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It’s been almost a month since we (me, my mother and my aunt) went trekking to Ylläs and the mountains around there… (19-22 July 2009) I’ve been meaning to write something about it for ages but I’m too busy doing nothing nowadays… well anyway, here goes…


Day 1
(From here to there…)

1 resan upp (604.2km)

Got up quite early, it’s about 600 kilometers from Jakobstad to Äkäslompolo, but before everything was packed in the car it was quite late… The drive was rather uneventful, lots of cars that was driving too slowly, especially trailers… I think people that are driving too slow is more dangerous in traffic then people that are driving too fast… We stopped for food in a place called Zeppelin, somewhere near Oulu, there we also drank coffee and went shopping a little… That happens when traveling with two ladies… =)
When we finally got to Shaumaja we unpacked had some coffee and went walking down to the lake Käsänkijärvi, the girls decided to go back to the house but I wanted to stretch my legs a little and walked around the lake in the bright evening… It was a beautiful scenery. I saw a reindeer with a calf that was trying to drink it’s mothers milk while the mother deer walked, looked pretty funny. Later on the other side of the lake I also heard some bird that I haven’t heard before, sounded quite spooky, a bit like a very short crow sound almost like barking, and it was very loud… I got out on the wrong side of the lake and had to walk on the roads back to the house… Thank gods for the GPS…

2 runt käsänkijärvi


Day 2
(Lainiotunturi – Kotamaja)

3 lainio-kotamaja
3 elevation

This day was hot, and it probably didn’t help much to walk in the middle of the day… The girls went to climb on Pirunkuru while I decided to go for a longer walk… I wanted to see the canyon on mount Lainiotunturi called lumikuru (snow canyon), so I walked about 10 km toward kotamaja and then just turned of the track and headed straight for the fell. It was quite though to climb the side of the fell was nothing but rocks and it was scorching sunlight anyway I got up and sat down on the highest peak and drank half of the water I had with me and all of my coffee… I got a bit worried that I didn’t have enough liquid with me but the view was awesome, absolutely worth it… I sat for almost an hour on this top and just enjoyed the silence, it was very silent…

View from Lainiotunturi

View from Lainiotunturi

I wanted to find the canyon lumikuru, that was after all the reason that I went climbing on this rather remote pile of rocks, but I had the misconception that it was on the north side of the mountain and the north side was very steep, I tried to go very close to the edge to see if I could locate anything that looks like the canyon but gave up after a while since I rather survive then get a photo… So I walked down from the peak toward the less steep side, found a tree that looked like a cactus, it was kind of fitting it felt a bit like walking in the desert. Then I walked the rest of the descend in the real lumikuru (I didn’t know that then) and headed towards where the trail should be, I walked and walked and started wondering if I already passed it without noticing, the trail was not on the GPS map, but I had a track where I walked and a point where I went off it and headed up the mountain side.. I decided to keep walking and eventually I found the trail and turned towards kotamaja.

A real Finish cactus

A real Finnish cactus

Lumikuru

Lumikuru

At kotamaja I found a well with fresh good water *bliss* I drank a lot and filled both the water bottle and the coffee thermos with cold water and headed back towards Shaumaja. When I left Kotamaja I met a guy that looked like Michael Jackson, I was planing on walking over the lower fell called Kukastunturi but I took the wrong trail and ended up walking under the fell instead… It was a quite easy walk but not much to see but forest… When I got almost all the way back I heard water streaming over rocks I stopped and looked if there was a photo waiting for me, there were two tree stumps, I got this weird feeling like one of them was looking at me and the next second it turned and disappeared into the undergrowth… I was left like… What i the world was that?! Then I started thinking that it was about the right size for a bear cub aprox. 30 cm high, the next thought was if there is a baby bear there has to be a mother bear somewhere. That got me walking again… I was making noise with my keys and looked around me more then usual… When I got back I talk to my brother and he said that it may have been a wolverine.. I guess it may… hard to say for sure, but something was in the bushes…

Äkässaivo

Äkässaivo

We ate some pasta thing and went to a mill and to Äkässaivo, a lake where they dumped (killed) old people that was a burden to the society, back in the old times… There were way too much mosquitoes to really enjoy it and I get somewhat stressed when I’m walking with people, I like to do it all in my own pace and stop and take pictures of what I like and such… But it was a fine nature and all of that…

