23 November 2021

Sherpa-built stone staircases in Norway

Unlike normal hiking paths, they have been conceived to reduce the number of accidents and mountain rescues (by making it safer to walk) and created to help prevent erosion and strengthen the relationship between visitors and the land around them (by protecting the country's vulnerable mountain landscapes). They can also withstand all forms of weathering. Silently, they exist as monuments of an ambitious and more sustainable national plan to make outdoor exploration more sustainable...

For many, the stone staircases can lower the threshold for experiencing nature, which is important to strengthen public health."

That the ethnic group [Sherpas] are elite mountaineers and experts at working in difficult mountains conditions makes them the perfect trail builders, and today Vetti relies on a pool of some 120 hardy Sherpas every year. It is telling, he told me, that his business is thriving despite the coronavirus pandemic. This summer, 39 builders arrived to work on 20 projects across the country...

So, when visiting the country, don't go seeking an alternative path.

Preserve and protect the habitats you're exploring.

Leave no trace.

And stick to the stairs.
More at the BBC.

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