As the spring slowly creeps over the mountains and the snow begins to melt, around late May and early June, Norways mountain rivers bound and rush along with renewed energy.
As the spring slowly creeps over the mountains and the snow begins to melt, around late May and early June, Norways mountain rivers bound and rush along with renewed energy. Further up the mountains, in the forests, Norway's lumberjacks start the next phase of their work-cycle. Springtime brings a short migration for the lumberjacks. The 50 million trees that have been felled through the winter have to be shipped down river to the pulp- and saw-mills. The only way that such huge numbers of logs can transported is by floating them down the river.
Armed with hooked poles the lumbermen start their trek, pulling and pushing tree trunks into the foaming rivers, balancing on logs as they hurtle down stream. When there's a pile-up of logs on a bend, or at the rapids, lumberjacks clamber over the rocks and logs, tempting fate at every turn. One of the most tempestuous and remotest of the mountain rivers, in Norway, is the Sjoa, that springs from the heart of the Jotunheimen, Norway's highest mountain range.
The journey down river usually means sleeping in the open, eating whilst racing along on a log, and generally living like a bushman. In Norway 12,000 men are engaged in the lumbering industry, and between them they voyage on 10,000 miles of rivers, guiding their logs to the mills.