West Coast dreaming

An epic photo essay from Norway’s stunning Sunnmøre region.
By Mattias Fredriksson

Norway has really emerged as a 'must-ride' venue on many people's radar over the last couple of years. It plays host to the UCI World Championships later this year but it's back-country riding that really has us salivating.

We asked renowned photographer Mattias Fredriksson to assemble a crack team and head to the staggeringly beautiful Sunnmøre region to investigate further. This is what they found.

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Into the trees
Into the trees
Into the trees The long hike-a-bike trail from Liahornet starts in the mountains with epic fjord views, but soon drops into steep trees and just keeps going. It is a world class trail where you have to be on full alert the whole ride down. Riders: Janne Tjärnström and Tobias Liljeroth. © Mattias Fredriksson
Lingering snow
Lingering snow
Lingering snow In the wintertime, the Sunnmøre Alps is a popular region for ski touring. The mountains in the area are steep and they get up to 10 metres of snow each winter. No wonder there was some left when Janne Tjärnström visited at the end of July. © Mattias Fredriksson
Mefjellet
Mefjellet
Mefjellet Mefjellet, high above the town of Fjørå, has become one of the Sunnmøre region's main mountain bike hubs. There is an old hiking trail all the way from the top of the mountain, and for being on the west coast of Norway this is a pretty smooth trail. © Mattias Fredriksson
Juvet Landscape Hotel
Juvet Landscape Hotel
Juvet Landscape Hotel Juvet Landscape Hotel, located close to Valldal, is a perfect base for your bike adventures in the Sunnmøre Alps. Extraordinary architecture and as close to nature as possible. © Mattias Fredriksson
There are definitely worse places to stay...
There are definitely worse places to stay...
There are definitely worse places to stay... ...and it's as close to nature as you can get! © Mattias Fredriksson
Janne Tjärnström lifts off
Janne Tjärnström lifts off
Janne Tjärnström lifts off Most of the trails in the Sunnmøre region are old hiking trails so expect some rocks and burly passages. Some of these rocks are perfect to launch off, like here where the Swedish rider Janne Tjärnström catches a bit of airtime. © Mattias Fredriksson
The Geiranger fjord
The Geiranger fjord
The Geiranger fjord These days the old post route between Bergen and Trondheim serves as a hiking and biking trail. Tobias Liljeroth and Janne Tjärnström probably had a hard time keeping their eyes on the trail, with stunning views over the famous Geiranger fjord – one of the most iconic fjords in Norway. © Mattias Fredriksson
Litlefjellet
Litlefjellet
Litlefjellet Litlefjellet means 'the little mountain' in Norwegian, but we are still talking about a 800 meter high mountain. However, the mountains around it are much more impressive – such as the vertical wall behind where Janne is riding in this photo – it is the famous Troll Wall, an iconic climbing wall. © Mattias Fredriksson
Classic Norwegian boat houses
Classic Norwegian boat houses
Classic Norwegian boat houses Classic boat houses at the harbour in Fjørå in Norway's Sunnmøre region. © Mattias Fredriksson
Tarløysa Mountain - the big one
Romsdalsfjord - the big one
Tarløysa Mountain - the big one Janne Tjärnström and Johan Jonsson drops in from Tarløysa Mountain towards the Romsdalsfjord on a smashing September evening. This is one of the highlight trails in the Romsdal region! © Mattias Fredriksson
Kløvstigen
Kløvstigen
Kløvstigen Kløvstigen is a very old transport route that has turned into a hike-a-bike trail. It goes along the famous Trollstigen, a serpentine mountain road that connects the Romsdal with Sunnmøre. Here Janne Tjärnström and Johan Jonsson flow through the forest close to the town of Åndalsnes. © Mattias Fredriksson
An old classic...
Kløvstigen is a very old transport route.
An old classic... Kløvstigen connects the Romsdal with Sunnmøre. Here Janne Tjärnström and Johan Jonsson ride through the forest close to the town of Åndals. © Mattias Fredriksson
Not a bad backyard
Romsdals
Not a bad backyard Local guide and entrepreneur Tommy Soleim shows Janne Tjärnström and Johan Jonsson to the goods on his backyard trails in the Romsdals region. © Mattias Fredriksson
Tommy Soleim
Romsdal Tommy
Tommy Soleim Tommy Soleim lived outside Oslo and lived a boxed up Monday to Friday life until a few years ago when he and his wife, Renate, moved to Isfjorden in Romsdal. Now they run a guiding company and a bike/ski lodge year around and he sneaks out and rides with the customers most days. © Mattias Fredriksson
The man with the plan
The man with the plan...
The man with the plan With Tommy as our guide, we got to explore some of the area's most deeply hidden trails. © Mattias Fredriksson
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