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TR – Hemavan, Southern Lapland, Sweden – Easter 2017 & 2019

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
If you want a large ski area with modern lift system, picture postcard village with luxury living, and vibrant après, then you can stop reading now Wink If you want a raw nature mountain environment, you like ski touring, freeride, cross country, or good family skiing in the late season, then read on. You can get a feel for the location from our trip video:

2017-04-04 Hemavan GoPro from Steven Plummer
https://vimeo.com/213222287

As our Easter vacation fell quite late this year, we decided to head north to Southern Lapland for a 4-night short week from Sunday to Thursday. There are flights from Stockholm Arlanda to Hemavan, and the airport looks out onto the mountain, so it appeared to be super convenient. We are a family of three and our son is 8 years old. Wife is non-skier, so ski-in-ski out is important so we can meet up for breaks and lunch if we like.

Hemavan Tärnaby is northern Sweden's biggest ski resort. Hemavan ski area is small by any measure, with 10 lifts and a vertical drop of 665 m (for heli-skiing you can get 1313 m drop apparently, and we did see the heli picking people up and stopping on nearby peaks). The mountain is not that steep, which means it’s good for families. The runs down off-piste from the high-zone lift, Kungsliften, are a nice even gradient with a thin wind-swapped crust, so it was totally smooth in some areas. It was a really lovely feeling, kind of like skiing on a beach of snow. If the clouds close in, there is some nice skiing in the trees lower down. The downside at the moment is the really long t-bar lifts (which are prevalent in Scandinavia). Kungsliften is 1.85 km long and takes nearly 10 minutes(!) up a bumpy and rutted track. But the view from the top is worth it. A new chair/gondola lift will be installed ready for the 2017/18 season, replacing the 1.5 km Norrliften t-bar. There is quite a grand 2025 vision to extend the ski area to the north and replace all the main t-bar lifts lower down with chairlifts. T-bar lifts will remain in the high zone as they are less vulnerable to closure from wind and ice.

At the time we visited, winter was still in full swing. Snow depth was around 1 m on and off-piste. We had a bit of a rain/sleet on the first day, snow over-night, then it cleared up for some lovely sunny and crisp days. Average temperature was around -3°C during the day. I was expecting it to be quite busy as it was Easter, but both the hotel and slopes were fairly empty. No queue more than 10 people for any lift. We left before the actual Easter weekend, and the northern part of Sweden and Norway had their Easter vacation the week after, so we probably missed any crowds (although I expect crowds is a relative term).

The nice way to put it is that the charm of Hemavan is in the mountains. There isn’t really a village centre, just a supermarket, off-license, swimming pool, and a few scattered restaurants. Otherwise just lots of cabins. We booked a taxi to take us from the airport to Hemavans Högfjällshotell, which is ski-in ski-out on the south side of the resort. The hotel has really nice common areas – lots of sofas, an open fire-place, pool table, and table tennis – which means the kids make friends. The rooms are pretty basic and could do with refurbishment. We had a room in the main hotel building with twin beds and a double sofa bed, and not much room for anything else. We asked if there was a bigger room and they swapped us to a room in the detached building which had a king-size double, bunk bed, and sofa. Now we have seen the area, you can ski to most of the cabins and some look very nice, so you can probably rent something on the higher spec end.

I assumed staying in the hotel and lack of a car wouldn’t be any problem, but it meant a 15-20 walk down to the supermarket taking a shortcut across the piste, and the same distance walking down to the swimming pool (we got a taxi back up the hill). The main issue however was that the connecting ski bus from Hemavan to Tärnaby ski area – just 18 km apart – only runs on Saturdays. This meant that unfortunately we didn’t get to visit Tärnaby, which is a shame as it looks like a really nice mountain with some steeper slopes. I hope they improve this connection in the future… Or next time we will hire a car.

As mentioned above, there is heli-skiing available, as well as guided ski touring. If you are into cross-country skiing, there is 40 km of prepared, floodlit tracks, and the 440 km ‘Kungsleden trail’ has its official starting point in Hemavan.

For activities other than skiing, we had a look in the visitor’s centre (Naturum Vindelfjällen) that has information about the local nature and some Easter activities for children, and took a trip to the swimming pool after skiing. It’s really just for the kids to play, but there is a steam room and sauna too. We didn’t do any other activities, but there is the usual snowmobile tours, ice-fishing etc, available in Scandinavia.

