Tour skating!

Jouni Laaksonen 15.12.2020

We had a perfect way to start a day!

The winter has been quite slow to come. There has been snow for a month, but only 10 cm or so. That is plenty enough for my younger daughter to ski, and she has been skiing enthusiastically almost every evening. But it’s not real winter yet, I cannot go and ski in the forests and bogs.

However, the lack of snow has one advantage. The lakes have now finally freezed properly, and today morning we decided to go tour skating with my wife to a nearby lake.

First I pounded the ice with an axe to check there is enough thickness. 5 cm of hard new ice is enough to carry a human. After I had made a 10 cm deep hole and no water was seeping through, I was satisfied.

If you go tour skating on a lake or sea, you have to know what you are doing. You must not go to too thin ice, you must know the hazardous places (like the starting and ending points of streams or rivers, straits etc.), and you must wear icepicks around your neck. And pack extra clothes watertight in your backpack.
Proper tour skating skates are the best option, though you can skate with normal skates also. Ice skating poles are good, both in helping you speed across the ice, and in giving extra safety.

We skated around a small lake system, and it was hilarious! It’s fun to ski on a ice rink, but it’s way more fun to ski on a lake. You are surrounded by beautiful nature, the scenery changes all the time, and you feel you are hiking, not exercising. It’s so fantastically light and fast to advance on skates!

The ice was even and smooth, covered by just a couple of millimeters of new snow. This is not typical here in Northern Finland. Usually once the ice is thick enough, there is a deepish layer of snow on top of it, and it’s not possible to skate – except on skis, and that’s another story. On the south and west coast of Finland they do more tour skating on the shores of the sea.

I wish health and happy Christmas times for everyone!

2 thoughts on “Tour skating!

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