De­cem­ber’s low-light days make Swe­den a stel­lar back­drop, and a for­mer Nordic racer crushes the Alta pow.

Early sea­son in Åre, Swe­den, is a spe­cial time. The days are short and the light is low and mel­low. This shot of Swedish big-moun­tain skier Hen­rik Wind­st­edt was taken on Dec. 2 in a part of the re­sort that wasn’t yet open to the pub­lic. “Early win­ter is my fa­vorite time,” says pho­tog­ra­pher Mat­tias Fredriks­son, who spends equal time shoot­ing skiers and moun­tain bik­ers in their el­e­ment. “The days are short, the light is spec­tac­u­lar, and there are barely any peo­ple around.” A slice of the good life at 66 de­grees north.

Nikon D4S, Nikon NIKKOR 20mm f/2.8 lens @ f/6.3, 1/640sec, ISO 500

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