Follow in Fridtjof Nansen's footsteps
Did you know that Fridtjof Nansen hunted in Hafsrød’s forests for almost 30 years? The man, who is widely known for his polar expeditions, also took the rucksack with him and went on Capercaillie leeks in Halden, among other places.
In the forest, he found his resting place with his hunting companions. Under a rock wall that provided shelter from the weather, this was more than enough for the outdoorsman.
Fridtjof Nansen was a Norwegian polar explorer, scientist, and passionate hunter. Here in Ankerfjella, he spent his days hunting, among other things, forest birds, hares and deer, both alone and with the forest owner P.M. Anker. He used the rock wall as a place to stay, and was therefore appropriately later referred to as “Nansen Hotell”. The rock wall possibly provided shelter from the weather and wind, but shows that the outdoor person Nansen did not have great demands for luxurious comfort in his search for nature experiences.
The way here, he described in the book “Frilufts-liv, blad av dagboken” from 1916. At that time, it was this year’s Capercaillie leek in Ankerfjella that was to be experienced.
“It was still a good distance to Nordmyrene, where we were going to the morning game; first scree and wet bogs; then over an faul valley, a stream between steep rock walls. We had to climb a high, steep hill, on all four. Finally down on the other side. Here, in an overhanging rock wall, we found good shelter last night. ”
Nansen exchanged many letters with his friend P.M. Anker over the years, and here is an excerpt from one of his perhaps last visits to Hafsrød.
”Lysaker, 12th December 1929
again I have to send you some lines, because again I have some nice and peaceful days to thank you for. Even though the weather was not of the best, and even though the deer came across a bit, this is not so important against getting out into the woods, and living the healthy carefree life, and seeing the warm peaceful moments on Hafsrød. Yes, it does incredibly well, and it’s not really the kind of life, which is the most natural, and not this eternal toil with all sorts of issues, as is immediately devoured by, as soon as one comes back.
Yes, thank you very much for the last days together, and many greetings to You and Borghild
from your devoted Fridtjof Nansen ”
The correspondence between Nansen and P.M. Anker suggests a long and meaningful friendship, with nature at the center. How long Nansen hunted in these areas is somewhat uncertain, but the best estimate we have is that he traveled here in the period 1903 – 1929, ie less than 26 years. The following year, Nansen died – he was 68 years old.