Swedish ski season slides into action

Swedish ski season slides into action
Hammarbybacken in Stockholm on Sunday. Photo: TT
Many snowboarders and skiers are strapping on their boots for the first time this winter, as slopes start to open in the south and west of the country.

The cold weather over the festive period has led to snow settling across much of the country, allowing several slopes to start welcoming skiers.

Elisabet Jansson Strömberg, CEO of the main company that runs the country’s ski lifts, told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet that she believed the ski season would be “extra long”.

Speaking on Sunday evening, she said: “There are some hills on the west coast, in Småland and Mälardalen, which opened during the day and almost the entire mountain chain has good snow”.

“We have a fantastic winter landscape now,” added Peter Augustusson, CEO of the Järvsöbacken resort.

He said the snow could be a boost for the region’s economy: “It is clear that it is important to be open during the Christmas holidays, there is a long period and many are free”.

Stockholm’s manmade ski slope Hammarbybacken is not expected to open until next week, although snow canons were spotted on Sunday, adding to the natural snow that has fallen in the capital over the past week.

Many children and parents spent the weekend sledding nearby.

“We live here in the neighborhood so it’s good to go sledding before the ski slopes open,” Michelle Dahlen told Svenska Dagbladet as she played with her five-year-old daughter Victoria.

Branäs group, which runs five facilities in Värmland, has so far opened about 75 percent of its slopes.

“It's great, it's freezing cold so it’s going well. We’re opening more slopes all the time,” Anders Kjällström, CEO of Branäs group told Svenska Dagbladet.

Further north, Vemdalen, Åre and Salen ski slopes opened in November.

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