Two days after climbing to Pulpit Rock, we got up nice and early and drove to the start of the hike to Kjeragbolten, a 5x5m boulder suspended a kilometre up between two cliffs. The weather was absolutely beautiful. Warm, sunny, clear blue skies, and it only seemed to get better the nearer we got to our destination! We drove through really lovely countryside filled with fjords, sheep, and as we climber higher in altitude, more and more snow. As luck would have it, there was a road ski competition on the day and we had to park miles away, but there was a shuttle bus that brought us to the ski competition/ start of the hike.
Finally we got there and we had a quick read of the sign with information for the hike. "Weather can change quickly, even on summer days, and the hike can become dangerous in foggy and windy conditions". Well. Let's just keep that in mind as I continue....
From the get-go the hike is quite difficult and there are many sections of the hike with very steep and flat cliff faces where you need to hold onto a chain to get up, but the scenery was beautiful, there was snow here and there, and we managed to drink some freshly melted snow water from a stream along the way. All was going very well... Until we reached the top of the last "up-cliff" section. All of a sudden the wind picked up, and a huge cloud of fog came over us and the temperature seemed to drop dramatically. We could no longer see any of the beautiful scenery below us. But we decided to persevere as we were quite close to the edge and thought it was perhaps a passing cloud.
We wandered on across the flat, rocky section where the markers were few and far between and there was more than one occasion that we thought we were completely lost and once, we very nearly were after taking some bad advice from an ignorant old man who thought he knew everything and ended up leading a lot of people (including us) astray. Once we found our way back we were actually only about twenty metres away from the boulder which was surrounded by snow and completely foggy so there was no view at all.
I did manage to climb onto the boulder with the help of some very nice strangers and a lot of visits to my happy place. Although I actually think that the fog helped me to get out there as I couldn't actually see the 1km drop to the ground below! And then things really started to go downhill... The fog grew more and more intense and it started to rain and sleet, along with freezing wind. I was wearing a rain jacket but still ended up absolutely drenched to the bone. It was incredibly slippery trying to climb back down the chained sections and I was clinging to the chains for dear life.
Somehow we ended up back at the base of the hike and the bad weather had followed us there and we then had to line up with hundreds of other people who needed to catch a shuttle bus back to the parking area, shivering and soaking wet. Once we made it to the car I stripped all my wet clothes off and sat under a big jacket with the heating on in the car but I was still shivering the whole way back.
Once we got home I climbed straight into a hot bath and then wrapped myself up in bed, which I now know was the worst choice of action. I actually had a mild hypothermia and taking the hot bath had raised my temperature too quickly, so I ended up with a hideous fever that night and felt pretty poorly for the rest of the trip. So I learnt my lesson there!
For a few more pictures from Stavanger and the Kjerag hike you can click here.