Ylläs Ski Trip – Day 2 & 3

Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

[[ Full write-up of our holiday now available: Ylläs Ski Holiday 2007. ]]

Day 2

More skiing, we’ve been handed over to a new chief instructor — it seems Ola’s job is to scare the first-timers. We start out on the same slope as the previous day. After tackling a longer and curvier one the day before it seemed rather casual! Maybe sticking to the slopes for the extra hours paid off. It’s also a beautifully clear and windless day, making things easier still. No falling off! The slopes are actually kind of icy today, it’s been a few days with no fresh snow and the snow machine snow, I gather, just isn’t quite the same. The instructors hope for fresh snow overnight (though to us the skies still look completely clear at 17:00).

We cover some new tricks. One is lifting the uphill ski, since it is more stable to keep your weight on the downhill one. The second is skiing (very carefully) backwards. The main lesson I need to learn is: lean forward! No! Forward!! shplaff See, if you lean back you fall!

The last thing we do for the lesson is move to a new slope, one right in front of the ski-hut. This is much steeper and is an easy grade rather than the very easy we’ve been dealing with so far. I’m out of control and sliding all over the place, the main problem being that my turns end up being spins and then I’m going backwards down the slope. Despite this I don’t actually fall over at any point during this morning’s lesson.

That changes after the lesson though, I take on the steep slope several more times and fall over like it’s going out of fashion! My favourite move being turning too tightly, going backwards, then falling forwards.

Since we’re back at the hotel so early we decide to head out for a walk, though it is rather cold (-7) and twilight is getting well into night. We walk first about 2km to the Poro (Reindeer) restaurant to make a reservation for Wednesday, we’re told that it is quiet and there’s no need to bother. It was a good walk anyway and we pop into a couple of local-craft/gift shops along the way. We hold back from picking up goodies to send home since we’re not familiar enough with Australian quarantine regulations to pick stuff that can be sent there, all we know is that most things not made of plastic need to be irradiated or fumigated. Next leg of the walk is to the ATM/Supermarket where we discover that there are actually more than two Finnish beers (which is what you’d believe if you thought what the Hotel stocked was any indicator!).

Day 3

Ski ski ski! A good day for skiing, but still no fresh snow. I’m doing much better now, though still far less controlled than Kat. The most important thing in today’s lesson was the part where they took away our ski poles. We were to ski down the slope and on turning reach forward to touch the side of the boot on the outside of the turn. This really highlighted correct weight distribution for turning, turning is much easier now!

We left early today so Kat’s sore shins could have a rest. Though we took a few extra runs after the lesson to take some photos, it was another very clear day — and we’re hoping they’ll get less clear, which isn’t so good for photos.

Our plan was to head to Poro for dinner at 16:00, and that we did. Rudolf tasted gooooood. The walk to the restaurant and back was pretty chilly though, the hotel thermometer said it was -21 Celsius outside! Then we just generally relaxed a bit before having second dinner at 19:00 (grabbing some small bits and pieces from the included buffet so we wouldn’t have to go 14 hours without eating). Then we did some postcards before going for a walk down onto the lake, just a little, although earlier we’d seen a reindeer out in the middle of it and there was clearly a cross-country ski track going right out onto it too. We were hoping to see some Northern Lights, but it was a no-show despite the clear starry sky (damn, probably no new snow gain). Apparently we missed a Northern Light display the previous night.