Day 3 (Pirunkuru, Käsänki, Kellostapuli)

5 pirun-kellos
5 elevation

Started off early, another hot day… This time I took two water bottles, since I was gonna climb two mountains, and of course the coffee thermos since I was about to drink coffee on the tops… I walked away with my rather heavy camera bag to the pirunkuru canyon, pirunkuru means something like devils canyon, and there’s a reason for the name, which you’d notice when you are about half way up… I stopped and half sat down and pretended to take some photos while the sweat ran like… like someone who just climbed the devils canyon with the bright summer sun in the back… Ironically when I sat and was half dead an elderly couple came walking in a good pace past me, that felt unreal… Anyway I kept climbing and soon enough I got to the top of the mountain Käsänki, that mountain actually have two tops, one to the left looks higher and that is also where most of the piles of rock that people for some reason always seem to build on tops of mountains are but the one to the right are just a little bit higher according to the GPS so that’s where I went to intake the blood of the almighty coffee God… It was windy on the top and I was a bit wet so I didn’t sit as long as I did on Lainio tunturi the day before, instead I went to the western top and walked around for a bit, took some photos and headed back down pirunkuru, walking down these piles of rocks are actually worse then going up, when you are going up you are climbing but when you are going down you are breaking… When I got down met a family from germany (I think) that wondered how far it’s to the top? I said that It’s about as far as you can see… Then he asked how the terrain was up there… I just smiled a wicked grin and pointed at the rocks covering everything around here… “Good luck” =)

Top of mount Käsänki

Top of mount Käsänki

The journey continued around the eastern end of the lake and up on a 5 km long trail that was constantly uphill through forest, a forest that was full of horse flies, the kind of evil insects that bite you just because they can it seems… Not in self defense like wasps, and not to get blood like mosquitoes… I like most animals but those are just a pain in the… When the trail got too steep on the other side of the mountain there was stairs… I don’t really know what to think of that, partly it was a welcome ease but then again you are suppose to be in the wilderness, right? Or well, kind of anyway… I walked on the stairs and it was a fast and simple way to travel up a fell side when I got near the top I went of the trail again and headed towards the kellostapuli peak… I walked near the northern edge or the mountain and the top was really steep but I put the camera and everything loose in the bag and though that oh what the heck, let’s climb… The first half of the climb was pretty easy but the last 30-40 meters was a bit steeper and rocks started to slide under my feet… That was rather unpleasant since there was nothing to grab hold of at all and, in the worst case, about 100 meters of steep fell side without anything but rocks to slide down on… It turned out alright and I got to the top and had my second cup of coffee, it was awesome… I ate a sandwish and took out a mars bar that I managed to forget on the top… Hope some animal or something liked it, and didn’t get sick of it…

Pirunkuru seen from Kellostapuli

Pirunkuru seen from Kellostapuli

The climb down was about as the other climbs down I’ve done on this trip, horrible, just praying to the gods that they save the landslide to some evil person that deserves it. =) Breaks on full power… Saw a pretty nice tree on the way down but I didn’t fall and hurt myself… Came back on the trail and headed down down down… Followed a fell creek that was pretty darn beautiful and took a lot of photos… The trail here was made of a treetrunk sawed in half and was wide as the autobahn… It was a pretty nature and very easy to walk on… When I got down and met the trail that goes around the lake I somewhat misunderstood the signs and started walking in the wrong direction so I walked around the lake Käsänkijärvi again before getting back to the house, Getting to know this trail pretty well now… When I was on the north side of the lake it started raining… I had carried rainwear with me all the time so I packed the camera in the bag and took out the raincoat… Then it stopped raining… So very typical, though it started again later so… well… I bet that if I wouldn’t have been prepared it would not have stopped and I would have got soaked… =)

A most peculiar tree

A most peculiar tree

Fellcreek

Fellcreek


Day 4
(Seitakivi)

6 seitakivi

This last day I had a little sore legs and thought I would take the car north to a holy place I found on a map, where the people use to have their rituals to their Gods in the old days, it was a rock that was called Seitakivi (“magic rock” loosely translated) I went a little later then the girls that was gonna climb kellosstapuli that day… I had to go buy more bread and I did that before going to the rock… I figured I have lots of time, and I had…the terrain was quite different up here, there were no fells visible, just forest and swamps… When I got to the rock it was just a standing stone, about a meter high and a sign that said seitakivi… That was a bit of an anticlimax but I took some photos of it and the place was on a natural plateau above the river… Oh well I had a little sore legs and didn’t feel like walking much longer anyway… I went to pick up my company at the ski resort at ylläs, and we went to make food, pack, clean and leave..

Before we went on this trip I wanted to get the house Shaumaja in the GPS so that I would not have to look for it but there was virtually nothing on the net mentioning Shaumaja, so I took photos of the house before we left for home and put the address and coordinates on the flickr picture, so now when people are searching for Shaumaja they at least find it… how kind of me… =)

SeitakiviSeitakivi
Ollintie 3, Äkäslompolo (N67°36.531 - E024°11.765)

Shaumaja. Ollintie 3, Äkäslompolo (N67°36.531' - E024°11.765')

We was about to pick up my cousin that was coming from a long trek in Padjelanta, Sweden, but we wet too early from Äkäslompolo and we didn’t think about the time zone difference and the wait in Haparanda in Sweden turned quite long… My legs ached a bit now and I wasn’t too keen on walking around in Ikea and places like that but what can you do… We wanted coffee but almost everything was closed or just about to close when we arrived… Finally we found coffee on a fuel station *bliss*… My cousin arrived as planned with the bus and we drove the long way home, just stopped for some coffee and snack on the road… Well that’s it basically… It was a good trip, not too much injuries and my feet was ok… Nice weather, a bit on the warmer side but I don’t know what would be ideal… Kind of sucks when it’s raining all the time like last year…

Keeping it real =)

Keeping it real =)

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Hello.

I have been meaning to write other things here the last days, don’t worry nothing too interesting mostly whining actually, but I wanted to write about our adventure in the fells before I wrote something else, and that have resulted in that I didn’t write anything at all… Now that is logic for you… =)

The Beginning.

Early on Monday morning… uhm.. no actually I should start on Saturday or so with all the packing and repacking but that is quite boring so early on Monday morning, thinking about it nothing too interesting happened on Monday morning, or day or even afternoon we just drove all day… about 820 kilometers from here to Ammarnäs, in northern Sweden…


I love these GPS tracks, makes it look like the Indiana Jones movies

We did actually stop in Haparanda, just over the border to Sweden to buy a new backpack for my mother and a GPS holder for my car… then we stopped in a small hole somewhere in Sweden called Töre and had some pizza, as usual there aren’t much alternatives if you don’t eat meat… sigh… so I took the only alternative and
had them make it a turnover (no I am never ever satisfied as it is…)

When we came to Ammarnäs we went to get the key to the hostel and to the cottage out in the wilderness where we were to sleep the two nights of our hike, then we went to see the village. The guy told us to go see two old Saami ladies that were making Saami art, they were apparently quite famous and had exhibitions all over the world. When we got there they were closed though unfortunately. Then we went to see something rather odd, a huge man-made hill that the locals used to grow potatoes on, the thing is that Ammarnäs is too far north to grow anything really, but by using the south side of the hill they got a better angle to the sun and could grow potatoes… and the view from the top was quite amazing…

Then we went geocaching, I had checked beforehand that there was a cache in the village that no one had yet found and I wanted to get the FTF (first to find, if you aren’t in to the sport). We went where the cache was suppose to be and found nothing but a field of grass, nothing at all that could hide a cache, especially a simple one like this, the hint also indicated that it was elsewhere, so we had to give up and go to bed.

DAY I.

