Riksgransen Ski Resort  

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Overview by Philip D. Armour

"That's right, baby! You know what I like! Kill me now!" the lead singer of Riksgransen Hotel's employee band screams into the mike. A sweaty knot of drunken snowboarders slam-dance at his feet, tackling one another to the beer-soaked floor. Everyone is fired up from competing in today's Scandinavian Big Mountain Championships, an extreme freeriding contest, but Gronan isn't like any hotel bar I've ever been to. Black shades are drawn over the windows, because it's endless spring 130 miles north of the Arctic Circle and the sun hasn't touched the horizon for weeks.

A tiny oasis in the vast expanse of Sweden's glacier-carved Lapland wilderness, 625 miles north of Stockholm, Riksgransen is a cluster of about 20 red-painted wooden buildings with one small market and one hotel. This motley assemblage crowds the edge of Lake Vassiljaure, backed by 5,000-foot mountains rising to the south. For years, I've heard rabid skiers and boarders throughout Europe whisper about the surreal feeling of skiing under the midnight sun on Riksgransen's monolithic, Sierra-like snow, and a quick pass through the bar reveals that they're all here. Various groups of Northern Europeans, plus some Frenchmen and a couple of Nicaraguans, are sporting dreadlocks, nose rings, and tight-fitting T-shirts with cheeky sayings.

This is an athlete's resort, where skiers and boarders come to take full advantage of the long days and the maritime climate—315 inches of snowfall annually. Spring skiing is what Riksgransen is famous for, and on the weekends the lifts shut down at 1 a.m. Everyone heads out onto the slopes after dinner, and on sunny days the mountain swarms with crowds dressed in Speedos and drinking chilled shots of licorice schnapps.

Vertical Drop
1765 feet
25% beginner, 25% intermediate, 44% advanced, 6% expert
Number of Lifts
February to June
Closest Airport

Weather for Riksgransen

Current Conditions:
Partly Cloudy, 39 F
Sun - Partly Cloudy. High: 49 Low: 32
Mon - Mostly Sunny. High: 57 Low: 37
Tue - Cloudy. High: 54 Low: 42
Wed - Rain. High: 53 Low: 42
Thu - Partly Cloudy. High: 54 Low: 39

New Snow(Cumulative)

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Base Depth

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  • Ski Lifts Open:
    0 of 6
  • Trails:
    0 of 0in.
  • XC Trails Open:

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