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Lapland in Winter
Saariselkä and Kiilopää

                         

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15th of February 2002
Saariselkä and climbing the Kiilopää-Fjell

When we woke up, it already stopped snowing. We went to the reception in order to register ourselves. We paid the breakfast buffet and ate as much as we could.

After the ample breakfast we took the free ski-bus to Saariselkä, where we wanted to pick up our reserved skis at a ski shop. But unfortunately the owner of the shop was not there and the young boy tried to give us crosscountry skis, with which we would sink until our knees into the fluffy snow in the backcountry. After a long search we found two pair of old Finnish hunting skis. These skis have a telemark binding and are very long and wide. You are sticking with two gumboots in the binding and this is not very stable at downhill runs but these skis are the best skis for the fluffy snow in the Finnish forests. Bernhard took crosscountry skis with which he was forced to went in our track.

At the Kiilopää Fjell Center we testet our skis. We climbed the Kilopää (a fjell (=hill) near the hotel) and were getting more and more used to these skis. These skis are ideal for flat terrain, but when you have to go downhill you ski like the first human being.

Back to the youth hostel room we prepared everything for our 5-day skiing trip and when we went out of the house short before midnight, we saw a bow of a northern light above us. We were enthusiastic - this was the reason why we wanted to spend our holidays in the North and now just in the second night this dream was coming true.

     



The "city center" of Saariselkä, one of the most important tourist centers in Northern Finland. Here you will find many accommodations, as well many possibilities to rent snow mobiles, skis or whatever.
 

First contact with strange machines - this is a "gloves-dryer"!
 

Alois and Bernhard are proudly presenting our just now acquired skis in front of the Kiilopää Fjell Center.
 

Ice sculpture in front of the hotel.
 

In the dawn (which last for many hours) we went with our skis through the woods of Finland, up to the Kiilopää.
 

On the way to the fjell.
 

Wind pressed snow in the evening light.
 

Lonesome at the fjell ...
 

... only disturbed by our presence.
 

Sun set over the wooden ocean of Finland.
 

Back in the youth hostel room of the hotel, we prepared everything for our skiing tour.
 

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(c) stefan eisenbach | http://photos.eisenbach.at | stefan [at] eisenbach.at