Skiing Resorts in Norway
Snowboarding Areas in Norway
Norway's best-known resort is a go-ahead ski area having a fast, modern day lift system and extensive beginner and intermediate terrain. For those in the know, there are also a few excellent and challenging off-piste areas. The lack of on-mountain accommodation - which hampered the resort for a lot of years - has been solved with the building of a new mountain village. The resort has also set up a high proportion of quad chairs, and has added an eight-seat chairlift.
Hemsedal holds the record for the highest lift-served slopes in the country. But the highest runs tend to be the easiest ones, while the more challenging black pistes are encountered in gladed terrain above the base area. Almost all of the skiing is below Hamaren Peak (1,444m) with an engrossing, wide-open choice of above-the-treeline slopes, where skiers of all standards will discover plenty to enjoy. A separate peak, Rogjin (1,370m), offers two runs that simply hurtle back towards the base. Anxious skiers should stick to the blue - the red is quite fierce in some places. The third and highest skiable peak, Totten (1,497m), is the route (over the back) to a few of Hemsedal's best off-piste, but is itself a good beginner area with gentle skiing drifting down towards mid-mountain.
There is only one mountain restaurant, Fjellkafeen at mid-mountain, plus additional two 'kiosks' for snacks and picnics: one is located at the mid-station and the other at the Tinden area. There are two self-service restaurants back at the base, plus a good waitress-service restaurant, Skistua. The resort has a huge and fairly recently improved terrain park with three lines: black, red and blue. There are two half-pipes, jumps, fun boxes, rails, corners, quarter-pipes and a self-timing course.
Most visitors will prefer to stay on the mountain to cut back on traveling time from Hemsedal village. The choice is between the completed Skarsnuten Hotel or the nearby cabins and apartments (contact tourist office for these types of accommodation). There are some pleasant hotels in Hemsedal itself, especially the Norlandia Skogstad. The Hemsedal Resort Fjell-Landsby, which is just about 50m from the ski lifts, has 261 rooms, three bars, three restaurants, and its very own ski hire shop.
Apres ski is quite lively, particularly during the weekends. The on-mountain ski village is quickly building up a decent apres-ski culture, particularly at Skistua, the Loftet Bar and the excellent restaurant at the new Skarsnuten Hotel. The Oxen Bar & Grill and Experten Sports Bar are quite popular too. In Hemsedal itself, restaurants include the Anden Etage
Bistro (anden means 'duck' - and it is on the menu) at the Norlandia Skogstad Hotel. The Garasjen- this used to be a bus garage - and the Hemsedal Cafe both serve up good basic fare.
The bars can become a bit crowded, especially during the weekends. At Garasjen, skiers and snowboarders do spill over into the street, while the Skogstad Hotel piano bar and Hemsedal Cafe are often heaving as well. For those wanting some relax atmosphere, Fanitullen is a quieter alternative.