During my Erasmus Exchange from University I was lucky to spend a full winter season living in Oslo. I could be on the slopes under an hour after rolling out of bed, this led to some serious slope time. In this review of Oslo Winterpark snowboarding in Norway, I’ll share my ‘local’s’ knowledge of the ski area.
Whilst not being the most expansive of ski areas, Oslo Winterpark offers something for beginners, intermediates, pros, families, freestylers and freeriders. There is enough variety to help push you to land that next trick and improve your style and technique. It’s simply a great place to spend time carving up the slopes with your buddies.
Oslo is unlikely to be at the top of your resort bucket list when it comes to chasing the highest peaks, guaranteed POW and all that good stuff. However, it’s time to re-consider your preconceptions, particularly for the freestylers among you.
With cheap direct flights to Oslo, and a flight time of 1 hour 45 from the UK, Oslo Winterpark makes for a fantastic location for a weekend shred. Alternatively stay a bit longer, after all a season pass costs from around £200 and grants you access to both Oslo Winterpark and Varingskollen (a smaller resort just outside the city).
Introducing in Oslo Winterpark snowboarding
In the UK many people think of Norway as the land of expensive beer. This is true, but read this review of Oslo Winterpark snowboarding in Norway, to find out what you’re missing out on if you let expensive pints keep you away.
Something for everyone
This capital city resort is only 20 minutes from central Oslo, and is the biggest ski zone in the Oslo area. It has something for everyone, from the easy green slopes in the beginners’ area, to wide blues, and exciting red and black slopes.
Oslo Winterpark offers a variety of challenges across 18 runs with a vertical of 381 metres. The ski area has 11 lifts, of which two are 4-seater chairlifts and one is a new 6-seater express chairlift. It is situated 531 metres above sea level and has state of the art snow production on every run. The season normally runs from early December to the middle of April.
All the slopes at Oslo Winterpark are floodlit, with evening opening until 10pm five days a week. Perfect for student snowboarders that have difficulty getting out of bed before noon. The ski area has all the facilities you’s expect of a ski resort, including ski school, equipment rental, ski repair, and café etc.
How expensive is Oslo winterpark snowboarding?
Before we go any further in this review of Oslo Winterpark snowboarding in Norway, I’ll give you the lowdown on how deep a hole Oslo will try to burn in your pocket.
- Adult (16-64) – 400 NOK (Roughly £40)
- (Child 7-15)- 320 NOK (about £32)
- Senior (65+) – 320 NOK (£32 again)
- One Time Key card- 50 NOK (FIVER)
- Weekday season pass (Monday to Friday) 2250-2500 NOK (approx £250)
- Season Pass (no restrictions) 3250- 3500 NOK (approx £350)
Renting snowboard, boots and bindings costs £80-100 per week, so if you have it, take your own!
Five adult skiing or snowboarding lessons cost 1990 NOK (Around £200) during peak season. Outside of peak times it costs a little less, you can also save by booking in bulk. Student and kids lessons are a little cheaper.
Oslo is one of the five most expensive cities to live in the world, so it’s no surprise that accommodation is going to be a stinger. My recommendation would be finding an apartment, house or flat, especially if you are travelling as a family or sizable group.
Source it privately or through the power of Airbnb, this is a much more cost effective way to go about your trip than booking hotels. If you have the money then check out some of the best hotels and guest houses in Oslo here.
Oslo has an impressive transport infrastructure, I would highly recommend getting a Oslo pass when you visit the capital. This will cost around £150 for a week, however it will grant you access to all transport links and options within the city plus provide discounts on local attractions and restaurants.
There are discounts for children, students and seniors. Find out more here.
Pubs and Bars
Oslo has a range of pubs and bars that offer a very good night out and plenty of space to rest those aches and pains after a hard day shredding. However, each pint costs 80-100 NOK (£8-£10- ouch!). So if alcohol goes hand in hand with your boarding, perhaps Oslo isn’t the place for you.
Oslo has a vibrant mix of restaurants. Everything ranging from authentic Norwegian – if you have a nose for the fishy such as cured herring and smoked salmon this will be right up your street – to Thai Takeaway and everything in between.
For a simple culinary experience, places like Peppes Pizza and Egon Restaurant offer a reasonably priced a-la-carte menu. A favourite of mine was all you can eat pizza for only £15 – a record low in Oslo. The Rice Bowl is the stand out noddle stop in the city.
