Sjusjøen – Lillehammer area – First big ski day

26 Oct

Took the train back up to Lillehammer Sunday. Then took a 20 minute taxi ride up to the Sjusjøen mountain area. I went to the same place 4 October this year for my season’s first ski trip.

The last time I was there the skiing was somewhat marginal but not entirely unreasonable: 1500 meters of prepped trail. This time it wasn’t just for the overeager few. There were crowds out. I snapped this picture just to get the place name for later reference on a map. I like the reflection in the window of the skier gliding by:


Elgåsen (Moose Hill) - elevation 920m

The picture tells the story of the weather as well: tiny pellets of freezing rain. Curiously this didn’t do much harm to the snow which was still eminently skiable with the right wax.

I think the big machine trail groomers were waiting for the whole precipitation event to stop before investing any effort in prep. However someone had pulled a small track-setter by snowmobile a good distance along the side of some of the snow-covered roads. Not the most idyllic setting, but skiable nonetheless.

I started my day on a proper ski trail, in the same place as early this month. But that trail petered out after a mere 2 km. I then just followed the crowds and skied on the roadsides. Not as bad as it sounds. A recent television news broadcast shows national team member Tord Gjerdalen skiing there too.

While on the roads I kept my eyes peeled for better opportunities. On the way back towards town I saw some people skiing up a hill and hurried off to investigate. A shame it was late in the day at that point. This turned out to be the prime cut of the area. This was a trail heading up from Kroksjøen toward Midfjellet:trail

In the above map (partial view of my wanderings) I have marked the trail skiing with a green line and the road routes with a red line. It turns out it was possible to stay on the trail from my initial startpoint at the bottom of the image at Sjusjøen Langrennsarena, up over Kuåsen (cow hill 🙂 ) and finally on to the Midfjellet area located off the map to the right. In bovine, herd-like behaviour I just followed the crowds in the beginning, turning left onto the first road route and then making a U-turn and heading 12km the opposite direction up the same road.

Though the tracksets were a little fuzzy with the new snow, the green trail route had clearly been groomed in days earlier. The snow was compact enough to skate on even though I had brought my classic gear. You can view the trail on an interactive map here.

I only did about 5km on that trail before turning around because I didn’t want to miss the bus to get back to the Lillehammer rail station–a tenth of the cost of taxi fare.

As I skied on this lovely trail the temperature dropped significantly and the sleet became big fat warm flakes and then finally a swarm of cold little flakes. My warm temperature wax froze up and became nearly useless as I hurried back to town on the return trip.

Trip details:

  • Wax: Red. Should have switched to Blue Extra at the end of the day.
  • Style: Classic.
  • Distance: >35km.

Communication tip for anyone doing this trip: tell the taxi driver to take you “én kilometer etter Kiwi i Sjusjøen”.

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