Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Heaven and Hell

Im not much of a religious man but when Heaven comes to mind I think of Whiteness, peace, serenity and a bit of Jesus all rolled into one. Well I came close to it minus the Jesus bit at Oppdal south of Trondheim. Oppdal is the equivalent of the Off Piste Mecca in my world. The lifts get you up the hill, somewhat painfully after a while may I add since the majority of lifts on this mountain are Tbars. Once you are up there its all up to you, take the groomed run or carve through acres of virgin powder.

On the way back from Oppdal we managed to drop in on Hell which is also located in Trondheim much to my amazement. But Hell really wasnt what I imagined. All that fire and brimstone folly was just pure tosh. It was freezing. But nonetheless I couldn't resist pulling the sign. This ones for you Satan!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

25 Bellow

On the next leg of my journey I was off to Trondheim with high expectations of even better boarding. A colleague of mine so generous enough to be my guide for the stay. We journeyed out to east of Trondheim towards the Swedish border stopping at Unesco World Heritage Listed Røros. Due to the towns location and other climatic factors, it is one of the coldest places in Norway. The next day after I visited it was -36 deg C.

We continued on towards the Swedish border and arrived just short of it, at our destination, a log cabin in the middle of the Norwegian wilderness. Snowing the whole 24 hours before we arrived we had to dig our way in. I could have been mistaken for a 6 year old being that close to so much snow, it was a huge novelty for me.

Over the next few days we struck perfect weather snowboarding in Sweden just over the border from Brekken at a place called Tanndalen. Unluckily I was caught trying to swipe this Swedish flag as fire kinderling back to the cabin. Just kidding, the Swedish aren't so bad as they sell really cheap alcohol (compared to Norway that is!).

It struck -24 degrees C during one of the nights in the cabin but the daytime was fantastic with perfect conditions for cross country skiing. I strapped on my skis for only the second time in my brief but illustrious career.

I found the flat bits okay but it was the downhill bit that really stuffed me up. We climbed a mountain one day and I practically fell my way down. Imagine throwing a bag of potatoes from the top of a really steep slope and that was me. Great entertainment for my Norwegian counterparts who were born on skis.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


On a recent visit to Norway for work I decided to pack my snowboard, extend my stay and head for the mountains. After my three day course in Bergen I had a day free before moving on to my next destination. Whilst gathering all the local information I could find on where to go snowboarding in the local area I was assured that Voss would not dissapoint.
The deal is pretty simple you turn up to Bergen central railway station pay 400 NOK 80 AUD and that includes train to and from Voss pluss your lift ticket. Train departs somewhere around 0830 in the morning and takes something over 1 hour from memory.
It was looking like a miserable day with no shortage of rain but i shouldn't have been surprised. Just before my arrival there had been 80 consecutive days with rainfall. Every local had a opinion on the figure somewhere between 80 and 89 so im still not sure. It's still very impressive and probably leaves us Australians a little emotional.
On arriving in Voss it was still raining and looking grim. However on reaching the bottom of the slope after a cable car ride up, it turned out to be snowing fat chunks of powder snow. Being a Friday it was extremely quiet with just a few groups of students on excursion getting about. Lift waits were non existent, a rare delight from my days on the mountains back home.

Voss has a really good variety of terrains ranging from beginners to advanced. Couldn't find much on the terrain park situation although I wasn't really keen on killing myself being the first day back on the board in a while. It's a fair sized mountain and I can't say I got to see the majority of it. The other advantage with Voss is that there are plenty of chairlifts unlike some other places in Norway where Tbars aplenty can make a snowboarders day much more painfull.

Apart from a little rain on lower parts of the slopes it was great conditions, snowboarding most of the day on groomed runs and small sections of off piste. I would definitely like to go back again.