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Winters are beautiful in Helgeland. Imagine cross-country skiing through a pristine wilderness, with a snack and a thermos of hot chocolate in your rucksack. On a mountaintop you can stop to savour the view and enjoy sausages grilled on the fire. Or maybe you prefer testing your luck ice fishing, patiently waiting for the tell-tale tug on your line.
RANDONNÉE: Do you like speeding down the slopes, and don’t mind the uphill climbs? Then randonnée skiing is perfect for you! Randonnée is the French word for «long walk or journey» – and Helgeland’s pristine backcountry is ideal for your randonnée skiing. In addition to good stamina and a yearning for adventure, you will need proper equipment.
DOWNHILL AND CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: Helgeland may lack major ski resorts, but the facilities we do have provide great fun for young and old. Here are the two largest ones:
Kjemsåsen alpinanlegg outside Mosjøen is Helgeland’s largest, with three ski lifts and 6 km of cross-country trails through varied terrain. The longest slope is 2.2 km with a 270 m descent. There is a children’s ski slope, a special family-friendly trail, as well as a snowboarding park. Free rental of ski equipment, free parking, and a café. For further information, please visit Kjemsåsen alpinanlegg on Facebook.
Skillevollen Alpinsenter is situated near the town of Mo i Rana. Facilities include ski jumps, children’s slopes, an ice-skating rink and cross-country trails. There is even a biathlon arena. Food and refreshments are served in Skillevollen Kro. The ski lodge offers ski rental equipment for young and old. For more info, please visit Skillevollen Alpinsenter on Facebook.
SNOW-SHOEING: Snow-shoeing is simple and enjoyable. For many travellers it’s an exotic way to experience the wilderness. No special skills or prior knowledge are required, making this a perfect activity for young and old. For more info and guiding, please visit Naturlige Helgeland on Facebook.
SNOWMOBILING: It’s great fun to speed through the open fields, forested hills and across mountains. Helgeland has miles and miles of trails, and with a snowmobile you can reach places you might otherwise never get to explore. Make sure you stop occasionally to savour the view. Also, please be mindful of where you can and cannot ride a snowmobile. To rent and go with guide, please visit Mosjøen Snøscooterutleie on Facebook.
MAGIC OF THE NORTHERN LIGHTS: Ribbons of fluttering light, sweeping bands that are electric green tinged with pink. And then, perhaps, rays of light suddenly shoot across the sky in all directions – green and violet, white and pink!
Northern Norway is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights. In Helgeland, between 21 September and 21 March 21, it is pitch black after 6 pm. On clear nights, the odds are high that you will be able to witness the dance of the Northern Lights!
DOG-SLEIGHING: There is nothing quite like rushing through the snow-covered countryside in a sleigh pulled by eager dogs. This is a true wilderness adventure, far from the city’s hustle and bustle. If you opt for an evening ride, you may be lucky enough to see a magical display of the Northern Lights! For info, please visit Aaslid Polar on Facebook.
FESTIVALS AND CONCERTS: After a day of wintry fun, you can relax with refreshments and a hot meal in one of Helgeland’s many restaurants – and then perhaps an evening concert or an art exhibit. Even in winter, there is so much on our calendar. For instance, each January we host a contemporary music festival, and in February there’s the Sjøgata Live music festival in Mosjøen, the Winter Light Festival, and the popular «Take Træna by storm». There is even a knitting festival in March, and in April there are concerts and skiing competitions. In December, be sure to seek out the Christmas markets and other holiday events that are held throughout Helgeland.
VITAL INFORMATION: In northern Norway, the weather can change suddenly, so even for short ski trips it is vital that you be properly clothed and equipped. We recommend that you wear layers of clothing, with a layer of wool or thermal underwear next to the skin, woollen socks, windproof jacket and trousers, a warm cap, gloves or mittens, and warm winter boots. Your rucksack should contain a map and compass, extra clothing, and food and beverage.
Welcome to great winter adventures in Helgeland.