From Dirt Issue 109 – March 2011
Words by Richard Cunynhame. Photos by Mattias Fredriksson.
After a quick stop at the supermarkets that gather around the border, to offer Sweden’s neighbours the opportunity for cheap goodies like booze, fags and strangely almost everything else, we crossed the border into Norway. I’d just spent a week in Sweden’s premier ski resort of Åre, and was on my way down to Oppdal to discover what riding it held in its undulating surface. I was kindly being driven down by Hans Gunleiksrud, who I had only met a few hours previously. This is the kinda vibe I’ve become accustomed to after a few visits to Scandinavia.
I’ve heard some people say that they thought the Scandinavians were a stern bunch, but they are genuinely some of the most welcoming and generous people I’ve met. Hans made the journey entertaining the whole way with tales of his days as a pro skier and plenty of insight about the beautiful landscapes we passed through. As the journey was coming to an end and we were entering his home territory he was pointing out slopes he’d skied including one where he managed to smash his face into a tree stump and nearly died. It sounded horrific but with constant optimism he moved quickly on to pointing out more descents he’d discovered in the snow that he thought would hold incredible bike tracks now they weren’t covered in the winter white>>