A skier who began with us several years ago as a beginner and who is now a great cross country skier. Well done, Jim!
Ski Skills: Be a better skier
Putting our new found skills into practice on a ski journey in the sunset. Glorious!
Venabu has the most fabulous food. Every day for breakfast, and for dinner it is buffet style and a case of eat as much as you wish. 
Ski Skills: Be a better skier
Morning warm up exercises to get those muscles moving. A vital part of preparing for your day on skis. 

Ski Skills: Be a Better Skier

Improve your cross country skiing

Do you want to improve your ski skills, and get more out of your ski holidays? Take on more challenging terrain and enjoy our long-distance journeys with confidence? Then this is the trip for you.

We are offering a unique and innovative approach to improving your 'classic' style cross-country skiing which will integrate outstanding ski coaching with ski specific pilates and movement analysis. You will have two highly experienced coaches who will analyse your technique and posture providing a greater understanding of cross country skiing. Pulling all of these elements together will without doubt enhance your performance. All our trips feature first class tuition, but this week is specifically aimed at improving your performance on skis while having a very good time!


  • Learn with a BASI Approved Nordic Ski School
  • Expert teaching and coaching with two BASI Instructors
  • A clear individual action plan to develop your 'classic'
  • A supportive environment with a relaxed atmosphere
  • Excellent venue with great facilities for teaching
  • Over 140km (87 miles) of cross country ski tracks
  • Excellent 'cross training' benefits for your other sports
  • Single rooms available without supplementary charge
  • No ski pass required, the tracks are free
  • Daily ski specific pilates session
  • Ski hire and all waxes included

This is to a course open to anyone who wants to get more out of their skiing, you do not need to be an athlete just someone who loves to ski! It is a holiday, but with the focus on helping you get the very best out of your sport. Our venue is Venabu, in Norway where each day we can ski right from the door of our hotel. This family run hotel is the perfect location for ski training with a variety of Nordic terrain, and a great snow record. The hotel's friendly atmosphere, good facilities, and fabulous food enable you to enjoy both top level ski coaching and a relaxed holiday mood. 

First class coaches

You will have two excellent coaches during this week. Ewen Martin, probably one of the most experienced cross country trainers to be found and qualified to the highest level. Engaging, entertaining and hugely knowledgeable he will without doubt improve your skiing. Your other coach focusing on identifing movement and strength issues is Joy O'Flanagan a qualified Physiotherapist, Pilates Instructor and Mindfulness coach. In addition Joy is also a BASI Nordic Instructor, and works full time in Norway in winter teaching cross country. You will be in great hands! Read full details of your coaches here.

Cross training benefits

Cross country skiing is an excellent sport that crosses over into your other sports and activities. In winter it is a great way for runners to keep form and stamina, while developing balance and endurance. One huge benefit is it allows you to very nearly mimic running with little or no impact, and it can actually help you address weaknesses and improve performance.

Very much enjoyed learning correct ski technique from highly regarded instructors. Very experienced in taking us on a learning journey to be a much improved skier.


Graeme, UK,  Feb 24


An excellent trip and course. Great instructors, venue, equipment, staff and a lovely group. Highly recommended.

- Simon, UK, 2024

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip and the company of my fellow skiers. I found the Be a Better Skier course to be innovative and conducive to learning. The movement coaching was excellent, allowing me to understand what I was aiming for on skies before venturing out onto the snow. Joy is an extremely supportive coach and I appreciated her gentle encouragement through my learning process. I have many bad habits to unlearn, but this course has set me on a path to becoming a much better skier.

- Sarah, UK, 2024

I am definitely now a better skier. Including Pilates as an integral part of our movement development was revelatory. An excellent trip all round.

- Lynne, UK, 2024

I have thoroughly enjoyed the 'Be a Better Skier' week at Venebu twice now. It is an excellent combination of XC ski tuition and body conditioning, delivered by two first rate instructors. Ewen and Joy went out of their way to make sure we all got the most out of the week and had plenty of fun.

