Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Kjerag: Part 2

If you missed the first post about Kjerag you can catch up here.

I've had quite a few people ask about the technicality of the hike so we thought we would put together some illustrations that help demonstrate the trail. The hike itself took us 2 hours, 15 min each way. (The sign posted suggests 2.5 hours.) It was a challenging hike, but definitely possible (even carrying a little one).

On the hike itself we had a few people commend us for carrying a baby. We saw one other person with a hiking backpack and little one. At one point, when I was coming down a steep area, I passed a group of British people and heard one of them exclaim "Oh my goodness, there's a baby in there!" I was on my game and quickly retorted "Phew, I thought she'd fallen out back there." ;-)

Here is a picture showing the three peaks that you ascend/descend on the hike - Litledalen, Storedalen, and Kjerag.

Jason started by carrying Madi up and over Litledalen up Storedalen and part of the way down. Then we switched and I carried her the rest of the way down Storedalen and up the final peak, Kjerag, and to the boulder, Kjeragbolten. On the way down we switched at the approx. the same places (Jason carried her up Storedalen a bit further on the way down making our split probably 60/40 Jason/Darcy for carrying Madi.)

Now we'll try to illustrate the path via pictures we took on the hike. (Thanks to Jason for drawing the trail on them!).

This is about 1/3-1/2 of the way up the first peak. The rest was just as steep before a short flat period and then the descent (just as steep).

This is a view from the top of the first peak. You descend and can see where you cross the valley and then tackle the second peak.

Unfortunately we did not get a good representation of the third peak. It was like this until you got around the corner and then it was straight up, similar steepness (but slightly worse) then the first peak.

The wind was pretty strong and that made it a bit challenging - at one point I was mid-step and did get blown backwards, but fortunately onto a flat part. I turned to see about help and Jason had his back to me taking pictures and Lily was down further. They definitely had my back. ;-)

Here's a view from the third peak. You can see Lysebotn to the left (just barely) and the other peaks, labeled. Pretty awesome how far we'd come, right?!

The rest was pretty flat... and windy... and never-ending, ha! It was another good 20-30 min after you ascend the third peak that you finally get over to the rock. It was very windy and Madi was getting a bit grumpy so we high-tailed it pretty fast through that part.

Finally, when it seemed like the flat and windy portion at the top would never end, we turned a corner and boom! There was the rock!!

And to illustrate the back, which is where you get onto the rock, Jason captured these pictures. I've labeled them to help see where you walk when you get on. Lots of people told us it was super narrow and you have to jump down onto the rock... it is a bit narrow, but not nearly what people made it seem. And you don't have to jump - you can take a long step and be fine. Basically, I think people exaggerated how intimidating it was... that or I'm fearless. ;-)

We took our time at the top, stopping to let Madi out, diaper change, eating, etc. We saw a couple ebbs and flows of people waiting to take pictures and went when there was no one in the cue. We were able to get shots of all of us on the rock.

But then we had a little punk photobomb a bunch of them...

And almost fell off! ;-)

Gotcha! Like we really brought Madi out onto the rock! Oh wait, actually we did...but only in the safety of our arms. :-)

What an accomplishment!! It was a challenging, but fabulous hike that I would definitely recommend to anyone visiting this part of Norway!

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