Below you’ll find more information about the course. If you have any further questions, please read our FAQ or write to us.
Backcountry skiing course in Langsua – cabin to cabin
Start your winter adventure on backcountry skis in the forecourt of Jotunheimen. This course gives you a thorough introduction to skiing techniques and mountain safety and teaches you how to plan future trips yourself.
See datesTrip dates Planned trips
Read moreActivity Level Some experience
Group Size Max group size
Summer pathways have been erased, and we’re about to make our own trail in the snow. We use backcountry skis to get from cabin to cabin while teaching you backcountry skiing techniques and safety in the mountains during winter. This course is designed for those of you who are mad about winter, but don’t necessarily have experience with long ski trips.
We start off our week with some basic skiing technique for Nordic backcountry skis and prepare you well by giving you knowledge of things to be particularly aware of in a winter environment. Then we take a look at the Norwegian “fjell-vet” rules, which are the Norwegians’ unbreakable nine commandments for mountain safety.
We set out on Nordic backcountry skis, which are a wider and more stable version of cross-country skis. They’re easy to use, and steering is simple and easy to learn. We begin our week with shorter trips and some training in techniques in the area around Espedalen Fjellstue, before we embark on a 4-day cabin-to-cabin trip in Langsua National Park, where we’ll move both on and off the beaten track.
The National Park is a large mountain area between Valdres and Gausdal with a slightly hilly terrain with loads of spruce, pine and birch forest and high mountains. The terrain is generally soft and rolling, which makes it a friendly place – even for beginners.
This course concentrates on:
- Equipment for Nordic backcountry skiing and winter trips
- Techniques for Nordic backcountry and cross-country skiing
- Simple tour planning in Norway during winter
- Routines for being safe and secure in winter.
With your new-found knowledge of thermo regulation and how to find your way, this course lets you set off on new adventures and feel safe doing just that. Your new tools and techniques will let you take marked routes and enjoy even more overnight trips in the many cabins. On this course many great experiences in the winter mountains await you, and we hope that you feel like enjoying even more winter adventure when you get back home.
- Accommodation from arrival to departure in DNT cabins
- All meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Experienced and well-prepared guide 24/7
- Equipment such as first aid kit, bothy bag, emergency transmitter and snow shovels
- Travel to and from Espedalen Fjellstue
- Hire of backcountry skis, ski sticks and boots
- Personal equipment such as clothes, backpack and sleeping bag
Among other things, you can hire:
- Backcountry skis with boots (sizes 37-48), ski sticks and ski wax
- 85 litre tour backpack
Day of arrival
Arrival and check-in at Espedalen Fjellstue. At 19.00, we have dinner and meet and greet. No problem if you arrive later, just let us know.
We start off the day with a short presentation and a matching of expectations for the week and for the group, all to give you a feeling of the experiences that lie ahead and your focus as a participant. We take a short day trip to warm up on the skies and learn, or refresh, basic techniques for moving forward, up and down and stopping. In the afternoon we go through equipment for winter tours and talk about maps and compass.
We take another day trip, this time going where there are no tracks. We focus on getting to know our skis, snow conditions and enjoying the new environment. You’ll become familiar with ‘the plov’, ‘kickturns’ and ‘baudning’. In the afternoon, we’ll be packing equipment and food for our cabin tour.
Tuesday - Friday
It’s time to leave for our tour! For the remainder of the week, we go from cabin to cabin. These are DNT cabins; During winter, DNT, The Norwegian Trekking Association, has more than 500 open cabins in the mountains. They are simple but good and well-equipped. All beds have mattresses, and the cabins have wood-burning stoves and gas burners. Many cabins also have food stored, which means that you can stock up on the way.
To give us a feeling of being alone in the wilderness, we most of the time move outside the beaten tracks. We help each other make tracks, and you’ll have the opportunity to learn how to take bearings with compass and maps to make you comfortable with that.
When we get to the cabins, we must light the stove to heat up the cabin and dry our clothes, if they are damp. We also need to melt snow for drinking water and cooking. Evenings are spent relaxing by candlelight, and if we’re lucky there’ll be plenty of star gazing.
We’ll be back at our starting point on Friday afternoon. There’ll be time for a bath and some relaxation before we share a meal as the perfect end to a good week.
Check-out and departure after breakfast.
