There is some unfair criticism banded around about skiing in Norway. Reading through it, you start to question whether anybody has ever been to it. Not having the biggest of reputations in the ski world any minor criticism can have a massive affect. And there is plenty, mainly undue. So here are some of the benefits that are to be had based on a recent trip to Hemsedal. It is always good to add a bit of balance to the scales.
1. It’s for everyone
Some resorts in Europe can definitely give off a feeling of exclusivity. It can be enough to put people off. After all holidays are a time for to let it all out and relax. Thankfully skiing is Norway’s number one hobby. None of the pomp here. Seen more as something that is done on the weekend, it is accessible to everyone. A definite benefit in my book.
2. Cross country skiing
Get off your cross trainer machine in the gym and try the real stuff outdoors. Sometimes you don’t feel like hurtling down a mountain on two pieces of wood. You just want to be on ground that is a bit more level. Well Norway is the place for it. They love it so much that it borders on being a national obsession. It definitely isn’t seen as the coward’s way out here, which can be the case elsewhere. Interesting Fact: Hemsedal has a 120 kilometres of Cross Country tracks. That is a significant amount of real estate.
3. Night Skiing
The daylight hours can be very short in winter. Luckily due to modern engineering and that clever man Benjamin Franklin there is a way around it. The Twilight ski. Many of the major resorts have installed floodlit runs. It definitely adds to experience knowing you have that extra cushion of time to carve some lines. Also it gives you the opportunity to sight-see a bit more. Anything that gives me time for dog sledging is a benefit in my book.
4. Cheap Lift Passes
To put it simply it offers better value for money. Let’s face it lift passes can be the biggest drain on any skier’s budget. In much of mainland Europe the price is pretty high and this shows no sign of slowing. In Norway the prices are around 1570 NOK for eight days. That is under £190 GBP and considering the pound is not at its strongest that’s very good value.
5. Long Seasons
Two words that delight any snow fiends’ ears and for good reason too. It means that there is less of a worry about getting time off of work. A longer window of opportunity means that there is no need to negotiate with colleagues over time off.
So Norway does have its pluses. In fact it has at least five. It also has its negatives but all in all it deserves a bit more credit. Maybe if a few more people visit there then it will get it.