Last weekend was big in our community. It was the Mora Vasaloppet Cross Country ski race. People from all over the world come to Mora (Population 3571) to ski the race; the size of the town literally doubles on race weekend.
The event was started in 1973 by a small group of volunteers and 96 passionate cross country skiers. It was more hobby than organization in the early years. As the race became more sophisticated, the number of skiers grew but the success of the race always depended on snow. Some years there was plenty and other years none and the race was cancelled.
Alternative plans were devised: shortening the race, skiing on an ice-covered lake, but all were stop-gap plans. Then a board member came up with the idea of using a snowmaking machine like those used at ski resorts. The problem was spreading the snow along a 58 km (36 miles) ski trail. A farmer on the Vasaloppet board experimented spreading the snow with his manure spreader and the problem was solved. Suddenly the Vasaloppet wasn’t solely dependent on Mother Nature.
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Want to see how the manure spreader technique worked? Click on the picture!