A Good Way to Exercise
More and more people appreciate being able to exercise when they want and where they want. Being able to use a perfectly groomed hill to walk uphill with skins is growing in popularity among both residents of ski resorts and guests. It is above all the ski ascent that attracts as a form of exercise, the downhill skiing becomes a bonus. Taking a virtually undisturbed ride down is something that attracts more and more people after closing time and sometimes even during the lifts’ opening hours.
Off Hours the Ski Area is an Intense Work Place
The ski resorts are of course welcoming the fact that more people discover all kinds of skiing, but at the same time they need for guests and locals to carefully check which slopes are suitable for the purpose to avoid collisions with other skiers during opening hours and with snow groomers and other heavy machinery such as snow mobiles and snow making machines. Another risk is the winch cables that are set up for the snow groomers to operate in steep terrain. It is easy to miss that a wire is in the way when you go down a hill at high speed after closing. Work with avalanche protection also takes place largely outside opening hours. Sometimes large drifts are required to burst off slopes to prevent them from releasing spontaneously, covering visitors. Therefore, it is forbidden to ski off hours, drive any vehicle, bike or do other things in the ski resorts.
SLAO – The Swedish Ski Areas Industry Association
The Swedish Organization for Ski Resorts has what they call “The Little Yellow Book”, with rules applying in the Ski Areas. The Little Yellow Book states that it is not allowed to go uphill in marked slopes at any time. Slopes are to be regarded as workplaces during non-opening hours. If a facility wants to allow Ski touring / Randonné, however, it is possible by providing special slopes and routes where no work is in progress or on marked trails that are separate from other downhill skiers to avoid collisions.
Marked Trails for Ski Touring
In Åre, for example, the phenomenon of Ski Touring in prepared pistes has grown steadily and therefore special randonné evenings are now arranged where illuminated slopes are open exclusively for touring. Something that has been well received by both locals and guests. The long bright spring-winter evenings contribute to more people being attracted to the ski systems even in the evening and therefore there are several touring trails next to slopes in the Åre area. Also in Funäsdalsfjällen there are trails open for “touring” on Funäsdalsberget and in Tänndalen. Even smaller resorts have marked trails dedicated for Ski Touring. The trails are often open during the evenings when the slopes are open for night skiing.
Ski resorts that offer special evenings for Ski Touring on marked trails sign and inform about rules that apply on their websites and in social media. You can also get information from, for example, Ski Lift Operators. In Ramundberget, guests are offered to ride in snow grooming machines to get an insight into the job behind the preparation of a hill and also a feeling for how difficult it is to discover if a skier is on the slopes after closing.
A ski pass is required for access to the slopes at all times, even when the ski lifts are closed.