Holmenkollen Ski Museum in Norway
Holmenkollen Ski Museum was established in 1923, making it the oldest ski museum in the world. It is situated at the base of Norway‘s famous Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo. Tours of both the museum and the Jump Tower are on offer, providing insight into the ancient history of skiing, as well as modern-day skiing. In fact, the Holmenkollen Ski Museum covers the history of skiing back some 4,000 years to the Stone Age.
The latest addition to the exhibitions at the Holmenkollen Ski Museum is the “Is it possible?!” display. Located in the new building of the museum, this feature has been designed to challenge people’s perceptions and open them up to the possibilities. It demonstrates how anything is possible for those with disabilities, how difficulties can be overcome. Visitors to the museum are given the opportunity to experience firsthand what it is like to move on a Sitski, as well as what it feels like to shoot when blind.
The museum’s polar exhibitions deal with the expeditions of Børge Ousland, Fridtjob Nansen and Roald Amundsen, with much of the equipment on display having been donated by polar explorers. Two of Fridtjof Nansen’s expeditions are followed. Firstly there is his trip across Greenland in 1888. Nansen is noted for his experimental nature, testing different types of ski gear during the journey. He published “The First Crossing of Greenland” in 1890, leaving a model for explorers who followed him. The next expedition of Nansen’s covered at the Ski Museum is the “First Fram Expedition” to the North Pole in 1893 to 1896. On display is the clothing worn by Fridtjof Nansen and Hjalmar Johansen, along with other artifacts from their attempt to reach the North Pole.
Roald Amundsen’s South Pole expedition is also looked at. This was in fact a race between Amudsen’s group and a British expedition with Captain Rober Falcon Scott. They won the race, arriving at the pole on 14 December 1911, followed by the British on 18 January 1912.
An interesting display is related to Børge Ousland, who in fact borrows pack his equipment when headed on further polar adventures. There are film clips of his solo North Pole trip in 2001 as well as other items on display. Further exhibitions at the Holmenkollen Ski Museum show how skis were used in prehistoric times, as well as the development of skis through the ages. Intricately decorated skis are found in the Old Norwegian Village Skis display. There is a Wall of Fame that is constantly updated, models of the Holmenkollen ski jump and films of famous moments in skiing history.
Holmenkollen Ski Museum is well worth a visit for the whole family. Visiting hours are 10 am to 4 pm in October to April; 10 am to 5 pm from May to September; and 9 am to 8pm in the months of June, July and August.