77 km of a pristine snowy trail
WalkingWomen has been going to the Dalseter Hotel in Espedalen, Norway for years and it was the first WalkingWomen holiday Ginny did that captured her imagination to start thinking about running a holiday company for women! It is a very special place run by Grethe and her family.
It is also our starting point for the Peer Gynt Trail – an epic adventure for those wanting to develop their cross country skills whilst skiing trails across this wonderful landscape of Norway.
We hear about it from one of our WalkingWomen guests,Sue,who achieved it this year..
We had a fantastic week following the fabled Peer Gynt Loype. This 77km long trail winds up, down and around the mountains of the Innlandet Region of Eastern Norway.
We began with ski and boot fitting and a practice day at Dalseter which is already a well loved Walking Women destination.
It snowed for most of the journey on the first day – a testing 18km up and down to ski to a grand, historic hotel in Fefor. We were delighted to arrive 2 hours earlier than expected despite part of the route being through a bleak flat area which provoked thoughts of Amundsen, Nansen, Scott and their polar explorations. It turned out they too had stayed at Fefor during their training!
We love staying in cosy,traditional Norwegian hotels
The following day was beautiful, blue skies and virtually no wind. We began by posing for photos under the crystal chandelier in the ballroom then set off on a shorter, somewhat easier 13km route to Gala.
We even had a fire to keep us warm during our lunch stop. Wenche, our local guide showed us how to line the fire area with live spruce branches and get a good blaze in less than 5 minutes using only one match.
Towards the end of this day we passed the lakeside theatre where an enactment of the Peer Gynt story is performed every summer.
“Peer Gynt is a mythical story about a wayward youth who travelled the world. The thought was that he would only be saved by the love of a good woman. We might all say that! “
We had a rest day at Gala as the winds became stronger and colder. Nevertheless, we practised some skills in the ski stadium before enjoying extremely good waffles and hot toddies in the café in preparation for the following day which we knew was the most challenging of the trip.
The following day we travelled 25km to Kvitfjell. It began well with sun and light winds although we knew that strong winds and snow were forecast later. The first half was spectacular, travelling through open snowy lands dotted with silver birch and pine trees. The tracks had not been prepared, due to the winds the day before so most of the time we were skiing through soft powder snow. Half way along we had a rare, unexpected and wonderful stop at a 200year old Norwegian summer farm. We had a lovely welcome and luxuriated with a warm stove, sandwiches and hot chocolate before preparing to set off again.
The skies darkened ..
As we skied onwards and downwards the skies darkened and the bad weather started to blow in. Everyone had a great feeling of achievement and excitement that evening. Sadly, no one could ski the following day – strong winds and snow meant we all had to be transferred to Skeikampen by minibus although there was still an opportunity to ski later in the afternoon.
Anita and Wenche were our lovely, encouraging, helpful and skilful guides, they made a great team and were a joy to be with. All the group faced challenges at times and were supported by the camaraderie and generosity of others. We never did settle some questions though. Which hotel did the best breakfast? Where was the best sauna? Who had the best fall? Can we do it all again?
The answer is yes as WalkingWomen will be doing the Peer Gynt Trail Saturday March 15th to Sat March 22nd in 2025. It gives us all time to practice in 2024 ( we have several Winter Wonderland holidays in the winter season of 2024 to get ourselves ready) Do keep an eye on our website and let us know if you want to be put on the list for this wonderful trip.