Norway is easily reached with various international airlines offering direct flights from the UK and elsewhere in Europe to Oslo Gardermoen airport. Flights can also be taken to Torp airport, but please note you will need to allow enough time to transfer to Oslo Gardermoen for your train journey north.
The train station at Oslo Gardermoen is located inside the airport terminal and is just a few minutes from the arrivals area. It makes connecting to your train for your journey to Ringebu very easy. On your arrival day a transfer from Ringebu train station to your hotel is included in your trip cost, and also from your hotel back to Ringebu on your departure day.
If you are arriving at Oslo Gardermoen airport you will take the train north to Ringebu where your transfer will meet you and take you into the fabulous landscape that is Venabu. The train journey is a delight in itself offering great views of the Norwegian countryside. The trains are modern and comfortable and have drinks facilities, and free wifi.
Tickets are easily purchased on line at Vy.no and if you book in advance there is a considerable discount with fares from around 249 NOK for the return journey. You can choose to collect them on the train which makes taking the train north very easy. You should aim to catch the 1429 hrs train from Oslo Gardermoen airport to Ringebu, arriving at Ringebu at 1652 hrs.
There is also the possibility of taking a special bus which leaves the airport in Oslo on Saturdays to go direct to Venabu Fjellhotel. The cost of this will in 2019 was 490 NOK one way. Please contact us for details.
All train timetables are published just 3 months in advance, but it is normal to have a train departing Ringebu at 0629 hrs, arriving at Oslo airport at 0901hrs, and a second train leaving Ringebu at 1209hrs, arriving at 1432 hrs.
Please check all travel arrangements with us before you book your flights and trains.
You must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity, including helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. We also advise you take out Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance in the event of you being unable to join the trip. The insurance referred to should only be purchased AFTER we have confirmed your trip is guaranteed to run.
The insurance clause set out in our 'Terms and Conditions' is below:
Insurance: It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, cost of repatriation, and personal accident risks. This must include cover for the activities to be undertaken during the trip. For tours taking place outside the United Kingdom you must ensure that your insurance covers rescue from the mountains, including helicopter rescue. It is the right of the leader to make a decision to call for helicopter rescue if such assistance is needed. Costs incurred by you, the client, due to an evacuation, rescue or other emergency shall be your responsibility. Any subsequent costs incurred for expenses, not limited to but including such costs as hotels, food, transport etc, shall be borne by you, the client. You are responsible for ensuring insurance cover is adequate for the particular needs of your chosen activity. You must be fully aware of the implications involved in arranging your own travel insurance and understand the limitations and exclusions of the policy. By agreeing to our Terms and Conditions you are authorising Tracks and Trails Ltd, or the person employed to lead the trip for Tracks and Trails Ltd, to instigate rescue and/or helicopter evacuation procedures without previously obtaining the permission of the company issuing your insurance policy. We reserve the right to cancel your booking at any time if we are not satisfied you have the necessary insurance policy covering your activity. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip then please contact us for specific details. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres (9840ft), except the Tour de Monte Rosa which reaches 3316m (10,877ft). You must bring all insurance documentation with you at the time of the activity. We also recommend your insurance covers you for trip cancellation and baggage loss/damage. Tracks and Trails Ltd are unable to accept responsibility for the loss or damage to any client equipment or luggage.
For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.
Winter temperatures in Scandinavia are 'according to the locals' warmer in recent years than previously which is why we now run trips in the months of January, and February, as well as March and April. Even in January when the daylight hours are short we find that we have more than enough time for skiing. We have never yet had guests feeling they were losing out in terms of ski hours by booking in January or February. There is a special pleasure to starting your ski day in the sunrise, and skiing back with the sunset.
Historically temperatures in December have averaged -8°Celsius (17.4°F), in January -9.7°Celsius (14.5°F), in February -9.2°Celsius (15.4°F), in March -6.6°Celsius (20.1°F), and in April -2.3°Celsius (27.9°). Clearly there is the potential for temperatures to drop much lower, but rarely lower than -15°C (5°F).
