05 April 2018

Winter trekking in Scandinavian Mountains

Tämä oli jo toinen kolmen valtakunnan hiihtovaellus,
jonka olemme tehneet Kilpisjärveltä. Matkaa kertyi nyt 70-80 km. 
Good friday 30.3.2018
Kilpisjärvi-Gappohytta 27 km

We woke up in the car on a parking place in Kilpisjärvi, where we had arrived at one o'clock in the night. We made breakfast in the car and minded the dogs. Then we put all the gear out and started trekking. 

Lähdössä Kilpisjärveltä. 

We skied a long way from Kilpisjärvi till Gappohytta. The weather changed during the day. First it was sunny, calm and too hot. Instead of following the snow scooter track, we wanted to make our own way on the untouched snow, but it proved to be risky. Sometimes, in the hills, the snow dropped under us. so we headed back to the track.  But then the wind started to blow.  I was getting too tired. We had skied six hours and there seemed to be at least two more to go. 

Navigointia, suunnistusta...Onko tuo vasta Gappoaivi?

At four or five the snow storm was so thick we could not see anything. The last two kilometers to the cabin where really scary. I was afraid we can not find the cabin. We did, but we ended up on the wrong side of a canyon. It was almost impossible to climb. In the howling wind I just cried and followed my husband. With the last bit of strength he pulled me over the final edge and there was the cabin. Hallelujah, we were saved!
Myrskystä ja väsymyksestä huolimatta pääsimme perille Gappohyttalle. 

Touching moment of the day was when I kneel down on the yard of Gappohytta and hug my dog Miilu. She pulled me all day and even in the impossible climb. She was very tired, a bit sore, and covered with snow. I thanked her and promised, I will find a cover from the storm for her and Mora. And so I did. There was no room in the pet cabin, but I made cosy beds and warm food for our dogs in the log shed. 
Mora ja Miilu nukkuivat halkoliiterissä suojassa tuulelta.

Saturday 31.3.2018
Gappohytta-Pältsa 12 km

I woke up with horrible headache and sickness. I had to take medicine and stay in bed. My husband made the breakfast and fed the dogs. I just couldn't no anything. We thought of staying all day in Gappo, but at noon I was feeling better - good enough to ski. 

We could not go to Rosta. It was too long way and too dangerous. There was a real danger of snow avalanches in the area, and no-one would go to Isdalen today. 
Hiihto Gappolta Pältsalle on helppo.

So we made an easy day from Norway to Sweden. Late start, nice weather, and we knew the way from the last year. The sun was shining from behind the clouds as we glided along the valley. 
At Pältsa we got ourselves the little pet cabin, and Miilu and Mora were happy to sleep in there with us. Lots of resting, food and  the great enjoyment of sauna and clean clothes in the evening.

Lounastauko matkan varrella.

Touching moment of the day was lunch break. There is a little river, that gets burried in the wind-blown snow. We stopped by it and ate a little lunch. Miilu made a little pit to the snow, like she always does, and slept, but Mora stayed up and was just hanging round with us. He was super happy and relaxed on this trip, wagging his tale and even making friends with people we met. Massage and joint treatment has been so good to him. He is in better condition than before, almost like he would be getting younger. 

Aurinkoinen pakkasaamu Pätsalla. 

Easter Sunday 1.4.2018
Pältsa-Kuohkimajärvi 16 km

Hard but wonderful day, skiing over the Duoibal  highland in full sunshine. There is a sense of holynes in this remote, empty place, where it seems that the whiteness of snow touches the silky blue of heaven. All the rolling hills greet the mountains around them as their equal partners. Duoibal is my favourite place on Earth. I said to my husband it would be the most beautiful place in Finland, if it was not in Sweden!

Moni ei lähde ylittämään Duoibalin tunturiylänköä, mutta se kannattaa. 

Skiing down from the mountains to the Three Country Cairn was heavenly easy. The snow was just perfect powder and the downhill went on and on and on. We made ourselves at home in the cabin Kuohkimajärvi, which is just on the Finnish side of the border. 

