Ski resorts in Sweden and Norway are kicking off the winter season with ski tests, competitions, and festive fun throughout December.

Sälen offers one of the largest ski test weekends Dec. 2-5: test this season's new products, watch demonstrations, participate in competitions, and join in the evening apres-ski.

Hemsedel offers a choice of this season's hottest new skis and snowboards at the Hemsedal Ski Test Weekend Dec. 4-5.

Åre hosts a weekend filled with activities Dec. 10-12. The Ski & Snowboard Test is a 54-hour non-stop event featuring skiing, shows, and entertainment. Highlights include the torchlight procession and fashion show.

Trysil hosts X-Jam at its Parken Trysil Dec. 24-31. Several of Norway's best skiers and snowboarders will be participating.

The resorts of Sälen, Hemsedel, Trysil, Åre, and Vemdalen are offering a snow guarantee for this season. The snow guarantee means that in case the ski destinations fail to comply with the minimum snow requirements, you can choose not to travel and be refunded your money.

At present Sälen has 12 open slopes with 15cm of snow; Åre has two open slopes/22cm snow; Vemdalen has three open slopes/18cm snow; Hemsedal has nine open slopes/ 21cm; and Trysil has nine open slopes/15cm.

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