We have found over the years that these temperatures have not been unpleasant nor have any guests had problems dealing with the weather as it is generally a 'dry' cold, and of course this helps create great snow and therefore great ski tracks. If we do experience a cold snap where temperatures drop then we ensure that everyone is appropriately clothed and kitted out for the ski day. In this respect energy snacks and a thermos with a hot drink are a great comfort!
If you are booked on one of our 'Advanced' or 'Challenging' point-to-point journeys and we experience very cold temperatures eg -15°Celsius (5°F) then we would expect you to be able to be efficient and keep moving and to manage your comfort.
King Bore - 'King of Winter' from Nordic mythology says he can't promise anything, but in Venabu they begin to prepare the tracks as soon as they have enough snow in December and continue until mid-April or after Easter. Venabu has a good reputation as a 'snow sure' venue, and we have found that to be true. It offers 140 kms ( 87.5 miles) of prepared trails in varied mountain terrain, with summits up to 1400m (4592ft).
We use 'classic' style cross country track skis for this trip. At Venabu we do things the Norwegian way, and our hire skis from the hotel are 'waxing' skis. This is also a great opportunity to learn the art of waxing and your instructor will provide daily waxing sessions to ensure you get the best out of the skis. Grip waxes are the traditional way of travelling on skis, and give greater glide than 'fishscales'. Don't be confused by all of this, just ask your instructor! We are always delighted to help you enjoy the whole Nordic experience.
To ensure we get the correct sizes equipment is arranged in advance. Please make note of your equipment hire on our booking form. We will need to know your height, weight, normal shoe size (you must give us your everyday shoe size and not your personal adjustment for wearing boots) and the measurement of your height up to your armpits for ski pole hire. For this trip the hire cost is included.
You can choose to bring your own 'classic' track skis (non-metal edged), however, do check with us first to ensure they are the correct type of ski and boot and are suitable. You can also bring your skis if they are 'fish scales' but with the hire skis included in your trip fee we would urge you to use the 'waxing' skis that will be provided. 'Fishscales' are generally slower than a good waxing ski, and there is less flow in terms of performance.
Although we don’t include 'skate skiing' in this programme if you bring your own skate skis and would like a skate training session it can be included. If you don't own skate skis Venabu have a some skating equipment available for us to borrow for this week. Note that you still need to bring your 'classic' skis for this course, or hire them, skate skis are not used for the 'classic' technique on which this course is based.
In Norway there is no charge for using the ski tracks and therefore you do not need to buy a ski pass.
On many of our trips there will be an element of 'group kit' which will be shared amongst our guests. As mountain people you will be used to team work and working together to the mutual benefit of the group.
The 'group kit' will be minimal and simply a case of sharing out a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. On a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it on to the next person.
On many of our cross country ski trips to remote areas there will also be a few additional items to share such as the grip waxes/klisters, spare pole, and snow shovel. These items are shared in such a way that no one is over burdened.
Other group items necessary for safety and comfort will be carried by your guide/instructor.
After we have processed your booking we will send you a comprehensive clothing and equipment list that is appropriate to your trip and activity. There will be some items on this list that we strongly recommend and others which are suggested. Our list is based on our experience of what is needed for any particular trip, but it is not the definitive article! If you have items you like to use then do bring them, but be aware of over-loading your 'day' rucksack with items that are heavy and therefore making the trip more challenging.
Please contact us if in any doubt about what to bring.
The aim of this week is to improve your skiing, but in a fun and relaxed fashion. We recognise that many of our guests ski perhaps just one week every winter, or at the most two, but that you also want to improve year on year. Although every one of our trips is taken by an experienced and qualified Nordic Ski Instructor who will help you to enhance your performance, this trip focuses totally on making you a better skier.
We believe it is the only holiday of its kind where we use two professional coaches using a range of specific techniques, and analysis but in a relaxed and friendly way that allows you to not only learn, but to really enjoy the week.
In essence it is about improving your understanding, of the balance and movement required to ski well, this may be lack of muscle strength, or due to stiffness, or lack of balance which means you cannot physically do the movement consistently. This is where our coaches come into action, they will assess your skiing, identify the areas you need to work on and by the end of the week you will not only be skiing better but will go away with an action plan. With this in mind you will have exercise you can do to prepare for your next ski holiday before you even see some snow!
