Thursday, January 29, 2009

Me, Snowmobiler

I hereby proudly announce that I have passed the final exam in my military snowmobile course. Belting around in the mountains for a week now, I am thankful to be finished; yet I guess this has been one of those weeks I will long to experience once again in the future.

Snowmobiling is truly fun. You can get almost anywhere, through woods, up steep hills, and you can get there fast. At the same time, you get in touch with nature, as branches smashes into your helmet, or you suddenly find yourself buried in snow. We even met a curious reindeer herd on one of our trips.

However, snowmobiling is for the most part illegal in Norway. There are a few groomed trails, and if you request it, you could happen to receive permission to snowmobile from the road to your ridiculously desolate cabin. But apart from that, civilians are not allowed to snowmobile, not on-road nor off-road. Sámi and the military, however, may use snowmobiles.

There is of course a reason for these strict regulations on snowmobiling. It is quite obvious for anyone who has snowmobiled; on the road, you have very poor control over the vehicle, and in nature, the snowmobile is merciless with everything from medium sized trees and down. The snowmomonster may well weigh over 300 kg, excluding the driver and his baggage.

The dangers of snowmobiling are also obvious; but with proper instruction and training, such as the course I had, this should be no problem. However, I was actually left alone on a mountain with engine trouble for more than half an hour at one point. With no cell phone signal and several degrees below freezing, the situation could have been very serious if, for instance, a snowstorm had occurred, reducing tracks, sight and body temperature. It didn’t feel very frightening at the time, but as we later were forced to meditate on the matter more seriously, we learned to watch out for each other.

I took this photo alone on the mountain with my cell phone. I eventually left the dead snowmobile behind, brought my helmet and started to walk towards our camp. I was careful to show which way I was headed, with arrows and deep footsteps in the snow. But luckily, I found them looking for me when I was halfway there. I got my helmet on, and was a passenger on our way back to the snowmobile. No need for the creative arrows!

All in all, it has been a great week. I’m looking forward to be a snowmobiling warrior in my future service for our kingdom.

Read More:
How Stuff Works: How Snowmobiles Work
Snowmobilers: Safe Riders


  1. Thanks for sharing your story- your english is very good- you shd be proud. I will feature your blog today on my web site- very interesting perspective on the sport of snowmobiling. Military! Wow! go see on
    Good luck as a military man. I hope you never have to start killing people! Think peace! Cheers from Saskatchewan Canada! zenwaiter

  2. Thanks. Me too hope that killing people won't be necessary. The best way to save the world is an agape love revolution. See ya!