- Paula, UK, 2023

Brilliant trip. Top-class instruction all delivered in a wonderfully supportive manner. Very well-thought out programme with dry skills activation after breakfast followed by several hours skiing and a tailored Pilates session to round off the day. I also appreciated the way our instructors held a twice-daily debrief with us to get our input and to make sure the programme was hitting the spot.

- Niamh, Ireland, 2023

I had a wonderful week thank you. The hotel in Venabu is a lovely relaxed base with a hugely varied clientele in a very Norwegian ski setting . Our wee group of seven gelled very well and we all gained from the expert instruction in different ways, targeted as it was at our individual levels of ski experience and fitness.

- Sue, Scotland, 2023

As a returning customer to Venabu, I knew what to expect: excellent Nordic skiing instruction (the main reason for choosing Tracks and Trails) and terrain, together with a warm family hotel environment. What I hadn't accounted for was the great camaraderie and technical improvement which comes when a group of like-minded people are able to share the experience. Best moments were the full-day mini "tour" where we got to practice ascending/descending techniques on the surrounding hills, as well as the opportunity to work-on our skating skills.

- Amadea, UK, 2023

I wouldn't hesitate in recommending 'Be a Better Skier' to anyone who wanted to improve their technique in a fun and friendly group environment. Ewen's tuition was five star. I've never felt so good after a week of XC skiing!

- Paula, United Kingdom, 2022

The trip was outstanding! The Fjellhotel were welcoming, with excellent food. The coaching was outstanding, and the combination of ski coaching and Pilates was excellent. I came away with an understanding of the impact of posture and core strength on skiing, and could really feel the impact. Ewan is an outstanding coach, and the core and balance work with Joy was perfectly judged. It was fantastic to feel that I was improving, whilst also out and about in such a beautiful area.

- Gail, England, 2022


  • This evening your ski coaches, who are fully qualified BASI Nordic Ski Instructors, will meet you at your hotel to join you for dinner. Due to the Norwegian tradition of eating early, we find that it is often more relaxing for your instructors to give you a full briefing after dinner or the following morning over coffee. Further details about travel are explained in the Arrival and Departure information under 'Trip Information'.

    The week ahead is about improving your 'classic' technique, but we want to reassure you that our aim is that your skiing experience is enjoyable and takes place in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. 

  • This morning you begin your journey that will end with you being a better more confident skier able to take on more challenging terrain. 

    In the morning we will meet in the waxing room where your coaches will explain anything you need to know about how to wax your skis for the day ahead. A 'waxing' ski is more efficient and faster than the 'fish scale' skis that are often used in the Alps and other countries where the temperature is less consistent than that to be found in Norway. Waxing, once you understand it, is a pleasure. The more effort and technique you put into waxing your skis will be reward with an enhancement of your performance. 

    You will then head outdoors and there will be warm up drills followed by a session where your coaches will analyse your skiing and provide an assessment of your current technique. 

    After lunch we will focus on understanding and developing the foundations of good skiing; good posture, balance and weight transfer. This will be done through off-snow exercises indoors, followed by a session on the snow when you can put it all into practice. 

    At the end of the afternoon there will be another indoor session looking at movement awareness followed by a recovery session to reaffirm your learning and prepare for the following ski day. Our daily recovery sessions will be ski specific Pilates which will help your performance and strengthen muscles required to improve your technique on skis. 

  • This morning after our daily ski waxing session we will head to the extensive network of tracks that Venabu offers, over 140 kms ( 87.5 miles) of prepared trails in varied mountain terrain, with summits up to 1400m (4592ft). 

    We wil be aiming to do a ski journey during which we will look at breaking down the classic ski techniques to make each aspect easily understandable. It is often a case of 'movement patterns' and recognising that by adopting the correct movement you are able to enhance your skiing. Many of us develop bad habits where our movement on skis is not as efficient or smooth as it could be to the detriment of our ski technique. 

