Norway is famous for its majestic mountains, incredible fjords, and great hiking trails that lead tourists through the most incredible natural formations. Kjeragbolten is one of such popular destinations for hikers. It’s an awe-inspiring formation – there is an enormous boulder stuck in the Kjerag mountain crevice.
I visited Norway together with a group of friends. We were traveling through the country for a week and going on a few well-known hikes. Kjeragbolten was one of our destinations, but we had a special twist to our hike.
You see, usually, people start this hike early in the morning. By midday, they have reached the boulder, waited in the line to stand on the boulder, taken a few photos of themselves standing on the Kjeragbolten, and ready to start their way back to the parking lot.
But that was the time when our group actually started the trip. We had a plan to make this a 2-day experience. Why?
If you visit such popular destinations in off-peak hours, you get to enjoy nature all by yourself. No need to stand in queues to get a picture. Also hiking is more enjoyable if you can do it at your own pace and not in a stream of other tourists going in the same direction on the same path.
And setting up a tent on the top of the mountain sounds like a great adventure.
Who wouldn’t want to wake up to a magical mountain view first thing in the morning?
Our plan worked and we successfully reached the Kjeragbolten by sundown. We also took some pictures, built our tents, and prepared for the night. The top of the mountain had only rocks on the bottom of the tent. As some of our tents were just cheap regular tents not meant for such conditions, we had to be creative. We couldn’t just stick the pegs in the ground.
As a replacement, we found some rocks and tied the tent ropes around them. We put some rocks on the corners of the tent as well. After the tents were built there appeared some fog, a bit of rain, and a lot of wind. All through the night, the wind was trashing our tents, and for some moments it felt like it will just blow us over the edge of the mountain.
Luckily the rain didn’t get inside of the tents, but I can’t say that I slept much during this night. From the entrance of my tent, there was a distance of 5 meters until a cliff. And from the cliff, there was a kilometre deep potential fall to the fjord underneath. So the night was exciting, to say the least.
Luckily, our tents stayed put, and in the morning we were the first ones to see the Kjeragbolten. Unfortunately, it was still foggy and rainy. The photos were mostly of the fog in the morning, as the visibility was only a few meters forward.
In the previous evening, I hadn’t been brave enough to actually climb on the rock to take the iconic photo. I had meant to do this in the morning. And, even though the beautiful backdrop was now all hidden by the fog, I still wanted a picture of me on the Kjeragbolten.
I crawled on the rock and posed for the photo. This was the best that I could do. It was just too scary to stand on the feet. The rock was wet, I trusted neither my shoes nor my knees, and there was just a kilometer of nothingness under the rock.
After these awkward pictures we quickly had some breakfast, folded our tents and were on our way down to the parking lot.
I would recommend this way of hiking if you aren’t afraid of the ever-changing weather in the mountains. It’s an adventure to sleep in a tent in such a breathtaking place (both scary and beautiful). And it gives you an opportunity to experience popular destinations without a crowd of other travelers.
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