If you have a stop over in Oslo or want somewhere quick and easy to go for the weekend, here are a few ideas for a short skiing break. It is possible to leave the rest of your luggage at the Railway Station, in the arrivals hall of Oslo Gardermoen airport, or with the baggage services at Oslo airport situated in parking garage.
A report kindly submitted by Mel of MCCCSC during her visit in February 2019
It is possible to go cross country skiing from Oslo city centre. There are 1000s of kilometers of groomed trails in the Oslo region, the challenge is where to start. There are some suggested routes provided by Oslo Tourist Information.
Maps and Trail markings
The trails are mapped by https://www.skiforeningen.no/. Their maps are not easy to buy in the city, the DNT store round the back of the cathedral should sell them, but it has very short opening hours on a Saturday. They appear to be very detailed and there are some signposts around on the trails that show the full map. Don’t expect your usual Blue/Red/Black conventions on the trails – you have to be able to read contour lines and understand the terrain.
They have an online route planning website and an Android app called iMarka which you can download. The main problems I found with the online route planning website was that you needed to be able to enter the name of the place exactly, and as a non-local, I didn’t understand the difference between the multiple places with Tryvann in the name (I assumed Skisenter was where I was picking up my skis, but it seems it was actually much further down the trail, causing me to change my endpoint to Skjennungstua instead of the planned Kobberhaugshytta. ) Also, you need to understand Norwegian to make sense of the trail status reports.
Ski trails have red marks on the signposts, and there are red bands on the trees. There are also hiking trails marked with blue on the signposts, and blue marks on the trees. Some of these ‘Blue’ trails become ski trails in winter, and are groomed.
Vinterpark and Frognerseten are served by the Oslo Metro and are in Zone 1. You can buy one-trip tickets or a day pass from machines at the stations. If you plan on taking the metro 3 times in a day, the 24 hour pass is probably more sensible. Some of the routes suggested by Oslo Tourist information are one way, so you’d need to consider this. They are in the Nordmarka map region if you buy one, or download it in the app.
I could only find one place to rent cross country skis in Oslo, and that was at Vinterpark Top Center. h You can get to here by taking Metro Line #1 towards Frognerseten and getting off at the Voksenkollen stop. It is either a 15 minute walk from here to the Ski Rental place or there is a 48 Ski bus that stops on the road on the ‘Towards Frognerseten, side of the tracks. If you want to walk the signage isn’t obvious, there is a path going uphill on the ‘Towards City’ side of the tracks that leads you to the road towards Vinterpark.
The ski rental shop is mainly geared to dowhnill skis, they rent out Salomon waxless skis, Leki Poles and surprisingly SNS boots!
Like all downhill focussed places it was tricky to find the start of the trail, I found a trail head at the opposite end of the car park, on the way out loop road. There was access onto the trail from behind Voksenkollen stop, and also from the large car park on the left hand side, opposite the Telenor mast.
There was also a slight negative of renting skis from this location, as you’re on the top of the hill, all routes are down (and some quite steep) so you will have to get back up the hill to return your skis.
If you have brought your own skis, you have a lot more choice of start and end points. The trails seemed to be groomed regularly, but heavily used on the day I went, so they were starting to break up a bit. If you were going to ski for multiple days I think you’d need to invest in a map to be able to select better routes.