Saboteur skis

During Operation Gunnerside, Norwegian commandos were dropped by parachute. They had to cover a large distance using skis in order to reach and sabotage the heavy water plant at Vemork in Rjukan. Also after the sabotage where five of them skied about 450 km to Sweden.

Operation Gunnerside was one of the most dramatic and important military missions of World War II and could not have been completed without skis.

Military skis were white. Wooden skis were still in use during the war. Different bindings were used and could have been the ”Gresshoppa”, ”Gresvig”, “Tempo” or a similar type binding with a metal toe piece. Around the heel was a leather strap made of two different sorts of leather (so it did not stretch when wet). The back strap had a leaver (not on the miniature skis) forcing the toe securely into the toe piece.

The story about the leaver: After a ski tour at the turn of the century Høyer-Ellefsen (so the story goes) found himself in a discussion about ski bindings. His wife was present and quickly grasped that the problem was lack of tension of the heel strap. She suggested using the closing stopper on the old-fashioned mineral water bottle. With the stopper as a model he invented the first lever tensioning clasp. The principle survives to this day in downhill ski boots, cross country ski bindings also used this leaver and it can still be found on mountain ski bindings today.

The Saboteur skis can be bought at Vemork, Rjukan.