Sunday, February 19, 2012

Small overnighter on skis

I decided that my frostbite had healed enough to go on a small overnighter. The temperature was also suitable, just a few degrees below freezing. With the amount of snow we've had the last two weeks, skis made sense. I mentioned this on fillarifoorumi, the main Finnish bicycle forum, since JJ had also expressed some interest in going out. I packed my gear almost in record time and met JJ at Rantapiha at around four in the afternoon. We decided to ski to the Töykkälä shelter, where none of us had slept before.

And off we went. JJ uses some army style equipment with a large backpack. Quite a contrast to my own minimalistic gear.

Except for the wind, it was very quiet. I though I saw a White-throated Dipper when we crossed Järvijoki, but I didn't get a good enough glimpse to be sure. Otherwise the only sign of animal life was some crows and a raven.

Occasionally some old ski tracks were visible on the bog, which made skiing easy.

The map and compass are always right.

Some amount of care needs to be taken. There are occasional wet places on the bog which have not frozen, probably due to peat bog gases coming though the surface.

After a little under two hours, we arrived at the Töykkälä shelter, just before the fall of night. JJ immediately started a fire.

Show your frostbite! JJ has an amputated forefinger, but since it was not due to frostbite it doesn't count.

After some time, we got company at the shelter. A couple arrived, and while all got along well, they had probably hoped to be alone for a romantic night out.

The evening went on with more food and some small amounts of anti-freezing agent.

We all went to sleep around midnight. The temperature was just below freezing, so there was no problems keeping warm during the night. The night saw some hard wind and about 10 cm of new snow, which would come to make the skiing a lot harder.

At around eight in the morning we got up. JJ again starts a fire.

I remembered my dark French roast coffee, but forgot my coffee filter thingy. But, as long as you have a Buff (you should always bring a spare one), there is no need to despair. A Buff also works fine as a coffee filter.

Another view at the Töykkälä shelter.

Skiing again. In the beginning it was easy. The prepared ski track was visible in the more shelter area.


It soon started to snow more.

Out on the bog there was no trace of the ski tracks, and quite hard work to open your own.

Water under the snow.

We decided to take the hiking trail in the forest for the last section. It was a lot less snow and easier skiing in the forest, but there were some fallen trees from the Christmas storm.

Just a small bit left.

After two and a half hours of fairly hard skiing we arrived at the cars and ended this little outing. Thank to JJ for the company.

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