Why I love skiing in Norway

Yes you did read that right, I said skiing in Norway. I know it isn’t as fashionable as the wine drinking Alps or it doesn’t have the sheer adrenaline fuelled fun of a whistler but it is a pretty great destination to go skiing in.

Hemsedal lodge

Hemsedal lodge

As a race of people the Norwegians absolutely love to ski. As soon as they are old enough to stand on two feet their parents strap some perfectly sculpted carbon fibre skis to them. In fact the extent to which they love skiing became apparent as soon as I landed on my trip to Hemsedal with Crystal Ski. When people are enthusiastic (bordering on fanatical) about something you’re passionate about you’ll always feel at home. Like you’ve found kindred spirits.

Edge of run Hemsedal

Edge of run Hemsedal

That is main reason that I love skiing in Norway but there are many more. Since no one likes reading an essay here are 5 of the main reasons:

  1. No Lift queues. Single handily the most frustrating part of skiing. You’re all ready to go but wait there is 20 odd people ahead and the lifts isn’t moving quick enough. Then some guy pushes in front. Enough to ruin any holiday. Thankfully Norway isn’t that popular a ski destination. Usually an insult in this sense it is the greatest compliment. More people mean more lift queues and no one likes lift queues. Unless you’re British of course. For them it is a national institution.
  2. Uncrowded slopes. Similar to the first point but oh so different. Crowded slopes can be dangerous. Some of the sharp turns that have to be made to avoid what can only be described as a mothers meeting are risky. In fact the Gucci brigade have caused quite a few people to have to digest more pow pow than they would like. There is also a direct correlation between ski rage and the busyness of the slopes. Snow sports are supposed to be chilled everyone. ‘Man versus nature’ not ‘man versus nature with added man’.
  3. Rustic Charm. Log cabins are pretty cool. It’s a fact. Norway has ones that look like they are out of magazines. The type of magazines you can’t find in the doctor’s offices because it requires a subscription.  In all seriousness one of the benefits is that the lodgings and the surrounding scenery at least give you a sense of place. That is something that can’t be said for most modern ski resorts.
  4. They don’t judge you for cross country skiing. As great as flying downhill at high speeds is, there comes a certain age where the body can’t recover from wipe-outs as quick as it used to. At this point cross country is a great option. The problem is that in much of Europe it is seen as the coward’s way out. Not in Norway, it is the sport of their heroes. No sniggers at you. Well maybe a few but only at how bad you are.
  5. The people. A bit of a generic one but none the less true. People make places and the Norwegians are among the best. Fluent in English and just the right side of the crazy eccentric line. It must be all that Friluftsliv (fresh air living) they’re raised on. Enter any restaurant or bar and a character awaits you.
skiing in Norway
skiing in NorwayMetziker / Foter / CC BY-NC

So there are some of the reasons that I love Norway. As far as ski resorts go it isn’t popular and let’s hope that continues. Otherwise it might lose some of its charm.

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