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Visiting The Pulpit Rock during winter? Then you should be extra careful

The path leading up to the iconic Preikestolen mountain plateau is often frozen and slippery during the winter months.

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A hike through the wild Norwegian nature offers a multitude of amazing sights and experiences, but the same untamed quality that makes it so beautiful also means that you have to take precautions – even to the point of canceling a visit to one of Norway’s most iconic destinations.

Over the last few days, that has been the reality for visitors to The Pulpit Rock, or Preikestolen as it is known in Norwegian. Since Sunday, the trail leading up to the mountain plateau has been covered in slippery ice, rendering the hike too unsafe for visitors.

“Sunday was dangerous to the point where we had to take a hard stance on stopping tourists, due to a risk of severe bodily injury”, says manager Audun Rake of Stiftelsen Preikestolen, the foundation coordinating tourist efforts to the plateau.

“There were multiple accidents that day, with beat-up hikers who’d taken a dive even though they were wearing spikes on their shoes. All guided tours and groups were stopped. We also had people firmly advising visitors to cancel their hikes. So, no-one went, and that should also be the case today.”

#pulpitrock #preikestolen #stavanger #norway #visitnorway

Et innlegg delt av Rachel Vlastuin (@rachelvlastuin)

However, Rake does have some good news for hopeful visitors who wants to visit the Pulpit Rock this week.

“The ice has begun to thaw, with seven degrees Celsius down here and conditions above zero along the entire trail. The rain and gray weather we’re experiencing now means good melting conditions, and although the ice will remain on some stretches of the trail, it won’t be as bad and should allow for some great hikes.”

However, even as the frozen earth thaws and becomes more hospitable, Rake still wants to remind everyone to keep their wits about them up here.

“In general, there is some risk associated with hiking to the Pulpit Rock in wintertime, and gearing up with warm clothes and spiked shoes is a must. This is available for rent in the parking lot, where Preikestolen Mountain Lodge handle rentals in collaboration with Stiftelsen Preikestolen.”

In any case you should consider using a guide when hiking to The Pulpit Rock in the winter.

For up-to-date information on the plateau conditions, Rake recommends visitors to check out the Pulpit Rock Facebook page.

Safety in the mountains

Return to hike another day

Norway is an incredible place to explore, with untamed mythical landscapes, mountains, valleys, and fjords. Before you enter the outdoors, get familiar with the nine simple rules of the Norwegian mountain code to help you stay safe.

  1. Plan your trip and inform others about the route you have selected.
  2. Adapt the planned routes according to ability and conditions.
  3. Pay attention to the weather and the avalanche warnings.
  4. Be prepared for bad weather and frost, even on short trips.
  5. Bring the necessary equipment so you can help yourself and others.
  6. Choose safe routes. Recognize avalanche terrain and unsafe ice.
  7. Use a map and a compass. Always know where you are.
  8. Don’t be ashamed to turn around.
  9. Conserve your energy and seek shelter if necessary.

Read the mountain code with supplementary comments.


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