April weekend in Sodankylä

I made a short escape to Lapland one more time this spring! I am heading back to Helsinki on Wednesday. At the moment, I am just enjoying Lapland from behind of my laptop, but we managed to sneak out a little bit during the weekend.

On Saturday we headed to Tankavaara to see the local reindeer competion.

We also visited the Gold Prospector Museum. I really recommend visiting it if you are passing by!

On Sunday we drove just 15 minutes from Sodankylä. Our aim was to visit Hirviäkuru, a beautiful gorge in the area.

In deep snow.

We were able to drive close to the starting place, although, the road conditions weren’t the best. We put on our snowshoes and started in the right direction. With my first step I went knee-deep through the snow. And it didn’t get much better later on. While pulling myself out of the snow, my snowshoes loosened and fell off several times.

Snowshoeing at Hirviäkuru

Luckily we didn’t give up and the snow was much harder as we got further up the hill. And it was almost sunny! 🙂

Descending to Hirviäkuru

We descended down to the gorge. It was pretty steep, but amazingly someone had driven a snowmobile down the same way.

The bottom of Hirviäkuru

The gorge was really beautiful and it is certainly worth a visit, if you are in Sodankylä. You can get really close in the summer, when the forestry roads are all open.

View on the way back from Hirviäkuru

We started really late and only got back to the car around 8 pm. Luckily the days are already so long. Now this is really going to be my last post with winter and snow pictures!

Overnight at Oratunturi

I did a one night trip to Oratunturi when I was staying in Sodankylä. It is pretty close to Sodankylä, but still a very nice location, where you have the feeling of being in the middle of nature.

Northern Lights close to Oratunturi

I started the late in the evening and was skiing in the dark. I was planning to just ski straight to the open shelter to sleep, since the forecast was cloudy until early morning. But the sky was quite clear already as I started skiing. There were some Northern Lights, but not very bright ones.

Moon rising behind the trees

And the moon was super bright. As I got higher up I didn’t even need my head torch to find my way. But it took me way longer to get to the open shelter, because I needed to stop to take pictures so many times.

Open shelter at Oratunturi

This is where I spent the night. A had two candles and I made a fire. It was really nice to sleep here, but it was much colder than I expected. The forecast was – 8 degrees Celsius, but it was actually – 23 degrees, because of the clear sky.

Sunrise at Oratunturi

It was a bit cold sleeping outside, but the sunrise in the morning made it more than worth it!

Oratunturi open shelter

This is the open shelter coming back from the Oratunturi fjell. I just love it when all the trees are covered with snow.

Enjoying the sunrise

Skiing back as the sun was rising was great. It was just a great trip. I really recommend just doing short adventures like this. And for this Oratunturi is a great destination from Sodankylä.

Cross-Country skiing in Sodankylä

I spend a lot of time in Lapland during the winter months. Now I’ve been in Sodankylä for 3 weeks. I have been mostly working and updating the Natura Viva homepage and getting all the kayaking programs organized for next summer. Although I haven’t had time to be outside too much, it is still nice to be here in the north, where there is plenty of snow.

Cross-country skiing

Tha days are very short this time of the year. That’s also a reason why I haven’t been out too much. It’s just a couple hours of daylight each day. Now I have managed to go out to cross-country skiing a couple of times. Just 14 kilometres each time , but it is enough at the moment. My muscles are sore enough!

The start of the ski track in Sodankylä

This is where the ski track starts. – 6 degress Celsius is the perfect temperature for skiing. Especially when it is not windy at all. The sky is complete clear and it is just past 11 am. Not a lot of light!

Ski track through the pine forest

The track is very well maintained and it is very peacuful and quiet here.

Sunshine in Lapland in December

Even as the sun is shining, it is not really a lot of light. But the colors are just spectacular!

Reindeer on the ski track

There are a lot of reindeer around the area. And you can get pretty close to them.

December at River Jeesiö

The route goes close to River Jeesiö at some point. This was a great place to take small break and just enjoy the scenery.

All the pictures were taken between 11 am and 1 pm. And by the time I walked back home from the ski track, it was already starting to get dark. I still enjoy this time of the year a lot.