The pursuit of achieving the optimal flow experience. A case study on backcountry skiers participating in avalanche courses at Haukeliseter Mountain Lodge
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- Master's theses (SV-NHS) 
Backcountry skiing and ski touring are outdoor leisure activities that have grown in popularity in recent years. It has been argued that these types of activities require high levels of both, mental and physical involvement. An important component in adventure activity is the experience of risk. Individuals that are actively participating in winter adventure activities such as backcountry skiing may be seeking the challenge provided by risk. At the same time, the danger of experiencing the negative side of a risk in form of accidents and injuries is also real. The rising amount of educational programs within the adventure tourism industry may suggest that both providers and individuals are becoming aware of the negative outcomes of risks. It has been suggested that the incident of an avalanche is the main reason for fatalities in mountains in wintertime. The incidents are mainly caused by a human factor and are often triggered by backcountry activity. Therefore, the offer of avalanche courses has increased in numbers, in winter destinations such as Haukeliseter Mountain Lodge in recent years. The present study was conducted in the context of the re-invention of traditional mountain activities in form of backcountry skiing and ski touring that is both mentally and physically challenging. This study identifies the main characteristics of an adventurer to develop a better understanding of an individual pursuing the activities of backcountry skiing and ski touring. This study includes investigation of individual’s experience with adventure activities, motifs for pursuing backcountry skiing, perceptions of their own skills and challenges associated with activities and participation in educational programs such as avalanche course. This study also identifies main attributes of flow experience and includes an extensive review of risks, challenges and skills associated with adventure activities. The combination of these attributes and their effect on achieving the ultimate flow experience is analyzed.
Master's thesis in International Hospitality Management