Red Bull Ragnarok: Snowkiting the Hardangervidda

Looking for the perfect snowkiting venue? Head to the Hardangervidda for wilderness and adventure.
By Oscar Rycroft

It's a combination of two (ok, three!) incredible action sports into a brand new one. Snow kiting, in which skiers and snowboarders use a kiteboarding-style kite to power them across the the snow, is fast becoming the way to quickly traverse the backcountry.

Red Bull Ragnarok is the biggest snowkiting event in the world, and last weekend, over 200 competitors - some of whom came from as far away as the Caribbean islands - gathered on Norway's Hardangervidda Plateau, Europe's largest wilderness area.

Riding across the wide open plains © Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

The destination of choice for polar explorers seeking to train without the costly expense of trips to the Poles, it often provides a harsh and unforgiving environment, at all times of year - and strong winds and fast times is exactly what these competitors were looking for.

So what challenges did the Hardangervidda bring? In this case, nature was as nature will be, and competitors were pumping up their kites under sunny skies and light, but not balmy, breezes. This created a new kind of challenge: who could complete the 65km course with the most efficiency? With breezes often dying to just a whisper, it took all of their kite skills simply to keep their normally hard-charging engines in the air.

But as the vast, remote, endless fields of snow clearly indicate, any time you're on the Hardangervidda, you're having an adventure.

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