Åre we there yet?

Åre we there yet?

The annual SE.DE.US Crew ski/board trip has come and gone. This year we headed to Åre, Sweden. The reason we chose northern Sweden was due to the fact that one of our members was pregnant and couldn’t fly. Being that she and her husband (also in the crew) are both Swedish, it made for an easy choice. We chose Åre not only because it’s the largest in Sweden, but also because of the additional activities they offer to supplement being at a smaller resort for a week.

We supplemented the lack of skiing with a day of snowmobiling and a day of dog sledding. Both were cool, but dog sledding was definitely the trip highlight. It’s something I had wanted to do for awhile. I had even looked into doing it when I visited my brother in Alaska, but at the time was cost prohibitive.

Travel

In order to get to Åre, I had to first fly to Chicago (5 hours), where I had the good fortune of sharing the same flight as J, who lives in Chicago. Then we flew to Stockholm (?? hours), where J and I had a couple hours to kill before we met E, who was flying in from Munich. After a little more waiting, we all caught the train to Åre (8 hours) and met the majority of the remaining members of our crew. I think in total, door-to-door travel time was 25 hours. Definitely a long day of travel. Luckily I got some sleep on the plane to Stockholm. Åre is located 220 miles south of the Arctic Circle, making this the farthest north I’ve been on the planet (Åre: 63.415°N, Anchorage: 61°13′6″N, Helsinki: 60°10′15″N)

The Resort

The Swedish ski resort of Åre has direct access to 93km of downhill skiing, with 98 individual pistes, served by 44 ski lifts.

Summit 1274 m
Green Runs
12%
Vertical Drop 890 m
Blue Runs
39%
Base Altitude 384 m
Red Runs
39%
Toplift 1270 m
Black Runs
10%
Downhill Pistes 100 km Longest Run 6 km
Cross Country Pistes 56 km Gondolas 3
Annual Snowfall 350 cm Chair Lifts 7
Snowmaking 12% Drag Lifts 34
Season Start November Terrain Parks 1
Season End May Halfpipes 1

Snowboarding

The mountain wasn’t as huge compared with some of the other resorts we’ve been to in years past. Our first day on the mountain was ridiculously cold. It should have been a sign that we shouldn’t have been on the mountain because dog sledding had already been cancelled because it was too cold for the dogs. Say what you want, but -15F plus whatever the windchill was is definitely not ideal conditions for snowboarding. I don’t think any of us made the entire day, it was just too damn cold. I remember my face was burning on my last run down the mountain on that first day. I had to stop halfway down the run to

Dog Sledding

We were originally supposed to go dog sledding at the beginning of the week, but it was too cold. The dog sled guy ended up rescheduling us for later in the week. I ended up getting to ride with the owner on the lead sled. This was cool because, not only was the guy funny (he wasn’t Swedish, he was Norwegian), but he also explained a lot of things about dog sledding. Let me just say that it’s a lot harder than it looks. It is in no way just standing on the back while the dogs pull you.