Christmas Crackers 2: A friar’s passion

Christmas Crackers 2: A friar’s passion

As a Norwegian brother assigned for studies in Oxford for two years, I’d like to present one of my passions. And what could be more natural for a Norwegian than the Norwegian mountains? I was raised in the mountains of Telemark, and during the last few years, I’ve become more and more interested in climbing them. I’m not a very skilled mountaineer, but in fact you can manage quite well with the help of others who do know the art of ‘vertical walking’. The mountains have a special place in the Norwegian soul, and one of our philosophers, Arne Næss, who died in February 2009, stated that the mountains are not ordinary landscapes. They appeal to us in a special way. They are a place of refuge, of renewal, and a place of challenge. They appeal to our senses and to our spiritual life, and their powerful presence demands attention, participation and respect

The reflections of Arne Næss could also been a good description of mountaineering, and in fact he was a well skilled mountaineer himself. Standing in front of a mountain wall fills us with respect, presence and attention. Hanging by a single rope hundreds of meters over the ground wakes up your senses, it is an existential kick that takes you out of the ordinary way of living

The photos that follow are from the well known mountain Romsdalshorn in the north west of Norway. With its 1550 meters you have a beautiful view of the fjords and the surrounding mountains …

Early morning before departure. Goal: the North wall.
 Maybe not a giant leap for mankind, but a great step for man!
Friends that made this adventure possible…
The famous “Trollveggen”, The Troll Wall, at the other side of the valley.

Bror Haavar Simon Nilsen OP

fr Haavar Simon Nilsen is a son of the French Province, resident in his native Norway. He studied for a masters degree in Applied Theology at Blackfriars, Oxford.