Sunday, February 12, 2012

Skiing in Orsa

Last weekend we joined OK Linné on their annual ski weekend in Orsa. As I mentioned, the forecast was for -24°C and I so I packed all the warm clothing that I owned. We lucked out, a bit, as it never went much below -20.

We stayed in an apartment with 9 other of our Linné friends, and all the other apartments were very close, so we had people stopping by quite often. I much prefer skate skiing to classic, so I was excited to head out on Friday morning on my skate skis. Unfortunately, Ross forgot his older skate skis so he classic skied the whole weekend. We set out together, but my skate speed in faster than his classic speed and it was hard to stay together. It was fun to ski around though and join up briefly with other groups of Linné skiers before they took off.

Also, it was beautiful. I haven't been in a place with scenery that amazing in a long time. Most of the trees were coniferious and there was deep snow covering all the needles, branches and trunks. It gave it an other worldly feel. Actually, to me it looked like scenery from a video game - much too perfect to actually be real. We don't have great cameras, so it was hard to capture it on film, but here are a few from the first day.

From our apartment window, the first morning
Outside the apartment, before the sun came up.
The first morning, at sunrise

Other houses nestled in the snow

That evening, Ross and I set out on a sunset ski with the camera. We skied a single track trail that had a fantastic beginning of narrow, steep bumpy downhills and then flattened out with gradual hills. Once again, the scenery was awe-inspiring. We plotted where we were going to build our own little cabin.

 Sunset ski

The only reason I stopped taking pictures is because it started getting too cold, both for me and for the camera shutter. Also, the sunlight was quickly disappearing and we did eventually have to finish the 10k loop before dark.

On Saturday, I set out on skate skis again with Ross. We were heading to the 10k elite loop that actually had hills, which I was excited about. Unfortunately, the conditions for skate skiing were horrible. I had no glide and so I would take about three steps and then come to a dead stop, even on the flats. I was worried that I had messed up my skis somehow in the morning when I waxed them, or that I was not as strong as I thought. I felt much better when Henrik returned from his evening ski and said, "You're right. It was horrible." The two others I talked to who also tried to skate also agreed, and it was nice to know it wasn't just me. So, Ross and I herring-boned up the hills, but still enjoyed the downhills. We didn't do the whole loop, but did go by the bear park and saw people feeding the polar bears.

Sunday was a bit warmer, but I didn't want to risk taking out the skate skis only to feel that same disappointment. So, Ross and I both classic skied the easier 10k, the 2.5 and the 1.k before heading home. What a great weekend!

Sunrise Sunday morning
Only -20°C
The sun is beginning to come up
The sun is up finally! Around 8am.


Sandy Fillebrown said...

Great pictures! It does look like a wonderland.

Feeding polar bears??

Linda said...

Did you get any pictures of the polar bears???

Leif said...

Feeding polar bears??

Of course, that is a national pastime of Sweden.
Don´t you have polar bears walking in the streets of Philly?

NEOC#1 said...

Where did you stay? Hellas used to have camps at Fryksås/Grönklint. Spectacular place. And by ski we caught moose as treats for the bears.

Samantha said...

Well, the polar bears were in a bear park, so not wild :) We stayed at apartments in Grönlint (I believe). Beautiful place!