Thursday, January 8, 2015

Santa Claus stopped in Røldal and delivered Christmas pow!!!

We woke up with snow heavily hitting our car while being in Røldal parking lot.
We drove around a bit to try to get an option with some trees since the visibility was quite bad.  Days are rather short at this lattitude in late december, we eventually figured that skiing the resort would not be a bad option. We weren’t that keen into heading the backcountry because the visibility and snow stability weren’t reassuring.
Piet and Sarah decided otherwise and headed to the backcountry.

I guess most of the skiers stayed home that day, the weather was so bad that we found a pretty empty parking lot!
The visibility was certainly quite bad and we stayed near where we could see a bit! It was kinda weird to have some lights on even if we were in the middle of the day!
The conditions were really good just by the lift!
The following pics were taken by Pelle Gangeskar the liftie who kindly sent them to me!
The snowfall didn’t really eased up much overnight and we headed up for a nice tour in the valley just 3-5 km south of Røldal called Valldalen. They both had a great day in the valley the previous day, so we figured it would be nice.
We could see the mountain at the junction of the rd 134.
There was just some trees to be able to get some markers on the way down to help with the poor visibility.

There wasn’t anything to say about the quality of the snow!
It was really nice and steady and provided the required ingredient for a great day of skiing!
We managed to get 3 nice 300-350m laps in before calling it a day.
Since it was Christmas eve, we had a great dinner with some plainly AWESOME wine that my dad left me after his autumn visit!
Christmas brought us some great visibility as a present!
Blue sky, no wind and some freshies to get after!
We headed just in front of Røldal resort.
There is a nice ridge that is only backcountry accessible.

We headed there for some laps under the never warming sun.
Norway is just soooo beautiful when you can see it!
The snow was again really nice soft and cold!
We couldn’t have asked for a better day of skiing!
We cooked dinner in the warm van of Piet and Sarah.
We made cheese fondue to accompanied the other (and unfortunately the last) bottle of Cornas 2005!
What a great upgrade from the usual spaghetti and tomato sauce that tend to freeze in my plate as I eat it!
The resort reopened after 2 days of closure for Christmas.
I kinda like to see that in some places it is important for the management to give everyone a day off on a Holiday.
Røldal is frequently in the top three snowiest resorts in Europe and is also a well known freeride hotspot.
The conditions at the Røldal ski station were really nice and I am now able to testify that its reputation is valid!
There is a really big terrain on which you can (really) easily do slackcountry runs that brings you straight back to the lifts. There is also a steeper face just above it that we didn’t give a try since the visibility was on and off and the stability wasn’t bombproof.
Sarah and Piet left to Bergen to pick off one of their friend who was flying in to enjoy some northern skiing with us. We made the plan to meet around Voss.

Without Piet's van, we stopped for filling up on gas for cooking...
I guess it will be cold spaghetti tonight...

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