When I was at school skiing was compulsory, and I was scarred for life. At the ripe age of 13 I swore I would never get on skis again and I stuck to that decision for over 20 years.
But as with everything in life, “never” is relative, and I decided to revise my decision on my holiday in Lapland.
The journey started by renting skis. A friendly chap rented me shoes that were 3 sizes too big, skis that were 10cm too long and some sticks which I believe were the right height. I was geared up for the challenge!
We headed for the easy track that was marked as blue on the map. The track goes over a lake, so it’s mostly flat and goes a straight line. It started with a bit of a downhill and I experienced my first fall around 10m down the track. No worries, upwards and onwards we ventured! Soon there was another downhill. Since I had to put all my concentration on staying up I missed a cheeky little junction and the large board with the map pinned on it.
After about 2km we realised we still hadn’t landed on the lake and had probably ended up on the wrong track. Oh well, the scenes were amazing and skiing felt good. I was glad I had reversed that “never” decision.
Usually the tracks run in a circle and after 1.5 hours of skiing, we thought we were approaching the skiing centre again, which we were really looking forward to reaching. I started to feel pretty knackered, since this was the first stint of exercise I had done in about a year. We welcomed the boards ahead that finally showed us a map, since we didn’t carry one with us. And what did we find…
Instead of skiing the blue track on the ice, that we had planned to, we had skied a red track (much more challenging) and instead of skiing in a circle, we were now bang in the middle of nowhere. And instead of the planned 4.5km circle track, we had skied over 6km in straight line. Great. And now we were 40 minutes from sunset. I tried calling our parents to warn them that it was going to take longer than we thought. I didn’t have any reception. We were literally in the middle of nowhere. Now I wished I had stuck with my “never” decision.
It’s actually no joke to be in the middle of the forest at sunset in Lapland even on a popular ski track. It gets very cold and very dark. I was getting hungry and tired. And there is no other way to get back home than to turn around and just ski as fast as you can.
Luckily the way back was mostly downhill, which explains my tiredness. We’d been skiing a slight uphill for 1.5 hours. Another lucky thing is that dark sets very slowly when you’re that far up north. So it took us about an hour to ski back and it got pitch black dark about 10 minutes after we had arrived.
A hot cup of tea never tasted quite so good than after this little adventure. It didn’t put me off skiing either. I went every day for a week and loved it. Although the blue track over the ice was bloody boring after this one!