Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ice climbing at Korouoma, Posio

On a way to Northern Finland

This weekend was booked for 7th school weekend and the theme for the 4 days was ice climbing at Korouoma, Posio, which is the best place in Finland to climb on ice. There are multiple icefalls at Korouoma, the biggest one is 60 meters high "Ruskeavirta". 

Climbers at Ruskeavirta icefall

We headed to "Mammutti" (Mammuth) icefall next to Ruskeavirta. There were lots of ice due to the extreme good winter and freezing temperatures so far. Mammutti icefall was roughly 20 meters high.

On top of the icefall

Sun was setting after 6PM and on Friday we were using the time before darkness for ice climbing. Couple of times I hit my knees to the ice, when kicking the crampons towards the ice. After the climbing my knees were quite sore...

Ready for climbing and belaying

After the sunset we headed back to our base camp and started to dig snow for our tents. 

Tents at our base camp

When the tents were pitched we had a possibility to start cooking and preparing a supper, blazed salmon. It was already 10PM when we had a chance to eat after the long and hard day...

Blazed salmon

The Saturday was cloudy and it was snowing and blowing a bit during the day. Today we were practicing how to rope a team, how to belay, how to self-arrest, how to climb a snow slopes, how to move on a crevasse area, how to use ice axe and so forth...

Roping a team

Sliding down and practicing to do self-arrest to stop sliding

On Saturday evening when we were back at base camp, we started to build quinzees for the next night. The purpose was to sleep at tent only the first night and then make a quinzee for the next night. We shoveled lots of snow again to build a comfortable snow shelter to sleep.

Digging a quinzee

Inside the quinzee

On Sunday we practiced how to make a Lappland's campfire, named "Oivitiilu". It is a campfire made out of fresh birch, the only tree which is available at the Northern part of Finland. It will take roughly 1 hour to make an "Oivitiilu" campfire, but it is the essential skill to make a fire from wet and fresh wood.

A burning "Oivitiilu" campfire

Monday, March 14, 2011

Weekend of traditional tradition

On a ready made track

The skiing weekend of this year with my friends in the outback of the Kuru woods is now over. Skiing nearly 80 km distance in a four days in a thick snow was again an experience of this winter. All together this was our 9th annual skiing weekend, so you could say this is our tradition every spring. However I have missed a couple of earlier events and for me this was perhaps 7th...

On a track made by us

Great views, varying weather from the sleet and plus celsius to sunshine and -10 degrees, hard climbs, speedy downhills, laavu nights, warm and huge campfires, great company, tiredness after long days of skiing, geocaching and pizza at Artturi Pub at Kuru. This was all about it.

Laavu night with campfire