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North Karelia's ski season starts on Saturday

The weather forecast for two weeks promises slight frosts and good conditions for cross-country skiing.

Kontiolahti's first snow slope will be opened on Saturday 21.10. at 9 o'clock. About 50,000 cubes of snow were made for this year, and the track opens a week later than in previous years.

"For example, last year the weather conditions were very difficult. Even this fall, the weather would have been warm and rainy at the traditional time of the track in mid-October. Fortunately, the weather forecast for a couple of weeks now promises light frosts, which would be an excellent situation for skiers and the maintenance of the slopes", says Kimmo Turunen of Kontiolahti Outdoor, who is responsible for snowmaking services for the slopes.

30 national teams in November  

Last winter, Kontiolahti's skiing season was extended to more than half a year, when the last skiing kilometers of spring were collected in May Day skiing.

Turunen says that the first snowfall will bring biathlon teams to North Karelia this year as well.

"The Finnish team will be there during the GP games in mid-November. Together with a few other national teams, we are making preparations for October-November."

The biggest international competition of the season at the Kontiolahti Biathlon Stadium is the opening of the IBU Cup. About 250 athletes from 30 different countries are expected at the event.

"The number of teams in the IBU Cup is even greater than in the World Cup. The difference from the public's point of view is that entry to the IBU Cup competition is free of charge," says Turunen.

The track gets longer during the month    

At the opening of the season, the length of the track is 1.5 kilometers. The track will be extended step by step, depending on the weather conditions, so that there will be approximately three kilometers of track under the mid-November GP games.

"In the GP races and the IBU Cup, the tracks offer the height differences that competitive athletes miss," says Turunen.

The prices of day tickets have remained unchanged compared to last year.

"The price of a day ticket is 15 euros for adults and 10 euros for pensioners, students and 13-17 year olds. 12-year-olds and younger ski for free. With this, we want to encourage especially children to go to the track."

INFO: Track and track cafe open daily

  • Kontiolahti's first snow slope will be opened on Saturday 21.10. at 9:00 a.m.
  • The length of the track is 1.5 km at the beginning of the season. The track will be extended to three kilometers by mid-November.
  • A 50-70 centimeter layer of snow shoveled the previous winter and stored under sawdust over the summer is spread on the track.
  • The ticket office and the cafe are open daily in the main building of the Kontiolahti Biathlon Stadium from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The track lights are on until 9 p.m.
  • The slope is not available to skiers during maintenance breaks (every day at 13-14 if necessary) and during competitions, for example during the IBU Cup week 27.11.-3.12.