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På ski med pulk på fjellet På skitur i skogen
Skitur på Rørosvidda.
Photo: Tom Gustavsen

Born wearing skis

It’s often said that Norwegians are born wearing skis and that this applies especially to people from Trøndelag. We will attempt to explain why.
På skitur i oppoverbakke i Oppdal
Sigbjørn Frengen
Alpintkjører hopper
Terje Rakke
Oppoverbakke mot Sylan på telemarkski
Mattias Jansson
Alpinkjørere sitter i skibakken og slapper av i solen.
Terje Rakke

It’s the taking part that counts - normally

If you visit a family from Trøndelag during the ski season, it’s hard to avoid being invited to go cross-country skiing with them. If everyone from Trøndelag does not ski every day in adulthood, at least we have grown up skiing during our childhood and think that this is a tradition that everyone visiting from afar wants to be part of. Is this actually true?

If you use all the areas you can ski in Trøndelag as a basis, one could be excused for thinking we are born wearing skis and wanted to ski constantly. You will find places all over Trøndelag – on the coast as well as in inland areas – that are ideal for cross-country skiing.

The main point is not necessarily how far you ski, but the experience of being out skiing that is important. That is the case for most people, anyway. With unspoilt nature in every direction, you don’t run the same risk of skiing in a "queue" as you do if you ski in other parts of the country and in particular in continental Europe. Here in Trøndelag, you can make your own tracks and "design" your own ski trip. There is a lot of countryside in Trøndelag, including nine protected landscapes (seven national parks and two nature reserves) so there is a lot of pristine, unspoilt nature waiting to be discovered. You can ski in prepared trails or create your own tracks. Moreover, you can choose whether you want flat and easy or undulating and more strenuous.

The fact that people from Trøndelag are described as being born wearing skis may be linked to the large number of talented cross-country skiers who come from this region. Trøndelag has always been well represented in the Norwegian cross-country ski team, in recent years more than ever. Actually, cross-country skiers from Trøndelag skiers have done so remarkably well in the Winter Olympics that the Wall Street Journal decided to "investigate" what it referred to as "The Trøndelag Effect". 

Overall, throughout history residents of Trøndelag have won more than 20 per cent of Norway’s Winter Olympic medals, even though Trøndelag only has 8 per cent of Norway’s total population. During the past three Winter Olympics – Turin 2006, Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 – competitors from Trøndelag won 14 golds, eight silvers and eight bronzes. Yes, that’s 30 medals!

To skigåere på Grong Fjell

Perfect conditions for cross country skiing in Grong.

Full speed on and off piste

Many people prefer downhill skiing, which offers greater speed, excitement and opportunities to ski in powder snow, either beside the ski slopes or down untouched mountainsides.

It’s hard to describe the sense of freedom you get from skiing off-piste down a mountainside where no one has skied before. It’s amazing. You create your own trail, which remains on the mountainside until fresh snow falls to cover it. In some places you can find such mountainsides adjacent to alpine ski resorts, which enables you to take the ski lift up and then ski down. However, in other locations, you need to climb all the way up that you plan to ski down. Although the euphoria of the latter is probably greater, the accessibility improves enormously when a ski lift is available, as does the ability to have several "runs" if the first one exceeds your expectations.

When it comes to alpine skiing in Trøndelag, Oppdal is the number one drawcard. When Norway’s best ski resort is announced each year, Oppdal is always right up there. One of the reasons why Oppdal is so popular is that the alpine resort stretches over four mountains, which means there are rarely long queues in the various slopes. Oppdal is also one of the places in Trøndelag with the most stable snow conditions.

There are also excellent alpine ski slopes in Grong and Meråker in Nord-Trøndelag, at Røros Alpine Centre Hummelfjell and at Vassfjellet just outside Trondheim, amongst other places. Although these are smaller, family-friendly places, they all offer excellent conditions virtually throughout the entire winter season. As well as providing facilities for skiers, even the smallest resorts have snowboard parks.

Off piste alpint i Oppdal

Off Piste in Oppdal.

Popular slopes

Want to go up or down?