Maud is a century old fishing vessel that now carries tourists and explorers along deep fjords to the slopes of the Sunnmøre Alps. In these scenes from Switchback’s film Fjord Norway (2013), made for Salomon TV, adventure skiers Greg Hill, Andreas Fransson and Chris Rubens embark on a journey to these remote mountains in Western Norway.
Maud af Aalesund is a restored fishing cutter from 1917. The boat is 53 feet and has fished along the Sunnmør coast. It has i.a. had a base in Volda, Giske and Ålesund, – most recently as shrimp trawlers. Maud has now been rebuilt and brought back to the starting point and rigged with sails.
The steep forested hillsides around the Hardangerfjord above Odda, is the location of two Woodnest treehouses. The architecture is a specific response to the topography and conditions of the site itself. Inextricably crafted from nature, each treehouse is suspended 5-6m above the forest floor and fastened with a steel collar to the individual trunk of a living pine tree.
The journey to the site begins with the 20minute walk from the town of Odda, on the edge of the fjord and up through the forest via a steep winding path. Each treehouse is accessed via a small timber bridge, leading the visitor off the ground, into the structure and up in to the tree.
At just 15m2, carefully organized inside around the central tree trunk itself are four sleeping places, a bathroom, a kitchen area and a living space. From here one can lookout and experience the vast view out through the trees, down to the fjord below and across towards the mountains beyond.
At the very core of the project is the appreciation of timber as a building material. Inspired by the Norwegian cultural traditions of vernacular timber architecture, together with a desire to experiment with the material potential of wood, the architecture is structurally supported by the tree trunk itself, and formed from a series of radial glu-laminated timber ribs. The untreated natural timber shingles encase the volume creating a protective skin around the building, which will weather over time to merge and blend with the natural patina of the surrounding forest.
It’s hard to describe a feeling. This is how the mountains of Norway feel. To me.
The geography of Norway is dominated by vast mountain ranges broken up by valleys and fjords. Less than 10% of the country’s area is arable, and the rest is mountainous. Glaciers are the major cause for erosion, so the terrain in the Norwegian mountains consists of plateaus and lakes with peaks. These areas have an abundant and diverse fauna and flora.
The altitude of the treeline comes slowly down going to higher latitudes; in northern Finnmark, the treeline reaches sea level. The treeline is also lower near the coast, and higher on the eastern slopes of the mountains.
Mountain ranges also form the main boundaries among Norway’s districts. They typically run north-south. Several of the ranges have had road and railroad passes since historical times; some are newer; and many close over the winter.
This is a video from Lysefjord in Norway, hiking Kjerag, Kjeragbolten and Kjerag Falls, in the fall of 2020. “The 1,110-metre (3,640 ft) tall mountain sits on the southern shore of Lysefjorden, just southwest of the village of Lysebotn. Its northern side is a massive cliff, plunging 984 metres (3,228 ft) almost straight down to fjord, a sight which attracts many visitors each year. Another tourist attraction, the Kjeragbolten, a 5-cubic-metre (180 cu ft) stone wedged between two rocks is located on the mountain. The Kjeragfossen waterfall plunges off the mountain down to the fjord. It is one of the tallest waterfalls in the world”.
Didier Noirot is known as one of the world’s greatest underwater cameramen and has several prestigious awards for his natural history film camerawork. Over the past 40 years, Didier has been driven by his passion for marine life, but now he’s set himself a new challenge, to film what is perhaps the largest known gathering of marine mammals in the world; hundreds of killer whales in pursuit of shoals of herring. Today, these killer whales are faced with unexpected competition from humpback whales, who began appearing in this Arctic region only a few years ago, driven by a lack of food resources in the Atlantic Ocean, their natural habitat. In the midst of this changing ecosystem, we journey to the heart of the Norwegian fjords, where Didier Noirot’s aim is to take us as close as we can get to these giants of the Arctic so we can witness first-hand their new behaviour and hunting activity, which has never been captured on film before.
Norway is one of the most amazing countries in the world. From the massive Fjords to the Sea Mountains of Lofoten, Norway offers so much variety and diversity! I’ve been lucky enough to explore Norway and I want to show you my favorite places!