Everyone has a sledding hill in Norway. Ours is at the end of the street. Especially when it’s a sunny Winters day you’ll find all the neighbours up on the hill playing with their kids. Snowmen are made, jumps are moulded, and somehow in all the chaos, an advanced, intermediate and kiddies track appear.
It’s a good idea to survey the area – see where the jumps are…
…and the ditches, and to work out a direction to avoid any collisions with other sledders.
Sometimes you get it right and have a fast ride to the bottom.
And sometimes you get it wrong.
And there are some ideas which are not so good.
Tandem sledding is a little more daring, and with round sleds, half the fun is being out of control.
But sledding is certainly free family fun and it wouldn’t be a Norwegian Winter without it.
Sleds are rather cheap for the amount of fun you can have. You can get a butt-sled (just a piece of plastic that fits your butt) for about kr.20 (US$5) in the supermarkets. If you want the big round ones they are about kr.80 and the traditional shaped ones are from kr.80 and up. You will often see people on standing wooden sleds but these are more expensive (about kr.1500) as they are a bona fide means of transport in Norway – like a winter bike.
You can find sledding hills in every town in Norway. Just look for parks or walking tracks near forests or recreational parks. On Tromsø island the best sledding track is where all the walking tracks meet in the middle of the hill – a little up from Prestvannet lake – Charlottenlund. But really, if you find a compacted snow hill (you’ll sink in fluffy snow) then you can whip out your plastic board and go sleding.