Korpijaakko

– my personal views on all walks of outdoor life

Tag Archives: Lapland

Guided dogsled tours! / Opastetuja koiravaljakkoretkiä!

This is again a bilingual blog post about guiding services I am offering. / Tämä on toinen kaksikielinen tiedote tarjoamistani opaspalveluista.

This post serves also as a “commenting area” as the comments on pages are disabled. / Tämä tiedote palvelee myös kommentointi- ja keskustelualueena, sillä info-sivuilla ei voi kommentoida.

Which track you’d like to follow? Choose your favourite, both options now available!
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Kumpaa latua haluaisit kulkea? Valitse vapaasti, molemmat vaihtoehdot nyt tarjolla!

Dogsled tours, in English

As I’m working at Husky Center Kolmiloukko this winter I’m able to offer also guided tours with dogsleds in addition to my other guiding services. The tours combine learning vital winter skills to enjoy the Nordic and Arctic winter with dogsleds and skis and/or snowshoes.

For the winter 2013 I offer two one-week programs with fixed dates but tailor-made trips with dogs are available through January, March and April:

– Deep-winter wilderness; 13.-19.1.2013; Taivalkoski, Finland.
Learn “expedition style” winter skills in the dead of the Nordic winter. Makes also a great introduction for Advanced Course in Arctic Ski Expedition in Sarek!
Sunny spring crust; 7.-12.4.2013; Taivalkoski, Finland.
Enjoy the sunny days and crusty snow of late winter season driving dogsleds and on skis or snowshoes.
Tailor-made trips in January, March and April 2013; Southern Lapland, Finland.

For tailor-made tours please inquire availability and prices via e-mail!

Ps. Remember also the ski expedition courses and trips for winter 2013:
– Basics of Nordic and Arctic Winter Travel; on request; Southern Finland or Finnish Lapland
– Basic Course on Arctic Ski Expeditions; 25.-27.1.2013 and 6.-8.2.2013; Lappeenranta, Southern-Finland
– Advanced Course on Arctic Ski Expeditions; 1.-9.3.2013; Sarek, Northern Sweden
– Vatnajökull 2013 – Expedition Across the Largest Glacier in Europe; May 2013; Vatnajökull, Iceland

Koiravaljakkoretket, suomeksi

Työskentelen tällä talvikaudella Husky Center Kolmiloukossa ja tarjoan muiden opaspalveluideni lisäksi myös opastettuja koiravaljakkoretkiä. Retkillä opit tärkeitä talviretkeilytaitoja liikuttaessa koiravaljakolla ja suksilla ja/tai lumikengillä arktisissa talvioloissa.

Talvelle 2013 tarjoan kaksi valmista retkeä kiinteillä päivämäärillä ja lisäksi räätälöityjä ohjelmia on tarjolla tammi-, maalis- ja huhtikuussa:

– Sydäntalven tunnelmia; 13.-19.1.2013; Taivalkoski, Suomi.
Opi “retkikuntatyylin” talviretkeilytaitoja sydäntalven pakkasessa. Kurssilla opit myös tarvittavat taidot osallistuaksesi Arktisen hiihtovaeltamisen jatkokurssille Sarekiin!
– Keväthankien kimallusta; 7.-12.4.2013; Taivalkoski, Suomi.
Nauti kevättalven auringosta ja hankikeleistä koiravaljakolla ja suksilla tai lumikengillä.
Räätälöidyt ohjelmat tammi-, maalis- ja huhtikuu 2013; Pohjois-Pohjanmaa/Etelä-Lappi; Suomi

Räätälöityjen retkien saatavuutta ja hintoja voit tiedustella sähköpostilla!

Ps. Muista myös hiihtovaelluskurssit ja -retkikunnat talvelle 2013:
– Arktisen hiihtovaeltamisen perusteet; 25.-27.1.2013 ja 6.-8.2.2013; Lappeenranta, Etelä-Suomi
– Arktisen hiihtovaeltamisen jatkokurssi; 1.-9.3.2013; Sarek, Pohjois-Ruotsi
– Vatnajökull 2013 – Retkikunta halki Euroopan suurimman jäätikön; toukokuu 2013; Vatnajökull, Islanti

The winter is here!

…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! 🙂

Guided trips available! / Opastettuja vaelluksia tarjolla!

This is a bilingual blog post about guiding services I am offering. / Tämä on kaksikielinen tiedote tarjoamistani opaspalveluista.

