A Chinese perspective to a Norwegian Mountain Skiing Trip

Xianwen Chen, March 28, 2016

I have to admit that I agreed to take on this writing task when I was under the influence of three cups of morning coffee on the last day of the trip. I usually don’t take coffee, so you can guess how high I was when Martin casually asked me if I’d like to write a blog for the trip. Although I regret very much that I said yes and despise very much that Martin took advantage of my mental state at the time, I’m a man of honor – a promise is a promise.

Day 1: Friday 18 March 2016

We all agree that a good trip starts with good preparation. And I knew I was under prepared at the second pit stop on the way to the cabin. I was sharing the ride with Marte, one of the trip leaders, and Ingvild, the driver. We had a stop at a gas station, and used the bathroom as everyone else. As a gentleman I went to the bathroom last, and when I came out of the store, there were Ingvild and Marte sitting on a bench and having sushi. Do you know what kind of people bring sushi to a mountain skiing trip? Only the smartest people! Anyhow, that’s how I knew I was super under prepared compared to my trip partners!

I should have mentioned first that Marte, Ingvild, and I actually left villiage Ås about three hours later than the rest of the group, which were Simen, Martin, Astrid, Kristina, Bendict, and Federico. In terms of nationalities, we have 6 Norwegians, 0.5 Swedish, 0.5 Maltese, 1 Italian, and 1 Chinese. You must know that as a Chinese, I was born to be accurate.


Ingvild made a smart decision to go around Oslo to avoid the Easter traffic!

When we arrived at the parking lot, the other six mates had already settled down and started making food. Simen skied from the cabin to meet us at the parking lot, and helped me with one backpack of the three I brought with me when we were skiing to the cabin! Although it was 10 PM when we started skiing, we did not need headlights, because the moonlight shined our way! It was such a beautiful night to go out skiing!

We skied around six kilometers from the parking lot to the cabin on the first day.

When we arrived at the cabin, a taco dinner was already waiting for us. To all the people who made the tacos, I will be very happy to write a letter of recommendation in case you will need such reference to prove that you have what it takes to be an excellent housewife and househusband! You have proved yourselves that you have the cooking skill and more importantly the patience. It was a little over mid-night when we arrived at the cabin, and you were still waiting for us to begin the dinner! Although you might have been eating snacks like crazy because you were hungry, but it is the spirit of waiting for the dinner that deserves a round of applause!

Day 2: Saturday 19 March 2016

After a lazy and slow morning breakfast & coffee, our first day of real mountain-skiing started around 11 AM. It was more or less a gentle trip, to tease the mountain a little and also to get to know different people’s skiing skills.


A very nice view! Martin couldn’t wait but started skiing around!

During the trip we found a bone in the snow. Federico took the charge of the snow archeology project. However, it turned out to be only two bones, probably from an animal, and nothing more.


Here is Federico doing snow archeology.

It was my first mountain skiing trip. I wasn’t sure how many clothes I needed, and over-dressed myself. I had three layers of pants and also four layers of clothes. You can probably guess that I drank a lot of water and was still thirsty! I also had an impractical bag with me, which made it very difficult to balance myself. Simen carried it for me in the end!


Here is Simen holding my impractical bag…

The whole skiing trip was a little over 14 KM. In the evening we had spaghetti. Being the only Italian, Federico was in charge of making the spaghetti. His secret was to add salt into the pot so that the spaghetti would taste better!


We skied a little more than 14 KM that day, except Federico and Astrid. They went on some more skiing after we went home!


Such a beautiful place!

Day 3: Sunday 20 March 2016

Unlike the previous day, this day’s trip was more like straight up and then going down. We skied across the lake and then walked uphill with skins on.

After we reached the top, everybody skied down except me, who was scared of falling like a little girl and walked down most of the way. In fact, I was combining three skills together: (1) walking down the hill, (2) sliding down the hill on my butt, and (3) skiing down the hill. When I was sliding down the hill, my butt got wet because the butt’s warmth was melting the snow. Then my butt gradually got frozen because of the melted water and the snowy and icy ground. At that point, I had to start skiing again because the freezing pain in my butt was more than tolerable. Then, my butt gradually warmed up and was de-frozen after a while! What a tough butt!

breakWe had lunch break on the way down the hill.


The day trip ended around 5 PM, and the sunlight was gorgeous. People decided that it would be nice to have a drink in the sun. Some of us stayed on lake near the island, whilst the rest stayed at the cabin.

kristinaJust some happy girl posing for the camera! I bet you can imagine the smile on her face!


Because I was walking or sliding down most of the way, most people skied more than me. They probably skied 16 KM that day. Martin went further because he had to fetch candles from his family cabin which was about 6 KM away, so he probably skied 28 KM that day!

Day 4: Monday 21 March 2016

This is the last day of skiing on mountains. We took the chance and went for the longest. In fact, after lunch break, we divided into two groups. One group, Simen, Astrid, and Federico, went to a more difficult mountain. If you want to know their adventure, you need to buy them a beer when you see them at Samfunnet or Blinde Ku and ask them to tell you!

For the rest of us, we took a smaller hill. After the previous sunny day, some of the snow melt, re-froze, and became ice. This made going uphill on steep slopes a bit difficult. At one point, my feet lost grip, and I was lying on the slope with only one pole sticking in the snow to prevent myself from falling! Bendict came and rescued me. As far as I can tell, I could have died or at least broken some bones! By the way, people sometimes think that a bad breakup is the worst experience in life. I don’t know whether that is true, but I can tell you that having your life on the edge of a snowy mountain was way better. I didn’t have any panic at all, except I was calm and entirely focused on steadying my right pole to support my body weight!


It’s hard from see from the photo, as I took it a bit distance away from the edge. But I could have died there!

bendiktThis man saved my life!

ingvildThe view from the top!

break2Happy people!


I skied the shortest distance this day, which was 20 KM. I think some mates skied around 35 KM or maybe more that day, for example, Martin and Marte!

I made rice that night, whilst others made meaty stew that went with rice. They thought I did a good job with the rice. The fact was that when they mixed stew with rice, all the taste came from the stew! Ha ha! But just don’t tell them and keep letting them think that my rice was awesome!

Day 5: Tuesday 22 March 2016

On the last day, we went home. I cannot write more about this day because I’m still too sad for leaving!

cabinIt was a really nice cabin!

view5On the way leaving the cabin, I looked back and took this photo!


The last skiing trip was about 6.5 KM!