- Preikestolen is among Norway’s most hiked trails, with 331,000 visitors reaching its exposed top in 2019. Its stone stairway was built by Nepalese Sherpas.
- Around 300 stone mountain stairways have been built in Norway over the past two decades.
In many ways, the location and the sublime views from Preikestolen, or Pulpit Rock, near Stavanger in south-west Norway are irrelevant, because what is important is the journey to get there. It is a hike up an expertly engineered and well-maintained stone staircase that is as much of a marvel as the finale itself.
There’s an ancient beauty to the stairway and it comes from the fact that Preikestolen – like nearly 300 other natural stone staircase projects in Norway purpose-built over the past two decades – has been crafted by teams of Sherpas from Nepalese communities living in the shadows of Mount Everest.
There was a time when Norway’s mountain paths would only see a handful of local visitors. But social media has changed all that, and over the past decade, the country has seen such a dramatic spike in overseas travellers keen to Instagram its viewpoints that something has had to give.