Sunday, February 10, 2013

Vajosuo Beer Ski Tour 2013

The not yet quite traditional Vajosuo Beer Ski Tour of MTB-Turku took place this weekend. We've done it once before with a good number of participants. This time only me, JJ and Timo, an acquaintance of JJ:s, participated. The weather forecast was ok, with the temperature a few degrees below freezing. We intended to do a circular route covering some larger mires in the Kuhankuono area, in fact pretty similar to the route I took on a crust ride two years ago.

We started a little after three in the afternoon. The temperature was around -2C and the snow fairly wet, causing it to stick to the skis and destroy the glide. The first section was through a forest.


A forest road section on the way to the lake Lakjärvi. A Land Rover with snow chains had come pretty far.

The Lakjärvi shelter was occupied by a couple of guys intending to do some fishing.

Skiing on the Lammenrahka mire. It started to snow lightly.

After Lammerahka came the Laidassuo mire with a short passage with denser forest in between. It was also getting darker now.

We occasionally followed a fresh ski track, at most a few hours old, the maker of which seemed to have made great route choices. Unfortunately, off the mire the route was no longer that great and took us through some denser forest.

After a while we came upon a ski trail in good shape that in the beginning took us in the right direction. After a while it didn't feel right, though, and after consulting the map it became clear that we had made an orienteering mistake costing us about one hour. It was now totally dark.

Eventually we arrived at the Vajosuo shelter, after about five hours of skiing. There was another group of six there, but there was an empty firewood shed just some fifty meters from the shelter, so there would be place for all of us. It turned out that this other group had taken almost the same route as us, spending the previous night at the Lakjärvi shelter. JJ quickly started a fire.
The fire was used to grill sandwhiches and sausage, in addition to melting snow to water. I'm personally not that fond of melting snow to water on an open fire, since I find the smoky taste more suitable for a good whisky rather than water.

The other group went to sleep a little earlier than we did, leaving us at the shelter and fire. Despite the name, this was not a drinking trip. I had one liter of beer with me and the others slightly more. We went to to sleep about one hour after midnight. I slept well in my 600 g summer down bag with a 600 g Prodigy X quilt on top. It was only about -2C during the night, so the summer bag would have been enough, though not entirely comfortable. With this combo I was very warm and comfy.

JJ got up at eight in the morning to make a fire, shortly followed by me. The other group had been up for an hour already.

Breakfast and water for coffee.

Some time before ten in the morning we started skiing again, starting with the Vajosuo mire.

Entering the Kurjenrahka mire.

Some wet place still on the mire.

The last section was very slow, since the skis didn't glide at all. Looking under the skis, this was no surprise.

JJ scraping off the ice under the skis. This would help for a minute or so.

We skied on though, and it took around three hours to get back to the parking place.

A very nice little overnighter again, along a very nice and interesting route. Thanks a lot to the participants.

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