Norwegian Woods (OT)


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Sport climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 30, 2019 - 10:47am PT

Lost in the forest, I broke off a dark twig
and lifted its whisper to my thirsty lips:
maybe it was the voice of the rain crying,
a cracked bell, or a torn heart.

Something from far off it seemed
deep and secret to me, hidden by the earth,
a shout muffled by huge autumns,
by the moist half-open darkness of the leaves.

Wakening from the dreaming forest there, the hazel-sprig
sang under my tongue, its drifting fragrance
climbed up through my conscious mind

as if suddenly the roots I had left behind
cried out to me, the land I had lost with my childhood
and I stopped, wounded by the wandering scent.

Pablo Neruda


Sport climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 1, 2019 - 10:34am PT


In 2012 Maja Daniels, photographer and sociologist began working in the Swedish region of Älvdalen inspired by the current generational shift, where negotiations and tensions between modern lifestyles and tradition – including the preservation of a strong cultural identity imbued with mysticism – represent an important contemporary struggle. Through making her own photographs of the region, and creatively appropriating parts of the archive of photographer Tenn Lars Persson (1878 –1938) within her work the community’s unique and mysterious eccentricity is reinforced. Steeped in both reality and myth, past and present, an imaginary tale influenced by language, mystery and local history quietly reveals itself through the resilience of the subjects, the strangeness of the events and the beauty of the land. ATA

Witch hunts, mystics and race cars: inside the weirdest village in Sweden

In 1926, the yearbook of the Swedish Tourism Association described the village of Älvdalen as “a community with a dark insular spirit” where locals were “shadowed by distrust and unease”. It was there in 1668 that the Swedish witch-hunts began, resulting in the execution of 19 girls and one man suspected of occult practices. One senses that the tourist association thought the stigma had lingered on into the 20th century. “It is not easy to get close to them,” the yearbook added, “particularly if you don’t speak their language.”

Today, Älvdalen, in the west of Sweden, still has its own language, Elfdalian, which has been traced back to Old Norse, the tongue of the Vikings. Swedish-born photographer Maja Daniels spent many childhood summers there, in a cabin built by her grandparents in the woods by the river.

“Älvdalen is part of what I call home,” she says. “My grandparents spoke Elfdalian, whose continued existence baffles linguists, but also is a personal mystery to me, as I cannot speak it.” The language has undergone a recent revival, with bursaries granted to 16-year-olds who are proficient speakers.

Daniels has made Elf Dalia, an intriguing, mysterious photobook that combines Daniels’ often impressionistic images of the landscape and its mainly young people with a fascinating archive of photographs by a local eccentric, Tenn Lars Persson, who was born there in 1878 and died in 1938.

“Tenn Lars was interested in what can be described as natural magic – knowledge of astrology, alchemy, the occult and the hidden power of plants, animals and stones. Despite spending only four years in school as a child, he became a self-taught electrician, optician, inventor, photographer and scientist. In many ways, he was a wizard of his time.”

Persson made his own cameras and lenses, as well as constructing a telescope to study and photograph the moon. He is remembered as the man who brought electricity to Älvdalen, and for his lectures on the wonders of the solar system and plant life. For Daniels, his monochrome photographs of the landscape and people of Älvdalen distil “the sense of wonder and mystery” that drew her back there. “I felt a deep connection to his work,” she says. “I wanted to initiate a dialogue with it, to emphasise the unique, almost eccentric spirit of the place.”

Her rural landscapes suggest human presence – denuded forests, the glare of streetlights filtered through trees, young men racing cars through rutted woodland tracks. Other more impressionistic images use sunlight, shadow and sparks to evoke the unchanging natural mystery of the elemental Swedish landscape. In several portraits, faces of strangers are fully or partially obscured, while individuals she knows are revealed in closeup. All the while, you are gently reminded that she is an outsider despite her family connections.

