Sherpa stairs leading to record visitors at Hallingskarvet

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Two years ago, Sherpas from Nepal finished building the 2,000 stone steps at Hallingskarvet, Norway. Record number of visitors has walked the steps this year.

According to a NRK report, in the course of five weeks, 18,000 people have walked up to the characteristic Hallingskarvet, which is the highest mountain in the county of Buskerud.

Sherpa stairway at Hallingskarvet
Sherpa stairway at Hallingskarvet

The Sherpa team was contracted by Tinn and Vinje municipalities four summers in a row to improve trekking trails, including the one at Gaustadtoppen. Some of the Nepalis work on Himalayan expeditions, and this off-season work in Norway supplemented their income. They all came from Khunde village in Khumbu, situated at 3,840 m.

Crossing a river near Nesbo
Crossing a river near Nesbo

“Everyone wants to walk the path to Hallingskarvet. It is easy, and you come to Prestholtseter, located 250 meters from the national park boundary. It is safe for everyone, young and old,” says Petter Braaten in the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate about the stairs the Sherpas built.

Hallingskarvet
Hallingskarvet

“It has been a good investment. It saves the terrain from wear, which is important to preserve the national park. But at the same time it is important for the added local value, tourism and the Hol municipality,” explains Braaten.

Small portion of sherpas' stonework
Small portion of sherpas’ stonework

The Sherpa stairs extend from Prestholseter to Skarvsenden on Hallingskarvet, 1705 meters above sea level. The stairs were placed according to Nepalese traditions to fit the terrain and to make it easier to walk into the national park while protecting the landscape.

Sherpa stairs leading to record visitors at Hallingskarvet, source: NTB scanpix / Daily Scandinavian