XCFeedsTunnel Skiing

FasterSkier FasterSkierAugust 5, 2012

Today was our second day in the Torsby Ski Tunnel in Sweden and I’m not sick of it yet!  The tunnel is a 1.3km loop which you ski in one direction, then turn and ski it in the other direction, and the entire thing probably takes about 10 minutes.  I expected it to be quite boring but it has been really fun so far.  It’s easy to pass time when you’re catching up with teammates whom you haven’t seen in several months and listening to the pop music which plays throughout the tunnel.  The skiing is also really nice.  The snow is manmade and groomed almost every day but only changed once annually.  It almost has the consistency of sand which sounds weird but its actually very fast and a welcomed change from the resistance of rollerski wheels.   There is great terrain with some fast corners and transitions, a couple steeper climbs and several gradual sections.  The tunnel is refrigerated to -3 degrees Celsius and feels cold and humid especially when you first transition from the summertime weather outside.  I underdressed the first day because it felt absurd to bundle when the weather was so nice outside.  Yesterday afternoon we did a combo workout where we started skiing in long underwear, hats, and buffs, and finished with a run in shorts and sports bras.

At the start of the tunnel.  Its wide enough for 2-3 skate lanes and there is a classic track on either side.  There is a small biathlon range to the left of this photo with a few targets.

At the start of the tunnel. Its wide enough for 2-3 skate lanes and there is a classic track on either side. There is a small biathlon range to the left of this photo with a few targets.

Giant AC unit attached to the back of the building

Giant AC unit attached to the back of the building

This is where the building (entrance to the tunnel) is attached to the Ski tunnel.  There is also a rollerski track on site which rolls over the tunnel!

This is where the building (entrance to the tunnel) is attached to the Ski tunnel. There is also a rollerski track on site which rolls over the tunnel!

It is somewhat camouflaged but you can still see where the tunnel snakes along the hillside.

It is somewhat camouflaged but you can still see where the tunnel snakes along the hillside.

The stadium in Torsby includes lit ski trails, a Ski Tunnel, a rollerski loop, a biathlon gym, athlete dorms and cabins, indoor and outdoor gyms, and soccer fields; all of which receive lots of use.  What a Nordic culture!

The stadium in Torsby includes lit ski trails, a Ski Tunnel, a rollerski loop, a biathlon gym, athlete dorms and cabins, indoor and outdoor gyms, and soccer fields; all of which receive lots of use. What a Nordic culture!

Outdoor gyms are quite common in Sweden and I have already seen a couple including one at our hotel.  I've got a few ideas to bring back to our own "Monkey gym."

Outdoor gyms are quite common in Sweden and I have already seen a couple including one at our hotel. I've got a few ideas to bring back to our own "Monkey gym."

Right now our US women’s team is staying in Sunne (we like to pronounce it Sunny), Sweden which is 35km from Torsby.  When we are not skiing we’ve passed the time watching the Olympics, enjoying picnic lunches and other great Scandinavian food (Brown cheese, fish paste, fresh bread, smoked salmon, berries), and kicking the jetlag before our joint camp with the Swedish National team.  After a ski tomorrow morning we will drive a couple hours north to Salen and the camp gets going tomorrow evening!

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