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Good Conditions During Vasaloppet’s Winter Week 2023

The skiers registered to start in one or more races during Vasaloppet’s Winter Week 2023 do not need to worry about the conditions. Langd.se talked to Tommy Höglund, Vasaloppet Sports Manager, about the weather and course conditions during this year’s Vasaloppet week.

Photo: Ulf Palm/Vasaloppet

Vasaloppet's finish portal in Mora.

On Friday, Vasaloppet 30 is contested; at the weekend, it’s time for Tjejvasan, Ungdomsvasan, and Open Track. The conditions look promising:

“There are very good snow conditions in the entire Vasaloppet arena. We have natural snow for the first 70km and artificial snow for the 20km, and we have also been able to work laying out the artificial snow for a long time. In other words, there are very good conditions this year,” says Tommy and continues about the weather:

“It looks like it will be a very nice weekend with very low temperatures at night. There is also expected to be some dry fresh snow during the night towards Friday, but there shouldn’t be any problems. There will be nice TV pictures from Tjejvasan and fantastic conditions overall.”

But if there’s any race with a bit of worry about the weather, it’s Tuesday’s Vasaloppet 45.

 “On Tuesday, it looks like there could be a couple of plus degrees, and it could be difficult to wax. If the temperature is on the plus side, there shouldn’t be any problems; then you use klister. But if it is right around “zero,” it can be difficult. But Tuesday is really the only day we see can be tricky,” notes Tommy.

The registration status for this year’s race is good. The goal of 50.000 registrations looks set to be reached, and many of them are late entries, which Vasaloppet had also expected. However, the 99th edition of Vasaloppet, which starts on Sunday, March 5, has already been fully booked for some time. 15.800 will start the race from Sälen to Mora.

“It is difficult to say how Vasaloppet will be with wind and precipitation because it is a week ahead. However, we believe that the tracks will hold up well. We have measured how much packed snow there is at the bottom of the course, which is approximately 40-50cm. So even if it gets soft, it’s hard and nice under,” he assures.

Takes Help From A TV Meteorologist 

Pia Hultgren, a well-known SVT meteorologist, has for many years helped the organizers of Vasaloppet to predict weather conditions. So also, this year, when Pia supported Tommy with weekly forecasts since Christmas.

“This week, we have meetings with Pia every day at 16:00 before the races that start the following day about how the weather will be in the Vasaloppet Arena,” says Tommy and continues:

“She is so accurate in her forecasts and can precisely tell when it will snow and when it will stop. A couple of years ago, before the Nattvasan, it was cold with many minus degrees, but then she could say “that it is mild because a cloud cover comes in during the evening/night and becomes a little milder,” which it did, so it’s a valuable resource.”

Even though January was warm and, to some extent, contributed to that, the biggest challenge for this year’s Vasaloppet has not had to do with the weather and the snow, according to Tommy.

“In November, our central warehouse burned down, which was probably the biggest challenge. But as it looks now, the fire has not affected this year’s Vasaloppet. We have managed to replace most of what was then lost. Perhaps a single sign is missing, but then I have told the officials that it is just a matter of taking a piece of cardboard and writing with a felt-tip pen, and we will solve it that way.”

Here is the program for Vasaloppet’s Winter Week 2023.

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