The project to widen the trails around Lake Kvitåvatn began last year. The next step was taken in summer 2019 and will result in nine kilometres of well-prepared cross-country ski trails around Lake Kvitåvatn for winter 2019/2020.
The project, entitled “Et sprekere Gaustaområde”, was launched in autumn 2018. Six kilometres of illuminated trails were built, from Bygget to Vatnedalen. The new trails are around six metres wide and go through softly undulating terrain alongside Lake Kvitåvatn. The width allows cross-country skiers and pedestrians alike to use the trail between Bygget and Vatnedalen at the same time.
– A lot of people want to get out in nature even without skis. Before, there wasn’t a prepared walkway between Hovdestaul and Gaustablikk, but the new trails can be used all year round and make walking both safer and more enjoyable, says Britt Svartdal, chairperson of Gausta-Kvitåvatn Turistservice and project manager for the new trails.
Work on the trails on the south side of Lake Kvitåvatn began in summer 2019. The existing trails from Kvitåvatn Fjellstue will be extended by a further 2.8 kilometres. The trails are expected to be completed in October, which means a total of nine kilometres of usable cross-country ski trails around Lake Kvitåvatn for the 2019/2020 winter season. The new trail has been named the Svartdal trail after the founder of Gaustablikk Høyfjellshotell, Olav Svartdal.
– We plan to lay the base course in the autumn, and then the trails will be skiable for users for the winter. The surface layer will be added in the spring to finish the trails off, says Britt.
The last 2.8 kilometres are slightly narrower and are for cross-country skiing only. Neither will they be lit.
– There’s no decision on lighting for the second stage. However, if it’s needed it can be added later on.
The new trails increase the chance of extending the cross-country ski season.
– Now that the base is stronger and more even, less snow is needed for the trails to be skiable, says Britt.
The vision is to offer skiable trails as early as October or November.
– In the long term, we hope to establish snow production in parts of the Svartdal trail. This would enable us to offer skiable trails in early autumn, says Britt.
Not only does the new investment create better, more accessible trails for cross-country skiing, but the trails can also be used for walking and cycling in the summer.
– The new trails can be used all year round, making the area around Lake Kvitåvatn more accessible for everyone, says Britt.
Read more: Cross-country skiing at Gausta