Glory of Green
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Stories from the Great Outdoors

 

Oh my God, oh my God, I’m so glad I married a fun-loving outdoorsy guy with really nice parents. My husband had the best idea so far in 2019 (I know we’re only a few days into the new year, but this one might be standing as a record for a long time to come). Here it goes: “Let’s take a couple of snow racers and ask my father if he can take us to the top of the slalom slopes after closing hours – and then we ride down! Fast!” There was only one plausible answer from the rest of the family: “YES, YES, YES!” (warning: it’s forbidden - and wear a helmet). 

 

The important know-how

The four of us have developed a substantial wisdom when it comes to sleighing – it’s a matter of serious considerations. 

Around our cottage in Bittermarka, Trysil, there are so many options when it comes to sleighing, suitable for many different weather conditions, clientele and kinds of snow. 

Amongst other things, you need to evaluate  important factors as gradients and how rapid diverse sleighing equipment will take you down on snow of varying depths, size of grains and temperatures. For back country powder you don’t want the skis of the snow racer to dig into the snow – and for groomed ski-slopes with twists and turns, walled by trees, you want to decide where the sledge should go and not smash your face. We even have an inflatable unicorn lying around - and we're not afraid to use it. 

Selfie at the traditional new years race

When friends with kids come visiting for dinner or a cup of coffee, when we host outdoor parties during winter or when we’re just in need of a break from skiing – sleighing is very often our thing. No hazzle – only fun – and since you need to get your ass up the hill to have it flying down the slopes again it is definitely better for your body than staying in the sofa. 

Falling off just adds to the exercise part – and the fun. We even have a traditional sleighing trip where we drag our snow racers up in the ski slopes on the mountain behind our cottage as far as it goes, and then we ride all the way back home. 

The real Olympic deal

Actually, sleighing has turned into three Olympic sports: Luge, skeleton and bobsleighing – but to be honest – that’s just weird, all of it, although I’m in deep respect when it comes to the speeds these people expose themselves to (130 km/h for skeleton). Superman suites considered. A separate heading for fatal incidents is included in the bobsleigh-article on Wikipedia…

In Norway a sleigh is called kjelke – and there has been speculations that the word skeleton derives from an incorrect anglicized version of the word. It’s totally believable – sleighing is so Norwegian! But what a terrible misspelling – and what’s the deal with the Olympic sport?! Come on! What’s next? The official Olympic team of snow men builders? Alma might sign up.


Cheating

The village of Trysil hosts Norway’s largest winter resort. There’s an abundance of slopes and it’s where my husband grew up to be a very good skier. I think I fell in love with him for real the first time I saw him racing down the slopes in Trysil. I have grown up with a slalom coach and knew what I was looking for. This guy knew what he was doing. LOVE at first slalom-sight!

Naturally it’s possible to sleigh lots of places in and around Trysil, dragging your own snow racer up for a ride – there’s even a resort, 45 minutes’ drive from Trysil, that specializes on sleighing – with a lift and a 1600 metres long slope. There you can rent equipment and buy a pass for the lift (10 years minimum age).

We, on the other hand, where going for a bit rougher experience – with headlamps in the darkness and loneliness from the top of one of the closed slopes. My father-in-law drove us up there, and then we had 2,5 kilometres of full speed in front of us. Audun knew exactly the right slope for us – too steep and we could have been in trouble. Shit – what a blast! And with no hill to climb – a total cheat! We won’t win any Olympic medals for speed, but as already stated – it’s all fun and games and a lot of snow in your face. New year resolution so far totally accomplished.