Wandering Festival – day 1 on the mountain


Its not every day you go on a walk with 3 bona fide Eco-philosophers but last week it happened. We started off at Tvergastein, famous hytte of Arne Næss. Here we are on the first day with Per Ingvar Haukeland.
He is telling us about the time when he was 22 and met ‘Arnie’ for the first time. He immediately got invited up to Tvergastein and a couple of days later he and Arne were on the train. Arne said something like ‘Lets have some fun,’ and started climbing up ontothe luggage racks. Even though Per Ingvar was quite shy he felt he had no choice. The train was full up so they trod on the top of the seats and grasping on the racks with Arne shouting back to Per Ingvar – ‘Mind out for that old ladies head!’, pointing down to a woman who was probably 10 years younger than himself. Per Ingvar said it changed his perspective on life. Arne Næss was one of the founders of deep ecology.

I was a bit nervous as I had seen a film showing Arne Næss little hut perched on the top of a cliff and you had to do rock climbing to get there. You could tell these were cool dudes and maybe I was the only one not suddenly able to turn into Spider Man. To my releif, it turned out Arne had another hytte further down. The thing I liked best was a tiny chest of drawers which he had made out of matchboxes. He used to collect teeny weeny wonders and put them into this.

Well walking back over the deadish moss and snow we suddenly came over some lemmings. Martin Large (Hawthorn Press) asked amazed at how this cute furry animal, scuttling around like a huge bee could survive up here in what to the English looked like a desert. Yes folks, check the picture. This lifeless vegetation makes Norwegians flock to the mountains. I used to think they needed their brains testing. When I had lived in Norway for 5 years, I was walking the Pilgrims way. After many long hard days we came up to Dovre Mountain. Suddenly my eyes opened and I could see its immense beauty.

Arne Næss:

Already when I was ten years, and eleven years, I was walking sometimes by myself in this direction, towards the mountain. Already then, I looked upon this mountain as a kind of benevolent, great father. And this big mountain – this great mountain, I mean – seems to be such an entity! So it was alive for me, and therefore I decided the best thing would be to live either on top of the mountain, or further down on the mountain itself.

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