A major storm that hit much of central and southern Norway hard over the weekend cut off most traffic over the mountains and disrupted a long string of ferry and ship sailings. It also stranded scores of skiers taking part in a major skiing event over the Hardanger mountain plateau.
State meteorologists had issued firm warnings last week that the storm was on its way and would bring almost hurricane-strength winds and blinding snow. They even went so far as to say that “this is not the weekend to head for the mountains for a ski trip, or at all.”
Around 142 skiers taking part in a commemoration of explorer Roald Amundsen’s famed expedition over Hardanger in 1896 defied the warnings and assembled at Haukeliseter on Friday morning. Many did end up backing out, with only 89 of the participants setting off and promptly getting stranded Friday night. A few eventually made it to the finish line at Garen in Eidfjord, but 63 others bailed out along the way or were disqualified, reported newspaper Bergens Tidende.
The coastal voyage Hurtigruten, meanwhile, cancelled all its departures between Bergen and Trondheim on Saturday and strong winds also hit as far south as Oslo. The storm eased during the day on Sunday.