Morgedal - The cradle of modern skiing
Morgedal is a tiny village nestled in the mountains of Western Telemark, set against a backdrop of picturesque forest-clad mountain ridges and slopes, which are decked in wild flowers in the summer and snow in the winter.
One of Morgedal’s most famous sons is Sondre Ouverson Norheim, the skiing legend who was born here in 1825, though he died in Dakota, USA in 1897. Sondre was born in Øverbø, a cotter’s croft and even as a child, skis played an important part in his life during the winter.
Sondre and his contemporaies from Morgedal and throughout Western Telemark had adopted a style of skiing which was unique at that time. Their skills were exceptional in comparison to those of Norwegians elsewhere. The type of ski, with its increased side cut, is still in production to this day, and the Telemark turns and landings, expressions and jargon from 19th Century Western Telemark and Morgedal are still used in the terminology of modern alpine skiing.
Skis based on those of Sondre Norheim, are in production in Morgedal to this day. Sondre is known throughout the world and avid skiers journey to Morgedal to walk in his footsteps. Sondre Norheim is generally accepted to be the father of free-heel skiing.