    In the afternoon we will introduce you to specific exercises to improve these movement patterns that will cover the different techniques used for 'classic' style cross country skiing. 

    At the end of our ski season we will head indoors for a hot drink and a movement awareness and recovery session. 

  • After another of Venabu's fabulous breakfast we will begin our day with an indoor session. We will use training and ski coaching techniques to refine your understanding of the movement required on skis. Once we have warmed up through these drills and exercises we will head back to the snow. 

    Our aim during this outdoor session will be to video your skiing. We find that our guests really benefit from being themselves ski. We all have an idea in our heads about what we are doing, and how we are doing it, but often it is only brought home by seeing a film of your technique. We often find that the reaction is "I thought I was doing what you had suggested, but it's clear I am not!" Seeing yourself on film is hugely beneficial to improving your skiing and often any desired changes in technique can be achieved quickly once you have seen your performance. We are not talking 'Oscars' but it rarely fails in terms of improving your skiing! 

    In the afternoon we will analyses your video and identify the fundamental elements of your skiing that require further development. We will then give you an action plan which can be implemented during a further indoor session. Once we feel everyone has 'got it' we will head back outdoors to put it all into practice. 

    Once we finish outside we will lead what by now has become our daily movement awareness and recovery session. By this time you may well be ready to enjoy the sauna!

  • You should by now have a good understanding of how the ski wax works, and be enjoying our morning sessions in the cosy ski room at Venabu. Once you have prepared your skis for the day ahead we will once again take to the snow. 

    Today it's all about hills, both uphill and downhill. Yes, we know that this is often the most challenging aspect of cross country skiing and that is why we will be aiming to help you hone your technique. Skinny skis and lightweight boots are wonderful but, of course, they often do not appear to offer the support you may sometimes wish for. To be able to enjoy your skiing it is important you feel confident and comfortable on any type of terrain and for many skiers the 'downhill' and 'uphill' is the most challenging aspect. However, once these skills are mastered the world of skiing and ski journeys really opens up and you may find yourself signing up for more challenging and exciting trips. 

    During the morning we will take time to focus on all aspects of ascent and descent techniques. This session will include step turns, snow ploughs, snow plough turns and herringbone. We believe hills should be fun, and not feared!

    After lunch we will 'chill out' with a ski journey when you will be able to relax, enjoy the skiing, and consolidate your learning. 

    Once we return to our hotel, hot drinks all round, and our daily movement awareness and recovery session. Followed, of course, by sauna time!

  • This morning we will once again gather in the waxing room, and by now you should be confident with waxing technique and have realised that it is only a matter of a few minutes to get your skis ready for the snow. You may even be a total convert, and no longer see it as a 'dark art'. 

    Our goal today is to bring together everything you have learned in the course of this week. We will leave the hotel to explore the Venabu tracks with the aim of a full day of ski touring, around 20-25km (12-15 miles). The great thing about a journey is that you get time to settle into a rhythm and get in tune with your movement and 'feel' how the skis react to the way they are pressured. A proficient 'kick and glide' should be effortless or at least appear that way! Once you have the technique perfected you can be sure of travelling long distances with minimum effort. 

    We will enjoy our packed lunch somewhere in the wilds of Venabu, and at the end of the afternoon we will return to the hotel for hot drinks, and our daily movement awareness and recovery session with ski specific Pilates. 

  • Today is your final day of the trip and we will help you bring together all your new skills and technique in the course of the day. 

    After our morning waxing session and ski preparation we will head to Venabu's trials to enjoy a day of skiing that will hopefully involve your recognising your own development and improvements during the week. 

    In the course of the day we will help you to work on whatever specific aspects of your skiing have been identified as needing improvement during the week. 

    By the end the day we will have created a personal action plan that you can take away with you, that will include your own physical and mental training needs along with technical ski development. 

