Stranda in the fjords of Norway is nicknamed the “Powder Paradise” and some say it is Northern Europe’s best destination for freeriding. Learn more about the Norwegian off-piste skiing destination that rivals the Alps.
In 2002, Filip Christensen gathered a group of skiing friends to make the first ever skiing movie. Christensen built a monster jump that has been behind several of the Field Production’s successful sport documentaries and series.
The Stranda ski resort in the Sunnmøre region on the northwest coast of Norway offers over 25km of world class skiing. Despite being known for having the best off-piste skiing in Scandinavia, Stranda is not just for the pros. When riding and touring here you get an amazing fjord view from the mountains closest to the fjord. Here is good riding for everyone.
Located not far from the coast and surrounding Hjørundfjord, not only does it provide a dramatic beautiful backdrop, it also means skiers have the opportunity to ski from 1,500 meters above sea level down to the level of the fjord in one run.
In 1957, there was only a T-bar above the little village of Stranda, the center of the small municipality and famous for the Geiranger and Sunnylvs fjord. In 1970 the nearby Grandiosa pizza factory was established, and today the factory chums out more than 25 million frozen pizzas a year. Nobody thought about Stranda as a ski paradise before 2002.
The variety of the mountain range there is quite amazing. You can ride mellow runs with nice windlips, fun tree runs, couloirs and steeper short big mountain lines. There you will stay in the peaceful mountains of Norway where the Northern Lights comes out dancing on the sky during some clear winter nights. You get really close to nature with mountains, fjords, waterfalls and wild nature everywhere!
In 2009, a new four-seater lift and restaurant was built on the “Furset” side of the valley, followed in 2011 by a state-of-the-art Telemix (chairlift/gondola) and restaurant on the Roald side, with the lift’s 618m elevation the longest in Scandinavia. Today, there are seven lifts and 18 pistes, even if the main selling point is still the free-ride skiing, which is easily reached from the lifts. You can strap on your skis at the top of the Roald lift, at1,062m, and ski all the way down to the fjord, possibly making your own tracks all the way.
Cross country skiers will also have access to 15km of expedition tracks. One challenge has been to house all the visitors. Today, there are more than 500 beds at the resort and village in Stranda and campsites, with 62 rooms at the Stranda Hotel. Located in the small town of Glomset, the 29-room log cabin hotel Storfjord, part of the experiential travel group 62ºNORD, boasts uninterrupted panoramic views of the Storfjord and the Sunnmøre Alps.
Another challenge is Mother Nature. In a good season, you can get 5m of snow there, at least the double the large Scandinavian ski resorts of Åre, Hemsedal, Trysil and Sälen.
There is nowhere else you get this mix of fjords and great skiing. There is really nothing like it.
The Norwegian Off-Piste Skiing Destination That Rivals the Alps, written by Tor Kjolberg
Feature image (on top): Axel Svindal. Photo by Field Productions.