In 1206, Norway was close to a civil war, caused by a power struggle between two parties, the baglers and the birkebeinerne. The 18-month-old infant, Prince Håkon Håkonsson, was their presumptive. Fearing for his life, his mother, a household priest and some faithful birkebeiners decided to bring the boy north to Trøndelag where he would be safe. 

They left Hamar right after Christmas and travelled to where the boy was, taking him and his mother towards Lillehammer. From there, they headed for the Østerdalen valley and continued northwest to Nidaros. 

They had bad weather all through their journey, travelling through snow storms in the cold nights and often they struggled through deep forests and wilderness. One night the weather got so bad that they lost their way. They decided to send their two best skiers, Torstein Skeivla and Skjervald Skrukka, ahead with the boy. They got two local farmers to show them the way. Even though they struggled hard, they couldn’t find the way to the village. 

They arrived at a hay barn where they made a fire and a bed for the little boy. Then the two farmers went back to the rest of the group and returned with them around midnight. The barn was poor shelter with a roof that leaked everywhere when the snow melted from the heat of the fire inside. Most of them figured it was better to stay outside and they had nothing to give the boy but snow that melted in his mouth. The place they were at is called Navardal. 

They had problems as they travelled on through the deep snow, not having anything but their spears to make their way. But wherever they came in Østerdalen, farmers helped them as best they could, lending them horses and showing them the way. 

The little prince, Håkon Håkonsson, became one of the best kings Norway has had. He ended the civil wars and under him, Norway had its days of glory in the Middle Age. The story of the Birkebeiners made history.