Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Three days of skiing in the Evo hiking area

What do kayakers do during the winter? Some desperately go further away to find open water and others like to take advantage of the winter and do some winter activities. In this case three kayakers from Saaristomeren Melojat started three hour car drive from Turku on Friday morning to spend three days skiing in the Evo hiking area.

We go going around two o'clock in the afternoon and started with some forest skiing. All of us had pulks, which are a bit clumsy in difficult terrain, but allow taking lots of gear (and food!) with little effort.

The terrain soon became pretty hardcore.

We got down to a lake with only one small loss, a broken ski pole. The stone garden we came down through can be seen in the background.

The terrain was uneven enough that it was only reasonable to ski on lakes and valleys. The next section is a valley leading to another lake.

While we didn't manage to actually see any beavers, their presence was quite visible.

Arriving at Sorsajärvi.

The shelter for the night.

There was still some daylight left, so we decided to ski around the Savijärvi lake before dinner.

And then it was time to start a fire and enjoy a nice evening with a good dinner.

A noodle and chicken wok as main course.

Pancakes as dessert. The small ones in the picture are just a first test.

We went to sleep early, around 22:30 on my part. The night was quite warm, only a little below freezing, and I got up and started a fire a little over seven.


We left the gear at the shelter and went on a day trip with light packs.

There was only a little snow on the lake and the glide was excellent.

Another low route connecting two lakes.

A sort break.

The broken ski pole was successfully repaired by a tent snow peg, a bit of wood and lots of tape. It held up to quite demanding use.

A beaver dam has been opened up.

Lake Vähä-Keltajärvi.

The Keltaoja laavu shelter.

Checking out another beaver dam.

Another forest section between two lakes.

Lunch at Iso Keltajärvi.

It was quite warm in the sun and would have felt like late winter/early spring, but there were no bird songs. A few ravens flew by, but I only heard a goldcrest for a short while. Quite surprising, since there are a lot of birds singing at home. On the way back, though, quality trumped quantity when we saw a golden eagle, which are quite rare in Finland. No picture of it, though.

Turning back. We had planned a circular route, but most of the terrain was too difficult to be fun for skis.

Back at the shelter no one else had been there. We took a short break and after that went for another little ski, this time around the Sorsajärvi lake.

We said hi to the ladies group from our kayaking club. They train for a Lapland ski trip and didn't bother with a shelter and fire, since you don't get those on the open fells in Lapland anyway.

Another nice afternoon.

Back at the shelter it was time to start a fire.

Uncooling my beer.

At some point when we already had started preparing our food a young couple, with somewhat shoes somewhat unsuitable for the situation, arrived. They were quite disappointed to find the shelter occupied, but we sent them to another shelter along the same lake, less than one kilometer away. We had checked out that other shelter to be empty on our afternoon ski trip. I think this was a better solution for all of us.

Another excellent dinner with baked potatoes, a little meat and some vegetables. Squeaky cheese and glühwein for dessert.

And thus another day came to an end.

Sunday morning was a bit chillier, but very nice.

Morning coffee in the making.

Started skiing around ten in the morning.

The route to the next lake quickly became difficult.

Crossroads at lake Hakojärvi.

A short break, before a difficult section.

My Salomon ski boots were now falling apart. A shame, since Salomon stopped making the SNS-BC, later X-Adventure, binding in 2015, and new boots for it are no longer available. I need new boots, but then also need to change binding on three or four pair of skis and Nordic skates.

Jukka switched to snowshoes for the coming dense section.

I still think that pulling the pulk by ropes is the best solution in Southern Finland. It is a clear advantage in dense and difficult terrain and no disadvantage on flat terrain. Only in steeper fell terrain would I prefer a stiff system like the Fjellpulken one.

Coming up on a small road for some easier skiing.

We tried to find a good lunch spot, but failed. The place didn't make my Top 100 list.

Only a short bit to the car now.

Back at the car at two in the afternoon. A nice trip again in good company and a nice area with a wilderness feel to it.

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