Cross country ski grades
Guests new to cross country skiing.
What to expect as a beginner, new to cross country skiing
Our teaching approach takes you through a progression of exercises and practice to build your technique, step by step. We start right at the beginning to familiarise you with the equipment, getting out on the tracks, completing your first cross country ski tour and beyond. We aim to create a playful and relaxed atmosphere. During our guided ski tours our new skiers continue to develop their skills.
Uphill and downhill techniques for cross country skiing
We offer an uphill and downhill ski lesson as part of our programme. This helps guests to develop confidence and good technique. An effective snowplough and the ability to control your speed and line on a gradient are important skills. They enable you to take on a greater variety of tours safely. You will then be able to explore further afield and see more of the beautiful area around Venabu.
What about guests with alpine ski experience?
We include guests with Alpine ski experience as beginners. Having alpine ski experience, and even alpine touring experience, can help guests make a good start on cross country skis. However cross country skiing has specific techniques. Some time spent on these fundamentals will set you up to get the most from your cross country skiing. It may even help your alpine skiing! Strong foundations in your skiing support enjoyment and development. Frequently, alpine skiers go on to improve rapidly. Sometimes guests who don’t take this time can become frustrated. We advise all skiers new to cross country skiing to make the most of the coaching we offer.
We understand that people learn at different rates. There is the flexibility to move between appropriate levels of ski tour during the week.
Skiers with cross country experience, tours upto approx. 10km in 3 hours.
We have many guests who are returning to cross country skiing after a break. There are also guests who would like to refresh the foundations of technique. Sometimes guests who return to us have cross country ski experience, but their fitness isn’t so strong. We understand that whatever our best intentions to prepare for an active holiday, life sometimes happens!
Skiers with an effective snowplough. Ski tours upto 12-18km in 3 - 4 hours.
Our intermediate skiers have an effective snowplough and are able to control their speed and line safely on descents. Their classic technique is efficient. They have reasonable fitness, which allows them to enjoy tours of between 12-18kms in a long morning's skiing. Again, our guests can swap between suitable groups during the week. Guests can then enjoy the tour that suits them each day.
Off track skiing on our tours
We often combine on and off track skiing on our tours. Our intermediate skiers have the skills to enjoy easier off track skiing. They can handle the changes in snow and get up independently after a tumble. If we plan to take a group off track we will let everyone know beforehand.
Guests with good classic cross country ski technique and a strong snowplough.
Day-long ski tours upto 25-30km.
Our advanced skiers on the Ski Safari tours have good classic cross country ski technique. This enables them to ski efficiently, on and off track, in a variety of snow conditions. They have a strong snowplough and are also able to control their speed and line on descents off track. These guests also have the fitness to enjoy day-long ski tours of upto 25–30 kms.
Venabu cross country ski holidays offer flexibility
Guests who join our weekly guiding programme are able to swap between tours of suitable levels during the week. We find that guests’ energy levels change during the week. This flexibility means that individuals can enjoy the tour that suits them each day. It also means that couples and friends are able to ski at their level and/or together during the week.
We aim to create the groups so that guests enjoy tours with other guests at a similar level of skiing and fitness. We also aim to keep the group sizes small with a maximum of eight guests in each group. We run two groups each week and frequently more. The tours we offer depend on our guests: ski ability and the number of guests that week. We always try to take guests’ preferences into account. For safety reasons the final decision about ski groups has to rest with our ski guides.
A note on fitness:
Cross country skiing is an activity enjoyed by many people for many different reasons. We think it is fair to say that guests who are active and fit, and who take some time to prepare for their holiday are most likely to enjoy their skiing.
Cross country ski lessons and courses
Our qualified instructors offer cross country ski lessons and coaching. You may want to work on an aspect of technique or to gain confidence. We also offer skate skiing lessons. For guests who would like to receive more coaching and focus on technique we offer our Become a Better Skier Courses.
Tailor made cross country ski holidays
Tailormade cross country ski holidays: we can design a cross country ski holiday just for you. Enjoy a holiday with just the right balance of coaching, touring and other winter activities to suit you, your family or group of friends.
