We do not see the full length of the tunnel ; that is impossible, as it bends so that the entire passage is not visible from any one point. Nearly every summer such a tunnel has to be cut here, and even under the full blaze of July and August sunshine the walls and roof remain intact for several weeks. (This particular one caved in sometime in August.)
Seeing that this sort of thing is possible in July, we can more easily imagine what midwinter storms must be up on these lonely heights when the Wind and Cold have everything their own way. It is not strange that there should be an old Norwegian legend about how the earliest civilization came to an end long ago under such a pall of heavy white. We can read all about it today in various translations of the ancient Eddas. The gods had known that sometime the end of the First Age of the World would come; at last it did come, for there settled down upon the earth the terrible Fimbul winter. Three years it snowed without ceasing. Three years more it snowed and snowed and snowed. One great wolf swallowed the sun. Another swallowed the moon. Ragnarok, the awful Twilight of the Gods, settled down over all.
Continuing along the mountain road you begin to descend, and in three or four miles reach regions which, though still lonesome and without trees, have enough soil to support a scanty crop of grass. Look once more at Map 5 and find the spot marked 30. There we are to have our first sight of an establishment such as figures in almost every tale of Norwegian country lifea summer dairy up on the mountain.