– my personal views on all walks of outdoor life

Three Weeks in the Wonderland

It’s pretty much summer now. At least in most of Finland. The snow has melted away, the winter kit is serviced and packed away and plans for summer adventures are being finalized. But let’s go back a couple of months and return again to the winter wonderland of the high Arctic…

In April I was guiding a three-week Ankarat avotunturit ski expedition to Svalbard. When the starting date drew closer, for some weird reason, I was more excited about the Vatnajökull crossing waiting in May, thinking it would be more interesting than Svalbard. I was wrong. So wrong.

Three weeks is a long time and there is too much to write about in detail but I think the photos do justice for the tour, to the time and place where we were.

We where there…

…sweating our way up the hills.

…skiing through the remote valleys.

…crossing the wast glaciers.

…waking up to the gorgeous mornings.

…climbing up to the jagged peaks.

…and skiing back down.

…finding our way to the cold shores.

…overcoming obstacles.

We where there…

…for the scenery.

…for the wildlife.

…for the sweet little surprises along the way.

…for the good life.

To make memories that define us.

I’d like to thank the great group I had privileged to guide. And the weather gods. And who ever sold his/her soul to keep them happy and favourable. Sorry for the soul, but it was well worth it.

Weeks like those, in wilderness like that, leave their mark. They change us. They define us. They leave a longing for more.

And so, I will return to those cold shores and jagged peaks.

– – –

As usual, more selected photos in my gallery.

– – –

And a little technical side note:

Due to hassle and serious sleep deprivation on departure, I accidentally packed my spare camera batteries to my checked luggage and as li-on batteries they were confiscated by the airport security. I noticed this way too late in Longyearbyen and didn’t have a chance to get any spares and thus had to survive with the single battery in my EOS 6D. I turned off the screen, the image stabilization, etc. and put the camera on only momentarily to take pictures trying to conserve power as much as was reasonable. I was amazed by the performance.

I took 1178 pictures with my camera (EOS 6D with 24-105 4 L IS lens)! And in the end the battery even had a tiny bit of juice left despite the camera warning of low battery level for the last three days. I was pretty damn impressed. But the next time, I will take spare batteries. And pack them to the carry-on luggage.


11 responses to “Three Weeks in the Wonderland

  1. TapaniK 31/05/2015 at 13:21

    Some say that heaven is not a place somewhere far away but rather a place on earth. Your text and photos confirm this!

  2. Janne Pyykkö 31/05/2015 at 14:22

    I see you made one fjell jump photo (tunturihyppy) among others. Good. 🙂 Thanks for the other photos as well — and the expedition story.

  3. korpijaakko 31/05/2015 at 14:40

    I’d agree. Maybe it’s just a state of mind, and for me time in place like that helps to find it.

  4. korpijaakko 31/05/2015 at 14:41

    Hi Janne! Nice to see you around. I think there were even few more jump photos. Also tried an ice-cave jump but that didn’t quite work out…

  5. Martin Rye 31/05/2015 at 18:47

    Simply stunning. Superb camera work and a BIG thanks for that.

  6. korpijaakko 31/05/2015 at 20:53

    You’re welcome, Martin! Glad you liked it.

  7. RobP 06/06/2015 at 01:29

    Utterly beautiful photos and it looked like everyone was having so much fun. It’ strange, but in the Uk we view snow laden trips with a certain amount of trepidation, but here, it is business as usual 🙂

  8. korpijaakko 09/06/2015 at 13:08

    Itwas a good trip with good old fasnioned type 1 fun. 🙂

    A trip like this is not quite “business as usual”, even though we are used to snow as we get it (at least used to get it…) for four months a year or so. But for an expedition like this the minimum requirement is to participate on a weekend course in Southern Finland, on a one-week ski tour in Lapland and then before the expedition we have a meeting and a weekend training trip. One should respect the Arctic and prepare accordingly. Now it was all beautiful and fun but it can be also demanding and dangerous.

  9. Pingback: Crossing the Vatnajökull | Korpijaakko

  10. Pingback: Svalbard – Summer 2015 – Special Edition | Korpijaakko

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