Base jumping at Preikestolen, Norway
Preikestolen is on the map. So many people visited it last year that it is now one of Norway’s most visited natural attractions in the country. This incredible sheer cliff is 604 metres (1982 feet) above Lysefjorden, opposite the Kjerag Plateau in Forsand, Ryfylke, Norway. The top of the cliff is approximately 25 by 25 metres (82 by 82 feet).
Needless to say, this site is an irresistible lure to BASE jumpers where it is not only popular but legal to jump from. The season for jumping is 25th May to 9th September. Kjerag is in the south-western part of Norway, close to the coast, so the weather can be quite variable. In the morning it could be sunny with no wind, but in the afternoon it could be rainy and windy. Temperatures vary enormously too, anything from 10 to 25C. Go prepared.
Preikestolen, also known as Preacher’s Pulpit or Pulpit Rock
Stein Edvardsen was the first person to BASEjump this site after thinking long and hard about it. He first explored the area in 1992 and jumped in 1994. However, winter was closing in and it was impossible to do it again. But word got around about the incredible 18-second delay the jump had and the following year more than 400 jumps were made at Kjerag and all the 7 sites were opened up. The jumps were carried out in the strictest secrecy as BASE jumping was not recognized by the Norwegian Skydiving Association. During the Summer of 1995, Thor Alex and Stein decided to start the Norwegian BASE Association and it was up and running by 1996 and so began Norway’s close association with this increasingly popular sport.
They are understandably proud of what they have achieved in Norway and their reputation for safety and responsibility. As the Stavanger BASE Klubb says: “Kjerag is one of the most beautiful and exciting places to jump in the world. Due to the efforts of the Stanvanger BASE Klubb, the jumping has become much safer and has made Kjerag probably the biggest BASE drop zone in the world. SBK has taken over more of the facilities at Lysebotn making the campground even more jumper friendly. We invite you to come out and enjoy the peace, beauty and excitement of Kjerag and fall in love with jumping from the cliffs, as we have. As always, be safe, have fun and soft landings!”
It is important to remember that BASE jumping is an inherently dangerous sport and things can and do go wrong. The same goes for wingsuit flying which is, of course, done here too. Between 1994 and 2008, 29,000 jumps were performed. During this period there were nine fatal accidents