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…
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!
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.
…or to be precise, I traveled where the winter is. But anyway, me and good ‘ol winter are again in the same place and I’m enjoying it a lot! I was actually so excited that I wanted to share a few words and photos with you.
Liking the winter after a 10km training run with the dogs.
There was a little snow in South-East Finland earlier but not a real winter and apparently at the moment there isn’t any snow left and temperatures are closer to +10C instead of freezing. As I’m on the way to North to work I decided to spend some time on a “working holiday” at Taivalkoski in the Husky Center Kolmiloukko where I was working the last Christmas season.
I’ve been mostly helping training and conditioning the dogs i.e. riding sleds which is great fun. I feels so awesome to pass effortlessly and quietly through snow-covered landscape. There isn’t that much snow yet, maybe some 15-20cm, so it’s a bit bumby ride but still fun. I highly recommend giving dog sledding a try.
In addition I did the first skiing trip of the year (have to be in shape for guiding trips) and have been actually also working a bit with the shovel preparing the tracks…
Another awesome thing was that last night there were magnificent Northern lights! I saw a faint greyish light at the horizon while skiing in the late afternoon (it’s dark here around 16 pm and sun rises around 9 am) and later in the evening it turned into a real light show.
Judging by the last few days living and working in Lapland for the winter doesn’t feel too bad, though I’m quite sure my moods will swing a bit when shoveling snowmobiles from the drifts… 😉
Because of not having a permanent place to stay at the moment the blog might be silent for a while. At the mean time, I’d advice you to enjoy the outdoors! 🙂