Some more kayaking

September has been really great this year! Warm weather and very light winds. I like the feeling on the sea in September. The light is different and you have a sense of the upcoming winter, but on the warm days it still feels almost like summer.

Kayaking in the night in Helsinki

We did our last night paddling tour last weekend. It was full moon, but the sky was covered with clouds. The moon was bright even through the clouds.

Group of kayakers at night in Eastern Helsinki

This is our group getting back on the water after our break. My father Martti was guiding the tour with me. It was really calm and warm at night. We were really lucky with the weather for this tour.

Kayaking on a sunny day in Eastern Helsinki

I got to bed pretty late, but I needed to wake up early in the morning again the next day. I had made plans to go kayaking with Jens. He is visiting Finland from Denmark and is the president of a local kayaking club there. We went out for a couple of hours.

Kayaking in Finland

The weather was pretty much perfect, light wind from northeast. We paddled between Villinki and Itä-Villinki, where there is a small passage between the two islands. The water level was pretty low, because of the high pressure and northerly winds. But we managed to get through without getting out of our kayaks.

Kayaks in Hattusaari, Eastern Helsinki

We had a small break at Hattusaari and just walked around the island. There were no other people on the island although it was a beautiful Saturday.

September has gone really quickly and it’s less than a week before I head to Lapland and Lake Inari. I am really excited about the trip.

Kayaking with my father

Our kayaking season in Vuosaari is almost over as we close in the end of September. I am planning to leave a bit early and do a kayak trip to Lake Inari on the last week of September. My father is coming along, so I suggested we do a short one night tour as practice. So we headed towards Eestiluoto and Kutuhället.

Coffee before kayaking

I was ready well before my father, so I had time to enjoy a cup of coffee before leaving. The weather was perfect.

On a break at Tammaluoto

We got going and paddled in a very relaxed pace. We had a short stop at Tammaluoto since my father had never been on the island. It is a small island without any facilities, but a beautiful place. It is a bit further out on the sea, but the wind was very light.

Kayaking in Eastern Helsinki

I was also trying to take some promo pictures along the way and my father was modelling. I really liked this shot, so I might use at our homepage at some point.

Kayaks at sunset

We made a short stop at Eestiluoto, but came to camp at Kutuhället. The evening was really nice and was still warm. No other people on the island and not a lot of people out on the sea at all.

A kayak under the stars

As the sun set, the sky cleared. The moon is almost full though so there was a lot of light. It was still a great night!

Prijon Seayak at Kuiva Hevonen

The next day we took our time before leaving. We stopped at an island called Kuiva Hevonen. The western part of the island has no cottages, so it a nice place to have a break. The weather was still perfect and actually the wind turned, so we had following seas during our whole trip.

My father is turning 70 this year, but still going strong. He is still guiding some tours, but this was his first personal kayak trip of the summer. Luckily we will get to do our trip to Lake Inari in a few weeks, so he gets out a bit more.

Stand up paddling and mountain biking

It was raining very hard here in Helsinki on Saturday. But the skies cleared and it was a beautiful day on Sunday. I was supposed to be at the paddling center, but for some reason it was really quiet there. So first I escaped and went stand up paddling. We have had the boards for the whole summer, but still I have only gone out a few times. I’ll try to get our more still in September.

Stand Up Paddling in Vuosaari

It was a bit windy and I didn’t feel like fighting against the wind too much. So I just followed the coast.

On a break in Vuosaari

There are a lot of nice places to take a break in Vuosaari. I just sat here for a while and enjoyed the scenery. This small rocky beach is on the coast, but nobody comes here.

Going with the wind

Coming back was easy with the wind behind my back. As I got back to the paddling center it was still very quiet. So I went out for a short mountain bike tour.

Mountain Biking in Meri-Rastila

I used to bike a lot, but this was the first time in years. The trails were still pretty wet from the rain and I had way too much pressure in my tires. And I didn’t have any confidence in my skills, so I ended up walking a lot.

Mountain Biking by the sea

I hadn’t been biking in the area, so I didn’t really know the trails. I found some good parts, but I also needed to turn back several times, because the trail wasn’t good.
I still enjoyed it a lot and decided to start biking more again. Let’s see how that goes! The waether forecast atleast for the next week looks great. There’s still a lot you can do outdoors in Helsinki in September.

Night paddling in Vuosaari

The nights are getting darker now in August and it is my favorite time to go night paddling. Most nights are still warm, so it’s a great combination. This was the first night paddling trip I was guiding this summer.

Starting a night paddling tour

We started out with some daylight left. Tha day had been a bit windy, but it was already much calmer.

On a break

It is impossible to take any good pictures on the water at night. So I mostly took pictures on our break. We made a fire and grilled some sausages. The full moon was just rising.

Moon light at sea

Our break was at an island called Läntinen Neitsytsaari. This is a picture towards the south and the island in the picture is Kalliosaari. The moon is really bright!

Enjoying the full moon

It was just a macigal evening. And still very warm. It was hard to get the group back in the kayaks.