This post is also to serve as a “commenting area” as the comments on pages are disabled. / Tämä tiedote palvelee myös kommentointi- ja keskustelualueena, sillä info-sivuilla ei voi kommentoida.

Templet, Svalbard. Would you like to go there? I can help!
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Templet, Huippuvuoret. Haluaisitko sinne? Minä voin auttaa!

Guiding, in English

Since I have graduated and qualified as a Wilderness Guide and it is my big dream to help people achieving their own outdoor dreams, it is time to get started!

I have added a page about Guiding including general information on my guiding services on and also detailed information about guided courses and expeditions for the winter 2013.

For the winter 2013 I will be offering:

– The Basics of Nordic and Arctic Winter Travel; on request; Southern Finland or Finnish Lapland
– The Basic Course on Arctic Ski Expeditions; 25.-27.1.2013 and 6.-8.2.2013; Lappeenranta, Southern-Finland
– Advanced Course on Arctic Ski Expeditions; 1.-9.3.2013; Sarek, Northern Sweden
– Vatnajökull 2013 – Expedition Across the Largest Glacier in Europe; May 2013; Vatnajökull, Iceland

For more information on the aforementioned courses and expedition see Winter 2013 page. For other guiding services please inquire availability and prices via e-mail!.

Opaspalvelut, suomeksi

Koska olen valmistunut erä- ja luonto-oppaaksi ja eräs suuri unelmani on auttaa ihmisiä toteuttamaan heidän omia ulkoilmaunelmiaan, on korkea aika aloittaa!

Olen lisännyt blogiini sivun Opaspalveluista, jossa kerron taustatietoja tarjoamistani opaspaveluista ja myös yksityiskohtaista tietoa opastetuista kursseista ja retkikunnista talvelle 2013.

Talvelle 2013 tarjoan:

– Arktisen hiihtovaeltamisen perusteet; 25.-27.1.2013 ja 6.-8.2.2013; Lappeenranta, Etelä-Suomi
– Arktisen hiihtovaeltamisen jatkokurssi; 1.-9.3.2013; Sarek, Pohjois-Ruotsi
– Vatnajökull 2013 – Retkikunta halki Euroopan suurimman jäätikön; toukokuu 2013; Vatnajökull, Islanti

Tarkempia tietoja edellä mainituista kursseista ja retkikunnista saatavilla Talvi 2013 -sivulta. Muiden opaspalveluiden saatavuutta ja hintoja voit kysyä sähköpostilla!!

Packing the Raft – Kilpisjärvi-Reisadalen

The second of the three #HikingNorth trips is done and me and N are heading towards Sarek National Park for the third trip before returning back to South. While we are hiking in the Sarek, here are some pictures from the second trip from Kilpisjärvi (Finland) to Reisadalen (Norway). It didn’t go quite according to the plan but turned out to be a nice packrafting trip after all, thanks to the great float down the Reisaelva river.

The trip started from Kilpisjärvi on Monday morning – in very uninspiring rain. As we gained altitude the rain turned into wind-driven sleet and soon into snow. The temperature was around zero and it started to look more like an early winter trip than autumn trip. As the shell clothing slowly failed and the weather stayed miserable we decided to cut the day short and spend the first night in open wilderness hut at Saarijärvi.

The second day the weather improved a little bit being mostly foggy with a bit of drizzle. The views at Kuonjarjoki seemed quite similar to what Mark and Roger had about two months earlier. After a lunch break at Kuonjarjoki we continued to Meekojärvi. As we descended down to the valley the clouds broke for a while. We slept  in tent near the open hut at Meekojärvi with large reindeer guarding the surroundings.

The next day was supposed be the start for one and half days of packrafting the lake system from Meekojärvi to Porojärvi followed by a section of the Poroeno river. After pushing through the thick bush to the shore and getting the packrafts inflated we soon found the wind to be too much for the little rafts. We had about 45 degree head wind that was high enough to create breaking waves on the small lake. This made paddling hard and slow and thus we soon decided to pack the rafts and walk the Northern shores of the lakes towards East. And as we were already nearly a day behind our schedule we decided to skip the Poroeno river all together and take a short cut walk to Reisadalen. This saved us a day but we also missed the big river packrafting…

We crossed the Valtijoki river which had considerably lower water level than in mid-July the last year. The water level was probably too low even for packrafting.

On the first two days on Kalottireitti trail we met something like over 40 people but during the third and fourth day going off-trail we did’t see any humans, only reindeers and birds. After a hard day of walking (the rucksack felt quite heavy with all the packrafting gear) we camped near the Norwegian border at Inggajärvi lake.

