Snowboarding in Norway has been on my bucket list for many years. I went with high expectations and my first stop was the resort of Myrkdalen.
Only opened in 2003, Myrkdalen is a small but modern resort with 30 km of pisted slopes. The 9 lifts that serve the 21 different slopes are fast and efficient.
Tiny in comparison to the juggernaut French resorts, Myrkdalen more than makes up for it in other areas.
Firstly, we enjoyed having the slopes all to ourselves with absolutely no queues at any of the ski lifts. This was despite the fact that we had travelled there during the UK Easter holidays! If this had been at any of the big boy resorts in France, the slopes would have been more packed than the M25 on a Friday afternoon!
Not only the that, all the slopes were in pristine condition. I was travelling with a fellow snowboarder journalist as well as pro snowboarder Jamie Barrow. Without the worry of over-crowded slopes, we clocked up the miles speeding around the resort without a care in the world.
Another huge factor is the 4 amazing snow parks. One of which is named after Klaus Finne, the Norwegian X-Games skier – who just so happened to be our guide for the day!
The parks are designed to suit any ability. My favourite being the line of kickers which are at the bottom right in front of our hotel. We must have lapped them at least five or six times.
It was surreal and impressive to watch Klaus Finne lap the
park that is named after him. Being a pro-park it had all the kickers, pipes,
boxes and features you could wish for. All being laid out beautifully so each
feature flows into the other.
Klaus was a great guide and was very informative. He pointed out all the off-piste opportunities such as reaching untracked snow with only a short hike from the ski lifts. Unfortunately, due to warm spring conditions we were unable to take advantage of the amazing backcountry terrain.
Myrkdalen – Snow conditions
We were unlucky as Myrkdalen boasts of having some of the best snow conditions in Europe. This is quite a claim but the stats do back this up.
Being Easter we were not sure what to expect, but overall the snow was excellent. It was hardpacked early morning, but softened quickly in the morning sun. Typically, at this time of the season the snow turns slushy towards the end of a sunny afternoon, but this was not the case as the snow remained firm enough throughout. Although I like a bit of slush I know that most skiers hate it!
The only negative being that we were only snowboarding for one day and that we would have loved to have spent more time in the resort. Having said that we made the most of our day and completed every run in the resort at least twice over.
Snowboarding wouldn’t be snowboarding if after a long day on the slopes we didn’t treat ourselves to a spot of apres ski. After getting pumped up hitting the kickers at the front of our hotel we headed to the Pudder Afterski.
We had only intended to stay for a couple (that old chestnut!) but since it was low season the bar was surprisingly lively. After a few beers and dancing (badly) on the dancefloor, we headed up to our rooms to freshen up for dinner.
It is fair to say that our wallets were slightly lighter as beer is expensive in Norway. It was averaging out at just over £10 a pint!
Being the only hotel in the resort, the Myrdalen Hotel is not resting on its laurels of having no competition to contend with.
The hotel was modern, welcoming and airy. Our rooms were spacious and beautifully presented. I slept well in my large and comfortable bed.
The bathroom was also modern and clean. The power shower had plenty of hot water and was much needed after a day on the slopes.
Both evenings we eat at the hotel’s Nuten Restaurant. Being vegan I honestly didn’t know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. Both nights I was treated to a three-course meal. I especially enjoyed the stuffed pepper main dish and the delicious sorbet deserts.
Snowboarding in Myrkdalen
Myrkdalen in a micro resort with a big heart.The lift system is modern and efficient with superbly kept pistes.
Considering this was the Easter holdiays in the UK, ski lift queues were non-existent and we practically had the slopes to ourselves. This most certainly would not have been the case if we were in France, Austria or Italy. Off-piste at Myrkdalen looks vast and tantalising. The lure of the possibility of fresh powder tracks in those mountains is too much – I will return!
Myrkdalen – Getting there
We flew to Bergen from Gatwick with Norwegian Air . We then jumped on the city centre shuttle to the train station and caught the train to Voss. This scenic journey is part of the Norway in a Nutshell winter tour. It was then a short transfer to the Myrkdalen Hotel.
The whole journey was stress free with no problems at all. Although, I wouldn’t ask any locals in Bergen for directions. Judging by the sign below they are not even sure which city they are in!
Mark is also the manager of Jamie Barrow (Britain’s fastest snowboarder)
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