FRIDAY MORNING. THE RAIN KEEPS DRIPPING QUIETLY LIKA A SPRAY SHOWER AND THE THERMOMETER SHOWS FOUR DEGREES ABOVE ZERO. WINTER IN TOWN FEELS LISTLESS AS I AM DRIVING TO WORK. TEN HOURS LATER THE ATMOSHERE HERE IS COMPLETELY DIFFEREnt. THE CAR IS PACKES AND WE ARE HEADING NORTH. THE GOAL IS A WEEK IN THE LARGEST SKI AREA IN SWEDEN - FUNÄSFJÄLLEN- WELCOME TO ANOTHER WORLD
The winter road is freshly ploughed and the snow glitters in the light of the headlamps with the dark forests as a frame on both sides.
The dreamy, magic landscape and the snow on the windscreen accompanied by the electronic bounce of Beach House provide for a great atmosphere; somewhat unreal, like in a film.
We are on our way. We don’t care that the snow falls faster once we are past Sveg. The wide roadsides allow us good visibility and when some twenty reindeer have settled in the middle of the road we have plenty of time to brake and stop.
They inspect us with curiosity before tiring and dropping off. We continue our drive and a few kilometres after Hede the snowfall subsides.
The sky and the forests open up as Funäsdalen welcomes us. The mountain and the village light up the village. Come morning in Hotell Funäsdalen the sun wakes us up and after breakfast we take the car for about 800 metres uphill to Funäsdalsberget’s guest centre by the six-seater chairlift Kåvan Express.
We purchase our ski passes, ‘one ski pass – five ski areas and 136 pistes’ promises the advert. We are looking at a skiers’ paradise and the day on
the mountain in the middle of the village promises well.
Mt Funäsdalsberget is a ‘must’
The pistes are really well groomed; they vary in difficulty and meander gently on the slope downhill
towards the valley. It is easy to like the ski area with its alpine character, easy access and short lift queues.
The park is of high class and there are challenging forest runs inviting off-piste skiing. An early morning following a real snow dump is magic; miles upon miles of views, all the ingenuity of the mountain and you and your skis.When in Funäsfjällen, this mountain is a ‘must’.
Truly great off-piste
But let us back up a little and start the story of Funäsfjällen in the east, with a visit to Tännäs or Tännäskröket which is the alpine ski resort. Tännäs used to be the centre in the area until Funäsdalen took over. There was no alpine skiing here for a number of years
but the alpine resort reopened in 2004 and now comprises 5 lifts and 17 pistes, and in addition, the off-piste skiing is truly great.
Everything is spread over two peaks, K1 and K2. The area is easy to ski also for the younger guests and a good choice for everyone aiming to improve the technique. The north side which opened a couple of years ago tempts with more advanced free skiing, so even the more experienced
skiers will find challenges.
Tännäs also tempts with some extra special experiences, here you can visit the musk-ox pen.
We drive back to Funäsdalen, and through it, opting for the road towards Norwegian town Röros.
We drive past several miles of Swedish fells and the ski lifts Svansjöliftarna, Tännporten, Buskvallen and Hamra which
comprise the ski area of Tänndalen.
This part is blessed with some five metres of snow every winter. The snow dumps actually characterize all of Funäsfjällen.
Hence if you like natural snow, sparse birch-tree forests and bare mountains, then you have come to the right place.
Gliding around having fun skiing
Here is varied with many natural, gentle undulations which provide for pleasant and variable
skiing. Glide around and have fun, pick up speed and set off beyond the pistes.
Here are vast slopes in various degrees of difficulty, starting in the bare mountain region down through the birch-tree forest.
When the legs need to restock energy supplies there are several cafés and restaurants on the slopes in strategic settings along the valley.
From Tänndalen we head north to where the road ends, here is Ramundberget. The first time I came here was in the late 70s and I still remember with great joy the forest runs in the sparse birchtree forest. The scenery here is unexploited; Swedish fells like they used to look, but time has in no way stood still here, many improvements have been made and Ramundberget of today is a genuine ski resort with everything
necessary in terms of services, good food and accommodation and of course, brilliant skiing.
Whether the day is basking in the sunshine, a grey cloudy day, windy or with snow-packed clouds and intense snowfall;
it is irrelevant, you will always find good areas to ski. If you are looking for challenges you should opt for Osthang. Here are the
steepest runs and if you turn left at the top of the four-seater chairlift and push past Osthang, you will find the longest run of the
Here is also a park, attracting both beginners and pros. You should also make a point of visiting the summit café Tusen.
This is an awarded building with delicious food.
Ski touring or cross-country skiing
A week in Funäsfjällen is not limited to alpine skiing. Here is also the world’s best crosscountry skiing, well, at least the
longest prepared tracks area with 300 kilometres groomed for classic and freestyle technique. You can also go ski touring up in the
bare mountain region, follow the riverbanks of Tännån and Ljusnan or run a loop between the old buildings with their picturesque
porches . The tracks between the villages alone measure 90 kilometres, from Fjällnäs in the west via Tänndalen, Funäsdalen and Ljusnedal to Tännäs in theeast, with Bruksvallarna and Ramundberget in the north. The vast track system provides the
ideal conditions for relaxed skiing, irrespective of the weather.
A touch of Austria
Along the tracks are shelters and the area is famous for the hospitality in the many pleasant restaurants and cafés, tempting with local delicacies. There is an Austrian touch over the ski touring here and I like that. The fells experience is grand and the tracks and trails are laid out
more for pleasant and gentle tours rather than exhausting exercises.
Still, there are many opportunities for the adrenalin pushers. One suggestion is to skip the lift and go up to the summit café using
the cross-country track.
Funäsfjällen offers so much relaxation, peace and quiet; so many experiences, fresh air, and virgin snow; friendly faces, good
food and rest; hanging out in the bars and peaceful, quiet evenings in playing games. And probably the world’s most pleasant skiing,
in the park, from the helicopter up on Mount Helags, in the ravines in the birch-tree forest, in the
bare mountain region, along the brooks and rivers… This is the
fells for real.
Welcome here this winter!