Ruka first to open?

18th October 2010, by Chris Gill

Up north - Ruka

Up north - Ruka

Finland’s Ruka resort opened for the season on Monday 18 October, claiming itself the first European non-glacier ski area to do so.

It’s only one run, but that doesn’t stop the Finnish resort from aiming for its October schedule – which they have managed all but once in the past decade, apparently.

The Saarua piste is maintained by 100% snowmaking, as well as benefitting from early natural snow during the past few days.

As well as being a popular family resort, Ruka is also the training ground for many of the World Cup ski teams. FIS events start with the World Cup Nordic Opening (Cross-country, Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping series) on 26 November. This is followed by the Freestyle Mogul Skiing Wold Cup on 12 December.

Ruka has also undergone heavy investment in the past few seasons. A pedestrian village has been completed this year, comprising new hotels (up to 1,000 visitor beds), 15 restaurants, plus shops and parking.

On the slopes, they’ll be a new FIS standard piste, boardercross and enhanced terrain park facilities.

Quick facts if you fancy taking the family to Finland:

  • Ruka is in northern Finland, near the Russian border.
  • The resort is approximately 20-25 minutes transfer from Kuusamo airport
  • Or you could go a bit further west to Rovaniemi airport (Lapland) and combine Ruka and Pyhä in one trip.
  • The are plenty of non-ski activities, typical of Scandinavian holidays, as well as a nearby National Park.
  • The ski area enjoys a long season – usually into June.
  • 30 runs, mostly red and blue, served by 20 or so lifts

Inghams has apartments and cabins in January 2011, starting at £262pp; or the Rukahovi Hotel from £434 (January)

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