Olava - a strong radiant woman

Olava Femundshytta was named after the farm where she lived all her life, by Lake Femunden. Up until the 1970s she looked after herself, her children and her cattle with irrepressible energy and good humour. Every March, Olava walked with her cows to the mountain holding Kuvolsetra on the other side of the lake.

“It happened that a few cows fell through the ice. We just pulled them out again”, she explained calmly to the author Dagfinn Grønoset. She said “we” but she was mostly on her own. It was even worse in autumn, when she had to drive her cattle back. The walk round lake Femunden could take up to three days, and there were several fords to negotiate.

Olava gave birth to ten children. The first one arrived in the middle of winter. When she felt the first pangs of labour, she put on her skis and set out across the mountain to Töfsingdalen, several arduous hours away. Three days later she returned home. “I wasn’t alone then. Someone was crying in my backpack. Skiing was easy that day”, she said.

Reading tip

Dagfinn Grønoset. 1952: Vandring i villmark.