In this respect our daily Pilates sessions will focus on ski specific movement and strengthening exercises. Whatever the result you will leave this week with a greater understanding of your body, how it can be stronger and how you can develop in the future. A great week of fun on skis with a great result!
This holiday is for you is you want to improve your cross country skiing in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere with a focus on technique and movement on skis. Venabu is a fantastic venue for learning and offers some great facilities with the ability to ski literally from the door of the hotel.
You need to be an 'intermediate' skier who wants to learn and enjoys the process of learning with the aim of becoming a better skier. You do not need to be an athlete or nordic ski racer, but you do need a reasonable fitness to be able to get the most out of the week and would expect you to be someone who exercises regularly. You can expect a mixture of skiers with different ski backgrounds on this holiday, from those who ski once every few years, to those who ski regularly throughout the winter.
We stress that this week is not a 'race' nor is it about being highly competitive with the others on the course. Everyone will benefit from working with our two excellent coaches, and we feel sure you will benefit whatever your goals and aspirations.
We do offer a 'follow up' session with your coaches during the two months following your trip. This could be feedback on a ski or roller-ski video that you might send us. This session can be done via a phone call or Skype call to discuss how our skiing and training has developed since the course, the choice is yours. Typically this session could be up to one hour in duration.
For each of our trips there is a minimum number of guests required to book before we can 'guarantee' your trip will run. It depends on the particular trip in question, but it is normally 4. The maximum number of guests on your trip is displayed in the 'At a Glance' box on the righthand side of the trip page.
We strongly advise you do not book travel until we have confirmed your trip is 'guaranteed' to run. If you book travel before we have confirmed it is 'guaranteed' we cannot be held responsible for any financial loss if the trip does not go ahead.
When booking a holiday as a solo traveller a twin bedded room comprising of two single beds, is booked as standard. This will be with someone of the same gender unless you request to pay extra for your own room. Single rooms are often limited in supply so if you would like to pay a supplement for a single room we urge you to get in touch as soon as possible. This trip has a single supplement of £175.
We go to great lengths to work with first class guides and instructors who are passionate about their work. They are all fully qualified, insured, and hold the correct documentation.
Please note your guide/instructor has complete discretion to make a daily decision on whether or not to take the advertised route based on the weather and the ability of the members of the group. They have our authority to make any route changes they believe are necessary in the interests of safety and enjoyment.
For our walking, family, and snowshoeing trips your guide will be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader. For our running trips your guide will be an International Mountain Leader, and an experienced mountain 'trail runner'.
If you have booked on a cross country ski trip you will be with a fully qualified professional BASI Nordic Ski Instructor or equivalent. BASI is the British Association of Snowsport Instructors.
You will have two very experienced coaches on this trip, and we are delighted they will be running your trip.
Ewen Martin has been teaching skiing for 30 years; Alpine, Telemark, and Nordic and is a member of the ISIA (International Ski Instructors Association). He also works as a trainer for BASI, (British Association of Snowsport Instructors) teaching and assessing those who wish to become instructors. Ewen’s expertise and enthusiasm enable him to get the very best out of every skier he teaches. He lives and works full time in Norway and speaks fluent Norwegian. You could not be in better hands.
Joy O’Flanagan is an experienced BASI Nordic Ski Instructor and movement specialist: a fully qualified physiotherapist and a Pilates instructor. Joy is also an International Mountain Leader, and has particpated in several ultra marathons. This will be her third winter working full time as a Ski Instructor at Venabu. She knows every kink in the trail!
For full details on both your coaches please read our 'About Us' page.
For this trip where you are centre-based, in other words where you are staying in the same accommodation all week, you are welcome to bring whatever luggage you require. However, please note that not all the hotels we use have elevators. This means you may need to carry your luggage to your bedroom and this might involve climbing several flights of stairs. We would suggest that luggage with wheels is generally a good idea.
On this trip your lunches are included in your trip fee. In Norway it is traditional to make up your own packed lunch from the breakfast ingredients. Breakfast is normally a buffet with a large range of food on offer with more than enough interesting items to prepare a tasty sandwich. You will be supplied with paper to wrap them in. You can also ask to have a thermos flask filled with a hot drink. On some days we may return to the hotel for a sit-down lunch, although this will depend on our ski plans.
