Did you get a sudden adrenaline rush just by looking at this snap ? Do you want to climb on to the rock and come into contact with a sense of achievement and zillion other feelings at the same time? (In this article I will be sharing my experience of Kjerag hiking and simultaneously I will also try to guide the future hikers 🙂 .
A few years back when I saw the picture of a couple standing on the magnificent Kjeragbolten (i.e. rock), I thought it was photoshoped. The picture left me floundering, as the first sight of the picture seemed to be dangerous and unreal. And honestly why would anyone want to stand on a rock, a free fall from which is 989 meters. Then two years back when I moved to Norway, I was apprised that Kjeragbolten is real and lucky for me, only 150km away from our home. Since then, I wanted to climb that rock with my husband and wanted a similar picture, which we finally managed:).
WHERE Is KJERAGBØLTEN: Kjeragbolten is a boulder located on the mountain Kjerag in Forsand municipality in Rogaland county, Norway.
Since summer is the best time to hike so we had to wait for quite a long time. But after all the wait, in the month of July 2016, we finally decided to climb three giant mountains to see the rock. We were accompained by two more friends.
HOW FAR IS KJERAG: As per the milestone, one way distance to Kjeragbolten is 4.9 km, however based on the i-watch the distance we covered was 7.5 km. Thus, based on our experience to and fro distance to Kjeragbølten is 15km with 580 meters of climbing. Allow 5-6 hours to complete your roundtrip journey, based on your physical fitness, speed and breaks you take. A fast hiker can complete it in 3 hours.
WHO CAN CLIMB: Honestly, people of any age group who are in good shape and have a great stamina can climb. We saw a lot of kids and oldies climbing, which was really motivating. There were people hiking with their babies tucked in their baby carrier.
WHEN TO GO: Norwegian summer is the best time to hike, as during winters the roads are closed. Furthermore, it is always advisable to check the local weather at Kjerag before machinating the hiking plan, because the weather is very fickle in southern Norway.You can check the weather here:
N.B. *If you plan to go on a rainy day, beware of the slippery rocks during the ascent and descent, as the rains make the granite rocks very greasy.*
WHAT TO PACK: You must take some food or fruits and lots of water with you because there are no eating joints on the way. Though there’s one restaurant at the parking, so even if you satiate the hunger at the restaurant, you would feel hungry again during the hike as it is a long way to go. However, you can quench your thirst by the fresh water emanating from the streams amid the hiking route.
WHAT TO WEAR: An old Norwegian saying “det er ikke dårlig vær bare dårlig klær”, which means “there is no bad weather only bad clothes”. So, seriously you should dress up according to the weather. Neverthless, I would really recommend you to wear good waterproof hiking shoes. I saw a lot of people slipping and struggling to walk in their training shoes, because the trek was full of water streams. You can also take a pair of gloves as it will make holding the chains easier.
WHICH BUS TO TAKE: If you’re coming from the Sola airport then take bus no.42 instead of airport shuttle to the Sentrum, as there’s a huge price difference. Flybussen (Airport shuttle) will charge you NOK 120/per person (12Euro), whereas No.42 will charge only 33NOK/ per person (3.55Euro). Check here for more details: If you’re coming in a bus to Kjerag, you can board it from Stavanger Sentrum, check this link;
WHERE TO PARK: If you are coming by car, then you can park at a huge car parking located at the starting point of the hike. However, you have to buy a parking ticket which costs 150Nok (16 Euro).
We started our journey at 7 am and it took us 3 hours by car to reach the starting point of the hike. Our journey was full of chats and sharing experiences with fellow trekkers who were full of enthusiasm. We didn’t carry much stuff just a bag full of food and water and our camera.
As soon as we parked our cars and changed our shoes into hiking boots, we were all ready to climb the first mountain which had chains attached to it. THANKFULLY !! After the first ten minutes, our mind was vacillating, as we were having second thoughts about returning back, because hell it was not an easy trek.
ACCIDENTS ON KJERAG: If you’re wondering like I did before this hike, then you’ll be really glad to know that till date no one has fallen from Kjeragbølten, Sigh!!! Though, 10 base jumpers have died in last 20 years while trying to jump from the cliff. Damn!!
With the sun shining bright we were sweating and getting tired real quick. As soon as we finished climbing the first mountain, there was another challenging rocky mountain standing upright to be climbed, this time it was steeper and had no chains in the middle. It was, I feel the toughest part of the trek, and I really needed some boosting and pushing to get through it. The view from the top was spectacular which helped us to move further.
Soon after finishing the second climb my blood pressure started to fall and I was starving for something sweet, sadly I didn’t have it in my bag and I had to look for my friends, who were probably way ahead of me. The third stretch was mostly straight but rocky, so it became kinda struggling for me as I was looking around for my friends with absolutely no energy left in me. And just when I was feeling impoverished, I saw a hand waving at me from far away. Phewww!! “there they areeee”, finally got a bite and saved myself.
Now four of us were walking together as we knew we were about the reach our destination. After crossing a water stream, there it was, a giant rock hanging firmly between the mountains and just a few steps ahead we could gaze at beautiful Lysefjord.
It was quite crowded, people were standing in a queue to get clicked and so did we. After waiting in a queue for 7-8 minutes we finally stepped on the rock. I will be lying if I say I wasn’t nervous at all but that’s the right feeling to have before you dare to be on the magnificent Kjeragbølten.
So, after climbing on the rock, now I can say that getting on the rock is not as dangerous and unreal as I thought before, but indeed reaching there is. Was it worth? YES ABSOLUTELY! We finally chased one of our much-awaited dreams and all I can say is that NEVER GIVE UP!
(I have also made a little video on hike to Kjerag, check it here🙂
-Travel Nerd Story-