    This week is about improving but it is also about having fun on the snow, and our coaches will have done their utmost to ensure it has been an enjoyable journey. 

  • This morning you will transfer from your hotel at Venabu to Ringebu station for the train journey to Oslo airport. Many of our guests opt to spend an extra night in Oslo to enjoy this cosmopolitan city. You could, of course, choose to begin with a night in Oslo at the start of your journey. 

It is always our aim to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our guides/instructors to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment. 


We always aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, characterful, family run accommodation. Venabu is no exception in that we have visited the hotel for many years, and the staff are like old friends whom we love seeing each year. 

The fee is based on two people sharing a twin/double room, what we call a 'twin' means two single beds in one bedroom. All rooms are en suite with shower, and toilet, and are non-smoking. A single room is possible but requires early booking.

Venabu Fjellhotel is built in the typical Norwegian style, family-run and has a very relaxed and hospitable atmosphere. Venabu Fjellhotel is now Eco Certified, receiving an award from the Norwegian Government which recognises the work the hotel is doing to towards becoming a sustainable destination. 

The food is excellent and there is always a good selection of vegetables, salad and vegetarian options. We have opted for ‘self-made’ packed lunches everyday so we have complete flexibility with plans for our skiing day; lunches are made from the breakfast buffet, in the Norwegian tradition – a chance to experiment with all sorts of tasty sandwich fillings!

Venabu Fjellhotel


Venabu always captures the hearts of those who stay there. It is a simple hotel built in typical Norwegian style, family-run and with a very relaxed and hospitable atmosphere. It is without doubt the 'atmosphere' at Venabu that our guests love. A true cross country ski hotel where everyone 'lives and breathes' Nordic skiing. The meals are a highlight of the week, copious Norwegian style meals for both breakfast and dinner. Venabu is now Eco Certified, receiving an award from the Norwegian Government which recognises the work the hotel is doing to towards becoming a sustainable destination. 

Facilities include a superb dining room, with views to the Rondane Mountains, a bar, saunas, dedicated space for yoga/pilates classes, a fitness room, and TV lounge. There is also a large ski waxing room with ski hire and shop, as well as a souvenir shop. All rooms are en suite with shower, and toilet and are non-smoking.

Rooms at the Venabu Fjellhotel come in two categories with the East Wing being the standard rooms (included in our price) or rooms in the newer West Wing which are larger, but normally have twin beds rather than a double bed. If you are interested in upgrading, for which there will be a supplementary fee, then do contact us for prices. 

  • 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 to Norway via Oslo you have the choice of either taking the hotel bus or public train north to the fabulous landscape of Venabu.

    If travelling by train you will need a ticket from Oslo to Ringebu where you will meet a private taxi car/ small bus to take you to Venabu (this taxi is included in the trip price). 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. You can choose to collect tickets on the train or have them sent to your phone which makes taking the train north very easy. You should aim to catch the 1429 hrs train from Oslo Gardermoen (Lufthavn) airport to Ringebu, arriving at Ringebu at 1705 hrs.  

    The private hotel bus leaves Oslo Gardermoen (Lufthavn) airport only on Saturdays and goes direct to Venabu Fjellhotel. The bus corresponds with the SK804 flight from London Heathrow arriving at 1345hrs. Information for the bus platform number is given between 1330-1350 hrs at the bus information desk in the arrival area and aims to leave at 1430 hrs. If you would like to take the bus please contact us for availability. The cost of the bus is 280 NOK one-way (approximately £22). 

    Travelling to Oslo by Train: There are options for rail travel to Norway from all major European cities. For example from the UK you can overnight in Copenhagen, Denmark, however, there are many possibilities. 

    The easiest way to book is via www.raileurope.com or www.thetrainline.com. If you're travelling from the UK or US then take a look at the multi-day pass travel system provided by Eurail.

    If you would like to book each stage as an individual journey then using the UK to Copenhagen, Denmark, as an example here is how.

