Been there, hardly done that!

Trip Start Oct 06, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Been there, hardly done that! So I had to go all the way to my home country Norway in order to chicken out. I felt pretty brave after having survived Latin America for 15 months on my own, but ended up a "pingle" once more after my latest excursion.

I just went to Stavanger for four days with Alf Kåre, his son Sander and Jacob (an old Danish work colleague and friend). We took the car from my hometown Elverum, and drove the scenic route over Hardangervidda to Stavanger where we lodged with Alf's mother. The master plan being the five hour round trip hike up to Kjeragbolten, located in Lysefjorden.

Having arrived in Stavanger late the night before, we set off at the crack of the one you know on day two. Taking a tiny car ferry all the way to the end of scenic Lysefjorden, passing famous Prekestolen (Pulpit Rock) on the way. For this part of the world it was an unbelievably glorious day (summer season can be pretty elusive up here), with a clear blue sky and not the slightest gust of wind.

I am well aware of my acrophobia, however I think it has improved a bit over the last few years. For example, I am not really afraid of walking on narrow steep trails, but sheer drops is still a totally different story. I remember one episode in particular, it was a few years ago, where Alf Kåre had to rescue me off a flat rock in Hells Backbone, Utah. I guess it was plenty of room to park a gas guzzling Hummer on top of it, but for me I was practically Touching the Void. Abyss next stop I thought while freaking out a tiny bit. So how would I deal with Kjeragbolten? A rock (tiny in my opinion) wedged into the crack of a mountain, with a 1000 meter sheer drop down to Lysefjorden. Plenty of people have been balancing on it before, and apparently all of them have survived. A not so tiny miracle if you ask me. Could I possibly ruin the statistics?

Having started the hike very early, and with a daypack still loaded with "brunost and Solo", there was hardly a tourist around when we reached Kjeragbolten. Alf Kåre was first man out on the rock (it's not my first time, I heard him say more than Bill Wyman back in his glory Rolling Stones days), then a young Danish woman (the most famous and one of the highest points in Denmark is about 147 meter above sea level, we are not talking sheer drops here, but about a rolling hill called "Sky Mountain"). Then another young Norwegain couple and finally an old retired woman from Switzerland. Only Jacob and I were missing. We had more or less decided not to give it a try, but the Bill Wyman wannabe, an old retired woman from Switzerland and a girl from the land of Himmelbjerget made us change our minds. We gave Alf Kåre our cameras and did 100 piece of cake push-ups as warm-up. Jacob was first, but on his way out there I could suddenly smell chicken in the air. Then it was my turn... "Braveheart, don't forget to zoom so they can see it's me being out there!" On the way out to the rock, you have to walk on a tiny natural step and around the corner of another big square rock next to Kjeragbolten, and with no railings in sight, other than on the car ferry down in Lysefjorden, it can be a pretty scary experience. I made it easily around the corner of the square rock, and was about to take the step on to the rock itself, but then I was suddenly time warped back to the cash counter at Kentucky Fried Chicken on Gran Via in Madrid. The smell hit me right in my shaking legs, and I had to turn back. There was no way I could do it. So my Hells Backbone days were not over. I panicked a bit again and really had to struggle to make my way back to safer grounds. Been there, hardly done that!

Next to Kjeragbolten there's a plateau that's very famous with BASE jumpers. We walked up there after lunch, and while there were no jumpers around this day, my mind really struggled to grasp how you can be a successful vendor of BASE jumping equipment these days. The word crazy doesn't really give the guys any justice. Looking over the edge of the cliff I could feel the gravitational pull of the sun, the moon, the earth and the bombshell of a ticket saleswoman on the car ferry down in Lysefjorden all at the same time. With the g-forces in our favour, it was time to head back down to the fjord. Lets take the detour I suggested, surely she can wait.

And then we had some beers...
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bath mate on

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way you write is awesome.Thanks. Adding more information will be more useful.


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