Cross-country Skiing: Kvitavatn Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
Norway
Programmes:
Winter
Trip Code:
CXK
Activity Rating - Mixed
Multi-Level

You may be a total beginner or an experienced cross-country skier. Many destinations offer different level weeks or multi-grade skiing on the same week. Choose from ‘Classic’ and ‘Skate’ style holidays, or even a ski marathon race for the ultimate winter challenge. See below for more grading details.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Min age: 14

Trip Overview

Kvitavatn lies at nearly 1000m above the town of Rjukan, boasting superb views of Gausta (1883m), the highest mountain in southern Norway. There are endless skiing possibilities from the door, through forests, across the lake and through the magnificent Norwegian wilderness. Along with reliable snow, the quality and variety of routes both on and off track combine with excellent instruction to make this an ideal venue for all ability levels. 

At a Glance

  • 7 nights lodge with shared facilities
  • 5 days guided cross-country skiing
  • Group normally 4 to 14, per leader
  • Travel by private bus 
  • Countries visited: Norway

Trip Highlights

  • Expert instruction from our first class guides
  • Excellent off-track and track skiing options 
  • Welcoming mountain lodge accommodation in the heart of Telemark

Is This Trip for You?

At Kvitavatn we offer two grades of skiing most weeks except where stated, ranging from beginner grades to more advanced skiers. This varies depending on the week, please check the dates and prices section to ensure you are picking the right week.

For at least 4 of the 6 days skiing, you will be on full day tours, returning only at the end of the day's skiing. At Kvitavatn we offer the below skiing grades:

 Grade 1 Beginners Equivalent Activity Level - leisurely/moderate-level 2.  A week for complete beginners. Inevitably we start with the basics, including how to stop using the snowplough technique and how to turn. You will be on skis for at least 5-6 hours a day with a focus on tuition, getting comfortable on skis and building towards longer tours through the winter landscape.

Grade 2 Improvers Equivalent Activity Level – Moderate, level 3.  These weeks are ideal for those who have enjoyed at least one grade 1 holiday and grasped the basics. They offer tuition to refresh and improve technique and typically will ski a little further than Grade 1 weeks, and over more varied terrain. In some cases, these weeks are acceptable for newcomers to cross-country skiing. Beginners on these weeks should be very fit and proficient in sports that develop balance. Please contact us if you wish to book a Grade 2 holiday but have not skied before.

Grade 3 Intermediates Equivalent Activity Level- Moderate, Level 3.  A grade 3 week is ideal for those looking to push on, tackle some slightly steeper terrain and cover more ground each day. Typical groups will have a few weeks skiing behind them, be very comfortable with the basics and happy on longer day tours. There will still be tuition on these weeks, at the required level.

Grade 4 Advanced Equivalent Activity Level Moderate Challenging, level 4. Choose this level if you can tackle ‘ups and downs’ competently, manage a controlled snowplough descent, and if you want to ski at a lively pace. You should also be able to get up swiftly and easily by yourself after a fall. The mix of track and off-track skiing varies. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Adult min age:
14
Min group size:
5
Max group size:
24

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Kvitavatn

    Start Kvitavatn.

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Day 2

    Start of six days of cross-country skiing

    We prefer not to specify in advance where we will ski each day. This is to enhance the flexibility and adapt to weather and snow conditions and to some extent the ability of each group. The next few days is a guide. 

    Beginners will start on a flat area of land next to lodge where it’s safe to get a feel for the skis and the basic techniques. More experienced groups will head out into the local area, just to get our ski legs back.

    .

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 3

    Cross-country skiing around Kvitiavatn

    There is an endless range of skiing possibilities with 80km of varied tracks through forests and open country, as well as a good selection of downhill runs. The off-track touring is excellent and takes us above the tree line where there is a vast expanse of wilderness to explore - the summit of Ornenipa can be reached and the Heddersfjell moors can be explored, both at around 1300m. 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 4

    Venturing further afield

    By now beginners will have mastered the basics and the days are spent out exploring the rugged mountains and dense forest. More advanced skiers will venture into the stark wilderness above the treeline. Skiers of all abilities will fall in love with the sheer magnificence of the beautiful Norwegian winter landscape. 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day

    Today is free, you can either venture out with new friends to ski in the area, or you may choose to take to some downhill skis, or explore the forests by snowshoe. 

    Ski tuition is provided for those who do not wish to take advantage of the free day on this day.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 6

    Full day out enjoying the Norwegian wilderness

    Back on the skis today for another day exploring all the beauty this area has to offer. 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 7

    Final day on our skis

    A final day of skiing, this will be a full day out with a picnic lunch in the Norwegian wilderness. 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Kvitavatn

    End Kvitavatn.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Kvitavatn Fjellstoge

The traditional-style Kvitavatn Fjellstoge consists of a main building with cosy lounge and a large dining room with free Wi-Fi. Standard accommodation is in good quality, single-sex (unless occupying the whole room) 3 or 4 bunk rooms with washbasin in a separate building (Arnes House). Shower, sauna, toilets and drying room are shared. A small number of stylish twin bedded rooms in an adjacent building (Odds House) with private facilities, are also available at a supplement.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

Breakfast, packed lunch and evening meals are included.

