Thursday, February 25, 2021

The Winter 2020-2021 in Memoriam


Goodbye, winter. It was nice to have your cold company and I would have liked to keep you for a bit longer.

The winters are not what they used to be. Sure, the winters have always been a bit unreliable in Southern Finland, but the trend is still clear. This year the winter started about a week into January, which is fairly typical nowadays. At first the snow only just covered the ground...

... but in a few days we got more.

For a while we had a real fatbike paradise. While most riders these days seem to wait for the easy riding when the trails have firmed up, I find the real joy and challenge in riding the difficult stuff that few others do. There were challenging trails to find for around three weeks.

And when the trails had firmed up, it was still possible to find some challenges with the gravel bike.

The weekends were spent on skis with one or two nights out, since there were only fragments of trails for fatbiking further from the city. The snow conditions, however, were great for skiing. Most of the ski trips took part fairly close to home a bit north from Turku, but one trip was a bit further away on the lake Päijänne with some sea kayaking friends.

In the middle of February the winter still looked excellent and I had started to follow the development of the sea ice, which looked promising. If the cold spell would have continued for one more week, it would have been possible to do something really interesting on the sea ice. A week ago, from the time of writing this, we still had almost -20°C in the morning, but the worst case weather forecast then happened. Two days later we had temperatures above freezing and rain. For around 24 hours the temperatures again dropped, making the crust strong enough for a final ski trip skating with the skis, though it wouldn't have been strong enough for a fatbike.

At the time of writing, it rains and the weather forecast offers little hope. I think it is clear that the current snow will disappear completely. One can only hope for some snow in March, but I think it is likely that any such snow will not last long. It is probably time to start to look forward to the sea kayaking season again, though the sea ice will prevent that for some time. There will probably be some Nordic skating possibilities on the lakes, though, which is something I haven't had time for this winter, since I've prioritized the skiing trips.

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