Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Preikestolen, Norway

 At the end of July, John & Ann found themselves in Stavanger with a day to kill before the start of the third and final race of the Tall Ships' Races 2011. What better than an easy short dander up to the Pulpit Rock, one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Stavanger region? We were fortunate to be staying with Karl, who provided excellent hospitality and a handy drive to the start of the walk.

Lysefjord, with Pulpit Rock just in the cloud to the L

Being a Friday we were expecting it to be not too busy but how wrong we were. When we arrived mid-morning we were banished to the overflow car park and that was just the start of it. In common with many Norwegian mountain paths, the route is more of a marked way than anything constructed. That, combined with the number of people and limited overtaking opportunities, made it more of a slowly moving queue than a walk in the normal sense.

Busy Busy Busy

Dramatic scenery on the way

Pulpit Rock, and a lot of visitors

Interesting section of the path

Still, we persevered and progress to our goal was somewhat below Naismith pace. Although only about 4 km and 300 m ascent it took about 2.5 hours. Luckily the early morning cloud had lifted and we got some great views. Certainly worth its status, but loses some marks for being far too busy. Having opted not to take the BASE-jumping kit the route down took about as long as the ascent, but it was great to be out in the Norwegain mountains again after a five year break.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Denis's Last Munro

A still and sunny summer day
Four walkers fit were on their way

To climb a distant peak so high
They set off up the track all spry

The Bounds were Rough, the hill was steep
An unrelenting pace to keep

Till on the nearest peak they stood
A weary but still happy brood

Garbh Cioch Mhor the next
Up which our weary muscles flexed

Our way was guided by a wall
and Rum and Eigg were viewed by all

The mist was swirling round the top
But to the Chanter's Pass we drop

Sgur na Ciche reached at last

The evening light on Denis cast...

These words were not included in 'The original text by Denis,' but I am sure that everyone would echo these words: CONGRATULATIONS DENIS!

Your determination to have a view from the top of every Munro may have seemed impossible, but you have proved that the sun really does shine on Scotland's mountains!