A man from Spain who had hiked up to western Norway’s famed high mountain plateau known as “Preikestolen” (The Pulpit Rock) disappeared off its steep side while taking photos Tuesday afternoon. His body was found Wednesday, after he’d plunged to his death.
“We’ve always feared that this could happen,” Kjell Helle Olsen, a former leader of the local hiking association, Stavanger Turistforening, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “It’s tragic, but this is something we figured could happen.”
As many as 200,000 people visit the natural attraction in western Norway every year. As far as Olsen knows, though, the Spanish tourist was the first to fall to his death from the flat granite plateau that rises like a pulpit 600 meters above the Lyse Fjord.
Debate over safety has flown for years, but local officials have claimed that those visiting Preikestolen do so at their own risk. The local hiking association has claimed it can only offer information and advice about the hazards of getting to close to the edge. Tourism association Visit Norway encourages visitors to “take the hike and enjoy the spectacular views.