Cross-country skiing can be as easy or as hard as you want to make it, so if you like it to be more of a challenge than a holiday, you can sign up for the annual Swedish Vasaloppet for the bargain basement price of 186 euro per person!
The Vasaloppet is a long distance cross-country ski race held on the first Sunday of March each year in the province of Dalarna, Sweden. The entire week is a kaleidoscope of entertainment and colour with kids’ races and shorter distance events that all build up to the main event. You can find out more about it here www.vasaloppet.se.
It is the 84th Vasaloppet this year, and it is the holy grail of cross-country events to win. No wonder, when the distance you have to cover between the villages of Salen and Mora is 90km, and the race attracts some 15,000 competitors every year. Covering 90km is no mean feat in itself, but the winner needs to maintain an average speed of around 23km per hour for the duration to be among the leaders!
One of the previous winners of the race is Olympian athlete Koni Hallenbarter who owns and runs the ski school in the Goms Valley village of Obergesteln in Switzerland. Don’t worry though, he’s calmed down a bit since his Winter Olympic days and now easy-going instructors like Kurt Hochstrasse help him pass on the joys of cross-country to those of us whose ambitions are slightly less lofty than the Vasaloppeteers.
Good luck to all those taking part!
King Carl XVI Gustaf acceded to the Swedish throne in 1973. He is the 74th King of Sweden and belongs to the Bernadotte dynasty, which has ruled Sweden since 1818. His favourite car is a Porsche 911, and he also owns a vintage Volvo PV444.