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Two girls hiking the Prestholt stairs in Geilo Two girls hiking the Prestholt stairs in Geilo Two girls hiking the Prestholt stairs in Geilo
Two girls hiking the Prestholt stairs in Geilo Two girls hiking the Prestholt stairs in Geilo
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Hiking the Prestholt stairs in Geilo.
Photo: Emile Holba
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The Prestholt Round

After four years of construction activity, and the help of Sherpas from Nepal, one of the district's finest hiking trails is finally accessible.

Welcome to the Prestholt Round

Initially, the round was a project designed to repair the damage from traffic on the trail from Prestholtseter up through Prestholdtskardet. The thought was that by facilitating traffic in one area, it would protect nature in the other areas. The work was started in 2011 and finished in 2014.

From Prestholt, large parts of the trail are laid with stone up to the top of Prestholtskardet. From there, it is cairn-marked up to Skarvsenden and top-marked at 1,705 meters elevation where there is a fantastic view. The cairns continue downward toward Vesleskardet, where the Sherpas built approximately 200 meters of trail in 2014. This makes it possible for virtually everyone to get down the steep part without injury. The trip is a total of 6.5 km and also passes an old hunting trap for wild reindeer at the end of the Hallingskarvet. An information poster is set up there.


Why cairns instead of signs?

A cairn is a stacked pile of stones that works as a directional guide. There are a lot of old traditions connected to cairns, which has been the most important way of marking direction for thousands of years. The cairns along the Prestholt Round were built partly during a building bee and marked with a red, vertical stripe to indicate that they are official cairns. Unfortunately, many people think it is fun to build their own cairns. That results in the cairn row losing its power. We fervently ask everyone to let 2015 be a year completely free of "wildcat-cairning"!


Minister Visit

The Climate and Environment Minister opened the Prestholt Round before almost 100 people at the end of September. In her speech, she stressed that the finished result is a good example of what is possible to achieve through good, local cooperation. The initiative shows how conservation can contribute to create value in our protected areas.

Two people hiking the pathway into Hallingskarvet National Park
The Prestholt stairs
Emile Holba