Ahman jäljet tunturissa.

Touching moment of the day was when we saw wolverine footprints in Duoibal. He had just passed our way, galloping up a hill and leaving a pearl string of round footprints behind him. Wolverines are so rare and mystical, that seeing the track was almost like seeing one, and sharing a secret with him: There were some left overs of a dead reindeer far on the hill where the wolverine had come from. 

Eater Monday 2.4.2018
Kuohkimajärvi-Kilpisjärvi 12 km

There are two ways from the Three Country Cairn to Kilpisjärvi: You can either go flat on the lake or up and over the Malla hill. Already on the day before we decided to take the second one - Just to add some challenge to the last day, and maybe to have a view over the lake.

Kuohkimajärven autiotupa tarjosi reissun viimeisen yösijan. 

Well. the view we did not get, the day was just too foggy, but a challenge, o'boy we did. It was really funny and interesting to go downhill in total white out, whit out seeing anything. 

White-out Mallalla. Ei kyllä näkynyt yhtään mitään. 

Touching moment of the day was the steepest bit of uphill. I was so thankful to my husband pulling most of our gear and for myself for every squat I had done in the gym. Physically this trek had been really hard, but at the same time, it just what my mind needed to relax. 

We reached Kilpisjärvi at 11. We went to camping place for shower and then started a long drive towards home. Guess what we talked about in the car? Of course we planned our next trip to Kilpisjärvi.  I'm happy to tell you, that next winter we will take the whole dog team whit us there.

Jotkut rinteet humahtelivat pelottavasti. Piti miettiä reitti tarkkaan. 

Aurinkoinen aamu Gappolla näytti Barraksen. 

Lepohetki Pältsalla. 

Paikallinen liikenneruuhka. Koiraparkki on jo täynnä, ja vielä tule valjakoita. 

Merinovillapuku tuulettuu hengarissa kämpän seinustalla.  

Kengät kuivuu, koiranruoka valmistuu. Teen jo kotona seoksen annospusseihin.

Kuinka selvitä erämaassa? - Ota mukaan oma kokki. 

Pääsiäisyön täysikuu Pältsalla.
Pääsiäisaamu Pältsalla. 

Miilu ja Mora hankkivat ystäviä kaikkialla. 

Nousua riittää. 

Duoibal ja taivaallinen rauha.
Lounastauko tunturiylängöllä. Ei tuule. 

Mora ja vuoret. Tästä alkaa ihana lasku.
Paikassa, jossa viime vuonna päätin Miilun pennuttamisesta. se tuli ja painoi käpälän sydämelleni.

Lasku kohti kolmen valtakunnan rajaa alkaa.

Ilta Kuohkimajärven autiotuvalla. 

Näkymä Kuohkimajärveltä Norjaan, Barras.
Mallalla ei nähnyt mitään. Alas laskeminen oli hullunkurista.

Minä ja Make, Miilu ja Mora - Kokeneita vaeltajia kaikki.

21 March 2018

Kuusamo MD 2018

Kisatiimissä Miilu, Mora, Igor ja Piitu - Tuloksena molempina päivinä sama aika ja seitsemäs sija. 

It is a well organized, cosy and fun event. Kuusamo MD has managed to create it's own atmosphere and double its' size in a year, gathering  300 dogs and 40 teams in three classes: MD 6, MD 12  (both 2×43 km) and MD 4 (2×20 km).

Big part of the success belongs to the place, Ollilan lomamajat, and the super friendly family running it, and their fabulous Saturday-night dinner made of local fishes and delicacies. There is an idea other races could copy: sitting all the mushers and handlers together to the dinner table surely is a great way to make friends and to grow a sense of comradeship.

My little team run both days 16 km/h and made it to the finish line in good health. I'm happy to be on te 7th place with my dear old dogs. This winter I've been careful not to train too much. I've taken time to stretch, to rest and to run free. I've noticed old dogs need more protection from the cold weather. And most important: I've been giving them drinks three times a day all winter.

