Text/photo: Simen Berg
180 kilometers north of Oslo, you find Hafjell, right by the Olympic city of Lillehammer. The host of the 2014 Mountain Bike World Championships.
Hafjell Bike Park already has a legendary status among the top downhill riders from the 2012 and 2013 World Cup events. Steve Smith named it “the best berms in the business”, and introduced #BermBoner. That tells you a lot, add to that Peaty’s remark from 2012, when he had to go back to the 90ies to remember a WC track that he liked as much as this.
But Hafjell is far from just racing. You can easily have a laugh on your hardtail. From top to bottom: Moetown – Parkløypa – Nameless – Ekspressen – Brattlykkja – Dessert
For more challenging singletrack, take Gressløypa or Old School / New School or NM-løypa and add Råbølstien.
If you like airtime, Rollercoaster is a lot of jumps, combined with “the best berms in the business”. Just ask Makken.
Singletrack mecca as well
The network of trails for singletrack biking on a trailbike from the top of the lift is amazing. Birken (Birkebeinerrittet) and Ultrabirken trails and gravel roads are parts of what the Hafjell Plateau offers.
View/downoad gps tracks from trailguide.no: Hafjell -Hitfjell-Kriksfjell-Reinsfjell and Hafjell-Nevelfjell
The trails at Skeikampen only 30 minutes away, are some of the most flowy in Norway.
Unfortunately it seems like the Hafjell owner, Alpinco, with shareholders Pasab (Petter Stordalen/Buchardt) and Investinor are eager to shut Hafjell Bike Park down. With hardly any promotion at all and finishing off the season before they even have the “Closing weekend”, the most profitable weekend of the year, it seems obvious that the main goal is to make sure that the bike park loses money.
For one thing, closing the day after the World Championships Downhill final is a bad idea. All riders, media and crew have their first “day off” of the season. After they sleep off the hangover, they go riding. With cameras. Also the weekdays before the Masters Championships, no lifts are running.
Hafjell in winter time
Obviously, the 1994 Olympics venue for Alpine skiing (snowboard was hardly invented back then) is a winter destination as well. But not for me, as I don’t care much for the slopes. But if you do, Hafjell is among top ten in Norway for carving.
Here’s Moetown and Parkløypa for you:
Hafjell eating and nightlife
Skavlen on top of the gondola serves lunch, I really enjoy the Pulled Pork with coleslaw. Waffles are OK, and although they don’t have a coffe machine, the Americano is OK.
The only place for afterbike beer is Woody’s in the base area. They also serve sad burgers and coffee not worth while.
At night there are no other options than going to Lillehammer, unless it’s the opening/closing weekend. Then there’s a party above the bike shop.
There are three major booking options. This far none of them seem interested enough to offer bundled packages with lift pass/accommodation/bike rental. Make sure that the place you book isn’t far away on the top of the mountain.
- hafjellbooking.com (not working properly at the moment – Aug. ’14)
Travel to Hafjell
Driving from Oslo takes 2 hours and 15 minutes on the main road between Trondheim and Oslo/Gardermoen Airport.
The train stops at Hunderfossen and Lillehammer – NSB.no (note that bringing bikes on the train could be a hassle)
The bus stops in Øyer, right by Hafjell. NOR-WAY.no (note that bringing bikes on the bus could be a hassle)
Scandinavian Bike Park Tour
If you’re already travelling far, add Swedish Åre Bike Park and Järvsö Bergscykelpark to your Great Scandinavian Bike Park Tour. For natural trails, Drammen Skisenter/Aronsløypa (half hour from Oslo) is worth while as well.
Also in the Hafjell/Øyer/Hunderfossen area
– Hunderfossen amusement park – an awesome place for all ages.
– Lillehammer Olympic Bob & Luge Wheelbob, also at Hunderfossen
– Lilleputthammer - mostly for kids below 10 years.
Here’s my first ever action shot in Hafjell Bike Park. The guru himself, Snorre Pedersen: