When the rest of Sweden prepares for spring, Björkliden and Riksgränsen open for the winter season. Håkan Stenlund goes north, to the playground of the fanatics.
“Thank you for this weekend”.
“Thank you. It’s always fun to experience something that’s better than it really is”.
Outside Hotel Riksgränsen two friends thank each other for the nice company during the opening weekend at Gränsen. ‘Better than it really is’ refers to the skiing. When the mountain opened on the Friday, covered in ski boot-deep powder completely unaffected by the wind and with clear blue skies, a surprisingly low number of skiers were at the ready.
The Swedish mountains are rarely so straightforward: cold snow from top to bottom and not a trace in the snow from the wind. Conditions where snow has fallen as restrained and quietly as a young lover wondering whether to try their luck or not. You can always hope that something will work out. But it doesn’t always end up being better than what you’ve been dreaming about.