In my team ran Miilu and Mora in the lead. They are eight years old.  I'm sure they would have not been able to work and race this winter without massage. Heidi Parkkisenniemi has done a great work keeping them in shape, as well as an extra nutrition they get for their joints.

In the wheel I had Piitu (6) and Igor (2,5). Piitu is small, but tough. Igor is strong and eager. They have a similar way to gallop. Like all high performance engines, they both can easily overheat or get diarrhea under stress. Now it seems I have learned how to hydrate them, because they didn't  have any problems.

My husband helped me all weekend and worked as handler. I'm thankful for that. This was my last race for this season, but the best  part of the winter and trekking is still ahead! 

Neljän koiran luokaan osallistui 18 valjakkoa. 
Reitin vaativin osa on 8 km:n puuduttavan tylsä matka järven jäällä. 

Handleri kuiskaa  johtajille viimeiset ohjeet ennen sunnuntain starttia. 
Tässä mennään laukkaa vaaran päällä. 
Tässä taidetaan jo kuikkia varikolle kisan jälkeen. Sieltäkö niitä makkaroita saa? 
12 koiran luokassa oli komeita valjakoita, jotka matkasivat kisoissa 2x43 km. 
Yksi kisojen parhaita puolia on tavata toisia mushereita lauantain päivällisellä.
Kisapaikalla asuimme ja nukuimme omassa autossa. 
Kisakalusto kuvassa: Retkeiluauto, koirankuljetuskärri, koirat ja ystävän lainaama reki. 

20 February 2018


Syötteen ladut johdattavat hiihtäjän haltijapuiden valtakuntaan. 

Trees stand like wizards, who are gathered here for some kind of holy meeting. Their gigantic figures reach above our heads. I can almost hear them whispering ancient secrets and see them moving from side to side.

We ski. The track bends around the snowy skirts going deeper in to the winter land. The trees never end; there are thousands and thousands of them in this national park. It is a treasure of old forest and big hills. 

Saavumme Ahmavaaran kämpälle. 

With the last shades of the daylight we come to Ahmavaara cabin. Silent. No-one else is here.
I feed the dogs and make a bed for them. My husband gets the fire going. We walk a steep path to a brook, and take some water. It is clear and ice cold.

On the other side of the brook there is a sauna. We just have to heat it. Can you imagine, what it feels like to sit in the hot steam and wash yourself with warm water, after skiing a day in the snow?
In the cabin I cook first hot chocholate for us and then some pasta with smoked salmon and blue cheese.
Miilu ja Mora nauttivat ruuasta.

A couple of steps on the ladders takes us to bed up in the second half of the cabin. What a good thing to crawl in to sleeping bag and just sleep.

In the morning there will be more of the same: climbing up to hill Ahmavaara and a tower there, then skiing around all these forests and swamps and finaly back to the car. Totally it will be something like 30 km. Not in many places you are allowed to use skiing tracks like this with your dogs!This is what I call a perfect weekend.

Here is a film from this trip: Skiing in Syöte

Läksimme matkaan perjantai-iltana Luontokeskukselta. 
Hiihdimme ensin Toraslammelle. 
Ihailimme siellä auringonlaskua. 
Tupa jäi tyhjäksi, kun jatkoimme matkaa. 

Illan hämärtyessä puut muuttuivat yhä maagisemmiksi. 

Mutkitteleva latu nousi kohti Ahmavaaraa. 

Ahmavaaran tuvalla nautimme saunasta, ruuasta ja unesta. 
Lauantai-aamuna läksimme nousemaan Ahmavaaran näkötornille. 

Pilvisestä säästä huolimatta maisema oli näkemisen arvoinen. 
Kiersimme Ahmavaaran takaa Latvalammin suolle. 
Pidimme lounastauon Ylpiätuvalla. 
Aina on vaikea lähteä pois erämaasta.