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The history of Mustavuori

Around 8 000 B.C., melting glaciers of the last ice age push land masses from the oldest bedrock of Europe to form an esker beside Kalkunvuori. Here, the highest point of the region, Mustavuori, shall be formed.

 

In 1910s, the strategic importance of the height and position of Mustavuori is acknowledged. It is an optimal site to defend Tampere from a possible West or North-West attack and thus a large network of defensive fighting positions and equipment is built to the area. In a few decades, the remains shall be protected under the Antiquities Act.

 

In 1940s, rebuilding is begun in Tampere and the southern slope of Mustavuori serves as a gravel extraction site to fill the growing needs of construction. Over time, this reveals a south-faced 30 m high vertical cliff inside the esker.

In 1960s, the pioneers of downhill skiing in Tampere begin their search for a perfect local slope. After various test runs, Mustavuori in Villilä, Tampere, proves to best suit their needs due to its excellent profile.

In 1967, Mustavuoren Hiihtokeskus Säätiö, founded by the Finnish Red Cross and Tampere Ski Club, establishes ski resort operations on the first shaped slope, Mustavuori Original. Hence, skiers are lifted to the top with a Finnish RKP-Veto J-bar lift located on the skier’s right of the slope.

In 1970s, resort operations and ownership of the land area are handed over to the city of Tampere. A snowmaking system is built to ensure the quality of the slope while the number of active skiers keeps rising. In addition, facilities for equipment rental and ticket sale are constructed while the southern entry to the slope area is opened. Also, locker rooms and a kiosk with skids serve the customers. On top, a 250 m long lift was added to the skier’s left to better serve beginners as well.

 

In 1980s, the golden ages of skiing attract dozens of skiers. Ques to the lift can surpass a hundred meters and so the old J-bar lift is replaced by a brand new and powerful Doppelmayr T-bar lift and another slope is opened to the western side of the lift. In addition, capacity is increased by a second Doppelmayr lift. At this point, skiers with monoskis and modern telemark skis can be seen, and the first snowboarders enter Mustavuori in the mid-80s. Whilst until now, building snow jumps has been strictly forbidden, the appearance of snowboarders quickly makes a change, and the first jumps are built to the slope.  The city of Tampere invests in a new service building with a rental and a café in 1987, and the old and dangerous small lift is abolished.

 

In 1990s, the city of Tampere outsources the ski resort operations, and the soaring popularity of snowboarding pulls numerous ski resorts through the recession. A half pipe is constructed to the street slope, and gravel extraction is winded down opening the opportunity for the first rock climbers to enter the cliff.

 

On the 21st century, a wave of new school skiers and twin tip skis increases the use of the street. Thus, the park is grown in size and versatility is sought with new boxes and rails. Despite the high user rates of the half pipe, it is removed due to its overwhelming maintenance.

 

In 2010-2017, the infrastructure in Mustavuori is not updated to answer the needs of new customers. Despite, regular customers take advantage of the excellent location and first-class profile of the slope. By now, already a third generation of skiers is brought up in Mustavuori, and many gain international success: for example, Sanni Leinonen and Kalle Leinonen. Thus, already a number of active skiers and snowboarders have been able to make a living out of the sport.

 

In 2017, Mustavuori celebrates its 5th anniversary without festivities of any kind, and the future of the resort is in the dark. The contract of the entrepreneur operating in Mustavuori is closing and they do not have interest to continue; rumors are they only wish to continue in Hervanta and are planning to relocate the lift of Mustavuori there. Thus, Mustavuori will not be open to the public during winter season 2017/2018. In early winter of 2017, a group of active Mustavuori enthusiasts come together with a single goal: to reopen Mustavuori already for the season 2018/2019 and ensure ski resort operations in the future.

 

In 2018, the potential of Mustavuori as a versatile all-year-round resort crystallizes and Mustavuori Oy is established in May. Competitive tendering is arranged by the city of Tampere in order to find an entity to run ski resort operations in either Hervanta or Mustavuori in 2018-2029. Three participants take part: Tampereen Rinteet Oy offering for Hervanta, Konepalvelu Kemppainen Oy, and Mustavuori Oy. By a wide margin, the competitive tendering is won with the best strategy plan by Mustavuori Oy. In the aftermath, though, Konepalvelu Kemppainen Oy filed an appeal alleging error in the procurement procedure.

 

Despite the appeal, Mustavuori enthusiasts work together to prepare the overgrown slope area during the autumn. A major setback occurs in the early winter when the city of Tampere decides to cancel the competitive tendering and order the ski resort operations from Tampereen Rinteet Oy in Hervanta for the season 2018-2019. Yet, preparation work done in the autumn is not lost since a snowy winter provides for some excellent runs in fresh pow during the season. In continuance, the city of Tampere arranges a new competitive tendering in the spring of 2019.

Once again, Mustavuori Oy has the winning tender.

 

Mustavuori Oy continues from where the ice age and skiing pioneers of Tampere left…

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