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!

 

Advertisements

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!