Where it's at
Many extreme sports enthusiasts consider Norway, to be the
base-jumping capital of Europe. This could be for one
of two key reasons: firstly, that it is one of the few countries
left where it is still legal; and secondly, because of its
high mountains and deep fjords, it has the one of the best
landscapes for it in the world.
What is base-jumping?
It is the unusual practice of jumping from a fixed point (e.g.
cliff), free falling for a short time, before releasing a
parachute and (hopefully) landing safely at the bottom. Jumps
involve a liberating sense of weightlessness, followed by
a rapid, and exhilarating fall. High adrenaline sports don't
get much higher than this!
Jumping in Norway
Norway's small and select group of base jumping experts are
very keen to defend their right to jump, and to do so in insist
on the strictest safety measures. Before anyone can base-jump
here, they must first have successfully completed at least
two-hundred aeroplane sky-dives first, to perfect their
handling of a parachute and their landing technique. For those
of you determined to have a go, you must first undergo several
years of training, and be approved by Norway's own expert,
and base-jumping record holder Stein Edvardsen. Bear
in mind, this is not a sport for the weak at heart, that the
risks are high, and even highly trained individuals have been
injured, and even killed.
For those keen to observe, but not participate, the annual
Extreme Sports Week in Voss (a short train ride
from Bergen) is an excellent opportunity. It runs in the last
week of June each year, and exhibits the full range of truly
exciting possibilities that Norway has to offer.
Other adventure activity possibilities:
Ice-diving off Svalbard
To do this you must already be a qualified diver, and have
experience in diving in a dry suit, the water is so cold here
a wet suit just won't work. Access to the water is through
a hole cut in the ice specially, and you lower yourself down
on a rope. The rewards are almost unearthly sights of the
deep blue undersides of icebergs, and the possibility of watching
diving seals, or maybe even polar bears.
Snow boarding or Skiing at Stryn
One of only three places in Scandinavia where you can ski
all year round, and the most accessible and best known summer
resort of the three. For non-skiers it is also possible to
hike across the glaciers in some places, though this must
only be done by the highly qualified, or in the company of
Hiking in Jotunheimen National Park
The most popular wilderness area (and they have many to choose
from!), with both well trodden routes, as well as some more
obscure ones. It also has a number staffed huts along the
routes for walkers accommodation. All hikers should come prepared
for extreme weather conditions (snow in August is not uncommon
here) and be constantly aware of avalanche risks, unfortunately