If you fancy a cheap steak, check out Jensens Bofhus. It’s not going be top of the range but it also won’t bankrupt you. Check out some of the best value places to eat in Oslo here, as well as Norway’s top 10 eateries.
Review of Oslo Winterpark snowboarding
Now you know the cost, let’s continue this review of Oslo Winterpark snowboarding in Norway. I will look at all levels of rider, and types of snowboarding to give you a broad view of what snowboarding at Oslo Winterpark is like.
The Winterpark features a friendly green slope which is perfect for those attempting their first forays into winter adventures. Ski lessons are held here but there is plenty of space for instruction from friends or family. Lessons are pricey so it is not the best spot for complete beginners.
Progression is natural in this capital city resort, after building confidence on the green, you quickly more onto the adjacent blue slopes. These runs are packed with features to hit, but you can easily skip them until you are ready. Trust me it won’t be long until you’re hitting those kickers.
There are a number of blue and red runs at Oslo Winterpark that are great for perfecting your skills and picking up carving. For enthusiastic intermediates there are plenty of manageable features on the blue runs such as table tops, boxes and medium to larger sized jumps.
The red run, to the left of the black slope, is great for intermediate boarders. It’s perfect for picking up serious speed without having to cope with too nerve-racking a gradient.
For the advanced snowboarder Oslo Winterpark is a case of taking on the park features to land poked out, gnarly tricks. On offer are a variety of rails, tubes, boxes and jumps. There is also a 6 foot half pipe and the formidable Olympic Grade Superpipe.
To complement these there is also a full on slopestyle course that runs parallel to the red and black runs. The black offers advanced riders the chance to hurtle down the steepest run of the resort and to enjoy making some sweet turns at speed.
Freestyle snowboarding at Oslo Winterpark
Oslo Winterpark has a very large park for a resort of its size – one of the biggest in Scandinavia. So despite the ski orientated imagery you will find on their website, you’ll soon notice that the snowboard/skier split is often skewed towards the sideways inclined.
There is a fully fledged slopestyle course, and Europe’s only Olympic standard Superpipe that is open to the public. No wonder Norwegians are so good at freestyle – if you want to pick up a sponsor honing your skills snowboarding in Oslo Winterpark is not a bad idea.
Oslo Winterpark’s Superpipe hosted the prestigious Winter X games in spring of 2016, and you’ll often see pro snowboarders honing their skills here. So freestyle fans can view Oslo Winterpark as a place to improve while also watching their heroes.
Freeride snowboarding at Oslo Winterpark
When I was in Oslo early in the season was the best time to take on the sought after tree runs. There are a few good routes of varying length and difficulty, all unofficial of course. If you can find one – and keep it quiet – you can easily have fresh lines for a few hours, and sometimes even days due to the exceptional snow quality.
I would recommend finding the mountain bike trail off to the right at the top of the green slope, as riding a wall/bern on a snowboard is particularly fun. As I say though, keep it quiet because as they become popular, you’ll soon find these runs get shut down for safety reasons and all that cotton wool stuff.
Off to the left of the green slope is a small boardercross track, which is great fun to race your friends down and ultimately determine who is the fastest, or more simply whose board is longest.
Family skiing & snowboarding in Oslo
For family holidays from the UK the allure of Oslo Winterpark is somewhat limited. The high prices make it a costly trip for any average sized family. But if you live there, or will be visiting Oslo anyway, it is a great place to learn and improve and small enough that you won’t lose each other.
While Oslo Winterpark doesn’t have that ‘ski holidays’ infrastructure you get in the Alps, it has a lot of features geared towards families. Including ‘kiddies’ slopes with a dedicated drag lift and innovative slalom obstacles. The local kids certainly love it.
Further afield, Norway does offer some great family ski holidays. For better value and a more complete family experience I would recommend resorts such as Hemsedal or Trysil.
Review of Oslo Winterpark snowboarding: Conclusion
Oslo Winterpark is easy to reach from the UK and if you are into freestyle you’ll love it. It would also be great for enthusiastic intermediates and advanced snowboarders. But with only one beginner slope and Norwegian prices, it’s perhaps not the best place for newbies or families.
To conclude this review of Oslo Winterpark snowboarding in Norway, i’d say this capital city resort is well worth a visit. It would make a great short break, or be the perfect day out as part of a visit to Oslo. Personally, I’d love to return for a couple of days at the start of a Norwegian snowboarding road trip.