Norway - Geilo
Geilo is Norway's oldest Alpine Resort - the first ski lift was built in
Geilo around 1920 and the resort has not looked back since! Situated at 800m
above sea level on the edge of the Hardangervidda Geilo is the perfect
resort for beginners, aspiring intermediates and families. An excellent snow
record, new efficient lift system, well groomed pistes and best of all no
ski queues at all even in February half term.
Geilo is situated half way along the beautiful Oslo - Bergen railway line, to the south is the Hardangervidda - made famous by the Heroes of Telemark in World War 2; to the North is the high mountain plateau of Hallingskarvet. The ski area in Geilo opens in mid November and the season stretches all the way through to early May. The resort is blessed with constantly good snow.
The actual resort by Alpine standards is quite small - it is extremely friendly with wonderful bakeries, some excellent ski shops, après ski pubs and pizza restaurants including Pepes which is now a Norwegian institution and 3 well stocked super markets.
Like most Norwegian resorts Geilo is the perfect place to introduce beginners, especially children to the joys of skiing and snowboarding. The nursery area at Geilo Fjellandsby is perhaps the best one we have found in all our years of skiing - a moving 'magic carpet' wide open slope, poma lift, Iglu, warm cosy restaurant and a 4 man chair to graduate to. Once the chairlift has been mastered the wide open slopes of Geilolia beckon. On the Geilo side of the mountain Slaatta is also an excellent nursery area served by 2 drag tows and wide open nursery slopes.
For aspiring beginners the Geilolia side of the ski area is best - with quiet gentle wide open poles - like Route 66 beginners will soon realise the real joys of skiing and snowboarding
While Geilo isn't that big - 55 marked runs served by 26 lifts and around 45kms of prepared piste the area is varied enough to keep intermediate skiers entertained all week. Start over on Geilolia; the gentle blues to the right - practice carving on Route 66; take a few leaps in the Park just off route 52. The Trollheisen Chairlift opens up an FIS regulated race piste - a glorious wide sweeping red run.
On the Geilo side take the Havsdalshovda T bar - the views over the Hallingskarvet are wonderful from the top. Down at Havsdalen there are a couple of cosy restaurants serving hot chocolate and waffles as well as a full menu of lunches. The runs down to Slaatta through the trees are quite demanding. The Korken T bar back into the main system is steep and care is needed on this. Route 26 from the highest Pepes Pizza Restaurant in Norway down to Geiloheisen will test the strength of your thighs! Moving across the system towards Fugleleiken the blues through the trees are wonderfully smooth. Try the black for some adrenaline off the left of Gullsteinhovda. One thing you will notice at Geilo is that while the vertical drop isn't very big you actually do more skiing than if you were in the Alps because you ski straight on the lift - no waiting or queuing!
Advanced skiers will find some challenging runs in Geilo - Routes 58 and 55 on the Geiloloia side are narrow and steep while 59 is a race prepared piste which will test most - can you keep the carve turns going all the way down? Back over on the Geilo side; Route 11 offers some steep piste skiing as well as some off piste to the right as you ski down. Route 13 has a timed slalom course, while Route 23 back down to Geiloheisen is a wide but steep black. Piste 33 down to Slaatta gets surprisingly bumpy. There is some good off piste to the right of the Havsdalshovda T bar.
However with a hire car you can explore the hidden treasure of Al - it's where the locals go on their day off - 2 T bars open up 800m vertical of magnificent terrain. Or another 20 minutes down the road is Hemsedal the second largest ski area in Norway.
Geilo has three big air parks and the largest half pipe in Scandinavia! On the Geilo side the park is off piste 53 and has some massive kickers; as the piste becomes flatter the kickers are replaced by rails then at the bottom right by the main station and in front of the restaurant terrace a big air jump - leap off the kicker and land in the big air bag! On the Geilo side the largest half pipe in Scandinavia is on Piste 14 - the kickers and huge as well. Over near Havsdalen there is a 'beginners' - the term is used loosely (!) park with slightly smaller jumps allowing you to graduate to the nutty kickers at Fugeleiken or Kikutheisen.
Breakfast and Evening Skiing
Breakfast skiing is available at Geiloheisen on a Wednesday from 9 February onwards. Breakfast skiing costs 200Nkr (which includes breakfast) and gives you two hours of freshly prepared but virtually empty pistes on the Geilo side of the ski area.
Evening skiing is available on every day at some part of the ski area all season and varies from Geilolia, Geiloheisen, Havsdalen and Slaatta.
Geilolia operate an excellent ski school from the base station at
Geilolia, though for beginners the ski school at Geilo Fjellandsby is
excellent, small classes one or two British instructors and all the other
instructors speak English.
Children's ski school is available from ages 3 upwards. Group lessons are for 1.5 hours and operate from 10.45 am each day from Monday through to Friday. Youth group lessons (ages 10 to 14) are again Monday to Friday and generally from 13.15 for 1½ hours. Adult group lessons are available for all levels from 9am.
Specialist courses and lessons are also available - expert, off piste, Race Technique, Race n
Training, Park and Jibbing.
Private lessons are an excellent way to progress your skiing; private lessons can be for 1, 1½ or 2 hours in duration.
Ski School Prices
|Course||Duration||Price in Nkr||Approx Price in £|
|Group Lessons||5 x 1½ hour lessons; Mon to Fri; Adults and Children|
|Private Lessons||1 hour|
Ski Passes are valid for all lifts for the number of days shown. Children under 7 Ski For Free if they where a helmet. The ski pass includes evening skiing but not breakfast skiing. Youth Passes are for 'children' aged 7 to 15; adults are 15 to 65 and senior 66 and over
|Number of days||Adults||Youth and Senior|
|Price in Nkr||Approx Cost in £||Price in Nkr||Approx Cost in £|
An indoor crèche is open from 21 December through to 18 April. Toy cars, books, films, crayons, games all help keep the little ones entertained while you are out on the mountain. The crèche service can be booked by the hour, day or week - meals are not included.
|Duration||Price in Nkr||Approx Cost in £|
While Geilo is a small resort there are a lot of activities to keep non skiers happy: for tired Mums, Grandmas and partners the spas at either Dr Holms or Vestlia are a must - they vie to be the best in Norway. There are dog sleigh rides, ice climbing, wilderness walks, sledging, après ski in Dr Holms - or take the train through the Fjords to Bergen for the day or in the other direction spend a fascinating day in Oslo