General Notes On Skiing In Norway
As well as the major Norwegian resorts of Lillehammer, Geilo, Voss, Hemsedal, Oppdal and Trysil, there are many small resorts, often with only one lift and 2 or 3 runs, scattered all over Norway. There are also several summer skiing areas, notably Sognefjell, northeast of Bergen.
Don't expect ski areas like the Three Valleys, Espace Killy or Portes du Soleil - even the main resorts mentioned above are much smaller - maybe 10 or 12 lifts, often t-bars, and 20 or 30 pistes at best. They all seem to have some floodlit pistes and often special snowboard parks. Some of the bigger ones have off-piste areas, rather like itineraries in France. From what I have seen of it, the hire equipment seems to be of pretty good quality.
All of the major winter sports operators do at least one resort in Norway, but the best information can be obtained from the Norwegian Tourist Board in London.
As far as I am concerned, Norway is by far the best country for cross-country skiing, either on-track or better still off-track and touring. The resorts above all have many kilometres of prepared track, some of them floodlit. However there are many areas which have incredible networks of interlinked loipes, such as Nordseter and Sjusjoen, both near Lillehammer. For example, it is possible to ski from Oppdal to Lillehammer, a distance of 160 km, using huts for overnight accommodation.
In addition, there are vast areas of open country where you can just park by the roadside, put on your skis and go. We actually camped at the Arctic Circle Centre and skied from there on one day! The terrain is ideal - vast, wide open areas of low, rolling hills and scattered birch scrub, with much larger, more challenging mountains for the fitter and more experienced.
The tracks are cut wider in Scandinavia than in the rest of Europe, so that you can use broader, metal-edged touring skis instead of the familiar "skinny skis". With the addition of skins, you can virtually get up anything.
The biggest operator for cross-country skiing holidays is Waymark and I can thoroughly recommend them, having had 2 holidays with them in Norway. Another is Mountain and Wildlife Ventures in Ambleside. The best supplier of cross-country ski equipment in Britain is Braemar Nordic Centre who also do a mail order service.
If anybody is interested in trying cross-country skiing or would like further information, please feel free to contact me. My phone number is 01969 640436 and my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.