I have been to Åre several times before and know it's a good place to ski. This time I travel there with my fianceé (Stéphanie), mother (Ingela), stepfather (Micke) and brother (Rasmus). I and Stéphanie will go there by night train and the others join us during the first evening. Follow what we are up to below.
The last day in Åre for this visit but a last time in the slopes was still possible before getting on the train. The temperature dropped to -25 degrees Celsius but that doesn't stop me from racing down the slope and through the forest as fast as I can, it's just fun anyway. But after a little while it was time to get ready to leave the apartment. I got back inside, checked how much needed to be packed, played the board game Ticket to ride, ate some food, took a shower and then used about 15 min to pack my bags. Stéphanie was not skiing today and had therefore already prepared her bag. Micke got us to the train station in the car and after 30 min in the station it was time to say goodbye Åre.
The low temperature from yesterday continued today, making it important to protect the face from wind when racing down in the slopes. But it didn't take long before we wanted some heat and went in to the small restaurant called Platåkåtan in the middle of Åre Sadeln. After a cup of hot chocolate we continued down to the cabin lift and got up to the top station. Back at the apartment I repaired as much as possible of the broken LED light wire before we headed for the top restaurant Åre Ski Inn to eat dinner and also be the first skiers to get down in the newly prepared slopes for the night skiing. It was almost no people in the restaurant at that time so it was just relaxing to sit there and eat good food. When I got out to my skis I switched on the LED light and started to race down. At first close to the edge of the lit slope and later also in to a slope without any other light than what I had on my body. Be sure to check out the video at YouTube (https://youtu.be/XArVR4ppt84), it was fun to make.
Still pain in my knee and shoulder from the crash yesterday got me to stay in the apartment during the day with Stéphanie, who had a swollen knee. We played the board game Dominion and watched the TV series Sense 8 but later at the afternoon I had enough of the resting and prepared for some night skiing. I connected a small 12V completely sealed battery to 600 LED lights and with the help of Stéphanie I wrapped myself into that light rope. The battery was put in my pocket and then I and my mother took the car to Åre Björnen to shoot some fun video in the dark. It was fun and it was quite many people that probably got surprised but due to the cold weather (-24 degrees Celsius) I could only shoot video during one run, then the Gopro battery was dead. There was also a problem with the LED cable that it broke in a few points due to decreased flexibility in low temperature but I anyway like the result even if it would be cool to do more. Don't forget to check out the night skiing video: https://youtu.be/XArVR4ppt84.
Looking out through our window this morning gave the impression it was a cloudy day but the webcam at the top showed it was not the case. With that in mind we prepared to get to the top and when we got to the highest lift station we started to walk, heading for the top of Åre (Åreskutan). We have been up there before so we knew about the hidden extra distance but for anyone who doesn't know it the first top that is seen is not even half way up due to a lower plateau before the real top. Eventually we got up and I struggled some more before I came up on the roof of the top cottage. This day the cottage was open so we bought waffles and hot choklet inside. You can't pay with any card up there but you can use Swish or pay with cash. The way down was done at packed snow starting with a jump down in a steep section and with increasing speed over all the snow covered rocks along the way. Down at the top lift station we continued to a mountain bike track, where I took of with my brother. Fun as long as there was snow in the track but suddenly all snow was gone and as I saw it mid air when going over a jump it was no possibility to stop. This led to a crash onto the stones, it hurt but hopefully wont leave any more than some bruises for the next day. The sauna and also a relaxing time in the sofa while watching fhe movie Pixels at least help loosing up my muscles.
Today the VM8 lift was open but it was a cold lift to be in this day so when we got up to its top we headed for Rödkullen. It was a good choice since it was less windy there, lowering the cooling effect. We put a bag with food in a lunch cottage down at the lift station and then continued to ski in all of the slopes in the area. The snow depth isn't really much to talk about right now but it was still possible to do some turns around the trees and I atleast found one place with untouched snow with a little more depth to have some fun in. Later back in the apartment we relaxed in the sauna and after some food all of us played the board game Dominion (original edition).
Despite living next to one of the most central lifts to the top, the VM8, we had to take the bus to another one since it was to windy for it to open. It was hard wind, below -14 degrees celsius, snow and ice droplets from all the snow cannons. We got up with the mountain railway and after a few slopes we took the bus to Rödkullen instead, both to eat as well as being directly connected to our apartment with a slope as we then could go in directly after being finished for the day. Back in the apartment we ate and played Ticket to ride, the christmas gift from me and Stéphanie to my family.
The bath house at Holiday Club hotel was our choice regarding how to relax, it's located behind the train station and also have mini golf. It was one adventure bath part and as an extra option the sauna world. The adventure bath had one waterslide with plenty of speed if you just pushed it all you could in the start. For the children there are several pools they can play in and there is a short swimming track. We did however go directly to the sauna world to relax; they had various regular saunas, steam sauna, cold pools, kneippe bath, a warm rain shower and a bar. The only downside was the children that also was allowed in there; there is generally nothing wrong with children but they often don't combine well with creating a relaxing and quiet environment. Be there closer to the closing time if you want it more relaxing than us. One smoothie later after getting out from the bath we stepped into a bus that took us to our hotel where we met up with my mother, Rasmus and Micke.
Prepared with breakfast in our bags and an alarm that set of 1 hour before we was planned to arrive in Åre we made the bed to a couch and started to eat. Then it was time to get of the train at it was equally tricky as getting on. At this time it would be possible to get on a ski buss right outside of the station but with our amount of gear we ended up in a taxi to takre us to our room. We was not going to check in but to leave our bags, ger up and get to the top. At the top I took a sperical photo right next to the cabin lift as well as one ride down under the gondel lift, giving Stéphanie a good view while I was skiing at she were sitting in the gondol. Some private lessons later with Stéphanie we were tired and ready to relax.
I had never been going in a train, while sleeping in a bed, before. Stéphanie and I got on the train at about 22:30, made our way through the cramped corridor and finally into our 1st class room for two. It was much more space compared to standard class but still a tight space and it was no problem for me to fall asleep. I woke up a few times during the night and could feel the train movements but so much it was disturbing, and then I fell asleep again.