Korpijaakko

– my personal views on all walks of outdoor life

Auroras, snow shelters and husky tours

The blog has been little quiet, as has unfortunately been the way this winter. So, what have I been up to?

Mostly I’ve been busy guiding husky tours ranging from full-day safaris to over-night tours but there have also been other things…

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On the tours we spend the nights at huts but being out in the wild gives a good excuse to sleep outside and this week I decided to sleep in a quinzee as the night was expected to be a cold one. (The record low for this winter was recorded at Taivalkoski at the same week, -38,2C.) I was a little hasty building the quinzee and made the pile little too small and decided to go without the sticks to mark the wall thickness. The end product was livable but little too short with too big doorway and I had to patch one hole in a wall. But it still added apparently quite a lot of warmth as I managed to sleep most of the night comfortably in my sleeping bag rated to -18C (Tlim) and only woke up chilled a few times after 6.00 a.m. The cabin doesn’t have a thermometer but it’s in a cold place on low-lands next to big marsh so the temperature was likely colder than at the village of Taivalkoski… Snow shelters make sense! And there is still time to make some so don’t miss the chance!

Night_temp

The little free time I’ve had, I’ve used for arranging the guided ski tours. The last week I was guiding a group in Sarek (along the route mapped on Social Hiking, though the distance listed there is little optimistic). We also made snow shelters in Sarek as a training and they were not bad choise as the night was cold. Snow caves are especially nice shelters if you happen to find pile enough pile of hard snow. It was an awesome tour with good group and well worth sitting in the car for 21 hours – each way.

Sarek. There’s a feeling of real wilderness. And beatiful mountains as well!

I’ll write a separate post about the tour in Sarek later as this post is about northern lights! As the winter has been unusually cloudy there hasn’t been much auroras to be seen at Taivalkoski. I saw a good show here on early December, little faint lights every now and then here and at lake Inari and nice but little grey light show at Sarek. But this evening was different. After several cold and cold nights without a trace of the northern lights the lights at the sky were on a big time! Here are some photos of the showon Sunday evening. Hope you enjoy the photos in case you missed the show!

For those interested in the techy stuff all photos taken with my trusty Canon 550D (with a battery grip with dual battery for the cold), the cheap but stellar Samyang 14mm 2,8 lens and of course utilizing a tripod (a heavy Manfrotto 055). The only problem with this setup is the Samyang lens being fully manual, which shouldn’t be much of a problem but the markings on the focus ring are all totally wrong andgetting it focused in the dark is not too easy. I think I should make some new marking on it…

On the weekend we also had the pre-expedition meeting with the Vantajökull 2013 expedition and I can’t wait to get on the ice for with the group as it’s likely to be a great little expedition… But before that I still have some weeks of husky safari guiding to be done, including two nice longer tours. I’ll try to get some nice photos to share from the tours.

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7 responses to “Auroras, snow shelters and husky tours

  1. surfnslide 20/03/2013 at 22:45

    Fascinating post as always Jaakko. What’s a quinzee by the way? Any photos – I’m curious 🙂

  2. korpijaakko 21/03/2013 at 22:53

    Thanks surfnslide! 🙂 You’ll get a good idea of quinzees from my old how-to post on them. The post would still use some polishing but gives you a good idea of the particular snow shelter: https://korpijaakko.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/snow-shelters-part-2-quenzees/

  3. surfnslide 22/03/2013 at 00:43

    Ah! So a snow cave you build from your own pile of snow. I must give that a go sometime, looks fun 🙂

    Like the northern lights photos too!

  4. korpijaakko 22/03/2013 at 00:51

    It is fun, and useful skill and technique for winter outdoor safety and travel.

  5. Forestwoodfolkart 30/04/2013 at 01:27

    Spectacular aurora photos. So glad I found this blog. The quenzhee is very interesting. Hope it is ok to reblog?

  6. korpijaakko 17/05/2013 at 22:33

    Hi Forestwoodfolkart! Thanks for commenting and feel free to reblog. Always nice to hear when somebody likes the stuff I post here. 🙂

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