Continuing with our Ice Run journey, we’re having our winter fun in the Swedish Lapland, one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights and try all sorts of winter activities. Here’s a story on the thrilling adventure of snowmobiling in Abisko.
A strong wind whipped our faces as we drove on a frozen lake. Beneath our feet, cracks ran across the thin icy surface while dark blue water lurked under it. I shuddered at the thought of us falling into the sub-zero water.
Just when we were sliding left and right on ice, I couldn’t bear the cold anymore and lifted my hand from the handle bar to shield my face from the wind. But it was a huge mistake. Before we had time to realize what was happening, we were spinning uncontrollably over the ice in a dizzying, full circle.
Thankfully, snowmobiles don’t flip over that easily and after a few spins, we were back on track and buzzing from the adrenaline.
With less regulations, ease of access and hundreds of square miles of snow filled hills, the Swedish Lapland is a haven for snowmobiling enthusiasts. For the locals, their favorite often involved taking their snowmobiles out for a spin. Even their Norwegian neighbors frequently cross the border for a thrill ride in winter (the Norwegian law does not allow snowmobiling without a special permit).
Before our snowmobiling trip, Peter, our guide and owner of Peters Fjällkonsult Polar Adventures gave us a short introduction. He explained the controls and how the vehicle functions, and just before we jumped on our snowmobiles he said, “Some people think they can drive better than they do, that’s when trouble comes”. This should have been the first clue for what was about to come.
As with all snowmobile safaris, we set out in tandem across the icy, wild scenery of Abisko National Park. This time the terrain was bumpier than our first snowmobiling trip in Rovaniemi which made the ride even more fun. In between stops, I let the front squad get a bit further so I could squeeze the accelerator and feel the power of the engine under my feet. In one of these naughty maneuvers I pressed the trigger a little too far (about three quarters of the way); We were pushed forward so hard that the front skis lifted from the ground and we almost fell out of the vehicle. If you were wondering if it’s possible to do a wheelie with a snowmobile, we now have empirical proof. This was clue number two.
Danger Lurking in the Corner
After our skidding experience over the frozen lake, we continued our journey through Abisko National Park. Soon after, we reached a cabin and stopped to have some coffee by the warmth of the fire before heading back in the same direction. It seemed like we had had enough adventure for the day, but our trip had one last surprise for us.
Remember when I said it is not that easy to turn a snowmobile over? Maybe I spoke too fast. As we started our ride back, I drove alongside a slope and the snow suddenly gave in, tilting our vehicle to the left until we lost balance. Before we knew it, it had launched Nellie out onto the snow. Summoning all the strength on my body, I pushed the 400kg machine upwards, preventing it from falling on my wife and putting it back on its feet.
Thankfully Nellie wasn’t too traumatized by the incident and we instantly hopped back onto our ride and drove back in one piece. The drive back was surprisingly smooth – so much so that we could soak in the impressive view while sliding through the snow. It sure was a beautiful ride but the untamed journey made it all the more memorable.
This snowmobiling excursion was part of our Aurora Hunt trip, organized by The Aurora Zone. The four-night trip costs £1895 (US$3100) for twin sharing, including flights to Kiruna from London Heathrow, private transfers, Aurora workshop, a snowmobile safari, two Aurora hunts, a visit to the ICEHOTEL, Aurora snowshoe, and a husky safari.
Disclaimer: Our trip was made possible by The Aurora Zone and Eurail.com, but all opinions expressed are our own.