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Photo: Sophie Stevens/VisitNorway.com

Lifestyle

Stay safe on the summits in winter

The Norwegian mountains are perfect for exhilarating winter skiing and hiking. But they’re also demanding. Follow these tips to stay safe.

If you’re heading to the peaks in Norway, make sure you’re well prepared. Here are Visit Norway's recommendations. 

Always check the weather and snow conditions before setting out

Check for avalanche warnings at varsom.no/snoskredvarsling
You can use the RegObs app from the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate to obtain and share information about local conditions and download an ascent map.
RegObs for iPhone here»»
RegObs for Android here»»
Check the weather at Yr.no or Storm.no

The weather in Norway is not for the faint-hearted. Be prepared. Photo: Thomas T. Kleiven/VisitNorway.com

Take an avalanche course

It’s important to learn to assess the risk of avalanche before tackling the summits. On an avalanche course you learn to read the signs of avalanche risk, how to use avalanche beacons to signal where you are if you are caught in an avalanche and to rescue companions caught in one. The Norwegian Trekking Association offers avalanche courses throughout Norway.

Use local guides

Find the best and safest summit routes in the area by hiring a local ski guide. Local ski guides have expert knowledge about snow quality and terrain, which will reduce the risk of you being caught in an avalanche or exposed to other dangers.

Norske Mountain Guides provides qualified mountain guides who will make sure your trip matches your abilities.
Website: nortind.no/no/om/godkjente-vegledere  

Nyt toppturen og vær trygg. Her fra Vesterålen. Foto: Pete Oswald/VisitNorway.com

Dress for the mountains

Multiple layers of clothing make it easier to regulate body temperature.

  • An innermost layer of wool will keep you cool on the way up and warm on the way down.
  • An intermediate layer of wool or fleece helps you stay warm.
  • A light, windproof and waterproof jacket and trousers will keep the wind out.
  • Wear sturdy boots suitable for summits. Should be comfortable and robust.
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses that protect against the strong sun in the mountains.

Do you know the mountain code?

  1. Plan your trip and tell someone where you are going.

  2. Adapt your trip to your ability and the conditions.

  3. Pay attention to weather and avalanche warnings.

  4. Be prepared for bad weather and cold, even on short trips.

  5. Bring the equipment necessary to help yourself and others.

  6. Choose safe routes. Recognize avalanche terrain and uncertain ice.

  7. Use a map and compass. Always know where you are.

  8. Turn around in time; there’s no shame in turning back.

  9. Conserve energy and seek shelter if necessary.

Emergency numbers

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centers (JRCC) coordinate all search and rescue operations on the mountains.

51 51 70 00 – JRCC South Norway
75 55 90 00 – JRCC North Norway

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Last edited: January 24, 2019

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