I’m spending the week enjoying the summer in the country side and preparing for the upcoming year in the wilderness guide school (which starts next Monday), but at the mean time I’m also writing trip reports about the last two trips in the Lapland. The writing will take some time as there is so much to say…
But assuming that some of you are still interested about the trips, here are some teaser pictures from the first trip i.e. packrafting the Valtijoki, Poroeno and Lätäseno rivers. And to be exact: we portaged 3,5 bad rapids/drops on the Valtijoki, the Iso-Kurkkio rapid on Lätäseno and in the end we paddled about 34km of still water in the big white water raft of our friends to speed up the progress. On the first trip I took about 40 GB of pictures and video and on the second trip around 16 GB of pics, so it will take some time to sort them out. Especially the video as I’m still working with the Ultima Thule 2011 expedition video (Yes, lazy me. Very lazy.)
So, pictures from likely the wildest rivers of Finland (and from to joyrney to get there…):
Getting started on the road side north from Kilpisjärvi. Notice the terrible load on my Golite Pinnacle...
Everything seems better on the Norwegian side...
Arriving to the open wilderness hut of Kolbmajoki. It's around 4:00 am and there where people inside sleeping so we spent the night in tent and next day in the hut as we had done the walking a day faster than planned.
At the beginning of Valtijoki. Getting ready for six days of boating. The Ursuit AWS drysuits were awesome.
Yours truly running the first drop of one of the rapid systems at Valtijoki.
Tuomas scouting the rest of the rapid system. We portaged it as we don't know enough about waterfalls to judge the safety...
The water level was low and Valtijoki is very rocky, and occasionally very shallow.
Me enjoying one of the many small drops of the Valtijoki. Notice the cord which got wrapped around my paddle. I cut it shorter immediately after that happened...
Yours truly in camp at Poroeno after the first day of boating.
Tuomas climbing up to a ledge to provide safety after swimming the class 4 Pirunportti.
Tuomas running down the class 4-5 Munnikurkkio rapid (I'd say max class 4 on the low water we had.)
The abandoned border guard station of Munnikurkkio. Psst, there is an open sauna there. ;)
Tuomas about to capsize in the Munnikurkkio rapid. The older Alpacka boat design is a lot more prone to capsize than the new with the big butt.
The white water raft crew that we catched up at Munnikurkkio. Great folks! Three of them wilderness guides...
Going lite with Shangri La 3 and the big raft. Still water and tailwind. :)
Sunset seen from the Iso-Kurkkio open wilderness hut. The evening/night skies were great!
The class 4+ Iso-Kurkkio rapid. A no-go for our skills.
Yeap, a swimming arctic lemming. They are surprisingly quick swimmers. And often angry!
Sunset in the last camp.
About 5km to go. The last 15km of Lätäseno is perfectly flat water with a minimal current.
Trip done! From left: Antti, Anna-Maija, Tuomo, Anni, Tuomas and yours truly.
Hope you enjoyed the pics. More text and some pictures to come later this week!