Gaustatoppen, Norway - the lazy way

They say you can see 1/6 of Norway from mnt. Gaustatoppen (1883 masl) in Telemark. There is no way I can verify this, but I can promise you that the view is really great and it does feel like you se at least a very big part of Norway. 

Normally people hike to Gaustatoppen, or go ski touring. It's a challenging hike, but if you are used to hiking, hit it. Just remember it's Norway - bring clothes for all weather seasons. More about the hike. But there is an easy way up, a cable car. We chose that way this time (let's call it research for the ski touring season;-).

You can take a cable car inside the mountain all the way to the top. It takes you 15 minutes, avoid it if you are claustrophobic, if not it's great. Or you can take it one way. Read more about it. We took it both ways.

As said, the view is really really nice and if you are in the area Gaustatoppen should be on your to do list for Norway. I'm looking forward to skiing it this winter!

Me and 1/6 of Norway. (Photo: Bjørn Dyresen

upload.jpg

The mountains are calling and I must go

The mountains are calling and I must go is a quote by John Muir, one of America’s most famous and influential outdoor enthusiasts. I often feel just that. The urge to be outdoors, in one with nature. It doesn't have to be the mountains (even though I love them very much!). Things like kayaking, hiking in the woods, skiing hills or just sitting in a park - they all give me bliss, energy and joy.

I grew up in Urke, surrounded by the Norwegian alps (Sunnmørsalpene) reflected in the fjord (Hjørundfjorden). Time was spent outdoors, in the weekends we hiked. Some of it I enjoyed, some of it not. As children do. I actually had to grow up, to move away to understand how much I loved it. Today I will hike in Oslo, I'll start outside of my apartment, hike to lake Nøklevann, 2-3 hours. It doesn't have to be more. This weekend we will hike in Hemsedal, a few weekends ago we hiked a real mountain - Besseggen and camped by the lake. During the winter we went skiing every possible weekend. That's the life I like!

Travelling gives me great pleasure, but I have realized that being in the nature gives me just as much and I often seek outdoor activities on my travels. Living in Norway gives so many opportunities. My goal is that every possible weekend is about doing some kind of outdoor activity. At the moment it is. That makes me very happy.

I have a tent, skiing equipment, outdoor clothes and I own half of a kayak and a bike. It helps to have stuff you need but it's just as much about seeking the nature experiences, feeling the joy of it. Buy stuff to use it, not because you think about using it. Don't make it to complicated. Define your own adventures. Be outdoors, seek the green spots, the woods, the hills, the mountains.

The mountains are calling if you are listening.

upload.jpg

Summer skiing in Stryn, Norway <3

Most people hit the beach when the summer starts for real in Norway. Not very strange, we have a long winter and the skiing season for most people end at easter. Buuut, some of us still chase the snow. This year I'm one of them. So last weekend I went to the very best place for summer skiing in Norway, Stryn Sommerski.

Located between high peaks on the mountain Strynefjellet you can both ski at the resort with plenty of back country options and you can go ski touring. The lift helps you half the way and there are many options to go further on with steep downhill runs. When the weather is as perfect as last weekend with clear blue sky all day long - there are not many other places you would rather be. 

Stryn Sommerski has a really chilled atmosphere, people are laidback, the mood is good. If you are in a party mood you should stay at Folven Camping where the after ski happens. If you want somewhere more quiet I'll recommend Nygård Camping where we stayed. 

Sun + Summer + Skiing + Stryn = <3

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Powder paradise at Strandafjellet, western Norway

At Strandafjellet ski resort you get some of the best off piste possibilities in Scandinavia and the best fjord view. With 7 lifts and 17 downhill slopes and ski touring options all around, Strandafjellet is one of the most magnificent skiing resorts in Norway and Scandinavia. You actually ski in the Norwegian alps - Sunnmørsalpane.

I visited one day during this easter and even though I wasn't that early there where plenty of untouched powder areas to be the first one down. And make sure you eat your lunch there, this is the view you get: 

upload.jpg

Downhill skiing with alpine feeling in Hemsedal, Norway

Looking for downhill skiing with off piste possibilities and the feeling of being on high mountain tops without having to walk there yourself? Then Hemsedal ski resort may be your answer. 

Hemsedal is situated between Oslo and Bergen, about 200 km northwest of Oslo. Hemsedal has pistes from 620 to 1,450 metres above sea level. In the eastern part of Norway this is one of the resorts with the best total package. (Skiing in Western Norway is a totally different story).

The pistes in Hemsedal start from three summits with a grat view over the village of Hemsedal and the surrounding mountains. There are many possibilities for off piste skiing and ski touring in the area as well.

And then you have the after ski! Probably the best one in Norway. Hemsedal ski resort and the surrounding areas offers many places to sleep for a few hours between after skiing and skiing and many restaurants and shops as well. 

Take a look:

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Ski touring to Blæja, Sunnmørsalpene (Norway)

The beautiful mountains of Sunnmøre and particular the mountains around the fjord “Hjørundfjord” are called “Sunnmørsalpene”, the Alps of Sunnmøre. There are few other places in Norway that can offer such a dramatic nature as Sunnmøre. Snow clad summits with steep mountainsides that fall into the deep fjords. 

I was lucky enough to grow up in a small village Urke by Hjørundfjorden so going home for easter and skiing is the obvious choice. This easters best tour was to the mountain Blæja (1420 masl). A great tour that is not to difficult and gives great views towards Hjørundfjorden. 

We started from Villa Norangdal and the tour took about 4 hours. Not to steep, but you do get a workout and skiing down in powder from the day before was just amazing. Also a great trip in summer time. 

The view from the top towards Hjørundfjorden.

Ski touring in Romsdalen, Norway

I bought new equipment (Randonee) for ski touring a few weeks ago and the alpine mountains of Romsdalen in Norway was the first place I tested it. I attended a ski touring course there last weekend and it was great.

The mountains of Romsdalen are perfect for all levels. We went to Smørbotntind (1188 masl) and Kjøsen (1130 masl), both great for beginners as I am. I'm pretty good at walking up hills and really really bad at down hill skiing so I must admit it was a bit to scary for me. I should probably have started of at a ski resort.... But I do prefer the mountains :)

The views from the mountains were stunning and the length of the trips was great. There are many many tops in Romsdalen, new mountains to explore day after day.

We stayed at Hotel Grand Bellevue in Åndalsnes, good location. But I would also check out Romsdal Lodge in Isfjorden, run by one of our ski instructors Ida and her husband. They are both guides and from the area so they can both guide you and advice you on where to go. 

Mountains of Romsdalen - I will be back!

Kjøsen ahead.

The view from Smørbotntind!