Wednesday, April 25, 2012

UKK National Park at April

Skiing at Vongoiva fells

7 great days in the middle of April at UKK National Park ! This was our second winter hiking trip this winter. The target for the hike was selected already long time ago and based on the experiences two years ago, week #16 was expected to be the best week for it. And sure it was !!! We had 6 beautiful days out of 7 total days spent outdoors.

Scenery on top of the Fells

We started our hike from Raja-Jooseppi, close to Russian border, and our aim was to visit as south as Vongoiva Fells. The first day with heavy backpacks was planned to be easy one. We crossed Lutto-river and followed Suomu-river until Pahaoja-river, from where we started climbing towards Jyrkkävaara wilderness hut. On the way to wilderness hut some of us saw a lonely wolf running just few hundred meters ahead of us.

Footprints of wolf

Second day was sunny and we decided to head directly to Anterinmukka wilderness hut over the Kuikkapää Fells. It was tough climbing at the beginning, but the scenery was amazing. All in all after 24 km skiing we reached wilderness hut and enjoyed warm and sunny evening with sauna.

Kuikkapää behind, soon starting descending to Anterinmukka

3rd day was even more beautiful than the previous ones. Our plan to visit Vongoiva Fells at today was perfect timing. The sun was shining and there were absolutely no wind. The day was tough however, 30 km with 1000 meter ascending during the day. But it was worth of it. Vongoiva and Reututunturi Fells are just amazing ones. The downhill from Reututunturi down to Anterinjoki-river was like telemark at powder snow between small birches.

Anterinmukka sauna-cabin

The Wednesday was the only day with snowfall, low visibility and moderate wind. Today we didn't climb to the Fells, but instead skied on the gorges like Hammaskuru-gorge to Hammaskuru wilderness hut and furthermore to Luirojärvi wilderness hut. The day was long 30 km, but the sauna was waiting us at Luiro as well. Hammaskuru gorge was beautiful with all packed snow at the bottom. At Hammaskuru we saw footprints of wolverine and when we met a guy at Hammaskuru hut, he saw us from his camera a photo of wolverine, amazing !!! 

Sun was shining at Hammaskuru through thick clouds

On 5th day we started to ski back towards north and headed from Luiro to Sarvioja and further to Jyrkkävaara hut.

At Jyrkkävaara

6th day was a bit shorter skiing day than previous ones. We skied over the hills to Kiertämäjärvi hut and visited on the Finland - Russia frontier zone.

At frontier zone

Last day skiing was easy one next to frontier zone and via the bridge over the Lutto-river back to the car. All in all within 7 days I was skiing 160 kilometers and saw a bunch of eastern part of UKK National Park. UKK National Park is one of the biggest and last wilderness areas at western Europe.

Our team

The route for this hike can be found from here.