Sunday, February 22, 2015

Vajosuo Beer Ski 2015

After last week's excellent ski overnighter I wanted the winter to continue and do more skiing. The weather however turned from great to miserable to worse and in Turku the snow season was definitely over. I still thought that the Kurjenrahka National park 25 km north of Turku would have enough snow and decided to go on a ski overnighter, quite possibly the last one of the winter. Jarkko and JJ joined me.

It certainly didn't look like skiing would be possible and it was just when we arrived to Kurjenrahka that there was enough snow. We unloaded our gear from the cars and got ready to start.

It turned out that there was enough snow for skiing after all. We started in the prepared ski track, which had been made for the 40 km skiing event the week before.

Soon we started to choose our own route, though.

The skiing was actually quite good and it seemed the snow had hardened a little, even though the temperature was still just above freezing. At one point we made a slight orienteering mistake, which had us skiing 300 m from our route in the forest instead of the open mire, even though we did arrive at the intended location. We skied the last kilometer over open mire without using our head lights and saw just enough to arrive at the Vajosuo shelter after 8.5 km and a little under three hours, where we immediately started a fire.

The evening went eating, talking and drinking a little beer. It was almost two o'clock before we went to sleep.

I had a new air mattress, the NeoAir XTherm Regular, and was really warm and cozy, despite only having my 600 g summer sleeping bag. The temperature was just above freezing. Jarkko got up at seven in the morning and started a fire. I got up at 7:30.

The breakfast was excellent with coffee and toasted sandwhiches. Beats porridge any day.

Sometime before nine in the morning we got ready and started skiing.

The snow was now a little softer than in the evening and the open mire had less snow than it had seemed in the darkness.

I still used my pulk, even though a backpack would be enough for a small overnighter. A pulk is so much more comfortable to have, though.

All three of us had forest skis, mine were 270 cm long. I think this was a good choice now that the snow was soft and there was now and then slush and water on the bottom.

Jarkko has a green sack with his sleeping bag on the backpack.

Otherwise the colors on the mire were somewhat less cheerful.

Yours truly, Photo by Jarkko.

An elevated ski track. A really good idea, maybe the shoes will stay dry.


Jarkko's backpack lacks a color.

Another picture of me by Jarkko.

We checked out the small island on the Vajosuo mire.

There was water under the snow.

Following the snow mobile made ski track to see the new route from the mire,

On the Kurjenrahka mire. Soon Jarkko noticed that his backpack was missing something.

The snow was now clearly softer and it was rather wet at some places.

The final stretch before arriving at lake Savojärvi.


 We arrived at the parking place after a little under three hours and 8.5 km again. We now needed to retrieve Jarkko's sleeping bag, which we based on the photos in my camera had located to be somewhere in the middle of the Vajosuo mire. I let Jarkko off close to the norther side of the mire, while I continued to the southern side and parked the car 1.5 km from the mire. I skied a little faster and found the missing sleeping bag in the middle of the mire. The green color had a slightly different hue than the other green stuff on the mire.


We then skied to the car. This gave an additional 5 km of skiing.

That's it. A nice overnighter and in all likelihood the last one on skis this winter, at least the way it looks now. The winter has been miserable again, but I think I got the most out of it with four weekends and four outings with at least one night out. From a fatbike point of view the winter has been totally useless, though, with only a few really good days. I guess the kayaking season starts soon...

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