Vasaloppet ski race saved by last-minute snow dump

Vasaloppet ski race saved by last-minute snow dump
Competitors set off into light snow and wind. Photo: Ulf Palm/TT
Sweden's oldest and most famous ski race, the Vasaloppet, has been rescued at the last minute by a snowstorm which coated the track and surrounding landscape just hours before the start.
Racers set off from Sälen at 8am on Sunday into light wind and snow. 
 
“There's going to be fairly fairly heavy snowfall up until this morning,” Malva Lindborg, a meteorologist for Swedish state forecaster SMHI. Roar Inge Hansen, a meteorologist for the private forecaster Storm, predicted as much as 20cm of snow would fall over the day. 
 
As they arrived to compete, racers welcomed the snow, although some pointed out it would make the race more of a challenge. 
 
With an unusually warm winter leaving much of central and southern Sweden practically snowless, racers were fearing long into February they would end up skiing through rain, surrounded by snowless forest and fields. 
 
The organisers had been forced to manufacture artificial snow, drive it out and dump it on the track to make sure it could be skied. 
 
Colder weather over the last month had already made the track better than feared even before the snowfall on Saturday night.  
 
The race, which was first held in 1922, follows the path of the young nobleman Vasa Ericsson Vasa, as he fled Christian II, the then King of Denmark, Sweden and Norway. 
 
But while Gustav Vasa travelled from Mora to Sälen, the race follows the 90km track in the opposite direction. 
 

Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.