On The Ground in Östersund

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After a relatively painless trip across the Atlantic to Sweden, I am now in Östersund, Sweden for the next few weeks.  As I write this, it is 2:30 in the afternoon and the sun has already gone down.  Fortunately, this venue has some of the best lighting of any place I have ever skied.  Apparently the stadium lights are the brightest in the entirety of Scandinavia.  At full power it’s hard to tell what time of day it is in the stadium.  Once again, the Östersund organizing committee has created an incredible early-season training site with almost 5km of artificial snow, roughly two feet deep and twenty to thirty feet wide.  The snow we are currently skiing on was made last winter and stored in a huge pile under three feet of saw dust until about a week ago when they spread it out on the race course.  The temperatures look rather warm for the foreseeable future so it doesn’t look like we will be skiing on anything other than last year’s artificial snow for some time.  I’ve included a few pics from this morning.  Notice there’s almost no snow on the side of the trail.  Winter definitely hasn’t arrived here yet.

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