Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Winter's last?

The winter that started so well with 40 cm of snow was beginning to melt already in the middle of February.

I had already started planning a sea kayaking overnighter, when the weather again changed a bit. Colder temperatures meant that there would be problems getting into the water with the kayak, as well as landing, even though there is plenty of open water a bit further out. Hence I decided to go on a short skiing overnighter instead. For once, I didn't get anyone to join me. Nowadays my network is large enough to mostly get company, but a few times a year I go all alone.

I started sking around five in the afternoon. While the sun sets later and later each day, the weather was a bit dull. There was still some 20 cm of snow in the forest, which is enough.

The forest mire before arriving on the open mire had the most snow, at least 30 cm.

Part of the open mire did have enough snow...

... while on other places it was mostly ice. The old ski track provided snow, though.

I know there mire pretty well by now, and do not need a map to orienteer anymore.

The Vajosuo shelter was occupied by a dad and his two smaller kids, but there are other alternatives. The Rettu shelter was free and still had some firewood left.

Rather simple food this time, I just heated pizza on the fire.

I went to sleep pretty early, but was woken by the sound of whooper swans echoing over the mire around midnight. A bit surprising in my opinion. While they of course migrate during the night as well, I wouldn't expect them to come checking out their nesting spots in the middle of the dark night, especially since the closest open water is about 40 km away.

I decided to wake up in time for the sunrise at seven in the morning. At half past six I got up and saw that there were too many clouds for a spectacular sunrise and instead started a fire to make coffee and breakfast. Otherwise I would have packed my gear and made breakfast a little later.

When I got going around half past seven, the sun had just risen above the cloud cover.

If not for the whooper swans, the night would have been totally silent, somewhat surprisingly. I had hoped for at least black grouses. In the morning I heard a single one, though, in addition to whooper swans. It turned out to be a beautiful winter morning, with maybe 4 cm of new snow covering everything in clean white again.

A view over the mire.

The last trip for my oldest skis, Fischer E77 from the previous millenium? They have been my choice for situations with less snow, but with the ski boots disintegrating and the Salomon SNS BC/X-Adventure Raid binding no longer being supported by boot manufacturers it might be time to retire them.

Nice skiing.

And finally back to the car through the forest again.

I wouldn't have anything against the winter continuing, but in all likelihood the next overnighter will be by sea kayak.

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