Downhill skiing or alpine skiing is an important pastime here in northern Sweden during the colder part of the year. When the snow comes, the ski slopes open, the euphoria you experience when taking the ski lift up the mountain is almost like unwrapping your dream present on Christmas Day.
In Luleå, there are three ski slopes to choose between. The largest and probably most popular is Måttstundsbacken. Here, you will find a restaurant and equipment hire, which makes Måttsund more accessible for tourists. Måttsundsbacken is not very rugged and thus suitable primarily for families with children, looking for skiing suitable for everyone.
Ormbergsbacken, the one closest to the city, is where the freestyle skiers hang out. This is a favourite amongst younger talent who know what a rail is. Trick skiing is of course not a requirement, but Ormberget isn’t really the place for long, leisurely trips down the slope, as the drop height from the summit to the bottom is relatively short.
About 30 kilometres north, near the village of Råneå, you will find Råneåkölen which can simply be described as a combination of the two slopes mentioned above. Child friendly and a great slope for those of you who wish to avoid black pistes and large jumps. Luleå’s location near the sea means that the mountains are not that big, however, there are many large skiing facilities just a short car ride from the city. Approximately 45 minutes away lies the Storklinten facility, offering a wider and more challenging range of slopes. Even further away from the coast, in the small village of Kåbdalis, approximately 2 hours away from Luleå, lies one of the most charming skiing facilities in all of Swedish Lapland with several lifts, including a chair lift – and dozens of slopes. Outside Gällivare, just over 2 hours from Luleå, lies Dundret, a low mountain famous for its downhill skiing opportunities. There, you will find restaurants, pubs, hotels, cottages, top-class slopes and world-class cross-country skiing.