Imagine how cool it would be if you could finish work at 4pm, catch a tram 5 minutes down the road and go snowboarding (or skiing).
It’s doable for sure – lots of people live in a ski village or in the Swiss Alps, but for those in Stockholm, they are able to do so in their capital city.
Today Jess and I walked from our hostel (in Östermalm, Stockholm) to Hammarbybacken, which is just across the river. It’s about a 30 minute walk, but it’s through quite a nice trendy area full of new apartments. We could have caught the tram or the bus but we had the time and the money saved on transport bought us some varm choklads at the end of the day.
Hammarbybacken is a basic snowfield, for sure. It has three runs, plus a training area and a small skills park. There are two lifts, but no chairs – just T-bars.
Jess and I opted for snowboarding, because we had done it before and enjoyed it. For a 3 hour hire of a snowboarding kit (board, bindings, boots) it was 225SEK each. A 3 hour session was 140SEK, plus 45SEK for the SkiPass-kort, which is essentially a card that you use to swipe through to get on the chairlift. If you were staying for multiple days you’d only have to pay the 45SEK once.
As it turns out we met a fellow Aussie, Ross, in the rentals room. He’d never been snowboarding before so the three of us kind of kept together and laughed at each other stacking it. I think all of us had at least one decent stack at speed.
It was the first time either of us had used a T-bar lift; at Fall Creek we used a chairlift and a poma. As it turns out, T-bars are easier to use than a poma, but for newbies like us it still required a bit of concentration.
Unless you’re both experienced and fit, 3 hours is plenty of time to tire yourself out. We probably got around 12 runs in, with the first three runs taking the first hour or so. It’s been almost three years since we’ve been on a board so it took a while to pick up where we left off. The runs are quick, but the lines at the lift are short and it only takes about a minute to get back to the top.
It’s no ski resort, but to break up the monotony of sightseeing it was just what we needed, even if the top of the “mountain” (hill) was an excellent place to view the city of Stockholm. We had an absolute blast, and we’ll have the memories for days to come by way of bruises.
For 410SEK each (AUD$64) it must have to be the cheapest snowboarding in the world. You can find more information on the SkiStar website.