The next day we crossed the border walking towards Reisadalen with the Jierta fjell as a landmark in the horizon. On the way we crossed Gieddajohka river with one packraft (taking first packs to the other side and then N). After the disappointments when trying to paddle the lakes it made me feel that there was maybe some point in carrying the packrafts after all. At least we didn’t have to swim. We camped on the shore of a little lake with reindeers accompanying us.

The fifth day started with rain and overcast but it didn’t slow us down. The slope down to Reisadalen valley was occasionally a bit hard, maybe a 30 degree slope with wet crass and as the soles of my trail runners were pretty worn out I took occasional slides down the slope but luckily there were trees to stop the glisades. After the descent we arrived to Neddrefosshytta, admired the surroundings, had lunch and inflated the rafts and started the float down.

We floated only about an hour as I wanted to find a good camping spot well before the dark. And we found a very nice spot on a gravel bar with enough drift wood for a small fire and good views to the surrounding canyon. Rain showers and some late-season bugs (no bugs up on the fjells but quite some in the valley) interrupted occasionally the evening by the fire but it wasn’t too bad.

The final morning of the trip broke with spectacular views and we finally got some real sun shine! Morning chores were soon followed by a good swift float down stream the easy but fast river. The Reisaelva has a good flow and there are no real rapids on the way from Neddrefosshytta to Saraelv and thus it makes great packrafting also for beginners.

A little downside on the Reisaelva is the quite frequent boat traffic up and down the river. This didn’t bother as too badly but it removes the feeling of real wilderness quite effectively.

The canyon/valley is a great sight in itself but one the major sights on the way is the Mollisfossen waterfall. Unfortunately it’s on the other side of the river than the Kalottireitti trail but for a boater that isn’t a problem at all. And the 269 meter high waterfall is worth a visit but crossing the river without a boat would require swimming is swift current.

The 25km float from Neddrefosshytta to Saraelv (the end of public road with a good parking space) took only about 6 hours of lazy packrafting so it is good float! Even though we had to skip about half of the originally planned packrafting the Reisaelva saved a lot and left me wanting more. I think that on this trip I also understood better the role of packrafts as wilderness travel tools in addition to tools for accessing remote rapids and having easy white water fun. The packrafts are equally suitable for both, though for wilderness travel one should reserve enough time for things like serious headwinds on flat water. Our schedule didn’t allow any slack and it would be better to reserve around eight days for the originally planned route (instead of the six days we had).

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Once again The Social Hiking map (based on Yellowbrick beacons) gives you a good idea about the trip but once again the distance covered (149km) feels quite a bit exaggerated. The Yellowbrick YBlog page gives you some additional info like some speed figures. Pictures linked to the map are coming later when I get the last week+ trip in Sarek done… And you can also follow the trip on Social Hiking as well as on Twitter!

Social Hiking in the North

Seems that way too many of my posts start with the words ”it’s been silent here lately”. But… Well, it’s the truth. During the last two months I haven’t had motivation for bloggin, instead I’ve been working a bit and foraging quite a lot but haven’t done any hiking or similar outdoor activities (goes hand in hand with the blogging motivation). I’ve also spent quite some time figuring how to spend the next year or so. I had few cool plans and worked hard to carry them out but they got crashed…

But that’s not a reason to be depressed as it also means that I have time to do something else instead… Go hiking! And I guess hiking is also better topic for a blog post than writing about crashed future plans. (Though I might mention them in the future related to other topics.)

So, this post is about the plans and how you can follow things online.

Plans, plans, plans

The plan (named Hiking North) is to do three separate trips in the Northern parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland:

– Moskkugáisi Traverse: A fast & light style peak bagging and packrafting traverse from Signaldalen (Norway) to Kilpisjärvi (Finland).
– Poroeno-Reisaelva: A packraftring trip including some lakes and sections of Poroeno and Reisaelva rivers from Kilpisjärvi (Finland) to Saraelv (Norway).
– Sarek National Park: A week+ roundtrip hiking in Sarek National Park (Sweden) starting from Suorva.

MoskkugáisiTtraverse

Pältsan in July 2011.

The first trip, the Moskkugáisi traverse, is named after the highest peak on the route. I’ll be doing the trip with my good friend Tuomas (Who is working at Kilpisjärvi as a Wilderness guide for the autumn). The general plan is to:

– start from the valley of Signaldalen in Norway on Thursday 22.8.
– hike/climb to Bárrás (1419m)
– traverse the mountainous peaks of Pältsan (1442m), Moskkugáisi (1516m) and Juoksavátnjunni (1450m) in Sweden
– camp somewhere near Pältsastugan
– hike to Kummaeno and float it with packrafts to Finland
– hike along the road to Kilpisjärvi for cold beers.

