(This Day 4 post also pulls from excerpts sent to my parents)
Our last day in Åre was wonderful! We started a little late to wait for it to warm up outside just a bit and then drove from Tegefjäll to Åre. We had a hard time finding parking because the World Cup for skiing was starting Friday. Lena dropped me off and I limped my way to the bottom of the chair lift and waited for her. She finally found parking and we took the 6 person sit lift up about 1/2 the mountain and then took a gondola up the rest of the way. There is a tiny bit more to get to the tip tip top, but those slopes are a bit more difficult, so we just went to the more general top.
It was so cold, white and beautiful from the top. In the picture you can see the snow that covers and grows on the roof of the gondola house. From there we skied down the back of the mountain where the trails are blue, and I could do them without much trouble. Only one spot where I started to go down the wrong path and stopped to see what Lena said, and had to climb back up a few feet to get on the right track. Luckily my knee didn’t hurt skiing, just when walking haha. In the picture of me in ski gear, on the right I tried to zoom in so you could see the path I skied down the mountain, it is a big S.
The path we took let us do a few other slopes on the way down and then get a lift back up, so we did one of my favorites, Ullådalen, several times (6-7) before we went to lunch at Buustamons Fjällgård. We left our skies and waited shortly in the sun for our table.
I had a delicious burger and enjoyed the nice views outside while we ate. I also enjoyed seeing all the groups of men and women who were there for a boy or girls ski trip haha. I took a picture of these guys trying some local spirits from little snaps bottles! Also as we took our seat we ran into Maria again who was at the table next to ours and just leaving with her friends!
After lunch we headed down the rest of the mountain. It was not too steep but more winding through the woods and had to keep up speed for some of the flat sections because cross-county is hard to do in downhill boots… At the end we came through a tunnel under the mountain and I stopped before the final bit of slope. It didn’t look too bad so I went for it, but 1/2 way down I think I hit a pile of snow (it was pretty choppy from all the skiing at this point) and fell hard on my butt. I was mad I didn’t finish without falling, but at least I didn’t get really hurt. Realized after I had never rebuckled my two bottom buckles on my boots after lunch and I’d left the suspenders on my snow pants down too haha.
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Then we skied to the car, dropped off my rental equipment and went home to pack the car and clean the appartment. We were all set and on the road by 4pm. Lena did the driving and it was really icy at first but eventually the roads turned back into pavement (with many frost heaves… They would wake me up). We took the back roads which were really beautiful past many farms and around lakes. Lots of fir trees and the trees in general were so amazingly straight. We passed some logging trucks on the way too. Lena also saw a lady moose just as it was getting dark and I turned quick to see it too! I also saw some deer in the woods. On the way up I had seen a fox too… So in many ways very much like VT. Different, but the same.
We pulled over to eat some sandwiches around 7:30pm and the crescent moon was stunning, you could actually see the rest of the moon faintly behind it. The stars were lovely too. Reminded me if all the late nights when my family would get to VT in the dark, breath in the clean fresh air and look up at the stars!!!
We finally got home at about 10:30pm or so. We made really good time and quickly got unpacked and ready for bed.
It was such a special trip to visit the Swedish Fjällen (mountain range) and learn how to really downhill ski (åker skidor).
(My map with the runs I did highlighted)