On your itinerary you will find an indication of the amount of ascent and descent you can expect each day. This offers a guideline to how much effort might be expended each day and allows you to decide, based on previous experience, if your fitness and stamina are correct for the trip.
We make every attempt to ensure these statistics are as accurate as possible, but ask you to note that the most modern of technology used to record these details can show considerable variations in terms of ascent, descent, and in particular distance. In other words no two people using GPS devices on the same route will have exactly the same details recorded at the end of the day.
The statistics given should be used as a 'general' indication of the effort required.
It is useful to arrive at your destination with some cash in the local currency, however, on most occasions it is relatively easy to visit a 'cash machine' after arrival and withdraw money on a credit or debit card. Some of our locations are an exception to this in particular Norway, where the accommodation will often have no facilities for withdrawing cash, but they will take a credit card.
On many of our trips we will visit remote cafes/farms where it is wonderful to enjoy a drink and a cake, at places such as these they will only accept payment in the local currency in cash.
There are currency exchange facilities/banks in Oslo Airport or you can obtain Norwegian Kroner prior to your arrival. Credit cards will be accepted in the hotels. Oslo airport has a left luggage store available if needed, which is at the east end of the arrivals hall.
On our trips we encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes that reflect the culture of the country and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for the traditional food of the region.
If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance to a certain food type which will make you ill the accommodation will cater for this as best they can, eg gluten free, nut free, lactose free.
If you are vegetarian then this is not a problem as the hotels/refuges are used to being asked for vegetarian meals. Our accommodation will try to cater for those with vegan diets but in remote refuges in the mountains this is more difficult. If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet please contact us. Gluten-free diets will be possible with regard to the evening meals, but we would advise that you bring along some gluten-free snacks for your breakfasts and lunches.
If you have a 'special' diet which is NOT because of an allergy or intolerance, and is not 'veggie' then we apologise, but we cannot cater for this. The accommodation on the popular routes will be catering for many people each evening, in some cases up to 70/80 meals per night, 7 days a week, and realistically they cannot produce many different meal options unless the food will result in illness.
The countries we visit all have tap water that is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating that you must not drink the water. At all times you are welcome to ask your guide/instructor if the water can be drunk. We would ask, for environmental reasons, that you avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and bring a water bottle that can be used repeatedly.
A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required for visits to countries outside the EU, such as Norway. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice.
We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:
Note that if your trip involves staying in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut that electric sockets may be in short supply and for that night you may not be able to charge any items. Although the accommodation will have electricity this will often be supplied by solar panels or a generator and limited to use by the staff. For this reason we advise that carrying a small slimline and lightweight 'battery pack' can be very useful for recharging phones which many of you will also use as your camera.
Before booking consider whether you expect to be in the appropriate physical condition on the date of your departure to allow you to fully participate in and enjoy your holiday. If you have any doubts because of an illness or injury it would be advisable to check with your doctor.
UK residents should obtain and bring with them the free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance. Also note that if/when the UK leaves the European Union that the EHIC card may no longer be valid. Please check this before departing. We advise that you always carry your insurance documents with details of the Emergency Medical telephone number for your insurance provider, and your policy number.
We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. In particular we ask that you remove any toilet tissue.
You can read our full policy here.
Working across international boundaries, and with various currencies means that the price of our trips can change overnight. We have, however, undertaken to guarantee that once you have paid your deposit the price of your trip is fixed. In this respect we urge you to book early to ensure that you receive the price advertised on our website. The website price may increase due to currency fluctuations, but we guarantee that the price advertised on the date of your booking will be maintained in your individual case.
Prices may vary depending on date.
|Code||Start date||Return date||Dates||Price||Status|
|BBS1||Sat 01 Feb||Sat 08 Feb||
Sat 01 Feb - Sat 08 Feb
|Price: £1725||Spaces available||Book|
|BBS2||Sat 21 Mar||Sat 28 Mar||
Sat 21 Mar - Sat 28 Mar
|Price: £1725||Spaces available||Book|