Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Crossing the line


There are prettier places to wake up than Narvik. The town was flattened in WWII, and the style of rebuilding reflects its industrial heritage. It's still in an impressive setting though, and the skiing here runs right into town. It's meant to be good skiing too, but given how late in the season we are, the lifts are only open at weekends to help save the snow.

Keen to do something with my day, I jumped on the train. Funny how the train line that brought Narvik's industry and slightly dour looks, offers some of the finest views in the area. I spent the journey gawping out of the window at towering cliffs (loads of ice climbing potential in winter) and beautiful fjords, before the scenery changed to that of an Arctic plateau.


The small Swedish ski resort of Riksgr√§nsen actually straddles the border. It's the most northerly resort in the world, and is characterised by lots of cliff drops and acres of off piste. I spent a really enjoyable afternoon skiing here - the potential of the place under some fresh powder was evident. I had to settle for a bit of wind-blown and some slush, but I was more than happy just to be charging around, using my skis on a new mountain.



The summit of Nordal is an easy bootpack from the top of the lifts, and a good ride down:


But my favourite run of the day involved seeing how many times I could cross from Sweden to Norway to Sweden again! Here's a photo on what I'm pretty sure is THE border (looking into Norway).




There's something special about skiing in Lapland - the whole place just feels properly 'Arctic' - something you don't always feel closer to the coast.

After the lifts closed and I had to call it a day, I was shocked (in a good way) to find a really rowdy afterski downstairs in the hotel complex! Mid-week, late season... those Swedes still love a party!


I'm going to be taking the train down to Stockholm tomorrow - provided they let me on, as I may have ballsed the ticket up. Assuming I do go, it's supposed to be a beautiful journey. Although quite long, it's also one of the cheapest ways to get to Northern Norway (provided you book well in advance) so worthy of mention on FlyDrive Norway's blog! Watch this space, hopefully I'll get away with it. If not, there are worse places to be stranded!