    Travel from London, England, to Brussels, Belgium using the Eurostar www.eurostar.com, these tickets can be purchased up to 6 months ahead of your travel date. From here you can book a train from Brussels, Belgium to Gothenburg, in Sweden, (Gotëborg) adding a stopover in Copenhagen, Denmark. For this you can use the German Railway website int.bahn.de. A full day on the train sees you arriving in Copenhagen for an evening walk around the city before dinner if you would like to use this as a stop over. 

    The final leg of your journey is from Gothenburg Central Station, in Sweden, to Oslo, Norway, and this can be booked using Vy the Norwegian rail network website www.vy.no.

    All the trains have Wi-Fi, charging points and a restaurant car.



    Trains or buses are expected to depart Ringebu at 0917 hrs, arriving at Oslo airport at 1301hrs, and a second train leaving Ringebu at 1133hrs, arriving at 1432 hrs. 

    The return airport bus leaves Venabu every Saturday at 0915hrs from hotel and aims to be at the airport by 1300 hrs. The cost of the bus is 280 NOK one-way (approximately £22). 

    Please ensure you book your ticket early as the trains can be fully booked and you will not be permitted to travel.

    You can, of course, take alternative trains both on the arrival and departure days but this may incur a small supplement if it requires a special journey by the hotel taxi and is out with the hours of the group transfer. 

  • When booking a trip we ask you to acquire insurance to cover you for the following:

    Mountain Rescue Insurance

    It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, mountain rescue, cost of repatriation and personal accident risks. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. The maximum altitude for any trip can be checked on the 'At A Glance' box on each trip page. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip, then please ask us for specific details.

    Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance

    You should also have insurance to cover trip cancellation and curtailment. Please note that your deposit and balance payments are non-refundable, unless it is Tracks and Trails who cancel the trip due to a failure to reach the required minimum numbers. In this case we will offer you a refund or the option of transferring to another trip if one is available. We also advise that you should have insurance which covers baggage loss/equipment damage as Tracks and Trails will not be held responsible for loss/damage to baggage/equipment.

    COVID-19 Insurance

    As well as medical cover, we recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance so that if you fall ill and test positive for COVID-19 prior to (or during) your trip, you will be financially covered for cancelling your trip. You should also consider booking a policy that covers you if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday because you have to self-isolate. If you choose to cancel, cancellation charges will be payable, but if the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges. Please read the clauses below detailing trip cancellation and curtailment.

    Travel Insurance covering COVID-19 is now available from a number of suppliers, Campbell Irvine, Trailfinders and Staysure. Please check their websites for the latest information on what is and isn't covered. It is likely that more companies will offer COVID related cover in the future.

    All of the above insurances are detailed in our Terms and Conditions

    If you are joining a trip in the UK helicopter/mountain rescue insurance is not required as this is a free service.

    For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.

  • Winter temperatures in Scandinavia are 'according to the locals' becoming warmer, which is why we now run trips in the months of January, and February, as well as the traditional ski touring months of 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, they will either be waxing skis or skintec skis. For this trip the ski 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 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' or 'skintec' skis 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 the hotel has some skating equipment available to borrow.  Note you still need to bring your 'classic' skis for this course, as 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. 

  • Your safety while skiing is our top priority. All skiers are requested to adhere to the Code of Conduct published by the International Ski Federation, or FIS. The aim is to make you, the skier, aware of how to avoid risks, take responsibility and act thoughtfully while on the cross-country ski tracks. 

