Words by New York's BOONE Crew member, Chris Dowd:
Nine hours after boarding the red eye flight from New York my buddy Ron and I touched down in Oslo and met up with our buddy Kenneth Skogen. Neither of us had slept in about 24 hours and we had six hours to kill before we boarded the five hour bus ride to Hovden. After grabbing lunch we went out to kill sometime exploring the city.
After walking around for a while and grabbing a couple beers it was time to catch the bus to Haukeli where Kenneth was going to pick us up for the last thirty minutes of the trip. Finally after over 32 hours of being awake and 28 hours in cars, planes, trains and buses we made to Hovden and quickly passed out.
When we woke up we were greeted by blue skies and beautiful mountains all around us. After some breakfast we headed up to the ski center where Kenneth brought us on a tour of the backcountry. Typically, I am used to powder at a resort being tracked out before lunch but even though it had not snowed in a week we were able to find untouched snow all over the place.
Once the lifts stopped running we headed up on a snowmobile to session one of the jumps as the sun set.
After what turned out to be an awesome session with local rider and good friend Stoffi killing it the light ran out and we headed down for some Elk soup and a couple beers at X.O.’s bar and restaurant before Ron and I finally had our jetlag catch up with us, so we called it a early night. (shameless plug for our friends at snowbomb.com seen below...)
The next day we also spent exploring Hovden ski center and then that night it was time for Bingo. Bingo is really just something to do while everyone in town gets drunk every Thursday night. Ron ended up winning two free lift tickets during his first time playing Bingo in Hovden and once Bingo was done we all headed down to X.O.’s for a couple more beers. Usually the bar closes at one on weekdays but they stayed open till two since there was a lot of people who where very thirsty. After we left the bar we headed to the after party and next thing I knew I looked out the window and it was daylight.
After catching a solid two hour’s sleep I met up with Per and Stein and headed up to a cornice drop to build a jump and film. As we made our way up the lift the wind got stronger and stronger. We decided that even with the high winds we should still take the fifteen minute hike to check it out. Once we built a little hit we waited for a while hoping that there might be a little break in the clouds so the landing was at least visible in the flat light. After there were no breaks in the wind or clouds I decided to hit it anyway.
Not being able to judge the distance didn’t work out so well for me and after a gnarly crash we decided we should probably head to the park for the rest of the day since anything else had such rough conditions. So once I collected my helmet and ski pole and headed down to the park.
And another of me messing around...
That night we planed to make it an early night. Ron did that successfully by heading home right after dinner while I stuck around for a beer and hang out with Kenneth and Stein. They were not feeling too well due to the previous night’s festivities. Six and a half hours later I made it back to Jostein’s and Tomas’ and quickly found my bed since I had to be up in five hours.
(retards in the snow - I can't really explain this picture other than someone was repeatedly thrown out the window of a house into the snow...)
The next day we were again met with some not so good conditions and ended up spending the day in the park all day again. The night before Jostein decided to make a transfer table out of snow they had from a jump they had tore down weeks earlier so we had a great time sessioning that for many hours. After the day was done Per, Ron and I headed back to the house and met back up with Kenneth after he had a long day working. After that Jostein and Tomas got home and eventually we all made our way down to X.O.’s so I could prepare to be the guest D.J. at their sister bar EDGE since the night before we discovered I had a hidden talent for scratching electronic records. After a couple hours at X.O.’s Per, Ron and I headed across the street and I got to work as D.J.
(L-R: Chris Dowd, Girl at the bar, Kenneth Skogen)
As you can see below, the girls in Norway really like guys with mustaches. Here you can see two of Norway's finest fighting over me and Kenneth. Ha ha.
When we made our way home it was six in the morning and Ron and I had six hours before we had to catch to bus back to Oslo.
When we made it back to Oslo we grabbed some food and then headed to the airport to sleep for the night since our flight was early in the morning. Then 32 hours after leaving Hovden we were back in New York and I had three hours to get to class.
(early morning "energy" drink)
Hovden is really a sick mountain. I suggest everyone who can make their way there to do so for some great riding. Awesome mountain and awesome town with some of the best people I know, especially got to thank Kenneth Skogen for being awesome and showing us around, Jostein and Tomas for letting us crash, Stoffi for killing it and of course Stein just for well, being Stein - as well everybody else.