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Cross-country skiing

Cross-country skiing plays a strong and visible role in Saariselkä. Ski trails form an extensive 200 km trail network, which includes 34 kilometres of trails with flood lights.

Typically, you can go cross-country skiing in Saariselkä from October until May. Machine made snow is used on a 5 kilometre stretch of the trail. The machine made trail starts from the downhill slopes and goes all the way to Laanila.

The trail network is varied and well suited for all levels of skiers from fitness enthusiasts and competitors to recreational skiers. The wilderness around Saariselkä is easily accessible, so off-piste skiers can enjoy the beautiful deep snow as they wish.

Cross-country skiing is an excellent exercise, but it is also relaxing and lets your mind rest. In Saariselkä, the skier is in their right element, as all the services in the area provide the best possible skiing experience.

What to take with for a ski trip?

Preparation for off-piste skiing should not be taken at all lightly. In your backpack you should pack plenty of hot drinks, snacks, a map, a compass, a change of clothes and a mobile phone, while matches and ski waxes are a good addition.

Cross-country skiing will be a successful experience when you dress in layers. The idea behind dressing in layers is that the air between the layers keeps you warm. The first layer keeps the body dry, the intermediate layers keep you warm and the top layer offers protection against rain, snow and wind.

Follow the trail etiquette!

Skiing is more fun when everyone follows the simple rules. The purpose of the rules is to make skiing safer and more enjoyable.

Right-hand Traffic: On the ski trails, same as on the roads, we keep to the right. Ski on the right and overtake on the left.

Choose your trail correctly: Ski on trails you believe appropriate to your skill level. Whereas skate skiers should stay in the middle of the trail, a classic skier is better off on the edges of the trail where the grooves have been cut into the snow. One should not skate on classic trails.

Take others into consideration: When you catch up with the skier in front of you, give way to them. Be polite and allow sufficient space to an overtaking skier.

Remember safety: avoid skiing too close to others, particularly in descents.

Change your trail safely: If you move from one trail to another, make sure there are no faster skiers approaching from behind you. Changing trails in descents should be avoided.

Do not stop on the trail: if you need a rest, stay well to the edge of the trail, or wait until you arrive at the next rest spot.

Help other skiers: If you see an accident, it is your duty to help others.

If you are unsure about your own skills, stay on marked ski trails so that you can avoid dangerous situations or getting lost.

Off-piste Skiing

Off-piste skiing is challenging, but enjoyable. You can ski outside the trails using traditional forest skis or telemark skis.

The first off-piste trails are usually opened October/November. The longest trails are not serviced before the spring, as the mid-winter polar night does not provide sufficient light for long off-piste trips.

You can go skiing on the deep snow in late November and early December, when it has snowed enough.

You must prepare properly for off-piste skiing. Take extra food for at least one day, dress in layers and bring along another layer of clothes. The weather conditions can change surprisingly quickly when you are out on a long skiing trip, and your skiing may be slowed by high winds or snowfalls.

Also, the water areas and marshes in the Saariselkä area do not freeze as soon as the snow arrives. When planning your route, avoid crossing water areas and marshes unnecessarily.

Cross-country ski trails in the areas surrounding Inari are maintained 1-2 times a week from mid-February until late April.

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