2018-01-16 10:25

Masses of natural snow in the Vasaloppet Arena

With six weeks to go before Vasaloppet's Winter Week 2018, there is plenty of snow on the Vasaloppet course, and ski tracks drawn all the way from Sälen to Mora. The tracks are groomed before every weekend for those who want to get out and train.

Developing more efficient snowmaking for the Vasaloppet course is, at the same time, one of Vasaloppet’s most highly prioritized projects. Making snow locally can cut down on transports and a better, more even surface along the course will reduce the amount of needed snow.

Vasaloppet Arena Manager Anders Holmberg tells us:

“Right now we have between 60 and 90 centimetres of snow in the whole arena, with 20–40 centimetres of packed snow in the ski tracks. We probably haven’t had this much snow since 2012.”
There is also artificial snow on the course.
“Yes, artificial snow has been placed on the last 20 kilometres and we have large depots that can be driven out as needed; among other places we will add to the snow in Hökbergsbacken which often gets worn away. Right now our snowmaking and distribution is on hold, since we’ve judged that we have enough. Both Mora Municipality and Vasaloppet have lots of snow stored up,” Anders Holmberg concludes.

Current track status is updated on vasaloppet.se before every weekend up until the Vasaloppet Winter Week. Good links:
Via Track 4 outdoors you can follow Vasaloppet’s machines in real time, see which stretches have been groomed, when the tracks were made, and current quality. For more frequent updates and personal comments we recommend skidspår.se.
Track 4 outdoors – Follow our track machines in real time and grooming over the past three days
– Vasaloppsspåret, Mora Ski Stadium, Norra Garberg


More efficient snowmaking for the Vasaloppet Arena is one of Vasaloppet’s prioritized development projects for the future. Due to a lack of snow in 2005 Vasaloppet had to prepare 86 of the 90 Vasaloppet kilometres with artificial snow. In the Autumn of 2007 Vasaloppet established the Vasaloppet snow factory in Oxberg, as a backup in the event of bad winters. Starting the snow factory cost three million crowns. At the beginning of each winter season the factory has manufactured a total of 50,000–100,000 cubic metres of artificial snow – with eco-labeled electricity – at a cost of about 300,000 crowns. This was intended for use if there was a lack of snow in the Vasaloppet Arena.

In 2015–2017 Vasaloppet has used this snow to prepare the thirty kilometres between Oxberg and Mora, since there hasn’t been enough natural snow to be sure that Vasaloppet’s Winter Week could proceed without issues. Artificial snow has also been added up towards Vasslan and Evertsberg. The snow factory is thereby no longer a reserve depot but rather a regular part of Vasaloppet’s operations to ensure that there is enough snow for the Winter Week.

If there was a severe lack of snow, the requirement for the whole course, from start to finish, has been calculated at 140,000–150,000 cubic metres of snow at a cost of about one million crowns per 10 kilometres of ski tracks (of which 90 percent would be transport costs).

In the Vasaloppet snowmaking project for 2017–2019 a pilot study has evaluated snow needs and investigated how snow can be produced locally on several locations along the course. Producing snow locally cuts down on transports and thereby reduces costs and carbon dioxide emissions. Vasaloppet already has a snow cannon facility at the start in Sälen, as well as in Mora thanks to Mora Municipality’s facility at Mora Ski Stadium.

Vasaloppet has also gotten permission from the County Administrative Board to use a limited amount of water to ensure that snow can be produced moving forward in Smågan, Tennäng and by the Evertsberg lakes, using mobile snow cannons. In the future it might also be possible to collaborate with the slalom ski slope in Gopshus.

Vasaloppet uses snow saved from the previous year at the factory in Oxberg. Up on the fens long nets have also been stretched out to catch usable natural snow on the wind. A cheap and effective way of ensuring snow.

Another highly effective and inexpensive method that Vasaloppet works on continuously is to improve the surface of the course in the Vasaloppet Arena, making it smoother so less snow is needed to create the ski tracks.

FACTS/ Places left for Vasaloppet’s Winter Week 2018:
Over 58,000 participants are now registered for the Vasaloppet Winter Week 2018. There are still plenty of start places left, except in the three fully-booked races: Stafettvasan, Nattvasan and Vasaloppet. (Registration for Blåbärsloppet opens on January 19.)

Upcoming Events in the Vasaloppet Arena: Vasaloppet Winter Week 2018

Fri 23 Feb: Kortvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.
Sat 24 Feb: Tjejvasan. 30 km. Start Oxberg.
Sun 25 Feb: Ungdomsvasan. 9/19 km Start Eldris/Hökberg
Sun 25 Feb: Öppet Spår Sunday. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Mon 26 Feb: Öppet Spår Monday. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Tue 27 Feb: Halvvasan. 45 km. Start Oxberg.
Fri 2 Mar: Stafettvasan. 9–24 km. Five-person teams. Start Sälen. (FULL 171220)
Fri 2 Mar: Nattvasan. 90 km. Two-person teams. Start Sälen. (FULL 170319)
Sat 3 Mar: Blåbärsloppet. 9 km. Start Eldris.
Sun 4 Mar: Vasaloppet. 90 km. Start Sälen. (FULL 170319)

Vasaloppet Summer Week 2018

Fri 10 Aug: Cykelvasan Öppet Spår. 94 km. Start Sälen.
Fri 10 Aug: Cykelvasasprinten. 1 km. Lindvallen, Sälen.
Sat 11 Aug: Cykelvasan 90. 94 km. Start Sälen.
Sun 12 Aug: Cykelvasan 30. 32 km. Start Oxberg.
Sun 12 Aug: Ungdomscykelvasan. 32 km. Start Oxberg.
Sun 12 Aug: Cykelvasan 45. 45 km. Start Oxberg.
Sat 18 Aug: Ultravasan 45. 45 km. Start Oxberg.
Sat 18 Aug: Ultravasan 90. 90 km. Start Sälen.
Sat 18 Aug: Vasastafetten. 4,5–15 km. Running relay for ten-person teams. Start Sälen.
Sat 18 Aug: Vasakvartetten. 19.1–24.2 km. Running relay for four-person teams. Start Sälen.

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