04 October 2015

First snow on Pyhitys


Pyhitys is the highest hill in Taivalkoski. More than 20 km from the village it really is in the middle of nowhere. On the top of the hill there are some open cliffs and not too tall trees. On a good weather the scenery is overwhelming, and so is the solitude also on bad weather.

We climbed to Pyhitys on Saturday, stayed the night in the tent on the top, and walked down on Sunday. There was me, my husband Markku and my old dog Aku.

Going up Kuusi-Pyhitys

We climbed the hill from the north side. On that side there are no paths, just old forest, swamps and big rocks. First we reached the top of Kuusi-Pyhitys, which is like the shoulder or the little brother of the hill. After that we had to climb down and up again to get to the main top. It was not many kilometers but with the backpacks and wet and slippery descent it was challenging enough.

On the top

On the top we had lots of time. That made the stay very special. It only took us a few moments to put up the tent and after that there was basically nothing to do. My husband had brought us nice and almost ready meals for us, and I was not ever hungry yet. It was three a clock in the afternoon and we had hours to kill.


I walked around the top taking photos. The weather was so clear that I could see everything. On the foot of the hill there is the biggest lake on the area, lake Kosto. There were some tiny white spots on its blue surface - probably fishing boats.

Evening Chill

In the east I could see the hills of Ruka in Kuusamo. Five years ago we spend a night there in Valtavaara with the boys. How small they were then. In the north I could see Riisitunturi-hill in Posio. Four years ago we spend a winter-night on top of it. In the east I could see the hills of Syöte in Pudasjärvi. Last winter we spend a night there in the ghost-cabin.

Distant Hills

It felt strange  not to have to do anything. The time went by surprisingly fast, but at the same time I felt like I had  been forever here in the silence and wind. In the timeless spot, where you can go no further without going up or down. Like this would be the only possible place at the moment.

Cold night

Most of the time I found myself just watching the weather and the light change. First it was very bright and sunny. Then came some  white clouds, then some blue and dark clouds and after them a magical orange light as sun went lower and the air got more cold. Finally we saw a rain or storm approaching and decided to go inside the tent to cook before it hit us.

First Snow

We got inside just in time. It was nice to put the cooker on and feel the warmth, when it started snowing outside. It was the first snow this year. I woke up at one o'clock and saw the moon shining. It was very warm in the tent. I opened my sleeping bag a little and tried to get back to sleep.

Our camp in the morning

When we woke up at eight, it was raining. We cooked breakfast and packed our packs in the tent. When we went out to put down the tent, the rain slowly stopped. We saw there was a thick mist all around us. We were inside a cloud and had to trust the compass to guide us down the hill to the right direction.

Hide in the fog

Going down the silent foggy hill felt somehow surreal. All the trees and stones were like sleeping. I felt like someone would be watching us go from the top. Suddenly my husband spotted a strange looking tree. At the same moment something grabbed my hair. It probably was only a tree branch, but it felt like a hand and scared me. My husband turned away from the strange tree to see what happened to me. And then I felt like a hand grabbed my leg and pulled it through the moss in to a very deep hole. My husband saw it happen and shouted: 'Did you hurt yourself?' I said no, and pulled my leg from the ground. My shoe was all wet.
Sleeping Forest

I thought it was like a gnome or a ghost trying to stop us, but I said he can't stop me. I went to the strange tree. It was like there was a face on the side of it. I wanted to take a photo. I shoot it. My camera clicked and then went black. 'The gobbling really doesn't want to be photographed' I laughed to my husband, 'but he doesn't know I have a second battery in my pocked.' I changed the battery to the camera. Nothing happened. we both tried it. It didn't start. Was it broken?

What was it? 

'At least I got that one picture before it stopped' I said, and we went on. Soon we reached the car. At home the camera started working again. There was nothing wrong with it,. but there was no picture of that tree.



Teimme lauantaina Markun ja Akun kanssa yön yli retken Pyhitykselle. Pyhitys on Taivalkosken korkein paikka. Kiipesimme sinne poluttomalta pohjoispuolelta Kuusi-Pyhityksen yli.

Pystytimme huipulle teltan. Sää oli aluksi huikaisevan kirkas. Ruka, Riisi ja Syöte näkyivät. Sitten alkoi tulla tummia pilviä. Oli jännä seurata niiden lähestymistä ja valon vaihtumista uskomattomiin sävyihin. Oikeastaan muuta tekemistä ei ollutkaan. Se oli ylellistä tässä retkessä: Vain oleskella tunti tunnin perään tuulessa, auringossa, yksinäisyydessä ja tunturin pysähtyneessä, ikiaikaisessa tunnelmassa.

Kun lumisade alkoi, kömmimme telttaan kokkailemaan ja nukkumaan. Yöllä tuuli, ja vähitellen lumi muuttui rännäksi ja vedeksi. Aamulla, kun heräsimme, sumupilvi oli peittänyt koko huipun. Pakkasimme ja purimme leirin tihkusateessa. Laskeuduimme varovasti alas kompassisuunnalla.

Hiljaisessa metsässä yritin ottaa kuvan kummallisesta puusta, mutta joku maahinen pisti kapuloita rattaisiin eikä halunnut tulla kuvatuksi.

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