In terms of costs, I’m an obsessive early booker or just can’t wait so I plan and book ski trips during the summer. I used an exchange rate of 11 SEK to the British Pound.

We booked flights with Nextjet from Stockholm to Hemavan as soon as they were released in mid-September. The cheapest ‘Sverigebiljetten’ tickets sell out really quickly, but I bagged two returns for £100 each, and the third cost £168 return. This includes a 23 kg bag each. I emailed them to add on a ski bag, which was £63 return to pay at the airport. I also emailed in them in advance and it was also no problem to bring an avalanche airbag rucksack. Mo I Rana in Norway in the nearest proper town, and an alternative airport via Oslo.

Hemavans Högfjällshotell, 2+2 bed hotel room including breakfast was £405. Dinner was typically £18-£27 for an adult main course (e.g., reindeer steak) at the hotel or a really nice evening buffet at Hemavans Fjällcenter. Lunch on the mountain was £14 adult burger, and only £3 for a child meal.

I booked a taxi to pick us up from the airport and take us to the hotel, which cost £22 each way.

3-day lift passes for my son and I cost £228 (as an indication, a 6-8 day adult lift pass costs £168).


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Wed 17-04-19 16:50; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Cheers for the great write up.

We have looked at skiing Hemavan the last 2 years but its tough to get to from Southern Sweden. Tough and more expensive than other areas to access. I thought one could only fly in and out on week ends, but it seems you managed to get a flight out on a Thursday. That might make it more appealing. Is it just week end and Thursday flights?

Was it as quite as it appears on your video? Love resorts that are nice and quite.

Certainly an area we want to ski next season, it might just mean giving up 2 days skiing for travel.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Looking at the Nextjet route map, you can fly from Halmstad or Växjö to Stockholm. They fly to Hemavan from Stockholm 6 days a week. It's quite a journey though as you say. Have a play on their website for flights in April and it should give you an idea for next year. We met others that went Friday to Thursday, so I think the hotel must be flexible on dates.

Yes it was as quite as it looked. We will certainly look at going again next Easter. Although it seems the whole country has week 14 for Easter vacation next year?
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Flying from even further south, heading out from Lund. Which is great for the snow train north, but not so great for flights north of Stockholm.

The easiest way at present looks like flying from Copenhagen to Mo i Rana via Trondhiem. If only Malmo had flights that went further north than Stockholm on a regular basis.

But seeing your video and reading your report, it certainly looks like a great option for next year. Will be taking touring gear and have only heard good things about touring in the area.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Cracking vid.

Kids got skills.

Dad too Smile
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Bloody love Scandinavia 👌
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Update on the 2017 trip report as we are back here for Easter 2019 for another short week from Sunday to Thursday (4 nights and 3.5 days skiing).

The first change was that the small airline flying to Hemavan, Nextjet, went bust and eventually the route was taken over by DirektFlyg. Tickets for Easter came available in October and I booked straight away, at £80 ish return from Stockholm plus £26 each way for ski carriage. Bargain.

This time we stayed at the Fjällcenter which is at the bottom of the hill, 7 mins walk from ‘Centrumliften’. The Fjällcenter has hotel rooms, hostel rooms, and some apartments. We had a 3 bedroom apartment that cost about £520 for the four nights. If you like you can purchase breakfast in the hotel for £10 ish.

It’s a 12 minute walk from the airport to the Fjällcenter so we walked it. However, dragging ski bags through the snow wasn’t great and the people in the know booked a taxi to take the bags, even if one or two in the party walked. We took a taxi on the way back to the airport.

Whilst it was nice to be in the Högfjällhotel in 2017 on the side of the mountain to ski-in ski-out, on balance I think it’s best to be down at the bottom of the mountain as its an easier walk to the supermarket 15 mins away and restaurants etc. If you have children, the 7 minute walk to ‘Centrumliften’ is a bit of a pain though (and probably takes longer than 7 minutes if your children procrastinate and dilly dally like my son).

We woke up one morning to four huskies right outside our door, waiting patently, I think for the children’s dog sledding that they do.

The weather was amazing all week. Clear blue sky and sun. Minus degrees at night and 6 to 7 C in the day. No fresh snow, but plenty of snow on and offpiste which softened up nicely in the afternoon for some nice tree skiing (especially in the trees on the far left of the piste map).

