It all starts at 1,200 meters, and it doesn’t stop until you are in the middle of the city.
The journey down Narvikfjellet is more than a normal ski trip. From the downhill start at 1,200 meters, you have an orchestral view over a fjord that was at centre stage for Hitler’s first defeat in 1940. A fjord where 13 warships sank amid battles that claimed a total of 8,500 lives.
From here, you can also see LKAB’s shipping facility – Where every year, 20 million tonnes of ore are shipped from Sweden. This new industry grew Narvik from a farmland in 1900, to become a city with over 20,000 inhabitants in 2021. A city that through investment in tourism, defense, aquaculture and green industry is on the starting line for a new golden age.
Additionally you will see hundreds of mountain peaks – the highest up to 2,000 meters, plus over 80 kilometers of fjords. Depending on the time of day and the time of the year and, you can experience everything from the midnight sun to the northern lights. The Arctic winter light or the perpetual summer nights.
Capture the magic
– I simply never get bored, says Kjetil Janson.
He is part of a large pack of local, national and international photographers who never stop traveling up the mountain with their cameras. Check out the hashtag #narvikfjellet, and let yourself be seduced.
– There is always something to take a picture of – Everything from the crowds down in the lift-based part of the facility to the wilder and steeper parts, where you will need mountain boots or cross-country skis to gain access, Janson says.
His last major project was to show the world how the start of 2027 will turn out.
Today, the highest point of the facility is Linken. Located at just over 1,000 meters above sea level. But behind Linken is, among other things, the challenging Mørkholla – located between the legendary freeride mountains Andretoppen and Tredjetoppen.
The AWSC moment
In the plans for the AWSC, a downhill start from 1,220 meters has been included, just below the Andretoppen. Kjetil Janson took the long trip up the mountian together with alpine skiier Morten Opshaug. Equipped with slalom gates, speed suits, helmets, start numbers, downhill skis and a reasonably heavy bag with camera equipment, they began their ascent.
– But it was definitely worth the effort. Although the daylight conditions will be different in February than at the end of May, you will get a real understanding of how raw and powerful it will be to start up here. You are closest to the top of the globe, he says.
Håvard Blekastad Almås has already seen the light. He was project manager for the National championship broadcasts on NRK in 2017. Even without a big camera rig, the images from the championship were some of the rawest the experienced presenter has been involved in producing.
– And there is a big difference between an NM rig and a WC rig. With both trails specially designed for cinematic visuals, as well as far more advanced camera equipment, there is reason to hope the world gets to see shots you have never seen before, says Blekastad Almås.
He hopes that one of his tasks in 2027 will be to deliver world-class broadcasts from Narvik.
– The starting point for making the greatest TV broadcast of all time is there. And it is time that we are allowed to produce a World Cup in alpine skiing from Norway as well, he says.