2017 Trip – Day 8

Distance Average Speed Max Speed
13,2 km 13.5 km/h 25.7 km/h

Just time for a short run before going for the bus. Managed to leave by about 0945 and headed N up old Marco route to forest road, then back to main trail and S via Finn-Jann laavu.

Dogs seemed a bit reluctant, particularly Max who kept stopping and trying to turn back and I didn’t take Selimo as she had not been running too well yesterday. I think they definitely need a couple of days rest to get back into top form.

Arrived back at farm just as dogs were being harnessed for day trip. Packed, stuff, tried to pay Timo (card failed, will try again via bank transfer from home) and made it to the bus stop in plenty of time.

In Oulu, experimented with getting number 9 bus to airport rather than taxi. It departed a few minutes late and took quite a while to get there due to circuitous route via suburbs, but was quite a bit cheaper at €5.80.

2017 Trip – Day 7

Distance Average Speed Max Speed
42.2 km 12.4 km/h 25.4 km/h

The day started early when I was woken at 0400 by strange noises coming from the veranda.  I tried to solve this problem by hiding inside my sleeping bag, but when this didn’t work I was forced to get up and investigate. It seemed unlikely that it was a wild animal as the dogs would have been going wild and indeed it turned out to be the very un-wild form Max who had managed to get off his chain!  In my bleary state I couldn’t work out how and just put him in another kennel, but in the cold light of day I discovered that the coupling on the end of the chain had somehow come unscrewed.

During his freedom he had found the feeding bucket containing two scoops of dried food ready for the morning.  How much he ate and how much fell through the gaps in the floor is not clear. In addition, the scoop was nowhere to be seen.  When Timo arrived at about 0930 with his tractor and snow plough he immediately located it in Max’s kennel!

A Siberian Jay (Perisoreus infaustus) photographed at Kÿlkeinen

Left at about 1045 and headed across lake to Hämeenvaara then up Tilsa road and around Romevaara before arriving at Tilsa for lunch. Many trees have been cut on Romevaara since I was last there (at least four years ago) and there are now some excellent views from the top.

After lunch went up Tilsa road and left at power lines along track next to canyon. Joined Koivuvaara road and then turned N across top of hill to Kortesuo swamps. Headed E and crossed Lohilampi which was not looking quite as open as I remember. Perhaps it is starting to silt up a bit.

Back along Koivuvaara road and then via normal tracks to farm.

2017 Trip – Day 6

Distance Average Speed Max Speed
43.4 km 12.4 km/h 25.7 km/h

Noticed strange object on trail leading from hut where it passes in front of sauna. Turned out to be a wooly hat presumably dropped by a guest as they were starting. Hung it up in hut and sent text to inform guides. After starting got a reply asking if I could take it with me, so collected it at lunchtime.

Dogs definitely a bit tired after two very long days and didn’t start with quite a much vigour.

Headed N from Jänisvaara road to North Road and from there too track N towards swamp trail. Found it OK, but took wrong turning and ended up next to main road. No obvious route away from road and Max keen to get onto road. Fortunately there was a bit of a bank to climb and after managing to stop team I removed Max and led him into the forest. Got rest of team to go the same way and finally managed to retrace my steps. Found better route which eventually emerged near junction of main trail and North Road.

Then took loop to West which turned out to be the same one I took on Tuesday. Returned to Jänisvaara for lunch.

After lunch tried to head for Lohilampi but must have taken a wrong turn as I eventually hit the snowmobile trail. However, on the way I crossed a swamp with many picturesque frost coated trees so stopped to take some photos.

Made my way to and then down canyon, crossed Tilsa road and headed for Kÿlkeinen. Arrived a little earlier than yesterday, but it took quite a while to get the new fire going. Perhaps there is a knack. As an added problem I had run out of new batteries for the lanterns.

Weather now much warmer and around -4°C most of day with cloud and no wind.

2017 Trip – Day 5

Distance Average Speed Max Speed
65.2 km 13.9 km/h 29.4 km/h

Slept in a little later and managed to get away from Saija by 1030. Headed N to Kylmaluomajarvi. Met Saija guide from yesterday at snowmobile trail  junction at W end of lake. Followed trail as far E as the edge of the map before returning to kota for lunch. Direct route from trail to kota not open down steep slope so had to continue to adjacent laavu and then back along lake.

The kota at Kylmaluomajarvi

 

 

 

 

The kota was a delightful as always, it being one of those with a chimney suspended over the fire for you to bash your head on (as I did, just as every previous visit). Unfortunately the wood supply seemed to consist almost entirely of tree trunks.

After lunch drove length of lake and then followed snow mobile trail all the way back to Jänisvaara. Last few km along power lines and then through  little used forest track to Jänisvaara road. Light almost gone by the time I reached the hut.

Whilst feeding dogs, five snowmobiles appeared on road. They stopped and the drivers started shining torches in my direction. Phoned guides and was told that they were probably police on a training exercise. Apparently one of the guides met a group of 20 of them yesterday. May have heard something which sounded like a police radio, so this theory has merit.

Weather today a little warmer at around -7°C. Some light snow towards the end.

2017 Trip – Day 4

Distance Average Speed Max Speed
61.8 km 14.1 km/h 31.0 km/h

A very long run from Jänisvaara to Saija partly due to wrong turnings.

Weather excellent with clear skies and trees very picturesque with frost on them.

Started OK on snowmobile trail and followed ski track S from power lines towards Hella and then on to army road.  Got confused by trail near bottom of army road and turned back N.  Eventually, after another couple of wrong turnings ended up at road crossing where trail runs beside road and eventually to Harjajärvi kota for a late lunch.

Lunch break at Harjajärvi kota

Decided to proceed to Saija by shortest route and fortunately met two Saija guides.  Headed back across road and then E towards top of lake.  Trail seemed much more open and couldn’t find the power lines I used to follow.  Fortunately trail of Saija dogs was clear and my dogs found their way.

Subsequently discovered that power lines have been buried and forest was opened up at the same time!

Weather was generally good and skies clear, but as a result much colder. Temperature on lakes dropped to about -20°C towards end of day.