This course is for you if you’d like to try a winter tour. You might have a little experience from alpine or cross-country skiing. There’s no need for prior experience, since we spend the first days on ski techniques. There’s no need for winter experience either, as this course takes you through basic knowledge and theories and prepares you for taking tours on your own.
Are you experienced or a beginner? This course is for everybody. We’re all in this together, and we help each other all the way to give everybody a good experience on the winter mountain.
If you have any doubts about your ability to participate on this tour, please don’t hesitate to contact us; we’ll help you make the right decision.
During the course, you’ll be staying in a cabin at Espedalen Fjellstue in rooms accommodating 3 or four people in bunk beds. The cabins have bath, toilet and kitchen, and all beds have pillows and duvets. You either bring your own linen or hire it. You share the kitchen with the other participants, and this is where you prepare and eat your breakfast and supper.
During the cabin tour, we use the Norwegian Trekking Association’s cabins in the mountains. There are bedrooms with room for 2-8 people in bunk beds with mattresses and blankets. There are wood-burning stoves for heat and gas burners for cooking and melting snow. Remember your sleeping bag; the temperature in the cabins can drop to freezing point in the morning.
On this course, all meals are included in the price, from supper on arrival day to breakfast before departure. Before and after the tour, you all help cook in the common kitchen. Some of the food that we take with us must also be prepared and packed before we leave.
Please let us know if you have any allergies or special eating habits; if you let us know well in advance, we’ll try to consider this when shopping. Remember that small surprise snacks brought from home can lift spirits on a long day.
This course requires a minimum of 4 participants, and the maximum number of participants is 8. Minimum age is 18.
This course is also sold to international participants, which gives you the opportunity to join a guide with local knowledge and meet people from around the globe. Your guide speaks both Danish and English. Kristian Torp is your guide on this course. One guide: up to 6 participants.
Espedalen Fjellstue is located at Espedalsvandet with excellent opportunities for canoeing and fishing during summer and skating, skiing and ice fishing during winter. The area has miles of marked paths both summer and winter. Espedalen borders Langsua National Park in the forecourt of Jotunheimen, and it’s only a short distance to the high mountains. The mountain hotel has several common areas such as fireplace lounge, sauna and class room.
Breathable mountain clothes that will keep damp and wind out and stop you sweating from within are important when we ski with backpacks. Wool is preferable in winter, as it will keep you warm even when damp, and it won’t start to smell too quickly.
We use backcountry skis, and you either bring your own or hire. It’s important that the skis have steel edges when we move outside the beaten track, and that bindings and boots are heavy, like hiking boots, to give us more control of our skis.
Please get in touch if you have doubts about the suitability of your skis.
The course starts at Espedalen Fjellstue northwest of Lillehammer. You can use public transportation from Oslo to Vinstra, where there’s a bus to Dalseter, where we can have you picked up.
This checklist is guiding and can help you get an overview. When registering, you’ll receive a more comprehensive list with specifications, preferred makes and models etc. Equipment for hire is marked with *.
- Backpack *
- Sleeping bag
- Backcountry skis *
- Ski boots *
- Ski poles *
- Ski wax *
- Inner layer
- Middle layer
- Outer layer
- Warm clothes for breaks
- Knitted/woolly hats
- Neck warmer/buff
- Water bottle *
- Thermos flask *
- Cutlery, plates, cups etc.
- Sun cream and moisturizer
- Personal first aid kit
- Head lamp
- Gaiters *
- Map case *
- Compass *
- Note pad
- Shoe covers *
- Indoor shoes/bivouac shoes *
Before and after the tour
- Everyday clothes
- Bed linen
Equipment for hire from Nordisk Friluftskompani
- Backcountry ski set – consists of:
- Skis – with full steel edges and with BC bindings
- Ski boots – warn and light backcountry ski boots suitable for BC bindings
- Ski poles – adjustable in length and with large straps suitable for mountain use
- Ski wax – set with wax of every variation
- Shoe covers and bivouac – contemporary and with appertaining fibre bivouac shoes
- Waterproof map case and mirror compass with clinometer
- 85 litre backpack – good bearing system and many pockets
- 1 litre thermos flask and 1 litre drinking bottle
- Gaiters – for keeping snow out of your boots if your pants don’t have a tight fit
Equipment that we share – brought by Nordisk Friluftskompani
- Bothy bag – emergency shelter for 4 people
- Snow shovels – light, come apart
- First aid kit – comprehensive kit for both minor and major incidents in the winter mountains
- Emergency transmitter – InReach transmitter in case of an emergency