Valdres: The Hidden Gem
When folks think of snowkiting in Norway, their first Google search will probably result in Hardangervidda/Haugastøl. After all, this is the place where Redbull's famous snowkiting race Ragnarok happens every year. However, much of Norway is undiscovered when it comes to Snowkiting, and many are unaware of the fantastic kite conditions Valdres offers.
Why learn how to kite in Valdres?
Two of the first pioneers in the region were Nicolay Flaaten and his friend Svein Yngvar Willassen who mapped out all the spots and conducted extended traverses all over Jotunheimen's southern region. Therefore, it wasn't a surprise when another passionate kiter came along and realized the vast potential of this area - KiteValdres was born!
With a wind that blows consistently in the winter as well as in the summer, spots such as the magnificent Valdresflye, Sletteflell, and the top of Beitostølen ski slopes where one can take the brand new Bitihorn Express ski lift right to the kite spot, and not to forget vivid nightlife, a ski resort, fine dining, and all types of outdoor activities both on and off the winter season, the Beitostølen area's potential for becoming a snowkiting hub of Norway is basically untapped.
What is snowkiting?
Have you ever imagined having your own personal ski lift? Or to be wakeboarding on the snow, but where do you get to be both the wakeboarder and the captain simultaneously? Or how about carving down a mountain on your skis to take another tack back up with the help of your kite? Accelerating? Precisely!
Snowkiting is the other face of the water sport known as kiteboarding. A giant wing propels you across the snow while you ride your skis or snowboard. The potential of this sport is multifaceted, as snowkiting blends acrobatics, paragliding, and wakeboarding, while its DNA is rooted in surfing. The same by default is true of its predecessor, kitesurfing.
However, as you do not need to worry about sinking in into the water while snowkiting, it is the perfect training ground and gives you an easy transition to kiteboarding later on!
Who may practice it?
Whether you are 14 year old ready to try something new and exciting, a 70-year-old wishing to continue learning new things, or someone somewhere in the middle, this sport is accessible to you! Although the sport is rightfully considered an extreme sport, when learning how to snowkite, you learn it in a controlled and safe manner with the help of a certified I.K.O. instructor (International Kiteboarding Organization).
The activity is considered an extreme sport due to the tremendous power that can be harnessed from the wing. If they can pull you up a mountain face, you can only imagine the level of force these brilliantly designed wings exert. As intimidating as this may sound, it is as simple as letting go of their control bar in order to fully depower them under normal conditions. In addition, two more safety mechanisms will further depower and completely release you from the kite.
Want a mellow cruise to explore the winter terrains or to pop a back flip or the latest wake-style-oriented trick? How about jumping 10 meters up in the air and slowly gliding your way back down into a soft landing? Snowkiting checks all the boxes!
From freeride, backcountry, freestyle, park, and racing, snowkiting has something to offer to everyone. As much fun as it is to ride down snowy slopes on your skis or snowboard, snowkiting adds a 4th dimension to whatever your favorite discipline may be.
Why is Valdres a kiteboarding/snowkiting gem?
Valdresflye - With vast flat areas surrounded by a stunning mountain range and the possibility to snowkite as early as November in some seasons, and as late as May, Valdresflye offers the perfect learning grounds for the sport(closed from the second week of December until the Easter holidays).
Bygdin - Though the plateau (Valdresflye) may be closed for a couple of months during the winter, the boom at Garli which opens the road up to Bygdin reopens on the second week of February. This spot is a wind tunnel created by stunning Bitihorn and the adjacent mountain Synshorn(best season: middle of February-May).
Slettfjell - This mountain spot can be accessed with the ski lift in Raudalen, and the spot itself works with all wind directions!
Top of the lifts in Beitostolen - Arguably one of the most practical spots in the world to learn snowkiting since there's a bus that runs from Oslo central station and even Oslo Gardermoen international airport directly to the entrance of the ski slopes in Beitostolen. You take Bitihorn Express(brand new lift) up to the top, where you only need to walk approximately 100 meters to the teaching spot. During your lunch break, you can ski/snowboard down to the slope's cantina, located halfway down the slopes. Here you can find hot chocolate and warm food to enjoy for lunch. Afterward, you ski/snowboard down to the bottom of the slopes and catch the Bitihorn Express up to the top once more to finish your lessons.
Garli - This spot is an extension of our teaching grounds on top of the ski lifts in Beitostølen. However, if the wind is too strong and Bitihorn Express cannot operate, Garli gives you access to the same grounds just a few minutes north of Beitostølen's downtown!
Day 1 - We learn about the "wind window", how to rig up and down our kite, steering, activation of safety mechanisms, and - of course - how to fly the kite!
Day 2 - Ready to ride? On the last day, we focus on learning how to kite with our board or skis! We will learn how to ride while flying the kite while being on our board or skis and how to ride down and upwind. That being said, everyone progresses differently, and the course will train participants individually at their level.
1-Day Lesson 2600NOK.
2-Day Lesson(Full Course) 3600NOK.
10% off in bookings of 3 or more people.
Gift cards available!