Skip to content Skip to footer

Would You Climb This Scary Ladder “Floating in Thin Air” Above Norwegian Fjords?

As climate change pushes Southern Europe’s summer temperatures past the proverbial boiling point, many travelers have begun to look northward to Scandinavia for outdoor vacation spots. 

A new attraction in Norway will have you looking northward and skyward, perhaps with an expression reminiscent of Norway’s own The Scream if you have even the slightest fear of heights. 

Suspended 790 meters (about 2,600 feet) above a fjord in the village of Loen in western Norway, the new Stigull Stairway is a set of 125 steps at a 45-degree angle designed to feel like climbing a ladder to the sky. 

“It looks like people are floating in thin air,” says Per Helge Bø of outdoor adventure company Loen Active in a press release. 

(Stigull Stairway at Via Ferrata Loen in western Norway | Photos: Kjersti Kvamme)

The spine-tingling ladder is the latest addition to Via Ferrata Loen, one of those mountainous routes involving steel structures such as ladders, bridges, rungs, and hooks that are supposed to make the thrills of climbing accessible to daredevils who yearn to scale mighty peaks but don’t have much experience. 

As Frommer’s explained in a 2022 roundup of via ferrata routes in the U.S., they’re “part climbing, part hiking, and part scrambling,” with “the adventure—and some of the bragging rights—of mountain climbing without the same degree of danger or the need to lug around heavy gear.” (You will need to rent a helmet and harness from the tour company you hire.)

Similarly, taking on the Stigull Stairway in Norway requires only “moderate physical fitness,” according to the press release, and a need to horrify your mom, according to us.

To reach the ladder, you have to hike the first part of the Via Ferrata Loen route on the way to the top of Mount Hoven. Other features along the way include a zip-line and a suspension bridge. At the top of the mountain, you’ll find a restaurant, a cable car, and some spectacular views of the Nordfjord region.

You can take the journey with a guide or, if you’re an experienced climber, on your own. Prices for the guided version, which includes all the necessary equipment and a return trip to ground level via cable car, start at 1,695 kroner, or about $160—a pretty reasonable rate for such an unreasonable undertaking. 

For more information or to book tickets, go to