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Lapland in Winter
Kiilopää - Suomunruoktu

                   

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16th of February 2002
Skiing t
our, day1: snow storm and exhausting miles

We wake up at 7.30 in order to get at 8 o'clock to the breakfast buffet. The weather is not the best. It's quite warm with only -9°C, but it's cloudy and when we started our tour it began to snow.

The first 6 kilometers are one a groomed trail with marking poles. The weather was getting worse and worse and when we had to leave the trail, we had an absolute whiteout with fog, snow and wind. Under this weather conditions we had to find a pass between two fjells, but we even couldn't guess in which direction the terrain is falling or rising. We took our compass and went blind into the white nothing ... and indeed we found the pass and crossed the hill barrier.

After a long time in the white ocean we saw the first crippled birch trees of the neighbour valley. But our happiness was not very long enduring. Indeed it was not so windy between the trees than on the hills, but the snow was so fluffy that we sank until our knees into the snow ... we didn't know which evil was worst, the bad snow in the forests or the cold temperatures and the storm on the fjells.

Thank God, after some minutes we found an old snowed in ski track, on which we didn't sank so much.

Late afternoon we had a graupel shower and the temperature rose up to +2°C. The Finnish skis were not used to this tropical temperatures and so the snow was cleaving on the downside of our skis. These last kilometers were the most exhausting kilometers of the whole tour.

It was getting already dark when we arrived at the hut. The huts in this national park you will find every 10 to 20 kilometers a small hut with a gas stove, an oven, a table and sleeping places ... and the best thing about this huts is, you can use them for free. This system is only possible, if every hiker and skier is cleaning the hut after themselves and indeed this is working perfectly here. Every hut was clean and we had always already chopped wood.

     

Our skiing tour. From the Kiilopää Fjell Center (left) we went to the Suomunruoktu-hut and further to the Tuiskukuru-hut, from where we made a day trip to the Amupäät fjells.

We had to cancel the planned tour to the Sokosti because of our bad fitness and the absence of old ski tracks.

We went back on the same route.

 

Here we had to leave the marked trail - the weather is more than bad.

Photo: Alois M. Holzer

 

Whiteout - which direction should we take. With our compass and our good maps we managed without bigger problems to cross the range.
 

It's getting darker and we still don't see the hut. The wet snow is sticking on our skis and the last kilometers were a real torture.
 

Arrived! The left part of the hut is reserved for paying guests, the left part is always open and free accessible.
 

Inside the hut - this evening we had rice with chicken and after this fine dinner our energy came back.

Photo: Alois M. Holzer

 

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