Norwegian ski area Kvitfjell says it must ensure that powder lovers have “all” their needs met and so this winter will unveil “Pudderskogen” – a sector open only for freeriding.
Kvitfjell was already a favourite destination for powder and freeriding, a resort spokesperson said, but this winter they’ll build on that reputation with a new forest area located 200 metres to the east of Varden which has now been cleared and is being prepared for free riding. Access trails take skiers from the bottom of the new area back to the lift.
“There’s about two kilometres of free riding from top to bottom on a slope between 200 and 400 metres wide,” said Odd Stensrud, the ski area’s general manager of who added, “It is not without reason that the area has been named Pudderskogen (“powder forest”). It is northeast-facing so here there will be powder and dry snow until well into April.”
The Varden side in Kvitfjell was first opened only three years ago. A gondola takes skiers over from Skitorget on the west and a chairlift then takes them to the top of Varden, Kvitfjell’s third mountainside. East of the chairlift you will find the new Powder Forest, which has varied terrain with gradients ranging from easy to intermediate level.
“We have cut down a lot of forest in the area itself. There are large openings in between, but there are still clusters of trees. We make sure that the surface is even by removing stumps. Then you do not need as much snow and we also have the opportunity to prep to get a great base,” says Stensrud.
Kvitfjell is not the first facility in Norway with its own area for freeriding, but they got their inspiration after a study trip to Vail in Colorado.
“They have a similar area, only on a larger scale, which they call the Blue Sky Basin. From there, we took home the idea of creating a safe freeride area,” Stensrud adds.