Leigh from United Kingdom writes:
The context of our ski holiday was for early turns at a ski resort that was guaranteed snow cover. As established skiers, we expected little in terms of skiing but were looking forward to the adventure of heading close to the Arctic Circle for our first trip into Finland. Arriving to Kuusamo we were surprised at how easy it was to then get to Ruka. Arriving late into the night was no problem as we had been given the keycode to the apartment by text several day before. Communication with the head-office was easy and all questions were answered. Self-catering accommodation was top-notch which included wood-buring fire and an awesome sauna. For the price, have never stayed in such great self-catering accommodation.
First day skiing we had to hire equipment which was extremely easy and well-thought out. Including lift-pass for five days hire for two people the price was under £200. Considering the equipment and service we got we thought this was pretty good value. Weather-wise we were told it was mild and the temperature was hovering around zero degrees. Due to the early season only half the mountain was open but the main part of the mountain was open including the park and mogul area. There seemed to be an extensive snow-making area and a few of the locals apologised for it being too icy; if this was icy, we had died and gone to heaven from our Scottish skiing background. Although very short days, all runs were lit. And although early into the season lifts ran from 9.30 AM to 6 PM and beyond the official closing time which was something we certainly were not expecting.
Piste conditions were excellent and well-maintained. The ski area itself was limited but considering what else is on offer at this time of year (glacier skiing), the terrain was more than suitable for what we had expected. It would be a great place to take beginners and those wanting something different for their first ski of the year.
After the mild start temperatures plummeted to minus 14 which resulted in excessive use of snow-making.
Overall, would I ski here again? Most certainly at the start of the season. Having to only share the piste with established national ski teams and ridiculously talented juniors, it could be said we were easily the worst skiers on the hill which was a small price to pay for never once having to queue.
It would be an awesome place for those who like adventure, new to skiing, or those just looking for something a bit different.