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Photo: Fredrik Schenholm - Visitnorway.com
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Grand snow-filled adventures await you beyond the beaten trails. Here is a selection of them.

Published: 1 December 2017

The large resorts actually have everything one might desire for a day, weekend or holiday on skis: Slopes of varying levels of difficulty, groomed trails, comfortable lifts, fine accommodations in close proximity to the slopes, and delicious food and drinks to be enjoyed during breaks. 

And there are fortunately many nice, large resorts all over Norway!

What many people may not know is that Norway also has many exciting, and not quite as well known, options for those of you who are yearning for a ski adventure out of the ordinary. If you constantly stay focused on safety, and respect the avalanche bulletins, there is nothing wrong with exploring your options. 

Here are some of them:

Take a ski-cruise with the Hurtigruten coastal express in Northern Norway

A coastal sea voyage on board Hurtigruten is an adventurous experience in itself, but if you are a ski enthusiast who would like to get even more out of the experience, you can join a Summit Trip Cruise - where the sea voyage with MS Nordstjernen is combined with summit trips and freeriding in some of Northern Norway's best mountains! 

Hurtigruten Arctic Ski & Sail offers passengers three nights of sailing and three days of skiing in areas with great powder conditions that are unknown to even many of the professional off-piste skiers.

Hurtigruten Arctic Ski & Sail Hurtigruten Arctic Ski & Sail
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Hurtigruten Arctic Ski & Sail.
Photo: Trond Gansmoe Johnsen

Each day, experienced, local summit trip guides take you up to spots around 1,000 metres above sea level where you can enjoy magical views before skiing down toward the azure sea and cruising over to après ski activities and dinner on board the ship. The voyage goes from Tromsø via Senja, Lyngen, and Kvaløya, and is organised in April - when the weather conditions are superb, and includes snow-covered mountain tops as well as long, light days and rising temperatures.

Hurtigruten Arctic Ski & Sail Hurtigruten Arctic Ski & Sail
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Hurtigruten Arctic Ski & Sail.
Photo: Trond Gansmoe Johnsen

The slopes skied are adapted to all levels so that both beginners and veterans with adequate physical fitness can join in the fun. The British newspaper, The Times, describes the trip as "absurdly enjoyable," while The Telegraph refers to going on this voyage as being "one of the best things you can do”.

 

Use the train as a ski lift on the Hardangervidda mountain plateau

Flåmsbanen Flåmsbanen
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Flåmsbanen.
Photo: Paul Edmundson/Flåm AS

While tourists flock to Flåmsbana train route during the summer, there are not as many people who are aware that it is also a favourite means of transportation for taking summit trips and skiing in the winter.

Flåmsbana, which Lonely Planet has selected as the world's best train ride, takes you from sea level near Sognefjord in Flåm to the Myrdal mountain station on the Hardangervidda mountain plateau, 867 metres above sea level, in one hour (watch video here). 

You then travel on one of the world's steepest railway lines, past the Rallarvegen, sheer mountainsides, frozen waterfalls and numerous viewpoints. Upon arrival at Myrdal, you have a good starting point for setting off on summit trips - before you can then blaze the trails down to Flåm and take the train back up. 

In this way, the train serves as a ski lift that takes you to the foot of various mountains in an environmentally friendly way.

Free-skiing on Stranda Mountain

The ski resort, Stranda Mountain, at the edge of the Sunnmøre Alps in Møre og Romsdal offers not only seven lifts and 18 runs - but also one of Scandinavia's best freeskiing areas. 

Stranda Mountain is known as a powder paradise, and it's a place where you have the chance to explore slopes you didn't know existed. There, the steep mountainsides plunge right down into the fjord and make for a super idyllic setting.

Stranda Stranda
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Stranda.
Photo: Fredrik Schenholm - Visitnorway.com

If you don't feel experienced enough to set out on a powder ski trip on your own, there are operators who offer guided tours - whether you want to experience an adventure for a few hours or a few days. 

Uteguiden offers among other things a day of off-piste guiding and a weekend or week of summit ski trips.

Skiing in shorts and a t-shirt

Folgefonna Folgefonna
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Folgefonna.
Photo: Skiinformarmatie.nl

Are you among the skiers who love to ski so much that winter feels way too short, you can be thankful for places like Stryn and Fonna - where the alpine ski centres remain open in the summer

At Stryn Summer Skiing at Tystigbreen glacier, at the head of Nordfjord in Sogn og Fjordane, a chairlift takes you up to the glacier basin where you have the possibility of freeskiing at your own risk, while their terrain park near the chairlift route invites visitors to enjoy jibbing, play and fun. 

Fonna Glacier Ski Resort, located at Jondal in Hordaland, offers summer skiing on Folgefonna -Norway's third largest glacier. The ski lift here is installed directly on the glacier, and the 1,200-metre long ski lift takes you to four trails of various difficulty as well as freeskiing, cross-country ski trails and the freestyle park.

3 suggestions for anyone looking for a different kind of ski experience

 Tore Meinik, the online editor of the magazine Fri Flyt (Eng: Free flow), shares his best tips.  

"Do a summit ski trip in the Sunndalsfjella Mountains of Nordmøre. There you'll find big mountains with exciting and sometimes challenging ski terrain, which is located in an area that often ends up being a bit overshadowed by the more well-known places. 

"Spend a day in a less well-known ski resort without summit ski trip equipment. We have many such ski centres in Norway, and a surprising number of them have excellent conditions for fun on skis: Sogndal, Eikedalen, Voss, Tusten, Surnadal and Oppdal – to name a few. Forget your age, and ski everywhere, forwards, backwards, doing jumps and getting crazy and just having fun!" 

"Combine your summit ski trip with some basic winter climbing. Whether you have the necessary skills yourself or intend to hire a qualified guide, it's great to spice up your skiing experience with narrow ridges and a bit of climbing in the mountains. 

Stryn Stryn
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Stryn.
Photo: Bård Basberg/Loen Skylift

... And some things that are important to keep in mind:

"If you set out on a ski adventure beyond the beaten trails, you MUST have knowledge about avalanches, as well as the humility to conduct yourself according to your level of knowledge, skill level and conditions, and have the ability to let your common sense prevail.

"Keep your avalanche gear in good working order."

"If you do not have the necessary knowledge about avalanches: Take a course, hire a guide and read lots of books on the topic."

"Get up early in the morning. Not just because this allows you to complete much of the slow climbing before the heat increases the level of avalanche hazard, but also to have the margin of extra daylight in case something were to happen."

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