You don’t have to be a skier to recognise the word Vasaloppet, the world famous cross country ski race. But apart from the race there are also other similar races before the main event, and also seeding races throughout the Swedish race season.
For those looking to experience the area Vasaloppsspåret is open for skiers all winter and, if there is enough snow, tracks are laid between Sälen and Mora before every weekend between December and March.
The link to the main Vasaloppet website is here
Which stretch costs money?
Vasaloppet makes the tracks between Berga by (Sälen) and Eldris, and for this stretch there is no fee. Mora municipality manages the stretch between Eldris and the Zorn Museum in Mora. This stretch has lighting and comes with a fee. Mora municipality’s track cards are sold in the reception of the Mora indoor swimming pool, and online. During the events Vasaloppet takes over management of the whole route.
Skiing during Vasaloppet’s Winter Week
During the week, all ski tracks are open for training. However, it is important to be considerate and to watch out for race participants, so that one does not get in the way. For training it is best to choose sections of the track where no competition is in progress.
Ski races held: Vasaloppet races
thanks to Des Goff for supplying this information
Like the other S in the XC world – Switzerland, Sweden has a reputation for being expensive and if your main goal is to ski in the Vasa week sadly in a way that’s true. However if you’re prepared to compromise on hotels and 5 star etc you can get to ski at Vasa without re-mortgaging. So let’s look at it chronologically.
Firstly if you want to do the actual 90 km Vasa race itself you will need to register a year, yes a year in advance, in the previous March. Likewise with the relay which also sells out very quickly – by which I mean in seconds! The other races are not so popular so you can enter later. Race places can also be bought and sold via the Vasaloppet website. The latest addition to the Vasa races in a night version of the 90km race known as the Nattvasan.
Next travel….the relatively new Norwegian Airlines Gatwick to Stockholm is a good choice especially as their ski carriage rates are low compared to other airlines and they have a good number of flights daily. Thereafter if you’re Vasa bound then train to Mora is the best option unless you want a 320/350 km winter drive. It is about three and a half hours by train directly from the airport terminal for rail info but be aware that you can only actually buy a ticket 3 months in advance. The high speed intercity trains are very nice but the older Tagkompaniet trains not so, just one change to Mora at Borlange onto the smaller local train to Mora. So now you’ll want a meal and a bed! Why not!
Firstly it’s difficult not to find good English spoken just about everywhere so don’t worry on that score – all the necessary websites work in English as well. If you want a good alternative to hotels then the Swedish Tourist Board Hostels come highly recommended although as with everywhere the prices are hiked for the Vasa week. There are STF hostels in both Mora and Orsa, a good place to stay and a short 20 mins bus ride from Mora, but again book early for the Vasa week and expect some competition for rooms!. As at March 2016 the Mora hostel was under renovation. The hostels are self-catering apart from breakfast at busy times but there are plenty of supermarkets around and good kitchens in the hostels. Rooms are basic, some without even a basin but you’ll survive if you want to and want to ski in Sweden and in the Vasa races. However if hostels are not for you there are other non-hotel possibilities via the Vasaloppet website. So let’s talk skiing now then….
Orsa is probably the best place to stay for Vasa skiing as it is only 20 kms from the skiing area at Orsa Gronklitt. The only drawback is that unless you have a car, bus is the only other way of getting there and the timetable limits the skiing day, otherwise Orsa Gronklitt is very good. Lots of well-kept varied trails, a very good XC shop, a good website which includes the daily wax tips and a good restaurant. Skiing at Mora itself is possible but needs good snow to fill the Vasa tracks right into the town for easy access otherwise there are a few tracks at the Mora Ski Club at Hemus which also connect to the Vasa tracks however at that stage the Vasa tracks are flat and pretty uninteresting unless it’s your first visit!
So hopefully that’s enough to keep you out of trouble and get you some skiing in Sweden without an overdraft…as they say there…Lycka till!! But if that’s not enough then there are other races and places as well as 2 ski tunnels, well one ski tunnel at Torsby www.skidtunnel.se probably best approached from Oslo by car – and the new Oberhof style indoor ski hall in Gothenberg. Details of the other major races can be found on the Euroloppet website but take care when booking races and places especially if the Swedish word mila as in the 7Mila race is mentioned. The Swedish mile or mila is actually 10 kilometres so it’s a 70 kilometre race not a 7 mile race!!
Lastly if you want to get warmed up early and fancy Sweden in the summer then you might be interested in the Alliansloppet – a classic style only roller ski race at Trollhatan, north of Gothenbergin late August – details again on the Euroloppet website.
The start and finish of the Wadköpingloppet, part of the Skistart.com challenge cup, is in Ånnaboda ski stadium, a modern facility with artificial snow as well as restaurant and accommodation. It is a mile west of Orebro, at Kilsbergen which meets a nearly 50 km long fertile ridge of Närkeslätten. Kilsbergen’s highest point is Tomasboda Height, measuring 298 meters above sea level and is a traditional passage in Wadköping Race Track layout.
Here is a link to the ski maps and maintenance information It may take a while to load, in which case you could take the translate facility off, which might speed it up somewhat.