Did You Know: You Can Ski on Star Wars' Planet Hoth!

Did You Know: You Can Ski on Star Wars' Planet Hoth!

Skiing

Did You Know: You Can Ski on Star Wars' Planet Hoth!

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With the new Star Wars Episode VII debuting on December 18th, stoke is high amongst Star Wars nerds like myself. So high in fact, that I’m thinking about booking a one way ticket to Hoth, skis in tow after watching the newest installment in the Star Wars saga.

That’s right, skiing on Planet Hoth is a real thing.

The opening scene in the Empire Strikes Back was shot in and around the Norwegian mountain town of Finse. That town is roughly 180 miles northwest of Oslo and was deemed a perfect setting by George Lucas’ location manager, Philip Kohler. But what makes the location supremely special is that it’s home to a ski area.

Photo Credit: Jørn Eriksson via Flickr Creative Commons

“Stay on Target!” | Photo Credit: Jørn Eriksson via Flickr Creative Commons

The Skiing Finse Skisenter is located at an elevation of 4064′ and offers 1 lift and 1km of piste on beginner/intermediate trails. Although that might seem pretty modest to someone who called Jackson, Wyoming home for almost half a decade, what makes Finse an attractive place for not just Star Wars wooks but for skiers as well is its proximity to peaks that surround the glacier laden town.

Mini-golf lines to short couloirs cover the horizon and Hoth is in many ways comparable to the mountains of Greenland (if conditions line up). Also like Greenland, skiers can take laps day and night during the late spring months when the sun hardly disappears. 

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However, white outs are common and you may have to spend the night in a Tauntauns’ belly to stay alive (the horse-like lizard that Luke Skywalker rode in The Empire Strikes Back).

Finse is also one of the original homes of skiing and tele-whackers will be pleased to know they are native to the area. In fact, visitors will be hard-pressed to find anything but the casual cross-country skier or knee dropper while visiting Finse.

Getting There: Take the 5-hour train ride from Oslo directly to Finse on the Oslo-Bergen railway. Once there, put on a Ruroc helmet and go HAM in the surrounding backcountry.

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Note: Glacial crevasses are prevalent in this area and a guide is advised. 

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