Start: Oygardsstolen Visitor Center
End: Oygardsstolen Visitor Center
Distance: 7.5 miles (12 km)
Time: 5-6 hours
Surface: Mountain Paths, Bare Rock
The trail to the Kjerag Summit in Norway’s southern region of Rogaland provides an option that very few trails in the world are in a position to offer. If you get to the top and are feeling out of breath, the good news is that you don’t have to walk back down-you can base jump instead. Granted, it will require a parachute, which is something you should have thought of on the way up, not to mention some serious preparation, but the fact you can even contemplate base jumping from the summit down to the beautiful, 26-mile-long (42 km) Lysefjorden below should tell you something: the views you’re going to get from atop this near-vertical cliff mean you’ll be content to sit there catching your breath all day long if necessary.
The Kjerag Summit lures all sorts of people to its wonderful precipices. Base jumpers come here to plunge off its 3,556-foot-high (1,084 m) summit; climbers arrive to tackle one of the many routes to the top, tourists visit because the flat expanse of nearby Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) is simply too crowded, while walkers come for the beauty of its approaches, the inspiring scenery that greets them from its peak, and to see the enormous l77-cubic-foot (5-cu-m) boulder, the Kjeragbolten, wedged into a crevice on the side of the mountain.
For decades people have admired the Kjerag Summit’s granite mountain face from below, but how much more thrilling it is to traverse its various ridges, to climb its fully exposed 60-plus degree pitch, and to grab hold of its chains to help you up its steepest sections. While the Kjerag Summit is a somewhat technical climb, it is by no means out of the realm of the fit, adventure-seeking hiker.