The food provided includes ample buffet breakfasts, from which you make up your packed lunch, and self-service 3-course dinner. Tea and coffee are available all day at no extra charge. Vegetarians are extremely well catered for. Beer and wine can be purchased at the Fjellstue but alcohol in Norway is expensive due to high taxes with 0.5ltr [approx 1 pint] of lager costing about GBP 6 so many visitors bring their own supplies.  However Norway's strict licensing laws mean that you have to drink these in your own room, and only alcohol purchased from the Fjellstue may be consumed in the dining room and other public areas.

Transportation

Airport transfers are carried out by private bus provided by the Fjellstoge for its guests. As we can ski from the door it is highly unlikely there will be local costs for transport as part of the skiing itinerary at this centre. 

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

Kvitavatn is located at almost 1000m and at this height snow can lie from November to May, with fresh snowfalls at any time. Average daytime temperatures in winter range from 0º to - 10ºC, though they can fall as low as - 25ºC. At Christmas and New Year daylight hours are limited, with about 6 hours of good light plus twilight. By mid-February this has increased to about 8 hours and by mid-March there are about 12 hours of good daylight. At all times of the winter you can hope for periods of clear bright weather and in February and March it can become surprisingly warm in the sun. Equally, at all times you need to be ready for the occasional stormy day. 

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 8 days

We normally use the scheduled services of Norwegian Airlines or SAS (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

There are two international airports in Oslo. The group fly into Oslo Lufthavn Gardermoen.

Travelling land only: 8 days starting and ending in Kvitavatn

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Kvitavatn in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Due to the remote location of the hotel, we strongly recommend you join the group transfer at Oslo Airport.

 

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it. Those arriving from London on non‐group flights should read the airport transfer section below for information on reaching the start point. Please check with the Exodus office. 

Location start:
Kvitavatn
Location end:
Kvitavatn

What to Take

Essential Equipment

  • Small rucksack to carry the items you will need during the day.

Outdoor/winter clothing as follows:

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers (ideally in a breathable fabric)
  • Gaiters
  • Warm fleece (2 thin fleeces that can be layered over one another are better than one thick one)
  • warm hat or balaclava
  • 2 pairs of gloves, so you can change them during the day if they get wet
  • Good quality base layers top and bottom, are essential.

You will be skiing in mountain weather so extra layers may be needed from December to the end of February. In March and April days are usually warmer and sunnier so fewer layers may be necessary however windproof outer layers are essential throughout the season.

Other essentials:

  • Large capacity water bottle
  • A small head torch (for December and January) may be useful 
  • Ski goggles (if you have them)
  • Sunglasses
  • High factor sun cream
  • Trainers/comfortable shoes for the evenings.
  • A knife and plastic bags or containers may be useful for lunch
  • Thermos flask for tea/coffee, which you can fill up at no charge

Note For Christmas and New Year: It is common for many of the Norwegian guests at hotels to dress smartly for the evenings over the festive period. While this is entirely optional, you may like to bring some smarter clothes for the evenings.

Optional Equipment

If you plan to do the optional snowshoeing you will need to bring walking boots with you. 

Practical Information

Passport

Norway

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Norway

No visa required for British passport holders.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Vaccination

Norway

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance.

Local Time

Norway's Timezone:
Europe/Oslo CEST (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

Norway's Electricity:

Standard 2 pin European plugs.

230 Volts standard European adapter. 

Money

Norway's Currency

The national currency of Norway is the Norwegian Kroner (NOK), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 10.8 to the UK£ and 8.4 to the US$.

Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.

ATM Availability

ATM facilities are available at the banks in Rjukan and at Oslo Airport. 

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

We advise you to take local currency with you. Cards are accepted at the lodge.

Wax for skies

You will be expected to buy and apply wax to your skis. The wax required depends on the outside temperature, with different waxes ranging from 40-70NOK for one pot. You will also need a synthetic scraper and a cork for applying and removing the wax. You may wish to share this waxing kit, which can be purchased from the Fjellstoge reception.
Skis also need to be returned cleaned and wax free. Failure to do this could result in a cleaning fee of 45NOK. Solvents for cleaning are available locally.

Optional Excursions

Downhill skiing at Gaustablikk ski area: allow around 355NOK per day for a ski pass.
There is also a free bus to the nearby town of Rjukan and Vemork, the Norwegian Industrial Worker's Museum. 

Tipping

Although optional, a tip for the leader at the end of the trip is greatly appreciated. The sum you choose to give is entirely personal, but as a reasonable starting point, we suggest a contribution EUR 15-20 per person for the leader.

Responsible Tourism

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

Our base for the trip is Kvitavatn Fjellstoge, a modern lodge that is run by locals that uses local produce wherever possible. Our small group size allows us to support smaller hotels and restaurants that do not usually benefit from mass tourism, bringing a positive impact on the overall employment levels and economy in the region.

Our selection of alternative winter activities seeks to make the most of the natural environment in its pristine state, rather than changing it. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and dogsledding are best suited to remote wilderness areas and the development of these alternatives is key to the long-term survival of many mountain communities.

Our cross-country skiing holidays in general avoid large alpine ski areas, and are less dependent on snow cannons, graded pistes and ski lifts, creating significantly less environmental impact than alpine skiing holidays. Using skis that are longer and lighter than alpine skis, our cross-country day tours explore the magical scenery and tranquillity of the natural winter environments. Journeys further afield may utilise public transport and the local economy benefits from our groups purchasing supplies and ski hire directly.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

Important Notes

When issuing TNs, please insure under Group/Staff Section it reads: 'there will be up to 14 people per leader. 

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.