21.4.2021 Jouni Laaksonen
I’m sorry I’ve been quiet here in my blog lately. I’ve been busy with my new book, and I’ve been winter hiking a lot. (The book is in Finnish, it’s called Vaellustarinoita – Askeleita luontoon, and it will be published in June. I’ll tell more about it when it’s been published.) Here’s a brief summary of my winter 2021:
In December we skied in Pyhä-Luosto National park with my family. We rented a cottage and skied mostly on the beautiful ski tracks of the National Park. However, we also slept one night in our kota tent, which can be warmed up by a wood oven.
The winter was mostly cloudy until one morning in January, when the sky was blue! We spent that day skiing in a nearby protected bog area, Mustinsuo, with my wife. South-side horizon was bright yellow due to the low hanging sun, there was some -25°C, and every needle of every branch of every tree was so covered with snow. Absolutely wonderful!
I was able to enjoy the same kind of beautiful (and cold) weather in Ylläs, Lapland, with my friend Markus later in January. See pics in this post.
In February we skied with my friends in Elimyssalo protected area and slept in my kota tent. There’s a post about this trip here.
Later in February we headed with two friends to Pulju Wilderness Area, in Lapland. This time the sky was heavily cloudy all the time, it was coldish, around -20°C, and there was 20 cm snowfall during our trek. It was quite heavy work to ski and pull your sledge, because the cold new snow had a lot of friction, not to mention that our skis and sledges naturally sank quite deep. I got many shadowless black and white photos out of that hike. 🙂
In March in Finland there is a week long school holiday. We always spend that week skiing, as I tell here and here. This time we rented a cottage from Paljakka and skied along Paljakka and Ukkohalla ski tracks.
At the end of March I headed again to Lapland. We skied with my two friends across Vätsäri Wilderness Area and Lake Inarijärvi. The temperature was exceptionally warm for March, it was above 0°C day and night. That meant the snow was totally wet and out skis sank all the way to the ground. We had to stick to snow mobile routes. Well, nature is big and human is small: you take what you get, and the trick is not to complain, but to enjoy in every kind of weather. And that we did, we had good time together.
After that warm spell the nightly frosts returned, which meant the snow cover got a hard crust. In April it has been super easy to ski wherever you want. Across the bogs and forests, up to fells, wherever. I’ve skied rather a lot here at home, Kuhmo. Sometimes alone, sometimes with my wife, sometimes with my wife and daughters. Sometimes with long and wide skis (metsäsukset, 270 cm long, 7 cm wide), sometimes with two meters long and 5 cm wide touring skis, sometimes with normal cross-country skis. It is such fun to ski on a hard crust (hankikanto)!
Right now the snow cover is rather thin here in Kuhmo, but there’s plenty of snow in Lapland. I hope I can do one more winter hike this spring, in May in Käsivarsi Wilderness Area, Lapland.
Happy skiing to anyone living so north or high there is still snow this winter! And happy walking, rambling, hiking, trekking, or canoeing, mountain biking, whatever, to anyone living where there isn’t snow! Let’s enjoy the great outdoors!