Sunday, February 11, 2018

Winter in the Kurjenrahka National Park

We currently have a really nice winter in the Turku region in southwestern Finland. Hence a little ski overnighter in the Kurjenrahka National Park seemed the proper thing to do. Jarkko and JJ joined me. I also had another motive for the little trip: I wanted to do everything we didn't do in the winter survival course two weeks ago. Nice skiing, lots of good food and warm toes.

Other obligations caused some limitations for us and we met up one hour after sunset, meaning that we would ski in darkness.

We used lights for the denser forest sections.

When the mire opened up we skied for a while without lights, which wasn't too hard when the eyes got used to the darkness. Some care was still needed, since there were occasional wet spots on the mire. After one hour we arrived at the Töykkälä shelter, which was occupied. We decided to try the Rettu shelter next, which was more than one hour away. We again put the lights on, since we wanted to move more quickly.

Not a place you want to ski into.

The orienteering was a bit difficult in the more dense sections, and we did some very suboptimal route choices both when leaving the Kurjenrahka mire and entering the Vajosuo mire. We arrived at the Rettu shelter west of the Vajosuo mire after a little more than three hours of skiing since we started. The distance was only 9.5 km, despite us skiing with a fairly high intensity level. The Rettu shelter was fortunately not occupied. The next option would have been the Vajosuo shelter maybe under one hour away, but in all likelihood that would have been occupied. Outdoor activities have become more popular during the last few years...

First order of business was to lit a fire and warm something to eat for the immediate hunger.

Maybe we were a bit thirsty too.

And then it was time for the dinner, which was ready a bit before eleven in the evening. I teamed up with Jarkko for wild boar and fried root vegetables. Delicious...

I also had brought one litre of pancake batter and we fried pancakes almost until two in the morning.

Time to sleep after the pancakes were eaten. I had brought my winter sleeping bag and was very warm in the temperature that probably was around -10°C. No cold toes this time.

I got up with Jarkko half past seven. JJ slept for another hour.

The breakfast consisted of toasted sandwhiches, one delicious chorizo barbecue sausage and coffee. There was plenty of time and several cups of coffee.

We got going around ten o'clock and soon got out on the mire again.

Open mire.

JJ had a rather big military backpack.

I consider a pulk the best option in easy terrain like this. There really is plenty of space for gear with a pulk.

Coming up on the official ski route out from Vajosuo. No ski tracks yet, but the route through the otherwise dense forest was easy.

Entering the Kurjenrahka mire and national park again.

More mire skiing.

We were back at the cars after 2.5 h of skiing. My goals were fullfilled for the trip. Lots of food and a warm and nice night. Thanks to JJ and Jarkko for the company.

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