Pursuing the first snow

With the deep Scandinavian winter approaching, Marte Tveten took her orb freebirds out to stretch her legs, far away from the stress of the city. A cheerful little jaunt to kick off this promising season.

As a Norwegian, I strive for winter and skiing. Living close to Oslo, means we’re not often the first ones to get the first snow. Watching Lyngen in the north, and Myrkdalen in the west – with prime early season conditions, makes me want to leave the busy every day life and just go ski.

The view from my everyday-life close to Oslo.

A two hours drive from Oslo, there is a unique mountain called Gaustatoppen. A mountain so high, that it leaves the little village below, Rjukan, in shade during winter. They have actually made a solar mirror to reflect a glimpse of sunshine down to the village square during the dark winter days. However, Gaustatoppen is a mountain for a day trip, to get the feeling of some semi-alpine-skiing, with couloirs and freeride terrain.

In November the area around Gaustatoppen got two small snowfalls, and the webcam showed a veil of snow. My Swedish friend Irma and I were very curious to see if it was skiable. Early Sunday morning we packed up my little Toyota Yaris and drove up the valley, optimistic to get some early season turns!

Irma Krantz

Skins on and ready to go! With a pepper field ahead and a green valley behind us we couldn’t wait. Bushwhacking, windblown pockets with snow, skinning, boot packing. And the fact that we could ski from top to bottom, definitely made the first ski tour for the season worth it. At the top there’s a small mountain hut, and during late winter it’s open with waffles and hot chocolate. We were lucky that at least the warming room was open, because it’s always windy on top!

The view from Gaustatoppen is amazing – on a clear day you can see 1/6 of Norway! Skins off, and we skied from top to bottom in the early sunset. The snow was way better then expected, with pockets of decent snow, made like a path to guide us all the way down to the car park. With peaceful souls we left Gaustatoppen, super stoked to let the real season begin. For both Irma and me, that means Verbier! This season it’s all about freeride. Both Freeride World Qualifiers and enjoying skiing all through the season. But first – A Merry Christmas!

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