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Norwegian snow conditions

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Life in snow motion

The wide range of words to describe snow conditions demonstrates just how seriously Norwegians take their skiing adventures.

Norway benefits from an unusually long skiing season: It usually starts already in November, and in some regions it lasts as long as until July. During this time, the country experiences a great amount of snow. As you might expect, there is a word to describe every type of white fluff falling from the sky: From freshly fallen snow (nysnø) and the slush that occurs after a rain storm (slaps) to the icy layer that occurs on top of soft snow (skare) and the damp variety that makes the best snowballs (kramsnø).

For ski tourers, the most important terms refer to the pristine powder of the winter months (puddersnø, pulversnø, finsnø) and the perfect, compact grains that settle on the ground during spring (kornsnø).

The peak season starts in January, when the country’s slopes are covered by fresh puddersnø.

Keen ski tourers, however, tend to get the most excited by the grainy kornsnø in spring. Literally translated as “grain snow”, it is the result of fluctuating temperatures – the warmth of the spring sun melts the snow during the day and the cold at night re-freezes it to create a course, granular type of snow that is perfect for skiing adventures in the country’s rugged terrain.

The sought-after kornsnø in spring is accompanied by longer days and more sun, which for many people means optimal conditions for skiing.

Safety in the mountains

Norway is an incredible place to explore, with untamed mythical landscapes, mountains, valleys, and fjords. Before you enter the outdoors, get familiar with the nine simple rules of the Norwegian mountain code to help you stay safe.

  1. Plan your trip and inform others about the route you have selected.
  2. Adapt the planned routes according to ability and conditions.
  3. Pay attention to the weather and the avalanche warnings. This is especially the case for ski tourers - check the current situation in your area on varsom.no and make sure you follow the advise given.
  4. Be prepared for bad weather and frost, even on short trips.
  5. Bring the necessary equipment so you can help yourself and others.
  6. Choose safe routes. Recognize avalanche terrain and unsafe ice.
  7. Use a map and a compass. Always know where you are.
  8. Don’t be ashamed to turn around.
  9. Conserve your energy and seek shelter if necessary.
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