Hemsedal ski resort
Hemsedal has grown to become one of the largest and most popular resorts in Norway. The ski area, located a couple of miles from the original Hemsedal village, is operated by the Skistar group, the largest in Scandinavian.
Located in the mountains between Oslo and Bergen, the main Hemsedal ski area has wide, well-prepared pistes, five terrain parks and designated areas for children and beginners; while neighbouring Solheisen is a smaller ski area in the nearby Grøndalen Valley, 13km (8 miles) away. The two areas provide varied terrain to suit all ability levels, while snowboarders are catered for with a series of terrain parks.
Hemsedal village, often referred to as Sentrum, is a small centre with a range of accommodation options, restaurants, bars and shops; which altogether provide a small yet convenient base for the predominantly northern European clientele. A new ski run was created ahead of the 2014-15 season that allows guests based in the village to ski all the way down from the main slope area.
The resort as a whole also offers excellent off-piste and cross-country skiing conditions, as well as a vast repertoire of non-skiing activities.
Hemsedal is located in the Hallingdal District of Buskerud County in the centre of southern Norway, almost equidistant between Oslo to the east and Bergen on the west coast.
On the slopes
Snow conditions in Hemsedal are reliable throughout the season, with snowmaking available on the majority of the slopes – as a consequence, the season here is relatively long, generally lasting from the beginning of November to the first Sunday in May.
Hemsedal offers something for everyone; from specially created areas for children and beginners to runs that are extremely fast and challenging, as well as vast off-piste areas. In between, there is an abundance of wide and gentle (but still quite fast) slopes that are perfect for intermediate skiers. Solheisen, in particular, is a great place for relaxed skiing, with its open slopes on the sunny side of Grøndalen.
The ski areas, which are linked by a regular bus service, are served by a mixture of chairlifts and drag lifts. There has also been investment over the past decade in several high speed, high capacity chairlifts so most main areas of the slopes are served quickly and efficiently. The ski pass covers the lifts in both resorts.
In addition to the skiing terrain, there are three good terrain parks with jumps, quarter pipes, corners, fun boxes and more – plus an additional park for children. Hemsedal also has two ski cross arenas, a ski race arena and a speed ski arena with self-timer.