Trail biking at Ål, Buskerud, Norway
Huldra Epic Escape
Are you ready for what is probably the country's (Scandinavia's) longest hike from the high mountains to the lowlands? Do you think 1100 meters in altitude difference and that almost 35 km of a total of some thirty are on the path sounds fat? Huldra was a seductive and mysterious female creature without very much clothing and with beautiful shapes that lured young men to the mountains and which no one saw again, hence the name. Everything can't be just #Enduro with a pickup and the lousy 10 minute run down a wooded hill. If you are #Enduroist then you should still make the trip as the whole run could easily have been turned into a world-class fat Endurorite with 2 SS over 15 minutes a little shorter by 10 minutes, and a "sprint" of 5 minutes. If you end up in Endurobeina then things will be worth the trip. After a trip with a chairlift, a 15 km gravel climb and an hour's push, you are up at 1350 MOH and look out over the Skaraplatå which divides Hallingdal in half with Ål and Hallingskarvet on one side and Hemsedal, Skogshornmassivet and Golsfjellet on the other. The trail starts a little rough from the top, but from the top you see a flat about 100 hm further down and to the right of the small pond you get the first downhill on a great trail which is about 5 km. When this is done you are down on the plateau and you can start to stretch a total of 15 km consisting of classic AM biking with a little up and down. This lot has everything from some of the saddest knot imaginable, something quite in the middle of the tree, but also longer parts of high quality cycling. In short, this party will be something like this: After the first descent at Trettestølane (the municipality of Ål and Hemsedal meet the name. There they have been arguing and arguing for centuries and are guaranteed to continue with it; long marked "trillesti" which belongs to a (gravel) round which Hemsedal tourist office has marked. This is an affliction, deep narrow animal steps, lots of basketball stones interrupted by wet marsh that is rather poorly pitched. The bright spot is that it is only 2 km and relatively quickly completed and that the next stretch of road after a few hundred meters on gravel is superfast and flowy, almost 4 km long. This begins after a small climb up to Breisethovda. After this lot, a small gravel section descends to a T-junction where you turn right towards Gaurhovd. There are two paths over the next hill. One starts at the top before a small pond and the other (on the GPS track) up to the left on a small gravel path after the pond and the right one at the top of the small climb. One comes across on both, but I think the latter is the best option. There are some horses on this stretch of trail, so some absolute riders are not this party anyway. When you are over Køyrehovda as it is called it is a few km on gravel. On the GPS track it breaks into the left on the gravel about after 2 km towards Habbesett because my legs were not hip on a (nice) path over Syningen (Height just after where the trail goes left). You can only cycle 100 200 m straight ahead and push up on Syningen and you get a path all the way to Habbesett. Just keep left after the descent from Syningen and you come out onto the gravel road the GPS track goes on just before Habbesett. The path from here follows mainly parts of "Skaraåsen around" (http://trailguide.no/3) so simply refer to it for further descriptions. I would still be allowed to add that the party from here to the gravel before the descent towards Gol is of a very high class in terms of flow. Due to the provisions on landowner conflicts etc. on this page I have chosen to censor the last 600 HM down to Gol and the official continuation from here will be the gravel down to where the path in here called "Riksveg 7" starts and continue on this absolute altar down to the valley floor. Fine it au. PS: Softis and or Beer at Skysskroa in Gol is mandatory after a trip like this. The trip is best enjoyed in July, August but may be biking in June if the snow did not fall so thick the winter before. September can also be a hell of a month on the mountain, but as you know it can quickly turn out not to be. Disclaimer: On such long trips it is difficult to get completely clean GPS tracks without detours, boom trips and shortcuts (ref gravel to Habbesett instead of the path over Syningen and other small detours), but expect it to be okay.
Take the 8 seat in Hemsedal to the top, follow the green trail down to Skigaarden and hook up on the dirt road towards Ål. Turn left towards Fagerdalen as the rises on Fanitullvegen begin to take off. Continue a long climb and a small descent on the rough and loose gravel road towards Fagerdalen. The path begins inside behind the right-most seats.