2019 Masters World Cup: Beitostølen, Norway
Pronounced: Buy - toe - stolen
AXCS Trip Dates: March 4 - 15, 2019...a couple days longer to add the Norwegian Birkebeiner (MWC Competition Dates: March 8-14, 2019)
Best Travel Plan: International flights to Oslo-Gardermoen (OSL). Then local buses, AXCS charter bus, or rental cars three and a half driving hours direct to Beitostølen at the gateway to the western Norwegian mountains.
Bottom Line: This is going to be a "bucket list times two" trip combining the long-awaited return of the MWC to Norway (last time was 2004!) plus the great-grandaddy of all ski events -- the Norwegian Birkebeiner (aka "the Birken").
Current AXCS members should have seen preliminary (and now somewhat dated) information via the Spring AXCS Digest print issue. Note: We know of some USPS problems with delayed or non-delivery of the Spring Digest to a few folks. So if you are a current AXCS member -- email jd at xcskiworld dot com if you have not seen either the print issue at all in April/May. This will help the association figure out if we need to upgrade to 1st class mail rates in the future.
The updated information on this trip:
a. AXCS filled all our original reservation space listed in the Digest (140 people's worth!) in less than one week after first Digest's arrived to mail boxes.
b. AXCS has been keeping a "need-to-be-placed" list of additional AXCS members wanting to be included on the MWC2019 trip.
c. AXCS asked for and has received a bunch of additional lodging space from Beito organizers in the form of a collection of additional apartments/condos/cabins plus a small number of added hotel spaces a few km's outside Beitostolen.
d. AXCS is working to place members in the new lodging in the order that preliminary requests were received.
If you are not yet on the AXCS "need-to-be-placed" list -- you need to email jd at xcskiworld dot com ASAP and make that request. Please be very specific as to your flexibility on lodging. For example, at this point if you are a single there are various things we'd have to do to make a single room possible or match you up with a roommate. If you are a double reservation, we will greatly speed up placement if you are willing to be in a shared unit (i.e. apartment) with another couple or more. If you know if others going on the trip, please contact these people immediately to see if you can partner up and give AXCS their names when you ask to be put on the list.
If you aren't already an AXCS member -- now is the time to join! You cannot even be listed on the preliminary trip reservation chart without having a membership for every booking bedroom.
If you are already signed up for the trip, the deposit credit card payment link (using PayPal) will NOT be ready for a little bit longer. Your deposit isn't due until June 15 and AXCS has a lot of irons in the fire with one very part-time worker guy. So just hang tight and come back to this page sometime in mid-May.
MWC2017: Lots More General Info
This year we are (finally) going back to the middle of where this whole Nordic thing started -- Norway. It’s been a long time between MWC visits, but this one is going to be worth it.
Not only will there be a fantastic week-plus of skiing and racing in one of the favorite ski resorts of native Norwegians -- but the organizers shifted the dates for the MWC2019 to perfectly line up with the 2019 Norwegian Birkebiener as the ultimate finale.
Yes indeed, this one has “bucket list times two” written all over it.
Beitostolen itself is a small village of 400 with the surrounding area up to a total of 3200 year round residents. Located literally at the gateway to the spectacular western Norwegian mountains, the 2-lane highway closes for the winter immediately to the north of the village so this is truly the end of the road (very similar to Washington’s Methow Valley. At a modest 820m, the elevation is very reasonable while still providing great snow reliability.
When it comes to skiing, Beitostolen is the kind of place that comes to mind when folks fantasize about a Norwegian ski holiday. With over 320km of XC trails, absolutely incredible ski touring options, plus a small alpine hill to boot -- your biggest problem will be saving enough energy for the MWC races.
Off the trails, this is the type of MWC destination that is going to be most attractive to non-racers that still want to get out and ski a bunch. The village has a lovely collection of restaurants, pubs, and shops plus a few other tourist-friendly attractions to keep folks entertained. But places like Oslo (3 hours) and Lillehammer (2 hours) aren’t exactly next door and there is no a rail access. So skiing and the outdoors is the big appeal on this trip.
Organizationally, the local sports club is -- needlessly to say -- ridiculously qualified to be a MWC host. Beitostolen has played host to recent elite World Cup races in XC, biathlon, telemark, and ski-triathlon. Add in major Norwegian events such as National Championships and year-round citizen events with upwards of 2500-3000 participants -- these folks know what they are doing.
Finally, if we didn’t have you at “hello” on this trip, as both the whipped cream and cherry on top, factor in the great grandaddy of the XC ski racing universe -- the Norwegian Birkebeiner (aka “the Birken”). 54km of classic technique from Rena to Lillehammer with the best origin story of any endurance event on the planet. You can’t say you’ve done it all in this sport without putting this one on the wall folks.
Said it before, will keep saying -- if not now -- when?