The snow park is Adrian’s favourite part of the slopes here.

Ingrid and Adrian both attend ski school again, and they are advancing by leaps and bounds. Ingrid is doing parallel turns now, and her group goes down red runs and even some black ones. Adrian has gone from snow ploughing straight down to making proper turns, and just generally skis a lot better. More control, better balance, more confidence.

Eric snowboards, and is struggling with the equipment this year, so he has been staying on the green runs and even took some days off to rest in between.

I started out on greens as well but Kläppen doesn’t have many so I got bored and had to branch out and explore the blue runs. By now, after some practice, I actually like them better than the greens. It’s taken several days for me to rediscover my skiing skills and to remember the helpful tricks. For example: I am a better skier with my goggles on, because I ski faster when I am wearing them. (Either I subconsciously judge speed based on how the air hits my face, or I subconsciously feel safer at higher speeds with the goggles to protect me.) Also: I ski better when I consciously get into an even rhythm for the turns, by counting or simply going “turn, turn, turn, turn” in my head.

Too bad it will be a year before we go skiing again, and by that time my muscle memory will be all gone again.

Our cottage here is small but quite lovely. There is a sofa large enough to comfortably fit all of us, and a wide window with afternoon sun.

Ingrid and Adrian love the TV. (We don’t have one at home.) They found Nickelodeon and haven’t switched away from it yet. Nickelodeon is showing the exact same shows as last year, and even the year before – The Thundermans and Henry Danger. I even recognize individual episodes from last year’s stay at Idre.

The first day we were all fresh and rested. Day two – still going strong. Day three – a bit tired by now. An afternoon stop at the waffle house helped some.

We go out almost as soon as the lifts open at nine and ski until late afternoon. After an hour’s break around four o’clock, the kids want to ski some more. Most lifts close at half past four, but some ski runs are lit and stay open until six. Those include a nice little stub of a run right next to our cottage. It is literally a minute away. (For future reference: we stayed in one of the cottages at Sjungarbacken.)

This late in the evening there are hardly any skiers here and no queues whatsoever to the platter lift. Up and down, up and down, with no downtime in between. It’s an easy “blue” run, suitable for the whole family – and it has a little snow park! The kids love the snow parks here at Kläppen and could probably spend half of every day going over the humps, over and over again.

Skiing and snowboarding in Kläppen.

The temperature is a few degrees above zero, and clouds come and go. Quite balmy compared to last year’s Arctic weather. The snow is rather mushy as a result, especially on the sunnier slopes. Some green runs that are nice and leisurely in the morning turn into messes of mushy piles of snow later in the day, quite hard to navigate.

On our way to Kläppen. It’s become a tradition to stop in Rättvik for fika at Fricks Café. Ingrid has a tradition on top of tradition and always buys a candy cane merengue there.

Packing for this year’s sportlov ski trip.

I have an extensive packing list, with sub-lists for all situations: summer or winter, skiing or walking, hotel or self-catering. Kitchen utensils are the most important part of the self-catering list. The place where we stay is nearly certain to have some kind of pots and pans and spoons and a cutting board. Maybe even a bowl, although that’s not a given. But it’s almost certain that the knives and scissors will be dull, and whisks are definitely not guaranteed. (The whisk is good for making scrambled eggs, and the deciliter measuring cup is for porridge.)

Ingrid doesn’t blog, but she has an “a sentence a day” diary.

Morning light over railroad tracks towards the big city.

My commute is almost too convenient. A ten-minute walk to the train station, two stations by train, two by metro, up the stairs and in through the front door and up the stairs again and I’m in the office. I barely have time to notice the weather, even.

My hiking trousers are wearing out after just three or four years of occasional use. Disappointing. Some of my old ones are still going strong after fifteen years (but unfortunately don’t fit me well any more).