The Discovery of Preikestolen
According to historians, the first known person to visit Preikestolen was Thomas Peter Randulff, a bank manager from Stavanger. One day, as he cruised through the Lysefjord as a passenger aboard the steam boat Oscar II., Randulff noticed a striking rock formation that was jutting out from the granite cliffside high above the fjord’s northern shore. The captain of the vessel, who was familiar with the rock formation, explained that, because the locals thought it resembled the blade of a wood planer, it was known as Hyvlatånnå, or the planning tooth. Randulff, already an active member of the Norwegian Hiking Association, was very curious to see what it was like to stand atop Hyvlatånnå. Soon after he first set his eyes on it, Randdulff decided he wanted to try to become the first person to hike to the location.
In 1896, there were no roads in the area around Preikestolen, so Randdulff and his travel companion, Ole Hausken, started their hike at sea-level, on the shores of the Lysefjord. After hiking some time, the pair encountered Vatne Farm, which was located at what is now the modern-day trailhead. Neither the widow, who managed the farm, nor her children had ever heard of the rock formation known as Hyvlatånnå. Her two sons however, Elling and Guttom, were eager to help the gentlemen find it. Because he had a lot of knowledge of the area, they also enlisted their neighbour, Fredrik Bratteli, to join the expedition.