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King of Riksgransen

12:57 6th May 2008 by Melanie Schönthier
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I still remember being 16 years old and so jealous that my boyfriend was able to go to Riskgransen. Okay, the fact that it was summer and he couldn’t go snowboarding there was kind of a relief.

But I was not only green with envy that his parents had allowed him to travel on an Interrail ticket (for those of you who have never heard about it: It is a cheap option to travel through a lot of European countries in summer) and I had to stay at home. No, it was the mere fact that he was able to step on “holy ground”! Just a year ago, in May 1996, Ingemar Backman, had earned his immortal place in the snowboard world (and in my heart) by showing this monstrous backside air during a spring session in Riks. And now it was my boyfriend and not me who went there! He, who wasn’t admiring Ingemar even half as much as I did! But he who laughs best laughs last, haha…


There are probably more tourists living in the hotel than people in Riksgransen (around 55)…

Right now I’m sitting in the Riksgransen Hotel (the only one here) and it is snowing which means that I will be able to even go shredding here! And I also won’t stay for only one night – like my boyfriend did because he ran out of money – I will be here for a whole week! Not enough, this is a “job” and I’m getting paid for being here while my former boyfriend, who became a doctor, probably starts a 12 hour shift in some Austrian hospital right now. The only thing lacking right now: The riders (there are rumors that Terje will show up!) and our senior photographer Peter Lundstroem whom I was supposed to meet here to do a nice story about the King of the Hill, a mixed skiers and snowboarders competition with different disciplines (moguls, big air and slopestyle).


The lift in Riksgransen (somewhere in the fog the chair lift goes up to 900 meters).

Riksgransen, a tiny village in Northern Sweden, is so close to the polar circle that the season starts in February when the light slowly comes back to this part of the earth and continuous until late June with the lifts open until midnight as it stays light all day! My trip up was more comfortable than I expected it to be when I first heard about the 19 hours train ride from Stockholm to Riksgransen – yeah, right, 19 hours in the train! But I had a cosy couchette (kind of a bed) for the night, no snorer in my cabin and even saw a moose with a baby moose really close to the train tracks.

So here I am but unfortunately the weather is too bad to go up on the “mountain” (if you are used to the Alps, it is more like a 900 meters high hill but I heard Riks has got some really sick backcountry spots I hope to explore tomorrow). Anyway, I think I don’t miss anything as today is only moguls training for the skiers. Tonight, at the riders meeting, I will hopefully get some more information about what is going on in the next days and if the weather will improve. Until than I might check out the spa, I heard about a hot tub and some yoga lessons – wow, what a trip to end the season!

Laters…

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