Visitor reviews for Kåbdalis Ski Resort
July 19, 2012
SkemGraham from United Kingdom
We stayed in Blåfjell during the 8 days of 9-17th December 2011; travelling there on the Friday as flights and transfers were difficult on the Saturday. The resort was able to offer the extra day with apparently no difficulty through the email link to Rickard (Rickard Wennström firstname.lastname@example.org). Rickard was extremely helpful, giving information about potential taxi and car hire to accommodate our group of 5½. He also arranged a food parcel, a cot and a high chair (after initially indicating they didn't normally do this).
Arranging flights was a problem, quite expensive and involved one stop on the way out (Stockholm) and two stops on the way back (Stockholm & London)to Manchester. Car hire was smooth once we had settled on this option, and the car with winter tyres fitted and the heater to plug in on the car parks was a novel experience.
Kåbdalis and Blåfjell Village are effectively the same place, there is but a short walk between the “village” and the buildings that make up the Kåbdalis ski centre including the two restaurants. The Blåfjell complex is made up of apartments one on top floor, one on bottom floor of buildings built on the hillside, each with access from ground level front on lower level and back on top level.
Accommodation in Blåfjell village is functionally adequate. The rooms are equipped well but in stark Scandinavian functional fashion. Essentials were done well and the Sauna was an asset - the boot warmer in the porch and the separate drying room out front where the boiler was located also. The shower was excellent and roomy. Underfloor heating and triple glazing made the temperature very comfortable and controllable through the room thermostats. The kitchen was very good.
Günter, the person from Blåfjell reception was very helpful. As well as sorting out our car access to the apartment, he had arranged groceries (which had to be brought down from Jokkmokk 60km away where his wife works) cleared the roads and footpaths, offered help and advice freely and was a cheery and helpful agent.
We were the only people staying at Blåfjell village after Monday when groups left after the weekend when it had been pretty full. The position of our apartment was amazing, 25 metres from the edge of the main piste of Becca and then a further 100 metres down the piste to the chairlift. Literally ski out ski in, skis clipped on at the porch and removed after a 10m walk up the slope to the door, a little bit too chicken to cut a path through rocks etc to get directly above the doorway!
Skiing is extremely limited in Kåbdalis and the lifts were not fully operational at any stage during our stay. Saturday and Sunday saw three lifts open including the baby lift, giving access to three runs from the top (the chair lift and the T-bar both give access to these runs from the top of the fell) and the "so called" nursery slope, the bottom of the easy red known as the family slope. When groomed this was like a good blue with one steep bit (at top of nursery slope!)
On main page of Kåbdalis website it states:
“Four lifts open up a large ski area with nine groomed slopes of varying difficulty, three off-piste descents and tough woods skiing, making Kåbdalis to ski rider favorite.”
The main run Becca was quite a hard red with two steep bits after a very gentle start and a flat finish. This was used each day by ski racing coaching groups and they dominated the piste, also it was closed to us for most of one of the days. Daylight hours are limited at this time of year, but good floodlights make those pistes that are illuminated useable for the whole day, a novel experience for those not having been "up north" before. Floodlights are good and on all day, but only on some runs, family and Becca and after the weekend family was neither groomed nor lit - apart from lighting for a private lesson for one of our party, the T-bar was also switched on but wasn’t useable by a beginner/improver as it needed grooming over the icy cross ruts.
For most of the week only the chair lift was open, which although theoretically giving access to several alternative pistes they were not often available because of snow making machinery, or lack of snow, or the lack of uplift away from them (resulting in walking)
Thursday even saw a Swedish family of five struggling to descend the one always open/floodlit slope Becca. The lack of signage and information seemed to have caught them out as well. Mounds of snow from snow blowers made Super G slope unusable after weekend, even when Becca was used for racers.
Only one of restaurants stayed open after weekend, and as virtually no one was there was pretty empty, but the limited food available, pizza and burger and chips, was very good indeed.
Signage throughout the resort was pretty much absent or in Blåfjell exclusively in Swedish. No signs to mark the pistes - not that problematic when so few were open as they are pretty easy to see - but there was no indication at the lifts as to what was open, and when pistes were closed or open was not clear, during the weekend and Monday lifts opened at different times. This could have been very significant when the piste was having snow blown or when being reshaped by machine. A board to explain the situation would have been useful particularly to visitors from abroad. It seems locals ask about everything, it even seems that lifts can opened by individuals! It's a very friendly informal place.
Limited signage also applies to the access to the resort. The sign from the road is difficult to spot and the instructions to look for the sign for Blåfjell village is a joke. Having checked out the route on Google Streetmap it was still difficult for us to find the place in the dark (the school would have been a good landmark, as would the garage, and maybe turning after the yellow house?)
Piste map is strange and as at many resort lies. I never found out how the green runs morphed into red halfway down the hill as that side of the hill was closed (I think?)! The "easy family run" that was used by the ski teacher with our beginner was labelled red! As was the main run on which ski racing had taken place the previous week.
• Very good accommodation if a little stark
• Very helpful friendly staff at all times, in all places
• Good equipment for hire
• On those slopes equipped, good lighting that was on all day when lifts were operating; other runs were therefore only useable during the short daylight hours (about 4)
• Very different experience to the Alps etc
• Lapland and the proximity of the Arctic Circle are plus points - We spent an interesting afternoon in the dark in Jokkmokk (where the supermarket is)
• Snow remains in good condition because of the almost guaranteed cold temperatures
• Snow making and piste preparation seemed good with the one piste machine and the JCB type digger working long hours
• Expensive flights and car hire
• Compact ski centre, easy walk from one end to the other, even on downhill skis
• No X-Country skis for hire, though we were offered the use of personal equipment if we wanted, and it is planned for the future
• Doorstep skiing - real ski in - ski out
• Snow had been very late this year and this was obviously unusual, there were, however, few pistes and lifts operating; though it must be said that midweek there weren't really enough customers to warrant opening; and skiing completely empty pistes can be compensation, somewhat, for the lack of variety.
Would I return?
Probably not, but I think I enjoyed the week, and my skiing has improved again.
Probably not somewhere for poor skiers though.
Overall: 2.7. Based on 2 votes and 2 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Kåbdalis.
Public Transport: 2.0
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Kåbdalis, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Kåbdalis, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 2.5
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 1.0
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Kåbdalis.
Ski in/Ski out: 5.0
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Kåbdalis, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Kåbdalis is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Kåbdalis relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.0
(1) There are no snow groomers at Kåbdalis, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Kåbdalis are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Kåbdalis is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 1.0
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Kåbdalis, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.5
(1) Kåbdalis usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 5.0
(1) The staff at Kåbdalis are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Kåbdalis are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 2.0
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.0
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 2.0
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Kåbdalis has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Kåbdalis, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 2.5
(1) Not even a kicker at Kåbdalis, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Kåbdalis, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Kåbdalis has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 2.5
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 1.5
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 1.0
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 1.0
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 2.5
(1) Overall, Kåbdalis is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 2.0
(1) Overall, Kåbdalis is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.