Archive for February, 2013

February 25th, 2013

Hidden skiing gem

We spent our winter holidays in my parents’ house in Northern Carelia. Our aim was to visit a couple slopes nearby, but unfortunately our oldest son fell ill for the most of the holidays – and thus we had to scrap our plans.

Instead, we spent only a couple of hours in Maarianvaara, the closest skiing centre in Kaavi. The place is quite secluded, and there are only about 150 local inhabitants in five kilometer radius. But the slopes, they are just gorgeous.

The vertical drop is around 140 meters and the longest slope is around one kilometer long. The slopes vary, so skiing is not boring and they are wide enough to curve around.

The place is excellent for kids that have been skiing a couple of years or more. Absolute beginners might have hard time with the beginners’ slope, as it is quite steep. This should change for the next season, as the owner has been planning to alter that slope a bit — so one could jump off the lift mid-hill and enjoy the gentle lower part of the slope.

Due to surprisingly low snow levels, the steepest slope was closed, but others were in prime condition. And no queues, only a handful of skiers were enjoying the cloudless weather. There are two t-bar lifts that are ample to satisfy the demand — I’ve never experienced queues longer than a minute or two.

If you happen to be in Joensuu or Kuopio region in eastern Finland, consider popping over to Maarianvaara. It has the old-time skiing charm without being dated.