Sunrise today was at 10:21am and a mere three hours and forty-one minutes later at 2:02pm, the sun officially set. And between those times there was not a lot of daylight as the sun barely rises above the horizon and never shines over the mountain behind the ski area. Muonio is over 250km north of the Arctic Circle in Finland and close to the Swedish border. The darkness could sound depressing but it hasn't felt that way yet. Just as a rainy day can makes a sunny day feel extra special, the darkness enhances the light here. Sunrises last all day, slowly morphing into a sunset which eases out over the hours of dusk. This is my fourth trip to Muonio and I'm probably in the minority for skiers, but I really like it here. It's simple and relaxing. We stay in cabins on the ski trails and just a short walk from meals. There isn't anything to do but ski, eat and sleep so it's the perfect place to recover from the jetlag of international travel and prepare for the upcoming ski season. Despite the darkness it is surprisingly beautiful here, the Arctic light reflecting on the snow in a unique way. There isn't a lot of natural snow but there are 6km of manmade tracks which have been excellent, providing more than enough terrain for great training. Tomorrow we are driving to Ruka, Finland and the World Cup season opens this weekend!
|Muonio on the map. Head north and keep going!|
|Sunrise or sunset?|
|An ice fog settled in and we even got some new snow this morning. This photo almost looks like it is taken in black and white but it's full color today|
|Northern lights over our condos one evening. It was incredible! (Matt Whitcomb photo)|