I got the inspiration for this trip from a photo of Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) on Pinterest. When Tevis asked what I was going to do in Norway, I showed him the picture on my tablet and he said he was in. Finally, our final full day in Norway, we left on the first ferry from Stravanger to climb Preikestolen.
The morning was foggy, but we appreciated the cool weather. Climbing from the trailhead was hard work. There was about 50 yards of flat during the entire hike. Add to the challenge that the Scouts (boys and girls) are having some sort of European jamboree and hundreds of scouts were with us on the trail. Getting to the top reminded me of climbing Ayers Rock, and why I have not climbed Half Dome in Yosemite. I was wearing my “Raven Lunatic” hat and it kept me from seeing too far ahead. It is definitely a “one step at a time hike”.
Tevis waited for me at various points along the route, always looking irritatingly fresh. Finally in the last kilometer he said he’d meet me at the top. We chose the ominous “cliff trail” but the fog had not thinned and so it was trail and then foggy abyss. It took some of the fear factor away. The last 100 yards was the most challenging for me. Then I was at the top and I could see Tevis waving at me across the very crowded plateau.
I was so glad to make it. I was proud of myself too. We ate our picnic lunch and took photos.
Then we began the long descent. At 12:30-1:00 there were even more people hiking up and we had to manuever around them. Several times I found myself starting to slip and caught myself everytime but one. I was relieved when we got back to the trail head. It took me 2 hours to hike up and Tevis just 1.5 hours (tells you how slow I was in the last bit). Tevis stayed with me all the way down and helped me a lot. We took a full 2 hours.
The view is supposed to be incomparable (Lysefjord) Yet I was not as disappointed as I would have thought if I had even imagined we could be fog-impacted. It is really about the experience. I learned a couple of things: physical tests can be fun, hiking with mostly people who do not speak English is strangely relaxing, the Scouts are probably responsible if Tevis postpones having kids a decade or more, get better shoes.
P.S. Tevis and I have decided that the big, fat birds that prefer walking to flying are not magpies, but Ravens with light brown “vests”. Took pictures and will check when I get home.