With 35 slopes and a total of 35 km preparated pistes, Gausta Skisenter is already among the biggest in Norway. Yet with a potential vertical drop of a full 1650 meters Gausta and Gaustatoppen have what it takes to become a ski resort in a league of its own.
– The goal is to become one of Norway’s five largest ski resorts and mountain destinations, says Tom Majlund Nielsen, one of the driving forces behind the destination’s strong development. New Gausta Skisenter is a merger of former Gaustablikk Skisenter and Gaustatoppen Skisenter. With the whole infrastructure moving in the same direction, ambitions are higher than ever.
– This year we are working to build the infrastructure better than before and to maintain an even higher standard. We broaden the slopes, update the lifts and increase our snow production properly, says Tom.
– Five days. That’s all it takes to get snow all the way from Gaustablikk to Hovdestaul this winter – it just needs to be cold enough. All thanks to the improvement of the snow production facility. The next step in the development is to expand the lift system with new lifts and new slopes.
– By expanding the system westward towards Gaustatoppen we can connect the ski system with Gaustatoppen and Gaustabanen, says Tom.
For the 2019–2020 season, a new tow lift will be ready as a first step in pairing up the ski system with Gaustatoppen. By getting higher up the mountain, you get a new long run down to Fyrieggexpressen valley station.
And Linken, which previously connected the two systems together is now expanding to become full-scale slopes.
– The Gausta ski resort is already extensive. When the new lifts lead up to Gaustatoppen and Gaustabanen you’ll be able to take a whole day to get through the system from Vatnedalen to Gaustatoppen and back with time for breaks, says Tom Majlund Nielsen.
Joining Gausta’s ski system with the Rjukan valley has long been a dream. One idea is to restore the 1939 downhill track all the way from Gaustatoppen down to Dale, a vertical drop of a full 1650 meters, making it longer than Wengen and steeper than Kitzbühel.
– We are already setting up slopes that meet international competition standards. So the entire ski system has fantastic potential.