Hiking holiday grades
Moderate hiking in the mountains for active travellers
Upto 450m ascent, 8-13km and 4-5 hours hiking per day.
Our trips at the moderate grade are designed with active travellers in mind. If you enjoy exploring on foot these holidays may suit you.
Ascent and descent
Walks in the mountains are rarely flat so being comfortable with up to 450m of ascent and descent in total during the walk is realistic.
This is light-ish hiking. 450m of ascent translates to about a total of an hour and a half of steady climbing during the day, but not all at once. Paths may be rocky, with loose stones, and muddy in places. Expect to be walking for between 8 and 13km which may take 4 -5 hours.
The altitude on these trips is quite modest. Venabu sits at 932m asl and the walks are below 1200m asl.
The emphasis on these ‘moderately graded’ holidays is relaxed enjoyment of the mountains, nature and culture of Norway. Our Discover Norway on Foot holiday is a hiking holiday at this grade.
Regular hillwalkers may enjoy our intermediate or challenging holidays.
Holidays for hillwalkers.
Upto 700m ascent though usually less, an average of 16 km and 7 hours per day. Some longer days.
These hiking holidays are designed for 'hillwalkers' who enjoy a holiday where the emphasis is on the hiking.
The distance on an average day is about 16 km, some days are longer, some a little shorter. One day is approximately 24 km long. The total ascent or descent during the day is about 450–500m but may be up to 700 m, which translates to a total of about two - two and a half hours steady climbing. Paths can be rocky, loose and muddy but there is no scrambling or exposure. Expect to be out for about 7 hours in total on consecutive days.
We visit some beautiful, wild and remote areas so guests should have experience of hiking in mountains, including in bad weather. Our Reindeer Country Explorer holiday is at this grade.
The altitude of these walks is quite modest. Venabu sits at 932m asl and the maximum altitude just below 1500m asl.
Holidays for fit, experienced hikers.
Upto 1200 m ascent, 25 km and 9 hours hiking per day.
Some easy scrambling.
These hiking holidays are designed for fit, experienced hillwalkers who enjoy mountain hiking in spectacular places.
Big mountain days in remote locations
The walks are challenging and so guests should be prepared to walk for long days (up to 9 hours), on consecutive days with up to 1200m of ascent and descent which can translate to about four hours of steady climbing during the day. We will be hiking in some beautiful, remote locations so guests should be experienced in mountain environments and be able and equiped to deal with bad weather.
Rocky terrain and scrambling
The paths can be rocky, including boulder fields, some scrambling and exposure. Guests who are uncomfortable with heights may find this a challenge, please contact us if you have any questions.
While you do not need to be an Olympic athlete to enjoy these holidays it is expected that most guests will benefit from some fitness preparation. Our Norwegian National Parks Challenge is a hiking holiday at this grade.
Hike upto 2300m asl
The maximum altitude on these holidays is approximately 2300m asl.
Horseriding holiday and tour grades
Rides in this category suit the inexperienced or anxious rider. No previous knowledge is required. We ride at a walk.
For very anxious riders, we recommend a tour with a leader or a private lesson.
These rides are for people with some riding experience. Guests should be confident riding independently in walk and trot.
Children participating in these tours should have ridden at least 10 times without a leader. The rides are mainly at a walk with some trotting. The time spent in trot will depend on the group's ability.
These tours are for experienced riders who have mastered walk, trot and canter in the open. The tours are mainly in walk with several sections of trotting and cantering, where the terrain allows. The terrain on these trips can also be rough or steep.
children on horseback
It’s important to remember that children are smaller than adults. They often become tired more quickly when riding out in the open, rather than in a school or arena.
If your child usually rides at a riding school, they may have ridden for a maximum of 1 hour at a time. Choose a shorter trip, at a slightly lower level than you think your child can handle, rather than a trip that is too long or demanding.
Venabustallen's booking team is happy to help you find the right tour and level for you and your family.