Steep Skiing in Hemsedal
Since I moved to Hemsedal five years ago my mind has been set on a valley called Hydalen. The valley is best known for its beautiful scenery with many summer farms, a small river and some beautiful lakes. The valley is surrounded by steep walls, a few of which have been ascended by climbers.
Since the first time I visited Hydalen I knew that some of the steep couloirs in the valley had to be skiable. The road from Hemsedal village to Hydalen is closed during the winter and for that reason hardly anybody goes there - too long an approach. I have told myself many times that this year I would definitely try to explore the skiing opportunities in Hydalen, but just as many times the plan failed.
This winter has been strange in Hemsedal, with generally little snow. The lift system struggled to keep all slopes open during the Easter holiday and we considered the skiing season over. I started to ride my bike and brushed the dust off my rock climbing shoes. Had another season gone by without any trips to Hydalen?
Back in my mind I kept thinking that winter had ended too early. As luck would have it, just a few days after Easter it started snowing, and we experienced the best conditions this winter. I called my longtime friend, Erlend Sande, and told him that the snow conditions in Hydalen were probably very good. Erlend, who is a steep skiing enthusiast and editor in chief of Norways biggest skiing magazine, packed up his gear without hesitation.
In short words, we spent a great day in Hydalen skiing some really good snow and some very steep terrain. The full story from this trip will appear in the magazine Fri Flyt next winter. Until then you can enjoy some pictures from Hemsedals best kept secret until now.
-Jørgen Aamot, G3 team skier, Norway.