In the Alps, a few extra sips of coffee in the morning could be the difference between getting a perfect line in fresh powder, or the disappointment of standing above a tracked out slope. That just doesn’t happen in the Norwegian mountains, there is a time and space and a relaxed atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else. It’s not that the Norwegians don’t want fresh tracks, of course they do, it’s just that they know there’s enough to go around for everyone, and the world’s a better place if we all ride the mountain with a smile on our faces.
There is an ease to finding good off-piste snow, days after the last snowfall, in Norway, that’s hard to find elsewhere. This is due the fact that fewer than 5 million people live in an area three times the size of England, and during the week most of them are at work.
The other joy of skiing off-piste here is the beauty of the untouched landscape. The Norwegian resorts are small in development, but not in the terrain that’s on offer. For instance, Voss – close to Bergen, and often referred to as Norway’s outdoor capital for adventure sports - has only 12 lifts, but they cover three large areas of mountain, with some fantastic tree skiing. Further west is Hemsedal, which has some wide open powder faces to loop, and not to be missed is the backside of the Totten summit.
Beitostolen is the place for beginners, and is adjacent to the breathtakingly stunning Jotunheimen National Park, a ski touring paradise and home to Norway’s highest mountain, Galdhøpiggen, at 2469m. Norefjell, under two hours from Oslo, has some great tree lines while the resort of Geilo has some inspiring off piste lines with fjord views.