/ Skiing and Northern Lights

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Trangia - on 14 Dec 2012
We are planning a package holiday winter break in the Arctic circle. The MAIN objective is to get a chance to see the Northern Lights, but as a keen skier I also want to get in some downhill skiing (2nd priority) and do some cross country skiing (3rd priority). Additional outings like dog sledging and skidoos would be fun.

So far as I can see Lapland seems to offer the best option for seeing Aurora Boralis with some skiing thrown in, although I appreciate that it won't be like what I have been used to skiing in terms of size, length of runs etc in the Alps and America.

I am looking at mid to late Jan or Feb 2013

These resorts seem to offer interesting combinations:-

Levi
Yllas
Saariselka

Has anyone one skied in any of them?

Comments for and against?

Any other venue recommendations?
HeMa on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to Trangia:

Of the 3 listed, I would pick Ylläs... a tad better options for (off-piste) skiing and more prepared tracks for XC.

Levi has some nice slopes, but is considered more of an party-town.

Can't say much about Saariselkä.

I would how ever also consider Pyhä as an option...
In reply to Trangia: I've skied at Ylläs, I think it's the biggest Finnish resort although that's still not particularly big. It's a long time since I've been there but I remember thinking it was comparably in size to Aonoch Mor, but with less steep runs but better infrastructure.

I've seen the Northern Lights in those southern parts of Lapland but I don't know if it's as regular as further north. My impression is that its not, but the last time I was in Ylläs it was Easter and by that time the days are really long so you're less likely to notice them I suppose.

I remember the XC skiing is great, you can go for good long day trips, so think of it as going out for a days hike and seeing Lapland away from the buzz of the lifts and noise of people in the resort. There are 100s of kms of prepared tracks to follow.
Trangia - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply:

Thanks guys. It looks like Yllas then
craigloon - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to Trangia:

What about Tromso in Norway?
In reply to craigloon: From memory, lift serviced skiing is quite limited near Tromsø isn't it? Narvik is the place for serious lift serviced skiing I believe. Tromsø for touring.
Andes - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to Trangia:
Better not to book for the period around a full moon - it will put a bit of a dent in your viewing chances. Clouds are the other problem of course but a bit harder to predict two months in advance!!
Simon Davis - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to Trangia: I'm in a very similar situation to you and Levi would get my vote. Been with family 6 or 7 times usually December. Lots more going on in village for kids. Skiing right into village (think Yllas skiing involves a bus). Seen Northern lights 4 or 5 times. Beautiful place which ever resort you go to.
Paul Evans - on 15 Dec 2012
In reply to Trangia
If your main objective is to see the northern lights then abisko should be top of your list.
Due to the topology of the surrounding mountains it is unusually cloud free.
Which kind of matters.
No idea what the skiing is like but they do have some.
Good luck - oh and 2013 is a solar max so chances are better than usual
Paul
Andes - on 15 Dec 2012
In reply to Paul Evans:
Abisko has from my memory just one really long chairlift, but there are lots of different "off-piste" routes back to the bottom. They had some sort of special northern light viewing gallery in the cafe at the top! The surrounding area has some really good looking touring options and there was an XC track cut in the valley too. Finally it was -18ºC in April so the snow was really good. Don't know why we only stayed one day!

Picture of the general terrain here:-
http://www.piste-off.com/world-ski-mountaineering/sweden-ski-touring.asp
ads.ukclimbing.com
Dave - on 15 Dec 2012

>
> I would how ever also consider Pyhä as an option...

I would also consider Pyha. Good downhill and very nice cross country tracks along, across and through a chain of fells that you can link to the neighbouring resort of Luosto. We were just at Pyha last week for a few days and I can recommend a great traditional kelo (dried log) cabin if your are interested. Yllas is big by Finnish standards, Levi is Ok, have not skied Saariselka but I think it's better for cross country?

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