Cross country ski-ing

A saying in Norway is that Norwegians are born with skis on their feet. It is true that cross country skiing is an integral part of the Norwegian experience–a fun, healthy family activity that is not too challenging or expensive. Here are some basic tips to get you started! 

What equipment do I need and where do I buy it?

Large sport stores such as XXL, Anton Sport and G-Sport sell complete ski packages including skis, poles and boots. Used skis can be purchased at second hand ski equipment fairs (usually in the autumn), at OIS, local ski clubs and online (

Ski length, width and stiffness must be adapted to the skier’s height and weight.  You can choose between wax skis and non-wax skis. The latter have become a really good alternative for most people, and save a lot of time and extra effort. It is, however, important that stiffness of the skis is correct–sport stores can offer advice on this.

Where can I learn to ski?

OIS organises ski schools both for kids and adults during the winter. Please contact our Community Activities Manager, John Town, for more information. You will also find skiing classes through the Ski Foundation “Skiforeningen” and commercial schools such as Learn2Ski.

Where can I ski?

There are many areas around OIS where the terrain is well prepared for cross country ski-ing. Skiforeningen and the municipalities prepare tracks as soon as the snow falls and they are well marked (red painted ribbons on trees) with details of destination and distance (in km). In addition, these tracks often lead to a nice café for refreshments!

Good nearby starting points, accessible by car, bus or tram can be found here.

You will find details of all of the tracks, when they were last maintained, as well as forest cafés on Skiforeningens internet site.

Jacqueline Tollaksen