Skårfast | means stuck on a mountain ledge in Norwegian | Norway

Skårfast is a Norwegian adjective that means that a person or an animal is stuck on a steep mountain- or cliff-side shelf, and in need of being rescued.
LA Dahlmann | talk NORWAY
Are these sheep stuck on a mountain shelf? | © Jakob - stock.adobe.com.
Are these sheep skårfaste - stuck on a mountain shelf? | © Jakob - stock.adobe.com.

Pronunciation

Skårfast

The grammar

A compound word made up of the noun skår and the adjective fast | adjective.

What does the word mean?

Skår: means in this context a steep mountain- or cliff-side shelf or crack.
Fast: means in this context to be stuck, as in unable to move away from the current location: å sitte fast.
Skårfast: means to be stuck on a steep mountain- or cliff-side shelf, unable to move either up or down, and in need of being rescued.

The word skårfast can also be used figuratively, about a situation where a person is puzzled or perplex – or about a situation where there is no obvious solution.

More on the traditional context

A land full of mountains and cliffs

Norway is a land full of mountains and cliffs, and every year, both people and animals get stuck on steep mountainside shelves when moving through the terrain. Somehow, they have managed to ascend or descend to a spot impossible to get away from.

Could be fatal

In the olden days, unless someone was able to locate and help the poor souls, either by getting them down or up the mountain-side using ropes, or by being able to guide them off the mountain in some other way, they were doomed and often lost their lives. Sadly, this also sometimes happens in our own time.

Helicopters to the rescue

Today, mobile phones enable people to sound the alert, and they are often rescued by a helicopter lifting them to safety. Farm-animals who have gotten themselves into a pickle are also often air-lifted out, assuming they get spotted in time and are possible to reach.

Examples from books and stories

Alf Terje Myklebust Sunnhordland: liv og landskap 1992
I september vert sauene henta heim frå sommarbeite i fjellet. Det kan vera ein tøff jobb for saueeigarane å få «ullsekkane» velberga ned dei brattaste partia. Ikkje sjeldan går sauene seg skårfast i fjellet og må bergast med tau.
In September, the sheep are brought back home from summer pasture in the mountains. The sheep-owners have a tough job getting the «woollen bags» safely down the steepest sections of the landscape. Often, the sheep end up being skårfast and must be rescued using ropes.

Sogningen-Sogns Avis 1992
Det vart i går ettermiddag sendt ut fjellklatrarar for å hente ned ein turist som hadde gått seg skårfast i den bratte fjellsida over Flåm.
Yesterday afternoon, mountain climbers were sent out to rescue a tourist who was skårfast in the steep mountainside above Flåm.

Sources: Nasjonalbiblioteket nb.no | Einar Haugen’s Norwegian-English dictionary | Det Norske Akademis ordbok | Bokmålsordboka and Nynorskordboka.

Our most recent posts

My Norwegian heritage

In 1935, Aslaug Engnæs published a guidance book on how to milk the cow.
Neither the great Atlantic Ocean nor time or social conventions could separate a love that was meant to be.
The spinning wheel was a lifelong companion for most women in the old Norwegian farming society. Enjoy this video-collection of wonderful vintage photographs.
Are you looking for a Norwegian-to-English dictionary that includes old-fashioned words and dialect words? Then Einar Haugen’s book is your best pick.
A kjenge is a drinking bowl used in the old Norwegian farming society – usually with two handles - carved and hollowed out from one piece of wood.
The first half of the 1900s was a time of enormous change in Norwegian society. It was then that a young boy experienced a peculiar family custom.
On the historical Norwegian farm, winter feed for the domesticated animals was a precious resource. Sometimes it was harvested and temporarily stored far away from the farm.
The first half of the 1900s came with a momentous change to Norwegian society. The old ways of the ancient hunting and farming culture were rapidly dying.
In 1938, Queen Maud died unexpectedly during a visit to the United Kingdom. But what happened to her unentombed coffin when the Germans attacked Norway in 1940?
In this period, Norway was still primarily a nation of farmers, fishermen and hunters. In AD 1801, 90% of the population lived in rural areas.
One of the oldest Norwegian instruments is the birch trumpet. But is it really an instrument at all - or did it originally have a completely different purpose?
Skodje sogelag and Louis Giske wrote the history of the two Sortehaug farms and its inhabitants back in 1986.
In this video-collection of historical photos, we visit the west coast of Norway and the region of Sogn og Fjordane. We recommend that you watch with the sound on. Enjoy!
Bondegård is a Norwegian noun that means farm. In informal speech and in many dialects, people only use the single word gård or gard.
Uff da! is a Norwegian interjection, often used to express sympathy. For example when a child falls over: Uff da! Slo du deg? - meaning Poor you! Did you hurt yourself?
This beautiful oil painting by Johan Christian Dahl says a lot about generations of Norwegians - and the landscape and the skills they knew.
With the High middle ages came expansion and progress. But everything was about to change, in the most brutal way imaginable.
Folklore and old folk tales often depict The Black Death in the shape of an ashen-faced old woman. Her name was Pesta.
Old objects tell stories, silent stories about a time gone by.
When there were no makeshift or permanent dwellings nearby, the Sami hunters and herders sometimes slept under the open sky.
Some of the beautiful Norwegian wooden stave churches are almost 1000 years old. Today, there are 28 of them left.

Follow us on social media

Norwegian history