Kayaking in the night

This is our group back on the water. The tour went really well and I think everybody enjoyed the experience. I think I want to guide our next night paddling trip too!

 

Shooting Stars

A few weeks back I headed to spend the night on one of the islands of the Eastern Helsinki archipelago. It was the time of the Perseid meteor shower. If the sky is clear you can see hundreds of shooting stars. So I was hoping for clear skies.

Sunset at Hattusaari

I ended up staying at Hattusaari. It was the first time on the island this summer. In the early season it is full of birds, but now the birds were gone. I took some sunset photos, but was really waiting for it to get dark. The moon was about half, so I decided to sleep for a couple of hours as the moon was setting just after midnight.

A kayak and some shooting stars

As I got out of the tent the sky was almost completely clear and I saw the first shooting star in about 3 seconds.

Shooting stars and the milky way

You could see some light pollution from Helsinki, but it was still dark enough to see the shooting stars and the milky way. You could see shooting stars everywhere. It was just difficult to get them in the pictures every time.

Watching the Perseid meteor shower

It was an awesome night and I will certainly try to get to see this next year again! I lost track at some point, but I think I saw over a hundred shooting stars. At some point I stopped making a wish every time I saw one!

Hattusaari by night

Even without the shooting stars the sky is very impressive on a clear night. I recommend going out to watch the milky way now as the nights are getting darker!

To the top of Kebnekaise

You can read about the first part of our trip in my previous post. The day before our scheduled top attempt the weather changed. The whole day was cloudy and light rain.

Hiking in the Kebnekaise area

We didn’t want to do anything too hard the day before the summit attempt, so we just explored the river close to the Mountain station. It was a beautiful place. In the evening we decided to have a nice meal at the station. There was also a meeting with our guides to go through all the gear and the route for the next day.  We were in the group starting at 7.10 in the morning.

 

As the forecast said it was raining in the morning, so I didn’t take the camera out until we reached the glacier and it wasn’t raining anymore. Until then it was just a steep path up the mountain.

The eastern route up to Kebnekaise

My favorite part of the day was the Via Ferrata style climbing up to the Kebnekaise hut close to the top (1880 meters above sea level). It was pretty easy, but enjoyable. Too bad we couldn’t really see too far.

The top of Kebnekaise

From the Via Ferrata part it is an easy hike up to the top. The top of the mountain is covered with snow and pretty narrow. It’s nice to have the ropes for safety. Here we are at the top (2111 meters above sea level) with Henna. With good weather you should be able to see 9 % of the land area of Sweden. Well we didn’t quite see that much.🙂

Going down the Via Ferrata route at Kebnekaise

After a short lunch break we started our way back down. It was more difficult going down, but we managed just fine. Higher on the mountain it wasn’t actually raining, but as we descended further it started to rain again.

Altogether it took us a bit over 9 hours to go up and down. The start is at 670 meters above sea level, so although it is not a long hike, it is still pretty streneous. And our clothes were soaking wet. But it was a good day!

Hiking in the Kebnekaise area

It’s been a long time since I wrote anything here. I knew I would be busy with work in the summer, but still every summer I am suprised just how busy. It has been a good year, but also very demanding. So I needed a short break. Luckily I was able to escape to Sweden for a week of hiking!

I flew from Helsinki to Kiiruna via Stockholm. I almost got stuck in Stockholm. because my connecting flight was cancelled at first. But the airline company decided to operate the flight, so it was only a couple hours late. While approaching Kiiruna it was raining so hard at the airport, that we had to fly in circles for about 40 minutes before we could land. I am so glad we managed to land eventually. Henna was waiting for me at the airport and as I  got my backpack the sun was already shining.

We drove to Nikkaluokta, where we started our hike. After the long day we hiked for around 6 – 7 kilometers and made camp.

On our way to Kebnekaise

From our first camp you can already see the high mountains with snow. It was a beautiful evening, just a few mosquitos to disturb us.

Waterfall and small pond

There are a lot of people on the trail between Nikkaluokta and Kebnekaise. But it is still a very beautiful route. It is good to stop once in a while and look around. A lot of great waterfalls coming down to the valley.

Camping close to Kebnekaise

Our camp for the second night! A great place. We actually stayed in this same place for the rest of our trip. It is just before the Kebnekaise Mountain station. So if you don’t like camping, you can stay at the station. It’s basically a hotel with showers, saunas and everything. It is a 19 kilometer hike from Nikkaluokta, but if you are feeling lazy you can also fly here with a helicopter.

Day hike close to Kebnekaise

The next day was beautiful and warm. We hiked a bit higher up from our camp to enjoy some of the great views.

On a break

And the warmth of the Swedish summer!

Kebnekaise

We reached the plateau and from here we could see Kebnekaise, the highest mountain in Sweden.

On the way down

On the way down the clouds started gathering and it was raining a bit. Of course I wanted to take the shortest route down, which turned out to be pretty steep and skecthy with the wet and moving rocks.

Before the rain

We made it back to camp before it really started to rain. We had booked the guided tour to the top through the Eastern Route, which is shorter but a bit more demanding. I will post about that next week!