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World's Longest Ski Tunnel Opens Soon

Thu, May  25, 2006 - By Mike Muha

The construction of Sweden's first and the world's longest ski tunnel with the only indoor biathlon arena in the world was started in the spring of 2005 and the facility will open in the spring of 2006 (I think the official web site says June 16. Anyone know Swedish?)

The Fortum Ski Tunnel Torsby is located in the recreational area of Valberget, located 1.5 km outside of the town of Torsby in northern Värmland. The first phase of construction will create a 1.3 km long ski tunnel. It will be 8 m. wide and 4 m. high with two tracks for classical skiing and two for skating. The tunnel will follow the natural topography with about 12 meters net height difference in the course profile. The tunnel will project halfway above the ground surface.

Fortum Ski Tunnel Torsby will also have an arena facility with the world’s only indoor biathlon shooting range, located in the mid section of the tunnel. A centre for physiological testing and research will be established in connection to the tunnel.

An 800-meter long outdoor cooling system with Cool-Track will be added to the Fortum Ski Tunnel Torsby. The cooled, outdoor course will be a continuation of the tunnel. The 800-meter addition will curve around a shooting range and conclude in a penalty round. The outdoor course will also help secure snow deliveries to large events and competitions, and will allow a larger number of spectators to attend events. The total length of the course, including the indoor tunnel, will be about 2 kilometers and can be used both by biathletes and cross-country skiers.

Fortum Ski Tunnel Torsby means skiing all year around. The tunnel will be open for skiing from May to December. The tunnel will be furnished with an artificial-snow machinery and will hold a temperature of 0º to -3º C. During the winter-season, first-class training facilities are available outdoors, on natural snow.

With the tunnel and the arena the area will be very attractive for the elite sportsmen as well as for leisure skiers. Valberget will be a centre for unique possibilities of training and recreation.