Holmenkollen

Exhibitions

The Ski Museum’s exhibitions display skiing history over 4,000 years, from prehistoric times up to the present day.

Be prepared

The Ski Museums newest exhibition opened in September 2016 and it`s called Be prepared. The exhbibition is about weather and climate changes. 

Everyone cares about the weather. It is loved and hated and carefully taken note of. “But what is happening to our weather?” many ask. Where are the good, snowy winters, and why is there so much extreme weather? Or were winters always this bad? What is correct? Over millions of years, global temperatures have varied greatly, though slowly. Since 1850, however, man has increasingly affected the environment through industrialization and high CO2 emissions.

This exhibition is a cooperation between the Ski Museum and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.

In the exhibition you can face a heavy storm, predict the skiing conditions in a hundred years and see what you can do to help the environment on a daily basis.

Freedom on Snow - snowboard and modern skiing

The exhibition Freedom on Snow opened in November 2014 and is about snowboard and modern skiing. In the exhibition you can see old snowboards, the development of modern skiing, film by Field Productions, photos by Frode Sandbech, interviews of the best athletes in the world, historical film parts and you can even try to snowboard and skii yourself on the gyro boards.  

Vinterglede (Winter Joy)

On 1st June 2007, the new permanent exhibition ‘Vinterglede’ (Winter Joy) opened on the museum’s 1st floor. Experience outdoor pursuits, recreation and rosy cheeks. Our ‘Wall of Fame’ has been updated and expanded so that even more of Norway’s great skiers through the ages could be included. The museum also displays models of Holmenkollen ski jump throughout history, as well as films featuring memorable skiing moments.

With this particular project, the exhibition has been given a modern look in which the lighting re-creates the cold atmosphere of the blue hour.

Polar exhibitions

The polar exhibitions display some of the most important expeditions of Fridtjof Nansen, Roald Amundsen and Børge Ousland. Even before the Ski Museum had been built, Nansen and Amundsen had donated much of the equipment from their expeditions to the Association for the Promotion of Skiing. This tradition has been continued by present day polar explorers. The Ski Museum is therefore able to display many unique artefacts used in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. In 2003, the Polar exhibition was remodelled and modernised. The design company Expology was responsible for the remodelling work.

Fridtjof Nansen
Across Greenland on skis in 1888

The exhibition reflects Nansen’s inquisitiveness and experimental way of thinking. On this expedition, Nansen tested various types of equipment such as skis, sleeping bags and boots. This equipment became the model for future polar expeditions. The exhibition’s skis and sleds are examples of this. The first edition of Nansen’s ‘bible’, ‘The First Crossing of Greenland’, was published in 1890. It was translated into many languages. In the book, Nansen declared skiing as Norway’s national sport. Nansen was a ‘missionary’ as well as a visionary and his message spread throughout the world.


North Pole expedition 1893-1896

This expedition is also referred to as ‘the first Fram Expedition’. In the ship ‘Fram’, Nansen and his crew intended to sail across the Arctic Ocean in order to reach the North Pole. The clothing featured in the exhibition was worn by Nansen and Hjalmar Johansen on the whole of their skiing trip during their attempt to reach the North Pole. The clothing is full of sweat, as well as walrus blood. They used skis, sleds, dogs and kayaks in their efforts to reach the pole. Several artefacts, as well as the union flag, are displayed in the exhibition. Fridtjof Nansen was a keen advocate of an independent Norway and preferred to use the pure Norwegian flag on this expedition.

Roald Amundsen
South Pole expedition 1910-1912 – The race

Amundsen’s expedition to the South Pole was a race to beat a British expedition led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott. Amundsen reached the pole on 14th December 1911, while Scott arrived on 18th January 1912. ‘Obersten’ (‘The colonel’) was Oscar Wisting’s outrunner and was one of the few dogs to return to Norway. The whole British team perished on their return journey. Amundsen’s ski instructor, Trygve Gran, together with the rest of the rescue party, found three of the five frozen to death in their tent. They built an ice grave and Trygve Gran used his own skis to form a cross on top of the grave. He then donned Scott’s skis, returned home to Norway with them and donated them to the Ski Museum.

Present day polar explorers

Børge Ousland has undertaken several Arctic and Antarctic expeditions and is a modern example of a polar explorer. This is a ‘living’ exhibition as Ousland regularly borrows back the equipment in order to use it on his many journeys to polar regions. The skis in the exhibition were decorated by his son, Max. At the start of the journey, the pulk sled weighed 170 kilos. These items were used on his solo trip across the North Pole in 2001. See film clips of his journey.

The oldest skis

Man has been using skis since prehistoric times. The rock carving ‘The Rødøy Man’ is 4,000 years old. The oldest ski in the museum is from Alvdal and dates from around 600 AD. It was discovered in marshland in 1906 and is made of pine. The ski has been preserved to almost its original length. Other skis featured in the exhibition are from all over Norway: Elvenes in Varanger (1225-1280), Finsland in Vest-Agder (980-1165), Utrovatn in Oppland (780-975) and Åsnes in Hedmark (1165-1260). The Øvrebø ski from the county of Vest-Agder is from around the year 1600. Kåre Tveter has painted ‘Det første spor i snøen’ (‘The first tracks in the snow’) in the background.

Old Norwegian village skis

Long skis, fast skis, crust skis, wolf skis, forest skis, loose-snow skis and mountain skis... Mountains and valleys, precipitous woodland hillsides – skis were adapted to a variety of snow conditions and types of terrain. Some skis were exquisitely decorated, especially in the county of Nord-Trøndelag. The Ski Museum also has the world’s longest skis on display. These are 374 cm long and weigh 11 kilos! The exhibition has been decorated by Karl Erik Harr and Reidar Fritzvold.

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