    • Respect for others
      A cross-country skier must ski in such a manner that he/she does not endanger or
      prejudice others.
    • Respect for signs, direction and running style
      Trail marking signs must be respected on any trail marked with an indicated
      direction. A skier shall proceed only in that indicated direction and ski in the
      indicated running style.
    • Choice of trails and tracks
      On cross-country trails with more than one packed track, a skier should choose
      the right-hand track. Skiers in groups must keep in the right track behind each other. With free
      running style, skiers shall keep to their right-hand-side of the trail.
    • Overtaking
      A skier is permitted to overtake and pass another skier to the left or right. A skier ahead is not obliged to give way to an overtaking skier, but should allow a faster skier to pass whenever this is possible.
    • Encounter
      Cross-country skiers meeting while skiing opposite directions shall keep to their
      right. A descending skier has priority.
    • Poles
      A cross-country skier shall make the utmost effort to keep his poles close to his/her
      body when near another skier.
    • Control of speed
      A cross-country skier, and especially going downhill, shall always adapt his/her
      speed to personal ability and to the prevailing terrain and visibility and to the
      traffic on the course. Every skier should keep a safe distance from the skiers ahead. As a last resort, an intentional fall should be used to avoid collision.
    • Keeping trails and tracks clear
      A skier who stops must leave the trail. In the case of a fall, he/she shall clear the trail
      without delay.
    • Accident
      In case of an accident, everyone should render assistance.
    • Identification
      Everybody at an accident, whether witnesses, responsible parties or not, must
      establish their identity. 
  • When packing for a trip in the mountains it is important to have appropriate equipment and clothing. This kit list features items we believe are necessary for the weather you will encounter and accommodation you will be staying in. 


    We use 'classic' style cross country track skis for this trip. 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 and performance than 'fishscales'. For this trip the ski 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 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 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 the hotel has some skating equipment available to borrow.  Note you still need to bring your 'classic' skis for this course, as skate skis are not used for the 'classic' technique on which this course is based.

    If in doubt about the suitability of your own skis please contact us.

    • Wax Cork and Ski Scraper - only if using 'waxing' skis, these can be bought at the hire shop
    • Ski ties - to hold your skis together, useful but not essential
    • Waxes - if required, these will be supplied by Tracks and Trails
    • Rucksack - 20 to 25 litres with waist and chest strap. You need space to carry your kit, and an item of group kit - a narrow rucksack is best for training
    • Waist belt - if you have one these are usual for training sessions as they do not obstruct your back muscles. This should be in addition to a rucksack.
    • Rucksack waterproof cover or liner to keep contents dry
    • Water container - 1 litre, drink tubes and bottles stowed on the outside of your rucksack usually freeze in winter
    • Whistle


    • Waterproof jacket - essential, this must keep you dry during a day of continuous snowfall or at least as dry as any waterproof jacket ever keeps you!
    • Waterproof trousers - in case of heavy snowfall
    • Trousers - lightweight, windproof and warm 
    • Thermal top - long sleeves
    • Thin fleece - long sleeves
    • Waistcoat - fleece/wind stopper 
    • Gloves x 2 (one thick and one thin)
    • Over-mittens for colder days can be useful
    • Warm hat
    • Sun hat
    • Head/ear band 
    • Duvet jacket (or second warm layer)
    • Scarf or 'Buff' for neck
    • Socks - 2 or 3 pairs
    • Pilates - exercise clothing


    • Lip salve
    • Sunscreen - essential
    • Sunglasses - essential
    • Goggles - or Nordic Ski Visor
    • Snack bars/chocolate
    • Tissues - we recommend biodegradable bags to dispose of rubbish
    • Anti-bacterial hand wash

    Personal First Aid

    • Personal medication 
    • Blister plasters (e.g. Compeed)
    • Painkillers/anti-inflammatory
    • Glucose tablets/Energy gel
    • 2 x Rehydration sachets - eg Dioralyte
    • Throat lozenges
    • Antiseptic cream/spray


    • Mountain Rescue/Ski Insurance documents - compulsory
    • Passport
    • Credit card
    • Cash - Norwegian Kroner
    • GHIC - if travelling from UK for medical cover

    Additional Items

    • Slippers for use at accommodation
    • Clothing for use at accommodation
    • Hair dryer if required (it is not standard for Norwegian hotels to provide one)
    • Travel Kettle if required - though tea and coffee is available free of charge throughout the day
    • Swimwear for when sauna is available
    • Camera/ Book/Music
    • Toiletries – soap/shower gel; not all accommodation supplies these
    • Ear plugs - if room sharing
    • Small thermos for hot drinks
    • Short gaiters for snowy days
    • Head torch - plus spare batteries 

    **Supplementary snacks if you follow a gluten free or coeliac diet**

    Leaders are all first aid trained and carry their own first aid kit


  • 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 and safety of the group.

