Talk:Winter in the Nordic countries

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Spring weather[edit]

I am surprised about part of this edit, adding:

After spring equinox (March 21) days are longer in the Nordic countries than further south. The long days and often bright sunshine combined with plenty of snow and often cold days offers an unusual winter experience and a long skiing season.

I think the unusual experience may come from often warm days: I would call skiing in a T-shirt an unusual experience, while coldness is something I'd expect when doing winter sports. Is this just a mistake, or are days often surprisingly cold in some area? Perhaps the two could then be combined in some sensible way.

--LPfi (talk) 11:25, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Bad wording I guess. I think the most unusual thing is the long days, such as skiing at midnight while the sun is still up - unusual compared to the typical central European or US experience at least. Perhaps also warm days with plenty of snow remaining (that is more unpredictable however). --Erik den yngre (talk) 19:44, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

How to sort the table?[edit]

In the Daylight section, there is a sortable table – but how do we get the right sort order? Now the dates are sorted alphabetically, which makes little sense.

One solution would be to include latitude and use that (I suppose alphabetical sort would give the right result) and city name as sort criteria. Otherwise I think we should sort the cities by latitude and leave out the automatic sort – which anyway adds little value. Doing the latter for now.

--LPfi (talk) 06:31, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

According to latitude would be most logical. Whether starting from Svalbard (northernmost) or Bodø/Rovaniemi (those are the southernmost, I guess) is just a matter of taste. ϒpsilon (talk) 06:52, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

Usable-Guide-FTT[edit]

I think this could be a nice candidate for the Main Page sometime in the future, for example in late 2018. The article is still only an outline, but as articles are nominated about 7-9 months before they go live there's no need to have it ready tomorrow. Also, the winter is just a few months away and during that time we can come to think of things to add to the article. --ϒpsilon (talk) 09:16, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

For travel topics the status criteria give little help in judging status. It is mostly about judging completeness – what you come to think of when writing and when judging. I think, however, that the article "Has at least a good overview of the topic, and some useful material under each outline heading." It "has no obvious omissions" (but we might find important omissions during the winter) and mentions some relevant destinations. I cannot judge whether the format closely matches the manual of style, but if not, it should be easy to fix.
So I think one could mark it guide today, but checking more carefully is certainly needed, the prose could be improved, and I think some sections and points could be developed (there is not necessarily any balance now).
I suppose most authors of this article live in the Nordic countries, so there may be omission regarding things be regard obvious, but may be surprising from people from other climates (and even things surprising those from Canada or Alaska). A few "outsiders", especially people who have visited the countries without much previous knowledge, would be very valuable.
Thinking a little more, I think "Bring" is missing. Can you arrive in January with what you would wear on an especially cold day in England? What should you do if you are from Malaysia and have not been in cold climates before? A lot is covered in Cold weather, but knowing the local specifics we could go into more detail about arriving. One thing is that any snowmobile tour operator in Lapland will probably have sufficient clothing to lend (they do not want problems from customers getting hypothermia or frostbite). And if you come to one of the major airports you'd probably find a taxi quickly enough that you'd get along with sweater, coat, cap, gloves, boots and scarf even if it is -25, while having exposed hands or ankles can get you a frostbite quite quickly when you also otherwise are insufficiently dressed.
--LPfi (talk) 15:00, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Agree that we should take the perspective of new visitor from warmer climates, for instance from tropical countries (Malaysia) or southern Europe (Spain). But even visitors from UK or Germany may be surprised about conditions in the north. As I also live in Norway I guess I am quite blind about the obvious, such as daylight, the effects of frost/wind on the body and on vehicles. I often get questions from acquaintances further south about hiking at mid winter. Using snowshoes is also a common question. --Erik den yngre (talk) 15:28, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
If you can pinpoint the things they have difficulty grasping, please tell here or include relevant advice in the article. I understand winter hiking is exotic, and snowshoes an obvious option, but I have tried to explain at part of that at least in Hiking in the Nordic countries, which I linked for longer cross country tours (I have not elaborated too much, as I think you should either have experience or use an experienced guide: a friend or a professional). --LPfi (talk) 19:04, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

The Do-section has some bulletpoints as intro, the lead of the section should perhaps give an overview and be less fragmented. Erik den yngre (talk) 15:31, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