Sean O'Hagan

Älvdalska: [Click to View YouTube Video]

Sport climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 3, 2019 - 02:25pm PT

Älvdalen 1951: [Click to View YouTube Video]

Älvdalen 2018: [Click to View YouTube Video]

And then an Älvdalen lullaby: Huldrelokk live - Kerstin Blodig, Mia Gunberg Ådin and Liv Vester Larsen - [Click to View YouTube Video]

Sport climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 4, 2019 - 01:26am PT


The Universal Grassclimbing Meet 2016: Dalarne climbing club climbing ice in Älvdalen -Grövelsjön - and right across the border on the Norwegian side - Båthusberget - not far from Elgå: [Click to View YouTube Video]

Yes, you find cliffs in Älvdalen:

And a river:

Sport climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 4, 2019 - 02:16am PT


Hykjeberget is a mountain where biology and geology interact so that special conditions are created. The mountain has sides facing south, east and west. The cliff's ability to store heat means that the rock gives off heat to its surroundings, primarily during autumn and winter. Then a good local climate is created that favors demanding plants, often species that can only be found further south.

Already in 1734 Carl von Linné visited Hykjeberget and described the peculiar flora below the mountain slope. Here you can find species that are otherwise unusual in these areas - maple, linden, skogstry (Lonicera xylosteum), sötvedel (Astragalus glycyphyllos), getrams (Polygonatum odoratum) and gaffelbräken (Asplenium septentrionale).


Boulder climber
May 8, 2019 - 08:28am PT
Regarding Yamnaya culture mentioned above - came across this random article calling them most violent people that ever existed, huh.

The wording might be sensationalist (definitely different from more of a rosy picture which was being presented back when I was in high school history class). They built kurgans - I grew up near one of those, they were all over the place and called exactly that. Most of them weren't excavated but you knew what they are, very different from a regular hill (kurgans were built by their descendants too).

Sport climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 19, 2019 - 01:50am PT

The Forest - A Time-Lapse Journey Through the Forgotten Norway: [Click to View YouTube Video]

"The Forest" takes us on a journey through the deep forests and aims to shine light on a landscape in Norway one usually does not see in the tourist magazines. This is portrayed through the magical night, mystical morning and adventurous day. Set to the words of Theodor Kittelsen the film gives associations with the traditional, Norwegian fairytales in a modern visual and auditive setting.

The soundtrack (named "Urskog") is custom composed for this film by Jogeir. Check out his Facebook page (; and Soundcloud (;. Vocals on the track is done by Katrine Ødegaard Stenbekk. Mixed and mastered by Tony Draper. These guys were also the creators of the soundtrack from my last video, "NORWAY - A Time-Lapse Adventure". The voice over is done by the brilliant Norwegian actor Ingar Helge Gimle.

Morten Rustad

The TH Kittelsen story told at the beginning:

When the sun went down, solitude and quietness swept through the forest
silent and dense
It was as if they did not dare to take a breath
as if the forest had quiet, silent expectations
Then our hearts started to pound, we wanted more, we begged and prayed for adventures
and the forest gave us adventure...

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 19, 2019 - 02:56am PT
I will miss this, Marlow. Tusen takk!

Ice climber
Salt Lake City
May 19, 2019 - 11:00am PT
Oh Marlow all the beautiful rare pictures... thank you for this thread

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 19, 2019 - 04:48pm PT
A lifeboat of tranquillity in a sea of rancor.

Sport climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 20, 2019 - 10:49am PT

Reilly and Cybele. I appreciate your feedback.

A lifeboat of tranquillity in a sea of rancor.

^^^^ I'll remember those words ....
Mighty Hiker

Outside the Asylum
May 31, 2019 - 02:29pm PT
I'll particularly miss Marlow's contributions here and elsewhere.
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
May 31, 2019 - 02:42pm PT
Thanks for this thread, Marlow! Always great stuff! I'd include a Kittleson troll, here - the one who wonders how old he is - but - not my photo!


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 31, 2019 - 02:44pm PT
Just seeing this thread brings back the taste of Sognefjord strawberries last summer!
How are those even legal?
JC Marin

Trad climber
May 31, 2019 - 08:28pm PT
Ha det!
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