Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Year in Review

The outdoor year 2014 started miserably. There was still no sign of winter, but that suddenly changed about a week into the new year. The temperature fell rapidly and the sea ice started to grow in thickness. While the lack of snow didn't allow any skiing, the skating was great and culminated with the Vigu Nordic Skating 1 course.

For the fourth year in a row I also managed to be on an overnighter during the coldest night of the year. While the three previous ones had temperatures of almost -30C, this one was only -18C, though.

In the beginning of February we had the only really acceptable snowfall of the winter. I managed to spend an overnighter with some fellow Vigu students that weekend.

After that weekend the misery started. The snow disappeared within two weeks and what should have been the most wintry part of the year was some sort of quasi-spring.

Despite the non-wintry conditions of  February, March didn't bring any signs of spring.

My sanity was saved by the Vigu Winter Fells 1 course in the Hemavan area in Sweden at the end of March. We had a fantastic week training telemark turns, practicing important winter mountain skills and living in snow caves.

In April the spring arrived. Despite the warm winter, the spring didn't come any earlier than normally.

An overnighter in Levaneva in Osthrobothnia in the beginning of May showed that we were still far from the summer.

In May we also finally did the Turku All Night Long ride we had had planned for a number of years now. This will hopefully become a tradition.

At the end of May it was already summer when we had the Vigu climbing course in Jämtland in Sweden.

June was colder that normal, but summer is always summer and personally I don't need the temperature to go over 20C. I participated in and passed the Vigu botany course.

June always passes too rapidly and suddenly I found myself starting my four week summer vacation in July. An overnighter was the perfect way to reset myself from the work life, much better than the vodka some people use.

The perhaps most important thing for me during the summer was that I started kayaking for real again, after an eight year break.

July ended with an excellent kayaking trip in the Archipelago Sea with two Vigu course mates.

The kayaking continued in August with the excellent Vigu Sea Kayaking 1 course in the Åland Islands.

After the kayaking course the weather changed and it rained quite a lot. An overnighter to the Kurjenrahka National Park showed that there was as much water in the terrain as in November.

September was surprisingly dry and the summer returned. I joined the local paddling club for a weekend trip in the Archipelago Sea.

In October I participated in the excellent Vigu Food course, which culminated in us preparing the dinner for 140 persons for the Vigu 20 year anniversary party.

At the end of October we participated in the Mammoth March for the third time. It took twenty hours and involved epical bike pushing, technical problems and one of our small group having to be evacuated due to tiredness.

In November we had the Vigu First Aid course...

... I continued paddling my new kayak...

... and the 6th annual Vajosuo Beer ride commenced in the usual demanding conditions.

In December the fall conditions continued, but the sun showed itself quit often, though it also rained very much.While waiting for the winter to arrive, the kayaking was great.

Just in time for Christmas the winter arrived and everything started to look much better.

All in all, I had an excellent outdoor year. I haven't counted the nights spent outside, but last year it was 35 and this year there should be a few more. Thanks to everyone who has accompanied me during the outings.

Happy New Year to everyone!

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