in the mountains
Hemsedal is known as "The Scandinavias Alps" And is a mountain hiking Eldorado to many. It is therefore important to have all your equipments in order before you head out - shovel, probing rod and an avalanche transceiver. You and your hiking companions should also practice using your equipment and research your hike as there may be demanding and unstable conditions in the mountains. In those cases you must make sure you have the correct knowledge on how to traverse terrain which is steeper than 30 degrees and how to avoid snow drifts.
We advise all our guests who enjoy winter moutain hikes to attend an avalanche course, it enhances both security and enjoyment.
Hemsedal has local certified guides, who know our moutains well. The Mountain Central Under Jørgen Aamot has many years experience. Jørgen has also published a book called "Toppturer i Hemsedal" (norwegian). Hemsedal Fjellsport can also be of service with guiding in the mountains. They have local guides who know the areas around Hemsedal well, and are used to local variations of both weather and snow conditions. With a guide you will also find the best powder!
Helpful tips and advice before heading out on your hike:
- Attend an avalanche course
- Learn to use your avalanche equipment and practice with hiking companions
- Obtain the crucial knowledge about what avalanche terrain looks like, trigger zones and terrain traps, and which weather and snow- conditions leads to increased avalanche hazard and "concealed hazards" like weak layers underneath the snow. Remember that most accidents happen at hazard level 2 or 3, and that level 3 is twice as hazardous as 2.
- Use a certified guide on your first hikes
- Use Varsom.no and the Varsom-app (available on App Store and Google Play)
- Avoid avalanche terrain, especially when the hazard level is at level 3 or higher, or when the avalanche issue is "persistent weak layers". This produces unstable and dangerous conditions
- Keep a safe distance from snow drifts
- Persistent weak layers often pose a challenge in the spring as well, including south faced mountain sides. The arctic-maritime snow layers of Norway may be severely different to the typical conditions of the Alps.
- Mountain hikes in Norway often occur in areas without cell reception and coverage of rescue services. In other words, you must choose a safe hike and be capable of performing a rescue of your travel companions. Time is exceptionally short when someone is caught in an avalanche.
- Always chech the battery charge of your avalanche transceiver before starting your hike and check that all receivers/transceivers output a signal. This is called a buddy check and is to be done before every hike starts.
We urge all our guests to check Varsom.no before embarking on your hikes.