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A guide to going off-piste in Sweden

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If you’re looking to beat the queues for the ski lift, stick close to your friends down the runs, and still see the natural beauty of the skiing landscape, heading off on a cross-country skiing adventure in Sweden is the perfect idea.

No matter if you’ve only been on a handful of ski trips, or are seen on the black runs on an annual basis, getting a group together and challenging yourself to the off-piste track is fun for all. The steeped country of Sweden plays home to a myriad of natural slopes which are just begging to be explored. Thankfully, touring guides are on-ski to guide you through a district and down the mountains. Get in touch with the operators around your resort and they will take you along some of the best routes – ideal for day-trippers looking for their first cross-country adventure.

For beginners and the experienced

The idea of straying from the safety of the resort’s runs may be daunting, but because Sweden boasts a stunning combination of flat and hilly terrain, it is ideal for the apprehensive beginner, just as much as the experienced skier. Great for first timers is The King’s Trail.

The King’s Trail

Located between Abisko and Hemavan, your guide will lead the group through many of the most beautiful national parks in the country. If you fancy immersing yourself in the environment, then there’s always the option to stay a night or two in a log cabin en-route to the next part of your trail; Swedish culture at its finest.

Being located inside of the Arctic Circle means that you will endure below freezing temperatures – perfect skiing conditions, but not for exposing your skin to the elements! Layering is super important, as you will be chilly while whizzing down a mountain slope, yet walking along the flatter parts of the route can be very warm.

What to wear

Choosing your ski attire is a great opportunity to get creative and stand-out on the slopes. Starting at the top:

Although you may not be travelling at speed, make sure you stay safe on the slopes by investing in a decent helmet. You can then keep your neck and chest covered with a funky ski buff; perfect for maintaining your body’s temperature.

On your torso, you should choose thermal base layers and team them with extra fleece jumpers or sweaters. In the early/late season when the temperatures rise a little, you can get away with a gilet. But for the depths of winter, and the high season, invest in a quality ski jacket – this is your greatest asset, so isn’t worth scrimping on.

Clothe your legs in a pair of salopettes (ski overalls), again, with thermal long johns or long underwear underneath for an added layer of warmth. Then, keep your feet cosy in top-quality ski socks. They are what keep your feet comfy in your tight snow boots, so are also an important purchase.

Don’t forget insurance

Although you will be in the safest of hands throughout your cross-country experience, make sure you purchase ski insurance before you go. Even if you have standard holiday insurance, through your debit/credit card provider for example, make sure you’re covered – as many policies do not cover extreme or winter sports. Get a quick quote from the likes of moneysupermarket.com and make sure you’re covered should you get injured on the slopes.

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