken place.  The sheer numbers of people hiking this trail had increased sixfold in the last 20 years and some trail hardening was necessary.  The results of the sherpas work was amazing!

This picture shows a small portion of the stonework done by the sherpas.

The trail profile

We didn't really know what to expect on this trail, we were just focused on the final destination of Pulpit Rock.  It turned out that the entire trail was beautiful and not just Preikestolen.  After the first 20 or 30 minutes we were up above the treeline and were treated to fantastic views in all directions. We couldn'g believe what an amazing sights were before our eyes.

We did encounter a brief rain, 10 minutes into the hike, but it only lasted a couple minutes.  By the time we had our rain shells on, it was time to take them off.   Midway to Pulpit Rock we passed several small tarns. 

Photogenic tarns along the way.

This is what the view looked like mid-hike. 

Visibility was good early on but it began to get increasingly foggy as we approached Priekestolen. By the time we arrived at Pulpit Rock, the Lysefjord below was only occasionally visible.  Fortunately we stayed there so long that is cleared out and we were rewarded with the views that everyone dreams of seeing.

A first look at Pulpit Rock.

Nick... looking over the edge to the water 1800' below! 

Lindsay on Pulpit /Rock.

Lindsay and Nick

... and Lindsay looking over the edge.

Wow was all we could say as skies cleared.

Mike & Leesa on Pulpit Rock

Soon Nick began exploring how he could climb higher by scaling the rock behind Pulpit Rock.  He found a way up and let us know we could do the same via an easier route (actually a marked route called the hill trail).  We took this route and found views looking down on Pulpit Rock that give a good perspective on the sheer massiveness of that outcrop.

Perhaps an even better view can be seen from higher than standing on Pulpit Rock.

It's hard to believe that Preikestolen wasn't discovered until 1896.  The first trail was in existence by 1911.  Now over 200,000 persons hike this trail each year. 

A little piece of heaven

These neat markers tell you have far you have walked and how far you have yet to go (in meters).

Other trails are in the area as well.  We need to go back!

This truly is an amazing trail and we found it well worth the drive to get here.  We took the hill trail back and it came out on the main trail near the tarns we had passed on the way in.

Nick on the top.

This hike was certainly our outdoor adventure highlight of our trip.  Norway has an infinite amount of wonderful hiking, that is for sure.  This trip whet our appetite to return for another hiking holiday.

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  5 miles roundtrip
Hike Time:  3 hours plus leisure and wandering time
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 1000'     

The route

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