From the wild nature in western Norway, with mighty mountains descending into fjords, to Rondane with its fells, and the artwork itself; the Rondane massif, the contrast is stark. With the piano in the car I headed to Rondablikk for my family's annual Easter celebration - a holiday filled with tests in strength, a concert and our traditional ski trip.
My family has traveled to Rondane as long as I can remember. Growing up in Lillehammer, the trip to the high mountains was short. To this day, I can hardly understand how my parents managed to find the time and patience to take three children skiing. One was cold, the second had to use the restroom, while the third couldn’t find the mitts. They used to decorate the trails with candy in attempt to make us ski just a little bit to further. My favorite activity was to «fall» and call my mother for help - just to jump straight up again when she was approaching.
Healthy competition has alway been part of our family dynamic, and every year we look forward to spending quality time outdoors. My little sister and I have started a tradition of going to Veslesmeden. But after we switched from a cabin at Mysusæter to Rondablikk, the trip has been a long and demanding. The trip to Veslesmeden, where you find the DNT cabin Rondvassbu, is the perfect destination for beginners on a top trip or tough mountain skiers. The first year we collected all our equipment in a pulk and pulled it from Mysusæter to Rondvassbu. Now, leaving from Rondablikk, it’s almost five miles and 1200 meters.
The first year we changed our trip from Mysusæter to Rondablikk was especially challenging - the most dangerous part of the route left me feeling exposed and scared. It was my first ever alpine route and it was both physically and mentally taxing. Now, it hardly crosses my mind. It’s surprisingly easy to overcome your fears if you just dare to expose yourself to it. Even when the skins on my skies slipped, I ended up fish-walking up the entire mountain. I'm totally hooked, the kick of needing to dig deep inside you to find the extra strength to climb the last meters to the top is addicting. And oh, what a feeling is to enjoy the benefits of your struggles - the breathtaking, humbling and extraordinary view when you get there. Like Vinje wrote in the poem «Ved Rondane»: Det strøymer på meg så eg knapt kan anda.
One should not do such a test of strength every day. After all, sometimes the best thing is to get just above the tree line and bathe in the mountain fells.
My grandfather was an artist in both heart and mind, and often used nature as inspiration for his work. He taught me to look at how the lines meet, or sometimes break with each other. But how do I turn this into music?
This Easter was one to remember. I am grateful for the fantastic weather and the beautiful memories. But most of all, I am grateful to my family who encourage and support all my crazy ideas, who pushes me when I’m in doubt and who listens when I play the piano - even when I'm just practicing.