3-7 Feb. 2020
On Monday 3 February, we left Kristiansand and headed north to Trollaktiv near Evje. This was the first time skiing together as a group and I was very excited.
We divided the group according to food preferences. Two small houses for the veggie-eaters and one big house for the meat-eaters aka. The Slaughter House. During the week I really experienced how I got closer with my new roommates. We cooked lovely meals, laughed a lot and we were good at helping each other. Together with Manual and Natalie I planned the meals beforehand and did the grocery shopping. I learnt how preparing and planning takes time. We cooked so that we could also bring leftovers for lunch the following day.
During the days on ski I learned:
- To always bring a warm drink (preferable not coffee or tea because it is diuretic)
- To eat frequent but smaller meals instead of few heavy meals
- Bring lots of snacks in pockets to keep your energy level constant
- Hydrate (1L or more)
We were divided into two groups. My group was led by Tim. I liked his leadership style; teaching and sharing his knowledge in a pedagogical way and challenging us at the same time. He kept us motivated and showed a good mix of fun and seriousness. We made competitions and practiced different skiing techniques. I really enjoyed how he told us about the surrounding environment, the weather and Norwegian culture along the way. We each took turns to lead the group which I also found nice to try.
Every evening after skiing we had theory lessons. I learned a lot of valuable knowledge during these evenings which I am sure to be able to use in the future. I wrote notes and drew illustrations in my notebook to better remember.
- Day Sack – what to bring on a day trip on ski
- Ground and individual
- First Aid Kit
- Group and individual
- Wax and Snow
- Cold weather injuries
- Ski Sport
I have experience in downhill skiing and snowboarding. Nevertheless, this type of skiing was much different than I expected. I believe it was an advantage to already know how to keep balance, shift of weight and generally being in snow but I needed to learn how to break and turn in other ways than usual. Tim also taught us telemark and Heronboning. Heronboning is askill used to ski/walk up a hill where you need to position your skis in a V-shape with the tips apart and ends together. This was a source of much fun when falling and sliding back. We also tried to use skins on our skis when we had to climb a steep 300-meter hill. This was a whole new experience for me, and I did not know this existed.
Other snow skills
Other learnings consisted of how to make a snow anchor. Half of the group did it with the use of skis and the other half by digging and only using the snow. That was a very cool experience to see how the snow can be used in different ways.
Later the same day, we were challenged to make an emergency shelter in the snow. 30 minutes and in pairs of two. Afterwards we evaluated and accessed the different shelters and discussed what worked and what did not. Again, a very cool experience to see so many different approaches and to lean what to take into consideration in an emergency situation.
After lunch the following day, we got a task to start a bonfire in a snow environment only using what we could find around us. We used bark from birch trees, and everyone tried to light the fire with Haron’s fire steel. It was hard but he gave good tips and in the end we succeeded.
I think this trip brought us much closer together as a group. Besides spontaneous snowball fights, cozy evenings in the houses or in the common room, we also had to deal with our different skiing levels. We had to have patience and be a good at helping each other. I found that it was sometimes hard for me not to get frustrated but in the end, we are all here to learn.
One evening we made a bonfire, Manuel played guitar and we played different games arranged by each student. That was a lot of fun and just what we needed after a long (possibly frustrating) day to connect us again.