I believe Easter is their busiest week, but still the queues are very minimal. A new 6 seater chair and gondola combo has been installed with no more an a minute or two wait. The longest queue was for ‘kungsliften’ to the top, which was 10 minutes wait maximum. Pistes are wide and lovely and empty.

I booked my 10 year old son into ‘freeride’ ski school. I think it was overbooked so it ended up being just him and another boy so like private lessons. The lessons are very short at 1 hr 15 mins, which is on the short side even for Scandinavia, but the boys enjoyed it. Below is a photo of my son dropping off an overhang - crashed the first time with me, and landed it the second time with his instructor Smile





On the Wednesday, they ran a snowpark session from 1 - 3pm with free instruction.

If you fancy a try at ski touring or heliski then there are good, and (comparatively) inexpensive, options. My son and I toured up to the next peak, an easy 110 m vertical but nice challenge for a 10 year old.



No time to do any cross country skiing, but I imagine it was glorious, if not a little warm, in this weather.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Themasterpiece, great photos! Hemavan is on the list to try, maybe next year Happy.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Sharkymark, yup, same here
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
@mgrolf, @dbeatski, @Sharkymark, apart from flights via Stockholm, Mo i Rana is also an option via Oslo.

As we were putting the skins on we were chatting to a couple of locals that said Kittelfjäll is very nice, and better than Riksgränsen in their opinion. A Kittelfjäll and Borgafjäll trip is on my list.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Thanks for the TR @Themasterpiece . Been looking at Hemavan as an option for this winter, what with most of the alps looking like its off limits. wink

(Rest of this is COVID allowing #fingerscrossed)
My partner is Swedish (but very new to skiing) so we'll mix in the trip with some family stuff in the South near Malmo, and try out the mini resort at Vallaosen, before hopping up to Stockholm for New Years, and then the Night Train to Umea, and coach over to Hemavan. Stay at the Wardshus for a week then hop the flight to Stockholm and then back to the UK. Neither of us are apres monsters and with a 14 year old ASC / ADHD in tow, a nice relaxed 'resort' looks to be a complete winner.

Only thing to add is that in your video you showed a good looking swimming pool, which apparently has now closed due to some structural issues, and is not planning on reopening.

Just got to get the accommodation squared away, as currently, it is all 'non-refundable'. I'm hoping to at least get a credit note, in case of the the worst happening and COVID shuts everything down. Crying or Very sad

Roll on December snowHead
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Checkflaps, sounds like a nice trip. Just bear in mind that there may not be any snow at Vallåsen at Christmas. I think it's only been cold enough a couple of times in the past 6-7 years for the southern hills to blow enough snow to open before Christmas.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Checkflaps, sounds like a plan - good luck! So far Sweden hasn’t imposed any quarantine, and I hope it continues. If you’ve only been in the U.K. during this period, it will be very refreshing to be in Sweden!

Sad to hear the pool closed. It was great, and popular, with families.

The risk is rekindling a desire for your partner to be in Sweden and/or you falling in love with the country.

Please report back afterwards!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
mgrolf wrote:
@Checkflaps, sounds like a nice trip. Just bear in mind that there may not be any snow at Vallåsen at Christmas. I think it's only been cold enough a couple of times in the past 6-7 years for the southern hills to blow enough snow to open before Christmas.


It's only on the cards as we are visiting family and friends in Malmo - so it would be as a bonus more than anything else. If its too warm, we'll just have to settle for some cold water swimming instead Shocked snowHead Laughing
[url=]https://www.vallasen.se/snoproduktion[/url]


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Mon 26-10-20 8:37; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Themasterpiece wrote:
@Checkflaps, sounds like a plan - good luck! So far Sweden hasn’t imposed any quarantine, and I hope it continues. If you’ve only been in the U.K. during this period, it will be very refreshing to be in Sweden!

Sad to hear the pool closed. It was great, and popular, with families.

The risk is rekindling a desire for your partner to be in Sweden and/or you falling in love with the country.

Please report back afterwards!


My skiing has only been in Switzerland, and thus I have been somewhat spoilt (and I'm secretly hoping to get some use from MagicPass this season), but Sweden does look to be the polar opposite (literally Laughing ) and I'm cool with that - but I have every confidence that she (or I) will not fall too deeply in love with her homeland - apart from the wide open spaces, fresh air, relaxed attitudes - and saunas Razz
PLEASE BORIS - DON'T STUFF IT UP! snowHead
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