Travel topics are a bit hard to judge but I think of them this way: if all "big things" of the topic are at least mentioned or outlined, the article can be regarded usable, and I think the article is already at that stage. Then, when the details are filled in, it becomes a guide. For the moment the bulleted points in See and Do that could probably be turned into running text, and there is sort of something missing from the article but I can't put my finger on what it is.
I do think the article should (as far as possible) be written from the point of someone outside the Nordic countries coming here to experience the winter. One surprising thing is that the moisture of the air makes the cold feel much colder and "rawer" than on more continental places in the world with dryer air. For example the temperature dropping below -40°C in Mongolia reportedly is not as harsh as a -20°C January day in Helsinki.
In addition to things that are important to know for the traveler's health and safety, we should also make sure all the fun things are mentioned too. ϒpsilon (talk) 16:45, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
I think the article is soon getting to guide status. There are still two things to decide upon:
In the See section I added a subsection with individual attractions, but was only able to come up with a few. Can you come to think of a couple more, if not, it's perhaps better to turn it into a paragraph of text instead of bullet/listing form.
The ski resorts; should we just add coordinates to the Norwegian ones and call it a day or should we try to write some descriptions for all 25-30 of them? ϒpsilon (talk) 16:52, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
I changed a bit Trysil and Hemsedal. Looks OK? I can also remove some to reduce the list. Erik den yngre (talk) 17:16, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
Adding coords right now. And by writing 25-30 descriptions I meant all of the ski resorts including Finnish and Swedish ones as well (it would be silly if they'd be without descriptions if Norwegian ski resorts have one, but I guess it's possible to get a few basic sentences about each of them from WP and official websites). ϒpsilon (talk) 17:22, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
Coords done. I guess if a ski resort is big enough that it's common for people to travel there and stay for a few days, it can be kept on the list. ϒpsilon (talk) 18:10, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

Sea ice[edit]

Signs for the Hailuoto ice road 2013, max load 3.5 tonnes

Although some stories about the strength of the ice probably are exaggerated, the Nordic countries are in "pretty northerly latitudes". Strolling on the ice of Gulf of Finland in Helsinki is a popular pastime yearly, although the authorities give warnings when people do it at mad times (and people probably drown yearly doing that, but only one or a few unlucky ones, not in the hundreds as one might suspect). Estonian ice fishers being rescued because the ice floats away from the coast is a standard news item in spring. Here at the Archipelago Sea the locals are upset that official iceroads are not opened, because the ice is strong enough only for cars, not for lorries. Up in the north, I'd suppose it would be very very concerning news if the 9 km official ice road to Hailuoto in the Bay of Bothnia could not be opened (last winter it opened only in February, yes concerning) – that is in the north, but I have not noticed anything about that in the international news. --LPfi (talk) 18:34, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

Yup, the last two winters have been so mild that authorities have warned people not to walk around on the sea ice (nevertheless people did it). If it'd be like that winter (early 2010) when the Sweden ferries sat around in the sea ice for several days, the ice would be much stronger.
Are there official iceroads in the Archipelago Sea as well? I believed there were just unofficial roads made and used by locals who so to say know what they are doing. ϒpsilon (talk) 19:02, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
Shipping lane crossing device, on land in summer
Mostly they are, especially as it is cheaper ("resultatansvar", you know) for the road administration to claim the ice is too weak for official ice roads (a favourite issue for the local press), but I doubt devices like the one in the image, for crossing shipping lanes, would be constructed for or allowed on private ice roads. The charts also include a number of ice roads. Many of the private roads cross lanes that are closed for the winter, but I suppose those on the charts are official. --LPfi (talk) 19:13, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
For shipping the main problem is not necessarily strong ice, but wind and waves gathering ice as walls several metres high where the semiopen sea meets solid ice (the reason why Turku turned out to be a better winter harbour than Hanko once there were icebreakers). That year the ice was packed in extraordinary amounts at the Swedish coast off Stockholm (for a few days only, but usually the ferries just have difficulties keeping to their schedule, now they needed icebreaker help – and the icebreakers were probably busy elsewhere). --LPfi (talk) 19:29, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

Ski resorts in Norway[edit]

This reads a little odd:

"Norway's leading business daily ranks the Norwegian winter sport resorts that have the best offer for alpine skiing (per 2017):"

First, what's the name of Norway's leading business daily? Secondly, we usually try to avoid detailed rankings from other pages (in my experience telling that X has been ranked the best Y by Z is usually (but not always) fine). Thirdly, why need the Norwegian resorts be ranked when the ones in Finland and Sweden aren't? ϒpsilon (talk) 19:35, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