    The 'group kit' will be minimal and usually just a case of sharing a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. For example on a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it on to the next person. 

    If you are booking a trip in winter there will be a few additional safety items. These will be distributed 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.

  • 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 a minimum number of guests is required before we can confirm that your trip will go-ahead. The minimum and 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 your own room. Single rooms are often limited in supply so if you would like a single room we urge you to get in touch as soon as possible. For 2024 there is no supplementary payment for a single room. 

  • 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 often 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.

  • Food

    We encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for traditional food and where the menu reflects the best that the region provides.

    The hotels to there best to accommodate the dietary needs of our guest . If you are vegetarian this is not a problem as the hotel is used to being asked for vegetarian meals. If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance which will make you ill then the accommodation will cater for this as best they can but we would ask that you make it clear on your booking form of any food intolerance so that we can discuss your needs with the hotel at the earliest point possible. When using remote mountain huts the staff are usually able to offer breakfast and dinner which meet with the clients needs.  Packed lunches can be more problematic and so we do suggest that, if you do have a specific dietary requirement, you bring a range of suitable snacks to supplement the lunches.  If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet, gluten or lactose intolerance  contact us

    We request that you do not CHANGE your dietary requirements during the trip as we will have pre-ordered your meals.


    The countries we visit all have tap water which is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel or mountain hut 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. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for the country you are visiting, paying attention to your citizenship. 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 ask that you carry a paper copy of your passport with you on your trip. We suggest keeping your passport in your rucksack, and a paper copy of your passport in any luggage you might have. If your trip is without luggage transfers then keep a paper copy somewhere in your rucksack, separate from your original document. 

  • We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    Plug, Socket & Voltage by Country

    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. 

  • Tracks and Trails pays guides/instructors a fair and appropriate fee for their professional service. However, if you feel your guide/instructor has provided an excellent service that went 'above and beyond' then it is at the discretion of each guest whether to tip or not.  Guests will often give a tip of between 2 - 5 per cent of the total value of their trip. It is entirely up to you and any gesture will no doubt be appreciated no matter the size. 

  • 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.

    For UK residents travelling to an EU country you should obtain and bring with you a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance.

    If you have a UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) it will be valid until the expiry date on the card. Once it expires, you’ll need to apply for a GHIC to replace it. The UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) lets you get state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. 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. 

What's Included

  • Six days expert ski and movement coaching
  • Full board accommodation; breakfast, packed lunch, dinner
  • Individual action plan to support your ski development
  • Transfers to and from Ringebu railway station
  • Venabu's renowned Norwegian buffet on Wednesday evening
  • Use of the hotel saunas and gym
  • Ski hire and waxing
  • Free use of the ski trails, no pass required


What's Not Included

  • Insurance
  • Flights
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Optional activities; such as massage, dog sledding etc
Return to Search Print Trip Notes

Grade: Intermediate


At a Glance

From Price £2095
Holiday Type Cross Country Ski Instruction
Duration 8 Days
Group Size 4-8
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 1200m (3936ft)
Countries Visited Norway
Meet In Venabu, Norway
View all Cross Country Ski Instruction Holidays

Your coach, Ewen Martin, explains why this week is so great

See how the pro's do it

Why book with T&T?

  • Highly professional guides
  • Personal service guaranteed 
  • Attention to detail throughout
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Single rooms on request
  • No surcharge guaranteed
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