This morning we decided to have a go at Cross Country skiing. There were five of us on this adventure, two adults and three children. Two of the children have skied before but the rest of us were beginners.
We hired our ski’s from Luonto Loma Pro Safaris in the centre of Saariselka. They have a hire shop with a lot of equipment and also run bookable Safari trips. We arrived at the shop and the staff helped us to work out what size ski boots we needed. They were very patient as we kept swapping until everyone was comfortable. We were all given the right size skis and sticks and then shown the way to get to the practice area and cross country paths.
We managed to get the skis on and after a while worked out how to stand up and then practiced moving round the practice circle. We found it harder than expected but soon got the hang of it and decided it was time to try the proper track.
The start of the track was a hill down. My daughter expertly skied it, making it look easy. I flew down screaming all the way. My son started out expertly and then fell. The other two made it quarter of the way down the first slope and fell over!
We didn’t get very far along the track but those of us that got the hang of it managed to go down the first slope and up the second then back again. We repeated this while the others fell and stood up repeatedly. When we had all had enough we returned the skis and went back to our accomodation for some lunch.
In the afternoon we took our sledges to the toboggan runs. The toboggan runs in Saariselka are amazing! The longest run is 2km long! We spent the whole afternoon walking up hill until we couldn’t walk any longer, admiring the views from the top and then hurtling down the hills at what seemed like 100 miles an hour!
The sledge runs are so fast that you end up hurtling down almost blinded by the spray of snow in your face and crashing into the fences at the bottom! We had so much fun!
In the end I had to drag the kids (literally in their sledges) off the slope and back to the car and only after I had promised we could return tomorrow!
Taking an Autistic child cross country skiing and sledging in Saariselka?
This would depend on your child.
Skiing is quite difficult and requires coordination and balance, although it would be possible to stay on the practice circle.
If your child is fast you could potentially be split up, both skiing and sledging as the ski paths are long and have different directions and the sledge runs are long too.
If you are worried about being split from your child sledging then stick to the straight sledge run. It is also possible to start further down.
There are spare sledges to borrow if yours breaks.
There is a plastic fence separating the sledge runs from the ski paths. The exit is open and after crossing the ski path you come to the road.
The sledge runs are the fastest and longest I have ever seen.
We hired the cross country skis from Luonto Loma Pro Safaris in Saariselka. They are very reasonably priced and you can hire them for a day or longer. Luonto Loma Pro Safaris can be contacted at: email@example.com
The toboggan runs in Saariselka are free to use.
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