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Finland, Lapland, Yllas/Levi?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi Folks,

 

Not sure how much traffic the Eurozone section gets, but I'm headed to Yllas/Levi area later this week-- for a week. I'm looking to gather some info on off-piste skiing in the area. Also, looking for skiing partners if anyone happens to be up there last week of feb/first few days of March... if you're interested in going off piste. 

 

I'm not holding my breath, but it'd be great to meet up with someone knowledgeable.

 

R

post #2 of 9

 Not been to either, try www.yllas.fi and www.levi.fi for information on off piste.Yllas is mainly novice terrain but the larger area, Levi is smaller with mostly intermediate slopes but can be badly affected by wind.

 We considered trying Finland but went to Sweden in the end so thats the extent of my knowledge sorry x

post #3 of 9

I have no idea about off-piste, but for on-piste I wouldn't really agree with Lilywhite. Levi is definitely more fancy place, and by far more party place then Yllas. But as far as skiing is concerned, Yllas is better then Levi for my taste. Sure, Levi has its Levi Black, which is hosting men and women SL WC race every year, but that's about it. All other courses are pretty easy and quite short. So for me Levi has one useable course, while Yllas has more of them.

So it depends what you want, and what you are looking for. If partying all nights long is one of things you want, then there's only Levi. Yllas is kinda separated to two sides of hill, Äkäslompolo on north, and it's a bit bigger but quite sleepy village, and Ylläsjärvi on south, where you literally have only few hotels and cabins. If you are there for skiing only, and you don't care about partying with crazy Finns, then Yllas would be my choice.

post #4 of 9

 I'd go with Primoz's first hand report, the info I gave you was from guide books not experience. The books describe Yllas as having black runs that are benign enough for 2nd week skiers to cover rapidly and Levi as being mainly intermediate with 1 green and only 2 blacks. 53km at Yllas and 44km at Levi.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info, folks.

 

Seven of us are renting a cabin-- including a Finn, whose family owns (time-shares) the cabin. We'll be is Akaslompolo (sp?), and I'm mostly there for the Finnish Lapland experience (avanto + sauna, XC at night, eating Rudolf)... but I'll try to get at least a day at Yllas and a day at Levi. 

 

I'm primarily interested in off-piste, but if I'm gone for a week, I'll take two days of whatever I can get. 

post #6 of 9

 Have a great time x

 

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Just thought I'd report back here in case anyone else goes to Yllas to ski.

 

We only skied Yllas, because we figured there wasn't a huge difference between Yllas and Levi-- and Yllas wasn't spectacular, so we didn't want to drive. 

 

The mountain itself had a decent variety of trails, but they were almost all super hard pack (but not icy at all), mostly pretty wide (with one massively wide groomer), and pretty boring. The blacks could have been difficult greens (in U.S. system), and the reds/blacks had nothing to distinguish them. 

 

Lift-served off-piste  was pretty mediocre. The stuff between trails were fine and fun, but still hard pack, and skied out like mad. Getting outside the resort (on lift-served, non-hike) stuff that would end back at the lift/road was also pretty bad. Too much traversing, tons of wild-arctic crust, moon-like windblow ice-snow, with razor edges and craters. I nearly killed the two boarders who tried to follow me on my skies. In great conditions, fresh snow (that stays), the off-piste could be OK for a beginner. 

 

We had two big snow days... but the mountain was as naked (hard) as before. The wind was so strong that anything that fell was instantly transported off the back of the mountain, and deposited in icy channels. In fact, on the second day, the wind was so strong that I got blown UP a slow backwards... and it took me 20 minutes to travel what should have taken 30 seconds at most. I literally had to push push push, tuck tuck tuck. If I stood up, I went uphill. That's a first.

 

Lots of pull-lifts, one slow chair, one gondola. 

 

The upside was the mountain was mostly empty, there was zero ice.

 

In other words: Fine for a day or two if you can't be in the snow for a week without doing some downhill (that's me), but come here for the Northern Lights, Reindeer eating, Sauna, and other outdoor adventures (really spectacular, I loved it).... not the downhill skiing. 

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by justruss View Post

Just thought I'd report back here in case anyone else goes to Yllas to ski.

 

We only skied Yllas, because we figured there wasn't a huge difference between Yllas and Levi-- and Yllas wasn't spectacular, so we didn't want to drive. 

 



In my opinion Levi isn't nearly as good as Ylläs. Smaller hill, more crowded, narrow trails, less off-piste. Some steeper parts (compared to Ylläs) in black trails but they are very short. But if you want to party, go to Levi.

 

But in general Finland is not the place to travel for downhill skiing, we have no mountains wink.gif

 

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by justruss View Post

Just thought I'd report back here in case anyone else goes to Yllas to ski.

 

We only skied Yllas, because we figured there wasn't a huge difference between Yllas and Levi-- and Yllas wasn't spectacular, so we didn't want to drive. 

 

The mountain itself had a decent variety of trails, but they were almost all super hard pack (but not icy at all), mostly pretty wide (with one massively wide groomer), and pretty boring. The blacks could have been difficult greens (in U.S. system), and the reds/blacks had nothing to distinguish them. 

 

Lift-served off-piste  was pretty mediocre. The stuff between trails were fine and fun, but still hard pack, and skied out like mad. Getting outside the resort (on lift-served, non-hike) stuff that would end back at the lift/road was also pretty bad. Too much traversing, tons of wild-arctic crust, moon-like windblow ice-snow, with razor edges and craters. I nearly killed the two boarders who tried to follow me on my skies. In great conditions, fresh snow (that stays), the off-piste could be OK for a beginner. 

 

We had two big snow days... but the mountain was as naked (hard) as before. The wind was so strong that anything that fell was instantly transported off the back of the mountain, and deposited in icy channels. In fact, on the second day, the wind was so strong that I got blown UP a slow backwards... and it took me 20 minutes to travel what should have taken 30 seconds at most. I literally had to push push push, tuck tuck tuck. If I stood up, I went uphill. That's a first.

 

Lots of pull-lifts, one slow chair, one gondola. 

 

The upside was the mountain was mostly empty, there was zero ice.

 

In other words: Fine for a day or two if you can't be in the snow for a week without doing some downhill (that's me), but come here for the Northern Lights, Reindeer eating, Sauna, and other outdoor adventures (really spectacular, I loved it).... not the downhill skiing. 

 

This is pritty accurat. Downhill skiing in Finland is pritty lame. It doesent get much better than Ylläs mountain wise but its windy, cold and dark early in the season. However, if you go there later in the season its different. Lets say end of March or Aprill. Then its warmer and sun is up early and sets down late. No crowds. Good for carving and race camps. Levi is better if weather is bad. The slopes are among the forrest for the most part and you can allways find shelter. If you want to part go to Levi. Or better yet Tahko. In contrast to Alp resorts there are lots of women at after ski bars in Levi and Tahko ;).

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