Five ski spots perfect for escaping the crowds

Asbjørn Eggebø Naess picks his favourite places for enjoying guaranteed glorious isolation

Asbjørn Eggebø Naess

Asbjørn goes deep in search of ski solitude| photo Bard basberg/sgn skis

1. Digermulen, Norway

The Lofoten area of Arctic Norway is not the busiest, as you may have guessed! No lifts, just amazing ski touring, skiing and stunning views. I have so many good memories from all the times I have been staying in this village, and exploring the mountains and islands here. I must have been at least 10 times. In my view, it has the best skiing by boat there is. I don’t like sea to summit for the sake of it. But here, so far north, the boat access is incredible. Hire Tor Henrik Larsen (+47 9757 9640) to guide you.

2. Serre Chevalier Valley, France

Hugely underrated, and much quieter as a result, just because the lifts are not as shit-hot as they are in some resorts. In my view, this is the best skiing in Europe when it’s snowing. Great trees if the weather is closed in or dumping, and then when it clears and is sunny you can always just drive over the col to La Grave. Hotel La Maison du Bez (hotel-dubez.com) is the best and most authentic place to stay. Oh yes, and there are quite a few Swedes around, with Wednesday being the big party night!

3. Øksendal, Norway

This area in Sunndal is close to where I live and has great glaciated ski touring. It’s a low valley (around 200m) with high peaks of 1700m. If you want to pack multiple routes into a day there are some great lower options too at around 1200m. It feels like every slope is 30°, with terrain that perfectly traps the snow, and no people around. I’ve been here at least 40 times in the last three years alone and it never disappoints. Stay at the Phillips Hill lodge (phillipshaugen.no)
at the foot of the mountains.

4. Haines, Alaska

One of the best if you want to get away from the crowds, so long as you have a heli. I’ve been here a handful of times, and was lucky enough last time to be filming for Supervention, with Field Productions. We used to joke that a good trip would be if everyone stayed alive… and out of jail! The weather patterns do mean there is a lot of down time, where you have to stay in, try not to drink too much or do anything too crazy, and wait for the storm to pass. Go in March and give yourself at least 10 days.

5. Isfjorden, Norway

Just like the Øksendalen, this has all the up you need, with skiing from less than 200m altitude and peaks at 1400 or 1500m. So it’s perfect for multiple skinning routes in a day if you’re fit! There are lots of good east-facing and south-facing slopes, nice snow, plus great views, as you can ski all the way down to the huge fjord below. It’s more famous in Norway than some on this list, but never too busy. It’s just known as a great local hill. And it’s one of my favourites from the secret(ish) spots here. Hire Björn Kruse (+47 4141 9682) to guide you.  FL

Asbjørn is sponsored by Haglöfs, and was talking at the brand’s Arctic Weekend.

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