It all starts always at the Moslifjellet, a car park that looks like the starting point for any kind of mountain walk here. People from all over the world are here, some in full hiking gear, others in flip-flops and T-shirts. The mountain next door, on which we want go up, does not look like a high mountain at all. A wide path leads gently up the slope, one and a half kilometres to the Krogebekkmyrane, where the first upward wave ends. Then 500 meters altitude difference to Neverdalskjaret. And from there, one last difficult jump up to Tjodnane, the forecourt of the world-famous Preikestolen, a rocky plateau so far out over the Lysefjord near the Norwegian oil town of Stavanger that hundreds of thousands of people make the ascent year after year.
The view from the Preikestolen - Prayers Chair - over the Lysefjord is unforgettable, this is what one already suspects by looking at pictures while you`re planing your trip. But the way up is a must, at least for those who plan to experience a lonely evening and the first morning light on the mountain who is during the day always crowded. Passing the farms of Bratteli, the way leads to the view rocks Hoppet and Hengjanenibbå, but the 22 kilograms of luggage on the back already press like cement bags on the first few meters of altitude. This is not a mountain hike, but a summit expedition. It begins to rain, in Norwegian, what means persistent and wet, the wind sweeps up the slope, the first tourists in sneakers and cardigans flee down the mountain.
Allegedly the stretch up to the top is only six kilometres long. But what at the mountain cabin Preikestolen Fjellstue looks like a simple exercise, four hours sporty 500 meters highness, is in practice a very hard work. The path is stony, the path is narrow, rocky steps always require huge leaps. The Preikestolen rises 604 metres above the Lysefjord, but to reach the 25 x 25 metre platform in Ryfylke in the southwest of Norway, you have to overcome a perceived 1000 metres in altitude. The rock giant did not get its name from a hiker, but from a ship passenger, who passed comfortably underneath and was reminded of a preaching chair by the sight of the platform. Only afterwards did he climb up.
That was in the year 1901, since then, Preikestolen is one of the most popular sightseeings of Norway and the rock is known as an impressive example of the power of nature. What looks like the work of a talented sculptor was created by physical weathering: The today flat granite was once a normal rock, about 10.000 years ago the decomposition of the rock began, and it is still continuing today. At present, the Preikestolen is a smooth-ground rock that looks as if the spa administration had had it stone-cut, so that visitors can enjoy the view over the fjord particularly well - and feel a little thrill when they step right to the edge. Very brave people even dare to sit on the edge - this gives spectacular pictures and at least it is not known that anyone has ever fallen down the abyss. In any case, the rock will not break off, even if a crack discovered 90 years ago has recently widened by a few millimetres. The national park administration is watching the development. They believe that they would notice if danger threatened.
But the hike! If you want to marvel at the natural phenomenon and take the classic photo of the fabulous view, you can do without the queues of people queuing up during the day, you have to carry luggage, tent, water, food, stove and sleeping bag up to the top. Hard enough, but even if it doesn't look like that: it can rain and snow at any time of the year.
Sturdy shoes, a rain jacket and enough drinks are mandatory - there is nothing on the way. Then you follow forest and stone paths with a view of the Revsvatnet lake, wooden plank paths and meadows, wooden stairs and wooden bridges and pass forests and rock faces and steep slopes with two short straight stretches steeply up. The backpack weighs tons, the rain gear is soaked from the inside that one could have walked without it. But at five degrees?
At the flat summit waits finally - not after four, but after seven hours - a really unique view. To the left and right, the 40 kilometre long, blue-shimmering Lysefjord stretches out, surrounded by steep, stone-grey rocky landscapes from which moist green glows. Those who still have air, or again, are guaranteed to hold their breath. At dusk the rock is almost empty, a few Taiwanese have pitched their tents on top, where the view goes down into the valley over the Preikestolen. Nobody else is here, not even down on the fjord, which shimmers like lead in the last sunrays after the rain.
Be careful when searching for a place for the tent: what looks green and soft is mostly bog. Grey is hard stone. But with a little luck you can find a sandy patch or a bit of real grass. Stove on, beer open. The Stars are nowhere as close as here.
Hikes on the Preikestolen are only possible in the summer season from April/May allowed until October. Avice of the National Park staff on
Preikestolen must be respected without hesitation, because they are also protect you from sudden amd warn about thunderstorms. Making fires is strictly forbidden. No overnight plans without sufficient equipment - even in August there are some places where still snow up here! The best way to get there is via Stavanger, from there a ferry crosses the fjord, on the other side there is a bus Continue to Preikestolen Fjellstue. From there on foot, good work!
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