Holmenkollen Ski Festival

Holmenkollen Ski Festival

Aim-Experience Holmenkollen Ski Festival and Norwegian Ski Culture

In March, we attended Holmenkollen Ski Festival in Oslo, which is situated North of Oslo. It is one of the biggest event in the Norwegian calendar drawing in people from every part of Norway and the Rest of the World. The festival consists of several events, with the cross country and the ski jump being the main two. The atmosphere was immense with people cheering, drinking and generally having a good time. We also explored Oslo city and experienced some of it famous museums. It was a purely student led trip as the lecturer could not join us so were free to our own devices which consisted a forest rave on the Friday night which was spontaneous event as it appeared from nowhere.

We arrived in Oslo around 13:00 and decided upon going to the Viking museum just outside the city. It was very interesting visiting the Viking museum as I they many artefacts that dated back to 3 A.D however they were in perfect condition. There were several serpent-like figures that were used on longboats as warning or to scare enemies of the Vikings. The salvaged ships were also in very good conditions and it was unreal to think that Vikings crossed the rough North Sea in longboats that had not hull to escape the weather and they were man-powered using oars. After about half an hour we decided upon continuing to Holmenkollen and set up camp. This was a mission as we didn’t really have much idea where to go and once we were at the desired station find the camp was another mission. The rest of the group had gone back into the city and we had no way of finding the camp until I found the group tipi. We set up camp and waited form the others where the night antics began with a fire, a few beezies and the forest rave which we would regret the next morning.

The next day we woke up and began again and woke up to a hoard of cheering crowds by the race track where people set up their own mini camps and performing Norwegian traditions such as grilling sausages over fires and drinking. We embarked towards the Ski stadium. The Holmenkollen ski stadium is massive with a ski jump and 50 km ski track. The first competition at Holmenkollen was 30th January 1892 where it was attended by 15,000-20,000 people and has been a very popular event since. We based ourselves the east side of the main track getting a full view of the skier. We saw the only British skier Musgrave who was around 20th in 50 skiers. The race was won by Johannes Bo from Norway. Later in the day we attended the ski jump that was packed with Polish people and they outnumbered the Norwegian. We sat with the Polish crowd and the atmosphere was crazy with chanting and singing. The ski jump was also something to behold and I have admiration for anyone jumping that distance. The Germans won the ski jump with the Polish and Norwegians in 2nd and 3rd. the ski jump was the last event of the day and we returned to the camp which was desolate and completely different to the night before. Many camps left due to the weather and many people do not stay for Sunday as it the women’s event. We chilled by the fire for the rest of the night.

On the last day, we decided to pack up early to explore the rest of Oslo. We visited the Kon Tiki museum, Fram museum and maritime museum. The Fram museum was my favourite as I interested in Arctic and polar exploration and the Fram museum had the Fram arctic vessel which can be explored and has an entire range of information about Nansen and Amundsen who both used the Fram for the expeditions. The Kon Tiki told of Thor Heyerdahl in the 1947. He mission was the cross the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian Islands on a Balsa wood raft. The museum provides a vast amount of information which was very informative and it was interesting to find out that Thor Heyerdahl was a forerunner in the excavation and study of Easter Island.

The Holmenkollen/Oslo weekend was one of the best trip during my time on Outdoor Education and I would like to return someday to experience it again and participate in the acceptable antics of the festival.