This means some 60+km of hiking with decent elevation gain and about 30km of packrafting and we’ll try to complete it in two days. Have to see how it goes. The route should provide a bit of challenge, great views (weather permitting) and a nice gentle float with occasional sections of class II white water.

I tried to pack light but have to also take the autumn weather and temps into account. And my packraft and paddle are also quite heavy. As is my camera. Full skin-out weight in the start will be around 15 kg. For those interested, a pdf gear list of my planned kit for this trip is available here: Moskkugaisi-Traverse

Poroeno-Reisaelva packrafting

In camp while packrafting the Poroeno in July 2011.

The second trip is a packrafting trip with my girlfriend N. The plan is to:

– start from Kilpisjärvi probably on Sunday 26.8.
– hike along the Kalottireitti (Nordkalottleden) trail to Meekojärvi
– packraft the lakes to Poroeno river
– packraft along the Poroeno to the Norwegian border
– hike from ??? to Reisadalen
– packraft the Reisaelva as far as we can

We’ve planned it as a six-day trip with roughly 60:40 ratio of hiking and packrafting. Hiking along the trail is very easy but when in Norway we’ll hike completely off-trail in remote wild area but the terrain should be quite easy. The Poroeno section will have some challenging class IV rapids that we will portage as N doesn’t have any white water experience. But she’s a quick learner and we can probably get away with only few portages as the water level should be low. The lower part of Reisaelva that we’ll packraft should be easy, wide river with decent flow so there shouldn’t be any problems. The highlights of the trip will include the Meeko valley, the incredibly beautiful Reisadalen valley, covering some terrain completely new to me and hopefully some good packrafting.

For this trip I’ll be taking a bit more gear than for the Moskkugáisi Traverse bringing the full skin-out weight in the start to 20 kg mark. The core of the kit will remain about the same but if you’re interested in the details, take a look at the gear list: Poroeno-Reisaelva

Sarek National Park

Sarek in March 2010.

The third trip will be again with N. We will head to Sarek National Park in Sweden for a week+ roundtrip. The only solid plan we have is to start from Suorva dam on the North-East border of the National Park and do a roundtrip in the central part of the park. We will be packing food for about nine days and will be taking crampons for glacier travel but probably no packrafts. If weather permits we will try to bag some peaks and enjoy the views but time will tell how it goes…

Sarek is awesome in winter and should be equally awesome also in autumn. There are high alpine peaks, glaciers, big beautiful valleys, rich wildlife (including lynx, wolf, wolverine and bear!) and so on but very few visitors and no trails in the central parts of the park. Sounds great!

Again most of the kit for the Sarek trip will be the same but there are few minor adjustments and I’ll change the packrafting kit for crampons and hiking poles. And again, here’s a gear list for the details: Sarek-National-Park

Following the trips

As most of the trips will take place far away from cell phone reception I will be using a Yellowbrick satellite messaging device so I can share my position, progress and other information.

The Yellowbrick is state-of-the-art piece of kit that I’m testing for them and I will be using it at least to:
– send tracking signal every now and then so you can follow me on my YBlog page http://my.yb.tl/Vatnajokull2012
(The url is a relic from the ski expedition across Vatnajökull glacier earlier this year.)
– send tweets if there is something cool to share or the plans change
– maybe send a blog post or two from the wild using Yellowbrick App on my Samsung Galaxy Xcover

The coolest thing is that Yellowbrick is compatible with Social Hiking! I’ve just started using the Social Hiking service and I’m still only learning but it enables creating interactive maps showing my progress and the related (social) media. During the trips it will mostly mean plotting my tweets and blog posts on the map with my route. After the trips I’ll be also adding pics and maybe some other media too…

You can see all my maps on the Social Hiking site: http://www.shareyouradventure.com/user/maps/korpijaakko

In addition I’m planning also writing a short post to my blog after each trip.

Enjoy the rest of the summer! I’m quite sure I will…

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And a little reminder: Remember also to enjoy the free berries, mushrooms and other delicacies of the season! At least in Finland there’s plenty of ripe blueberries, lingon berries are soon ripe and there’s a lot of delicious mushrooms. And according to Joe’s post, it’s the same thing in Norway.