With approaching winter season, you might start looking at the direction of high mountains.
And leaving world known hikes like - Annapurna trekking, Santiago Way, Guatemala jungle or Choquerquirao hike in peace for a while, snowy peaks are getting more attention, as it is snowboard and skiing season!
In this article, I will tell you about skiing in Norway - Hemsedal - known as Scandinavian Alps.
I used to base in Hemsedal ski resort for many seasons, so this will be inside peak of the most popular ski resort in Norway.
Located in the central part of the country, Hemsedal attracts hordes of visitors every winter.
Relatively easy to reach and well known for its snow parks, competition arenas, and steep slopes, combined with challenging off-piste, as well as the party destination for students, this valley has many things to offer.
Skiing in Norway is rough as the country itself and won't deliver the same experience as blue-sky Swiss Alps, for example.
But if you are lucky with weather and snow conditions -
Oh boy, You will love it!
And if you are adventurist and love winter activities - add skiing in Norway to your bucket list, as being the Nordic country, they know what to deliver!
Ok, let's shred some powder!
How to get to Hemsedal
- Book your flight from Skyscanner to Oslo Gardermoen
- There are many airlines that fly direct and cheap to Oslo from many destinations around Europe.
- I would suggest bringing your own snowboard or ski equipment as the rent in Norway is pretty pricey.
(snowboard or skies as extra luggage will cost your approx. 30Eur depending on the airline)
- Once you land in Oslo Aiport there are two options on how to travel next
- Just outside the Airport reach out for the Shuttle bus that will take you straight
to the main bus station (Oslo Bussterminal)
- Flybussen departs every 20 minutes all days.
- Duration approx. 40–50 min for the price of 179Nok (18Eu)
- From there jump on the bus or train that takes you on next ride
- There are three buses per day that will take you directly to Hemsedal and will cost you around 370Nok (38Eur) one-way.
- There are 3 buses per day leaving at 9.40, 14.35 21.40
- The ride will take between 4-5h our to reach the ski resort.
Check the https://www.nettbuss.no/
- Once in Oslo Airport - go all the way right once you are out in the hall.
- The entrance to the train - NSB will be just there.
- You can get your ticket at the entrance gate via the touchscreen.
- It will cost you 190Nok (19Eu)
- The Flytoget Airport Express Train departs from Airport to Oslo S (Oslo Central Station) every 10 or 20 minutes. Duration to the city is 19–22 minutes
- Once in Oslo Train station - search for the exit to the bus terminal (if you are taking the bus to Hemsedal).
It is located at the very right end. Just follow the signs. or - change to your train that will take you to Gol station.
- You need to get the train to Gol
- There are 4 trains per day
- 8.25, 12.05, 15.43, 23.25
- The ride will take less than 3h for the price of 249Nok (25Eu)
- From there take the local bus to your final destination or ask a friend to pick you up for the last 30km drive.
- The bus will cost you 55Nok (5Eu)
Check this page https://www.hemsedal.com/en/Transport/bus-hemsedal/
Where to Stay
- Hemsedal has over 60k cabins all over the valley that are available for rent.
- Although on the high season they all can be booked and sold out, so book your hotel in advance.
- There are no hostels in town, so renting a cabin with friends would be the best and cheapest options.
Check out this page for the options https://www.skistar.com/en/online-booking/lodging/?r=4:
- I would suggest staying close to the slopes instead of staying in Hemsedal downtown.
- There is a shuttle bus, from and to the city, but it can get very crowded for the 3km ride to the slopes.
Skibus schedule here -> https://www.hemsedal.com/en/A/Nettbuss/Ski-bus/
The SkiPass office and rental is located at the Skisenter
You can get your Skipass there or visit https://www.skistar.com/en/online-booking/Skipass?r=4&c=129&d=20181205
Once that is done - you are ready to hit the slopes!!! Yiiihaaaa!
- The main 8 seat chairlift Holvin Express, will take you up to the top of the main slope.
- From there you can get two more lifts and get up to the Totten (the highest peak in Hemsedal).
