Picture perfect ‘påske’ holidays

Most of southern Norway basked in sunshine during the Easter holiday week known as “påske,” perfect for skiers who headed outdoors, but it was stormy in the north. State highway officials were forced to close many roads in Troms County, which also has been plagued by avalanches.

Skiing was pretty close to perfect in Nordmarka on the north side of Oslo during the Easter week, like here over the frozen lake called Trehørningen. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

Skiing was pretty close to perfect in Nordmarka on the north side of Oslo during the Easter week, like here over the frozen lake called Trehørningen, west of Hakadal. It was stormy and dangerous, though, in northern Norway. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that a fear of more avalanches forced closure of highways between Sjursnes and Skarmunken, Grøtjord and Tromvik and Breivikeidet and Hov on Friday, and the road through Kaperdalen was also closed because of the danger of downslides. The road between Akkarvik and Langjordbotn was blocked by a slide that already crashed down on it.

The road closure between Hov and Breivikeidet east of Tromso led to the  cancellation of ferry service between Breivikeidet and Svensby, disrupting access to the popular Lyngen Alps area. The road between Rennelv and Fornes was also closed Friday morning but later reopened.

The closures left some communities such as Breivikeidet isolated as residents in and around Tromsø had a fairly rough Easter holiday week. Snow and winds persisted through Thursday and into Friday morning, with little relief in sight. State meteorologists predicted more snowfall well into next week.

Another major avalanche was reported at Straumsbukta in Troms Friday afternoon, but no one believed to have been caught in it. Police were struggling to keep up with all the emergency calls coming in during the past week, which included an avalanche that’s believed to have killed three men on Senja. Searchers still had been unable to recover their bodies as of Friday afternoon, and were considering the use of dynamite to get through the huge mounds of snow.

Hundreds of skiers took advantage of extra bus service set up by local ski association "Skiforeningen" on Tuesday. The destination was Ringkollen, northwest of Oslo, and most ski the roughly 30 kilometers back to the city. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

Hundreds of skiers took advantage of extra bus service set up by local ski association “Skiforeningen” on Tuesday. The destination was Ringkollen, northwest of Oslo, and most passengers ski the roughly 30 kilometers back to the city. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

Sunny in the south
Meanwhile, in southern Norway, the sun continued to shine brightly, leading to what many were calling the best Easter holiday season in years. Temperatures remained cold, falling well below freezing at night, but warming up with the sun during the day. Mountain resorts were doing brisk business and several were reporting record revenues.

“We’re enjoying the best Easter ever, in terms of revenues,” Sture Pilegård of the Hovden resort in the mountains at the northern end of Setesdalen told NRK. “Right now we have around 3,500 guests out on the slopes.”

“It’s been just fantastic,” echoed Øystein Tjørhom at Tjørhomfjellet in Sirdal. “This looks like our best season so far.”

Easter holidaymakers didn’t need to leave the capital to enjoy skiing in the local hills or catching some rays along the waterfront. The skiing also remained excellent in the forests called marka that surround Oslo, and local crews for the city and the ski association (Skiforeningen) were keeping trails groomed.  Operators at the popular marka lodge Kikitstua reported lots of customers throughout the day on Thursday, and Skiforeningen also set up extra ski busses to Ringkollen on Tuesday, which were packed.

Some clouds were rolling in on Friday and there was a chance of fresh snow on Saturday in the Oslo are and along the southern coast.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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