Right now is the perfect moment to start planning the ski tour for next winter.
I have been thinking for a long time to write about the ski tour we made in the end of February 2021. However, it has felt like an impossible task to describe in words those amazing 7 days we spent in the Arctic Lapland.
Therefore, I cannot just write one post that describes the trip. The preparations took weeks – finding the right equipment, drying our own food to take conveniently with, studying the maps, checking the corona measures (and testing)… However, I’ll try to summarise in this simple page, and in some following posts, I’ll try to write more details.
The weather menu is very diverse in the wilderness of the North West Finland.Unnamed hiker in the logbook at an unmanned cottage in Kilpisjärvi wilderness
Our initial target was to climb to the highest point of Finland, Halti, but the weather was so tough – and luckily we at this age so wise – that we did not attempt to do it. However, we were lucky enough to see Halti in the end of our rest day during the relaxed moonlight ski – without all the equipment.
We started our trip next to the closest road, which is located in a mini town Kilpisjärvi where 86 persons permanently live. Despite the small size you’ll find in Kilpisjärvi a very well equipped supermarket, a sports store and Alko (the Finnish store for the alcohol more than 5%). In Kilpisjärvi there are also so many cottages to rent, and even a couple of restaurants.
Between Kilpisjärvi and Halti, there are unmanned cottages approximately every 10 km that you can use for free. You need to take everything you need with you, but there is wood, toilet and the a roof on top of you. Pretty amazing perfect Finland!
We made an important promise at the beginning of the trip: if we do not see the next track mark, we will stop and put our tent on and wait as long that we can see the next mark. In these surroundings in the deep winter, waiting in a tent to get more visibility could mean anything between hours to days. Luckily, we never needed to use this option as we saw all the time at least one track mark ahead of us.
In total, we spent 7 days skiing. In April-May, you can easily reach Halti (the highest point of Finland) in this time, but if you attempt to do it December-March, I would reserve more time than that to be prepared to deep snow and hard weather.
Regarding how you can reach this beautiful place on the Earth: I travelled from the Netherlands to Kilpisjärvi first with plane (Amsterdam-Helsinki-Rovaniemi) and after staying in corona quarantine in a hotel in Rovaniemi with a direct bus to Kilpisjärvi. My dear friend travelled with a trading to Rovaniemi, that starts form Helsinki.