Aksel Lund Svindal, Terje Haakonsen, Kjetil Jansrud, James Woods, Katie Summerhayes, Oystein Braten, Tom Wallisch, Jesper Tjader, Henrik Kristoffersen - the list of famous Fonna visitors keeps increasing year on year...
So how does a small ski area, high above the Norwegian Fjords, that is only open from April-September, attract such a diverse and world class line up of snowsports athletes? It is fairly simple according to Andreas Skogseth the general manager of Fonna Glacier Ski Resort since 2013 – the quality of the snow for summer training is second to none. But as the Ski Club’s Content Editor Chris Madoc-Jones found out in June, there is a little bit more behind what makes Fonna so special.
What makes Fonna so perfect for race training?
Andreas is right when it comes to the snow, according to top British coach Matt Shepherd. He was at Fonna with over 50 young British skiers from the Kandahar Racing team, who have brought the likes of Dave Ryding and Ed Drake through to World Cup level. Kandahar visited Fonna during a recce last August to find “incredible” snow conditions, even that late in the summer. After this visit and a disappointing camp to Tignes in 2015 which was marred by “slush and black ice”, Matt and the Kandahar team “immediately started planning a camp for summer 2016” at Fonna.
A lot of what was behind their decision is down to the daily salting of the slopes, that as Matt suggests, helps “replicate Easter race conditions”. The salting firms up the snow’s surface and ensures slushy ruts do not appear until late in the day, enabling higher quality training to take place for far longer (click here to read more about the hard work that the piste crews at Fonna put in to make the conditions so good).