Toni mentioned that he would do a long training ride for ITI and sleep at a shelter. I expressed interest in joining him at the shelter and suddenly a choir of "me to" could be heard. Finally six of us were to go to the shelter at Lakjärvi.
I did originally intend to go there by bike, but a week ago we again got enough snow to call it a winter and I decided to go on skis instead. During the week the weather turned from miserable to worse in Turku and currently we have only enough snow to keep the ground white. After some reports I had some hope that the situation would be better in the Kurjenrahka National Park about 25 km north of Turku. I still was prepared for some real extreme skiing on slush on wet and bottomless mires, though. It was a pleasant surprise when there was a real winter at my starting point.
I had planned to ski about 7 km of the larger mire ring route, from Kiikonkylä to Lakjärvi on the open mires. I've only once found a good route through the first section and this time I decided to try the forest next to the mire, which was a big mistake. The forest became very dense and it was very hard to keep the direction. Almost every time I checked the compass I was again off course.
When I arrived at the open mire the navigation was again easy, but the forested parts demanded careful compass usage. There was also no shortage of animal tracks there.
The going was very slow and it took me three hours to get to Lakjärvi. Tommi and Mika had arrived earlier by bike and lit a fire. JJ arrived at the same time as I with a bike. Lakjärvi has two shelters, a larger and a smaller one. The fire was at the smaller one, but we decided that the larger one would be better after all. Operation Fire relocation started.
After a while Jarkko arrived. He had taken an alternative route, but I'm not sure it was on purpose.
Chilling around the fire...
... and making food. I heated a smoked salmon in addition to vegetables in a foil packet. (Yes, I forgot my fork/spoon again).
Toni arrived around midnight.
Jarkko contemplates something,
I went to sleep early, around 1:30. The night temperature was probably around freezing, which is a tad too much for my 600 g summer sleeping bag. With a down jacket on top I slept well, but was not warm and comfy.
A little before eight Jarkko got the fire going and I got up. I had toasted sandwhiches and hot chocolate for breakfast.
Two different means of transportation. My skis are from the previous millenium and has the original Salomon SNS BC binding. The same binding format is still in use and I have it on my forest skis as well as on my Nordic skates.
Toni about to make breakfast.
Toni's ITI bike.
Jarkko has the original Pugsley.
Jarkko conducts a scientific experiment: Is it possible to eat sausage for breakfast? I, for one, have always doubted it.
Almost everyone is packing their stuff.
On the move again. Around the shelter there was very little snow, due to the large spruces collecting everything, but otherwise there was no shortage.
The mire opens up again.
My tracks from yesterday. I followed them for a while.
I decided to try a new shortcut.
A frequently used animal trail.
Out in the open again.
When the mire gets too many trees, seek out the lagg zone.
I was a little faster this time, the 7 km took 2 h 40 min. It had been really nice to be on skis again.