Friday 27th December 2019
We got up early and were so excited to do some sledging. This was such a last-minute decision (literally decided the night before) which made it even more exciting! We both knew that no trip to Oslo in the winter would be complete without playing in the snow but this takes playing to a whole new level. Its NOT just a cute, romantic, leisurely ride down a gentle slope in the park. Nope.. this was pure madness. Korketrekkeren translates to “corkscrew” which is what the slope is similar to. When we searched this on YouTube, videos with titles such as Death Sled and The Madness came up.
This is a bobsled run that was built for the 1952 Winter Olympics. Its 1.25 miles long with over 800 feet of vertical. Depending on your lack of skill and sanity, you might hit speeds in excess of 25 mph. I have no idea what happened to me, but it was like I had no fear, no brakes, no barriers, nothing! Just me, the sledge and my dear god, the speed! But this was soooooo unbelievably fun.
After checking that Korketrekkeren is open (it was the first day of it opening), we went hard on the buffet, put on several kilos of clothes and then went to the train station.
The Train Ride to Frognerseteren
What was so good about this experience was just easy everything was. Not only can you ride the metro to the hill, you can actually use it as your ski lift. We bought a 24-hour ticket on the metro which will let you ride as much as you want for an entire day. This was helpful for us as we wanted to travel to different parts of Oslo for the second half of the day. Once we had our ticket, we headed down the platform and board the #1 train to Frognerseteren. Metro 1 starts out underground but after a few stops, it goes outside and that’s when the ride itself becomes interesting and beautiful. You start passing through quirky neighbourhoods of Oslo and then, with increasing elevation, you see more snow and stunning snow-covered wood houses.
When you reach Midstuen Station, you see a mass of sledders boarding with their sledges in hand. This is because the Midstuen is the lower end of the sledding run so this is part of the trian journey would also be the ski lift to the top. When you get to the end of the train line, you can rent your sled form the shop at the bottom of the hill – you basically just follow the people (mostly locals).
Renting a Sled
We rented our sled from Skiservice Kjelkeurleie Sledges because the sleds are metal, which are supposedly better. There is also another sled rental shop over behind the restaurant, but I think they were closed on the day we went. Once we were inside, we filled out a brief form with our name and contact info along with the payment. Riding in Korketrekkeren is free, but sled rental costs NOK 80-100 per day. We received the sledges and the helmet and they gave us a few instructions as it was our first time sledging (as going down a UK park hill on a plastic float doesn’t count apparently).
We then went outside and found the starting point (we just followed the crowd!).
It started off relatively well and gentle, which was good so that you can become one with the sled. We practised slowing down, stopped, turning etc. We got the hang of it pretty quickly and even started showing off by leaning into the curve to turn the sled.
We finally made it to the bottom of the hill and boy was the ride amazing! It was so exciting and such an adrenaline rush. I was shocking at the lack of health and safety precautions that was used to in the UK. Not trying to sound melodramatic, but if you take the wrong turn, or didn’t break in time – then it will not end well.
The end of the run is rather flat but if you come barrelling fast enough through the final curve then you could sled all the way into Midstuen metro station, which is rather convenient – especially if you see the train pulling in.
It takes about 10 minutes to ride the course if you don’t stop much. It probably took us about 15 minutes realistically. The trains are 15 minutes apart and takes around 16 minutes to ride back up on the metro.
Apart from the very last ride where I tried to turn around to get my husband’s attention and rode straight into a tree (that was my bad) which ended up bending my thumbnail back, it was SO SO fun.
If you are ever in Oslo during winter, do visit. Just let go, don’t think twice and have the time of your life.