Perhaps something carried over from Wikipedia where sources are essential. Norway has a large number of resorts, the ranking is merely a way to help navigate. Perhaps remove numbers, but keep order and use bullet points with short description? --Erik den yngre (talk) 22:30, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
I think the order should be more or less well-defined. The reordering some time ago (order update) seemed to show the importance order is not clear, and if so, an order from south to north or similar could be better. Grouping would be fine, but I suspect the resort facilities overlap too much for that. Even if we keep the current order, I think we should state the criterion (at least in an html comment), to allow checking, updating and adding resorts. --LPfi (talk) 10:29, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Not sure how to do this on Wikivoyage as there are no footnotes/ref.list. My main idea was to mention the most important ones, there are some 200+ alpine resorts in Norway, so I needed some independent source to choose the 10-15 most important. Perhaps some kind of grouping for instance for families, for experts, for off-piste etc, but perhaps too much overlap to be precise. Easiest is perhaps to group by geography (north-south for instance). --Erik den yngre (talk) 23:15, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

I think we have some policy somewhere that lists of things should be in alphabetic order (Wikivoyage:Don't tout says "In most cases listings should be ordered alphabetically within a section.", and also "Avoid references to third-party ratings and rankings unless they are truly exceptional.") so that all things listed get fair coverage.
Also, as this article is not solely about skiing (perhaps Winter sports in Norway could get its own article just like Winter sports in Austria and Winter sports in Switzerland), I don't think we should try to list hundreds of ski resorts here. At least here in Finland, there are some 10 ski resorts that are remarkably bigger/more important than the rest (that have only local importance). Isn't this the case in Norway as well? ϒpsilon (talk) 06:20, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
OK, then perhaps separate south and north, then alphabetical within these two main groups. I dont know exact size of each and I guess there is mostly a gradual difference in size, but perhaps possible identify a handful of big resorts (Trysil, Geilo, Hemsedal, Oppdal, Voss - need to do some research to say for sure). Stranda and Røldal are not the biggest, but are «special» because of the amount of snowfall - Røldal sometimes have to close because of too much snow. Stranda and Narvik are also special because slopes overlook iconic fjords, this is another reason these places are mentioned in rankings. Erik den yngre (talk) 10:03, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
I think it would make sense to list the biggest and some especial ones, perhaps having those two lists (about 5+5?), each ordered from south to north. Be sure to have good one-liners at least for the special ones. I think nice features that cannot be found at the largest ones should be prioritized, perhaps also when they might appeal mostly to niche groups.--LPfi (talk) 15:47, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

Possible improvements[edit]

Copying a comments here from Wikivoyage:Destination of the month candidates; Selfie City wrote:

  • Support. I can see there's a lot of useful content in this article. I think, though, I need to address some issues with this article:
  1. This article could do with fewer pictures. There are some really nice pictures but there are others that do not need to be in the article and could easily draw an article's readers attention from the article itself to the pictures.
  2. In the weather section is a chart that shows general climatic conditions. This would be more attractive if it was formatted as a table, which would help out with my first point.
  3. The weather section would probably be more accurately titled "climate".
  4. The quote in the "daylight" section doesn't add much to the article and doesn't even make much sense. I think we should either find another quote to replace it or remove the quote altogether.
  5. Due to all the red links in the ski resorts section, that section looks kind-of messy. Also, I don't think the formatting of those listings is totally consistent.
  6. The "buy" section could do with some more information, although it doesn't need to be too long for an article about a season.
  7. Because this article is really about the cold weather in Nordic countries, I think the entire "stay safe" section should be devoted to weather only, and the first part of this section and the "weather" heading should be removed. Still, in general, this is a good, detailed article that should be a Featured Travel Topic either starting late November, late December, perhaps late January, or be featured in the late 2019/early 2020 winter. Selfie City (talk) 23:28, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

Nothing has been done about this. I do not agree with SC on all points, and I suppose it is better to discuss how to develop the article here than at DotM.

  1. I do not think the article is overloaded with pictures. I also think the selection is reasonably varied (I replaced one of the three downhill slopes images with a cross-country one; I think two is not excessive). I do not understand the argument about some images distracting from the article.
  2. The weather graph is a standard way to display climate, what kind of table would be better?
  3. Do we have a standard? Climate is about what weather to expect. I have no strong preference.
  4. I suppose the quote is about the dark mornings, still no daylight even late in the morning. I am not very found of the quote formatting, but that is not specific for this article. Perhaps we could get a quote that is easier to grasp.
  5. It seems there are not too many redlinks. Have the articles been created? I tried to make the format uniform, still issues with varying amount of information. The Norwegian resorts should probably all be mentioned at least as a Nearby in some article.
  6. What kind of Buy information would you like to have added? I suppose it would be easy to add.
  7. I do not think an introductory paragraph or two on other risks is misplaced.

Comments?

--LPfi (talk) 09:55, 26 September 2018 (UTC)

The article is fine as is. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 12:22, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
Was the weather graph changed, though? --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 14:12, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
Not that I can see. The image link has not changed since your comment, and only one version of the image has been uploaded. --LPfi (talk) 20:31, 1 October 2018 (UTC)