Off-piste freeride in Hemsedal
Skiing in Hemsedal in good powder conditions offers a magical off-piste ride.
One of the best freerides in the valley starts from Totten, but you will need some local person to guide you there.
!!!The official instructors are not allowed to take clients down this route!!!
- The James Bond descent is steep but can be done for experienced skiers. When you reach the tree line, you need to keep on your right. If you were to continue going down straight ahead, you’d be in danger of heading for the edge of the huge Totten Cliff, about 1,000 metres high – one reason why this run definitely needs a guide to go with you. Once you high above the next valley, take a break to admire the view before starting your ride down through the wide, desolate Eplehagen (Apple Garden) snowfield and head for the James Bond run down to your taxi pick-up point.
This Avalanche zone and high cliffs drops could be extremely dangerous for an inexperienced person.
- The other top peak - Tinden offers fairy pleasant ride on a beautiful day.
Also, it is the windiest spot in the resort and can be freezing cold on some days. Some small freeride spots in the forests available there.
- Roni peak - reachable by Roniheisen chairlift - on the far right side is the sunny side of the slope.
Gummiskogen (The Rubber Forest) is one of Hemsedal’s easiest off-piste areas to access, but still gives you a feeling of real adventure. And is among most favorite spots to enjoy the powder days.
From the very top of Roni, and goes all the way down to the main road on the other side of the mountain – approximately 1,700 metres in length, with a vertical drop of 500 metres.
The top and first part of the descent is a wide-open powder field.
The lower two-thirds of the area is forest of widely spreaded trees. There’s a huge variety of runs, with some parts steeper than others.
Do not to wander to the right without an instructor or local guide as there are some dangerous cliffs.
At the bottom you will need to be picked up by car or taxi (about NOK 30 back to Skisenter). In the high season, usually there is a taxi waiting for riders to approach.
- Although the main slope is wide, steep and fast there is hidden magic on that side of the Roniheisen valley, that not so many people know about. If you are lucky with weather and feel comfortable with freeriding - Kathmandu is for you!
The steepest and most dangerous ride, which involves a 45-minute walk to the Radio Tower
- Lille Matterhorn, on the front side of Roni slope, and the easier Mortenskaret, on the close side of Røggjin mountain, which brings you straight down on one of the Roni pistes.
For both snowboarders and freestyle skiers Hemsedal resort has three snow parks for all levels of experience.
- The main one, the red Hemsedal Park by Oakley, is a big, snowpark for experienced skiers and snowboarders, with three "lines"
It has 5 jumps, with the biggest jump of 14 metres high.
The park has numerous and fun fixtures for tricks, including a variety of metal rails, rainbow arch, walls and boxes
- The Jump Street blue park is more for beginners and intermediates.
It has four jumps which flatten like table tops about 4 metres off the snow, plus a 5 metre jump, and a tilted surface boxes for spins and tricks on the ground.
- There’s also a green play park for children and beginners in the children’s area at the base of the ski area.
Also check out Hemsedal Railgarden https://www.facebook.com/Hemsedal-Railgarden-988662891289530/
This is an exciting fun to sledge down a wonderful 5km descent. With head torches on, night run on the slopes provides adrenaline rush for everyone
Drive your own dog team of six friendly huskies or just relax in the sledge and leave dogs to the work.
No need for experience.
The ride will last for an hour, and takes place in the Lykka area, around 30 minutes drive from Hemsedal.
The company can pick you from any location in Hemsedal.
Book it in advance, as the tours are very popular and can get booked up long ahead.
Hemsedal Snøscooterutleie rents out snowmobiles for fun “mini safari” or more chill and safer - track rides, around 30 minutes outside the Hemsedal in Lykkja.
The track - 3km long and up to 50 metres wide, is prepared with snow groomers, while the mini safaris go out into the surrounding countryside.
- Stay away from the holiday season
High season is from middle of February until it's peak in the Easter
- On the sunny day take the local shuttle bus to Solheisen
small and quite ski resort 15km from the Hemsedal on the sunny side of the mountain
(free with Hemsedal Skipass)