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The first snow season ends: The number of skiers increased again

For the 2021-22 season, a third of the record 60,000 cubic meters of snow is already ready.

The first snow season at the Kontiolahti biathlon stadium ends on Wednesday, January 6. Enough natural snow has fallen so that in addition to the stadium's tracks, the area's other network of tracks can be put into use.

"The skiing opportunity that opened on October 15th extended the area's skiing season by 83 days this winter," says the CEO of Kontiolahti Outdoor, which is responsible for snowmaking services for the slopes, Kimmo Turunen.

The number of people skiing on the municipal shift increased

The number of track users increased in October-December compared to previous seasons. An increase of ten percent was recorded in the number of skiing achievements during the free shifts of the Kontiolahti municipal residents.

"During two years, the number of people skiing on municipal shifts has increased by more than 30 percent. This season, the number of skiers during one municipal shift reached close to 200 skiers at the most," says Turunen.

He estimates that from October to the beginning of January, around 30,000 skiing performances have been seen at the stadium.

"In October-December, skiing opportunities on natural snow were weak or non-existent all over the country. This was reflected in the increase in the number of visitors. Corona restrictions disciplined indoor exercise, which could lead more exercisers to outdoor exercise and to the track."

Sports clubs active

New autumn services at the Kontiolahti stadium were a free municipal shift for residents of Kontiolahti over 65 and a soup lunch at Kahvila-Ravintola Napakympi on weekends. The soup lunch service will be continued until the end of the ski season, when the corona restrictions that temporarily closed the cafe operation in December end.

As a special feature of the autumn season, Turunen points out the increased visits of children and young people to the stadium.

"For example, the junior groups of Polvijärvi Athletes, Liperi Ski Club and Joensuu Kataja were very active guests at the stadium. Similarly, the visits of the Puijo Biathlon Skiers and other sports clubs from outside the province clearly increased."

Snowing in progress for the 2021-22 season

Turunen says that Kontiolahti Outdoor has made about a third of the planned record 60,000 cubic meters of snow for the 2021-22 season.

"The conditions for making snow have been clearly better than last winter. The situation looks good for the coming weeks as well, when the forecasts promise optimal frosts for packing new snow."

INFO: First snow season at the Kontiolahti Biathlon Stadium

  • Opened on October 15, when the track was 1.5 km long. The track was extended in stages, depending on the weather and user needs, to 5.2 kilometers by mid-December.
  • During the Biathlon World Cup events and other competitions, the tracks were reserved for events.
  • Last winter, the ski season was extended by almost three months (83 days) thanks to the snow that was made.
  • Estimated number of skiing achievements: 30,000