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Snow guarantee

The white season extenders
Descend the slopes on natural white carpets, occasionally with some help from machine-made magic.
Photo: Haavard Myklebust / Strandafjellet / Fjord Norway

Your soft chin is hit by a myriad of ice cold, unidentified, microscopic objects. It is difficult to keep your eyes open, the tickle of the bullet attack makes you laugh. It must be what they call snow.

So, is it real or fake?

During the next 24 hours the orange coloured snow machine at your left will pour out tons of this stuff, non-stop. The steep slope you are about to descend on your broad alpine skis is equipped with six such cannons.

“We are able to extend the season to late April, due to a fully automated system, and the half pipe will stay intact and open until mid-May for the joy of our regular and visiting snowboarders”, says Mads Mørch, a former professional alpinist who titles himself “snow manager” when asked about his occupation. He started preparing slopes in Oslo Winter Park in 2003 with the help of steadily technically updated snow machinery.

He is still head of the maintenance of the 18 slopes in the capitol’s popular alpine centre at 530 metres altitude, situated barely 20 minutes by public transport or car from the city centre of Oslo. The use of such white magic creating robots goes all the way back to the mid-1980s when they were introduced for the first time in the larger ski resort of Hemsedal.

Mørch and his team start the production of snow at minus 2,5 degrees Celsius. High pressure pumps lead the water into the snow apparatus that, through advanced nozzles, jets small water particles that are transformed into snow as they hit the cold air.

Mads MørchMads Mørch / Foto: Ina Mørch


"What about the snowman?"

Photo: Ute foto / Visitnorway.com

In an office at the Norwegian University of Science and technology (NTNU), Professor Trygve Magne Eikevik is studying a new project intended to revolutionise the experience of having white powder under your feet in places where winter usually means no show of snow.

The state subsidised project he is part of is testing a new type of machinery that is supposed to be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than today’s mechanical power. This is a new type of pump taking its principle from cooling machines like those found on refrigerators. You use the cold to make snow, and the heat surplus to warm anything from tap water to a whole building. “This is a win-win situation”, Eikevik promises.

The science group’s challenge is to make these machines far more energy efficient whilst staying capable of creating 100 metres of ski slopes or tracks every day.

Trygve Magne Eikevik
Trygve Magne Eikevik / Foto: NTNU

“Nature’s own method of snow creation is not easy to copy. The individually shaped snow crystals that you observe as they fall slowly to the ground derive from frozen water that take a lot of time to form. From its very start in the mid-1970s, snow making equipment has only managed to produce snow with a substance that is very close to hail, small pellets of frozen rain. On the other hand, this quality makes a solid fundament for the slopes, so that they don’t melt as easily as the real thing”, explains professor Eikevik.

So far so good for perfect conditions when alpine skiing. But what about the snowman we want to build by rolling two fist-sized snowballs bigger and bigger, and then put a carrot as a nose in the middle of its face?


Photo: Terje Rakke / Nordic Life / Visitnorway.com

“You better wait for nature’s own snowfall to create a standing snow figure. The snow should not be like powder, but rather wet, informs Mads Mørch of Oslo Vinterpark, and opens his thermos to have a quick coffee break by the slope.

An increasingly number of orange painted machines will continue to blend in with colourful alpine outfits in Norway’s many sunny slopes and trails. Thanks to these hard-working devices you can count on extended, continuous seasons and freshly prepared snow, sometimes just metres away from your breakfast table.

Then, occasionally, your soft skin will be hit by masses of the natural thing quietly descending from the sky to embellish the man-made fundament like painstakingly knitted carpets.

Popular alpine skiing destinations in Norway

Click on destinations in the map to see their campaign offers.

Alpine ski resort partners
Hafjell, Norway's third largest ski resort, welcomes you to endless slopes, internationally known parks, and up-to-date ski adventures for all… Read more
Kvitfjell was built for the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics. Since then, it has become one of the most modern ski resorts in Northern Europe. Read more
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In the small village of Hemsedal you are greeted by alpine mountain surroundings and some of Norway’s best skiing and fly-fishing. Read more
Family-friendly Trysil is Norway's largest ski destination. Surrounded by unspoilt nature, Trysil was one of the first holiday spots in Europe to… Read more
In Hovden, the winter season lasts from November to May. Hit the slopes in the region’s largest alpine centre, or explore our vast network of… Read more
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In the mountains of Fjord Norway you can find some of the deepest snow in Europe, impressive views and skiing possibilities for all levels; from… Read more
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Telemark fulfils any skiing enthusiasts wildest dreams. With Telemark Super Ski you can zigzag your way through eight different ski resorts with just… Read more
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The largest ski resort in the Oslo area, with 18 slopes and 11 lifts, just 30 minutes from the city centre. Oslo Winter Park includes a terrain… Read more
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Hallingskarvet Ski Resort is a well-hidden skiers paradise, centrally located in the southern mountains of Norway. Our long, wide, varied and well… Read more
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Lifjell Ski Resort is centrally located in Telemark, only 1 hour away from Langesund and 2 hours away from Oslo. 2 ski lifts and 3 downhill alpine… Read more
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The Beitostølen Ski Center is situated in the village center of Beitostølen. The center has easy access to 9 lifts and 12 runs, with slopes… Read more
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Knyken Centre is located in the municipality Orkdal, 4 mil south of Trondheim. Skiing is owned by Orkdal Sports and operated by skiavdelinga in… Read more
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From one of northern Europes highest base areas, 800 m.a.s.l, six lifts transports you all the way to 1300 m.a.s.l. The entire resort is situated… Read more
Røldal Ski Center
Lifts: 1 Vertical drop: 373 m Slopes: 3 Lenght: 1950 m Cafè with basic service. Read more
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Tveit ski resort is situated close to Kjevik airport. Read more
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At Tyin-Filefjell you can experience the ultimate in alpine sports. From gentle downhill slopes to extreme runs in a magnificant wild and beautiful… Read more
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The Ski Center at Vaset is small and intimate which makes it enjoyable for the whole family - from beginners to the intermediate skier. Two poma… Read more
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The Drammen ski center is a super facility for everyone who loves to ski or snowboard. With all manner of jumps and rails in the ski park, it is the… Read more
Drammen Ski Centre
Fjellhaugen ski centre is a versatile ski facility which has 5 km of floodlit cross-country ski tracks prepared for both classic and skating styles.… Read more
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Harpefossen Ski Centre is located in Hjelmelandsdalen Valley in Eid, 10 km from the centre of Nordfjordeid. Arena for National Championships in Alpine… Read more
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Sauda Ski Centre in Ryfylke is situated approx. 8 km from Sauda town centre. With five ski lifts, it is one of the largest ski centres in Southwestern… Read more
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Siplo ski resort located in Hoyanger in Sogn og Fjordane. The center hosts resided by volunteers, and annually hosts approximately 3,000 volunteer… Read more
Siplo Ski Centre
Ørsta Ski centre is located in the middle of the beautiful Alps of Sunnmore, in the western part of Norway. The ski centre is suitable for… Read more
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Vradal Panorama Ski Center - summer and winter! Read more
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Summer ski centres
Fonna is a summer ski centre on the glacier Folgefonna. Alpine skiing for the whole family, freestyle park, cross country tracks and snow shoe hikes… Read more
FONNA Glacier Ski Resort, summer ski
Cross Country ski center in Sognafjell, along road 55 between Lom and Luster.Sognefjellet Sommarskisenter AS is organizing cross country ski training… Read more
Sognefjellet Summer Ski Centre
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