Life along the ‘løyper’
February 27, 2011
Ski trails are called løyper in Norwegian, and around 2,500 kilometers of them surround the Norwegian capital. Many of those around Holmenkollen, in the hills above Oslo, are being used in the ongoing FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, and they currently have a life all their own.
As the world’s best skiers continue to race over them this week, teams of volunteer “course guards” are doing their best to preserve them for the athletes while also accommodating hoards of spectators. That includes lining the løyper with fir branches, set out in nothing less than what one course guard called “military precision.”
Lots of snow and consistently cold temperatures have helped crews preparing the trails, but the weather hasn’t only been nice.
Meanwhile, some hardy spectators and committed sports fans have pitched tents in the woods and are camping out for the duration of the world championships.
It’s a cold and less-than-comfortable existence, but a long tradition at Norwegian ski races.