Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Capercaillie, the king of Ylläs

Approaching Ylläs

In the middle of April it was time to gather again with other students to our monthly 4-day period of school studies. We headed on Thursday to Ylläs or actually to Äkäslompolo, which is a small village at northern part of Finland, next to over 700 meters fell called Yllästunturi.

Searching the victim of avalanche buried into a snow with the help of beacon

On Thursday we were practicing the use of beacons & probes to identify victims of avalanches buried into a deep snow. Ylläs has a practice area of up to 7 avalanche victims. When the victim was identified with the beacon, then the probes were used to pinpoint the exact point of victim under the snow. After a victim was localized the hard part of digging victim out of snow was conducted.

Using probes to search a victim under the snow

The whole Thursday were used for the snow safety module. Although the avalanches are quite rare and small in Finland they occur occasionally in the northern part of mountainous Finland.

The depth of the snow was 1,9 meters at this point

The days from Friday to Sunday were reserved for the teaching of skiing techniques. Cross-country skiing technique of classic style were learned and practiced on Friday, cross-country skiing technique of skate skiing on Saturday and Telemark skiing on Sunday.

Preparing classic style skis

After 3 day practicing the whole body was sore and tired, but the mind was on the good mood. I really learned a lot during these days and now at least I know how to ski technically right. It's another thing how well I was able to adopt the correct technique. For sure I have lots of things to improve on the coming winters...

One of the practices for sliding only with one ski

After the school days I will stay at Äkäslompolo the whole next week skiing classic style. The weather has been astonishingly sunny and beautiful. This morning, when skiing around the Ylläs fell, I met the king of Ylläs, capercaillie, who was not too friendly for the skiers trying to approach him...

Capercaillie meets the skier

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