Woke up bright and early to get going, we tried to lift our packs and decided that there were no way we could carry all of this over the fell so we left a whole lot of stuff in the car, repacked everything and off we went. The hostel was at 402 meters above the sea, our first climb was to 700 meters where we rested and filled up the water bottles at a lake called Näsbergstjärn. From there the journey went upwards, we soon passed the point where the trees could no longer grow and the only vegetation was moss and low shrubbery. At about half of the way it started raining quite hard and We weren’t quite prepared. I had a rain jacket but no rain pants and got quite soaked. It was windy, cold and wet and we really wanted to get to the cottage at rävfallet, so we pushed a little harder then what was wise… We passed the peak at 932 meters in heavy rain. We also had a bit of trouble with the Swedish GPS maps that was quite inaccurate, there were times when we were over a hundred meters from a point according to the GPS when we was there for real and the trails seemed to have been painted in approximately where they should be, not where they actually were… I had the GPS and checked how far it was to the cottage but some sadistic person had made the end of the trail go in a big loop, like a “J” so it kept saying 4 km left, for a few kilometers, we even went past it so the arrow pointed backwards. Then after that a steep downhill, it is actually almost as heavy if not even worse to walk downhill with a heavy packing as it is to walk uphill. About 300 meters from the cottage mother started to feel ill from exhaustion and me too for that matter so we stopped fr almost half an hour that close to the destination, then we dragged ourself the final bit to the cottage and collapsed in bed. Soon we recovered enough to make something to eat this days food: Macaroni stewed with a instant soup (creamy broccoli) and soy mince. I managed to get sores on my heals, nothing big but enough to be annoying, I think it was because the feet got wet. Gore-tex and all kinds of membranes doesn’t help much when the water is coming in from above, next time: bring good rain pants… We put a big fire in the fireplace to dry our clothes, which resulted in hat the room got almost too hot to sleep in. I put compeed (adhesive plaster that sticks very rigid and suppose to be very good) on both feet, something that I would regret later and we went to bed.


DAY II.

Woke up with the sun and had a good breakfast, it was a fine day and there was to trace of rain so since we decided to travel as light as possible we didn’t bring any rainwear or extra clothes, just some sandwiches and coffee, and I had the camera and a few lenses… My feet had swollen quite much and I had to use a pair of thin socks to get my feet in the shoes. We went up north towards the cottage at Vitnjul and at about half way there the first drops came and soon it was heavy rain again. We contemplated turning around, but decided to go on as planned so soaked like beavers (Mother prefers to say drowned cats, but I think that sounds a bit brutal) we arrived to Vitnjul. We made a fire and dried up a bit ate our sandwiches and tried to get the rain to pass by, it didn’t seem to want to, so we walked back in the rain, now I started to get sore feet for real and my legs were heavy to lift from all the carrying heavy backpacks, the last bit I had to lean on the monopod quite frequently but eventually we came “home”. Now when I had a look at my feet I realized what had happened, the adhesive plaster on my small sores on the heals had pulled downwards and pulled the skin with them so now I had a problem… It was probably the same reason as the day before, water had entered the shoe from above and the whole inside of the shoe was wet… We learned from last nights mistake and didn’t make a huge fire in the room we slept in but in a small room specially made for the purpose of drying clothes… It wasn’t as effective but it sort of worked… Made food: Macaroni stewed with a instant soup (mushroom) and soy mince… slept like a baby this night…

DAY III.

Woke up with the dawn and every muscle in my entire body was stiff and aching, The idea that we had a over 20 kilometer long hike with heavy packs didn’t sound too fantastic at all, but we packed ate breakfast and cleaned up after ourself… when I put my foot in my trekking shoes the really didn’t fit, it was like the shoes was a few numbers too small, so swollen was my foot, I forced it in there and tried to walk but after 100 meters I just had to give up, there was no way I could do a full kilometer like this, so I took off the shoes and hung them on my already too heavy backpack and walked in sandals, over 20 km… the first 10 or so was just enjoyable, the sun was shining and I got some good photos… But sandals are for walking short distances, not for trekking, and I started to get blisters under the front soles of the feet, and the last bit was quite a pain. I don’t really know how hard these two last days was on Mother because she doesn’t say anything until it really is bad, I am more of the whiner, looked like she was tired enough too towards the end of the day. The last bit of the days hike as following a road and we was thinking about hitchhiking, but there were no suitable cars, most cars came the other way, so we met them. In retrospect I’m glad we didn’t cheat, it would have felt like we gave up o the goals we set… Anyhow, we got to the hostel and today we were not gonna have pasta but mashed potatoes, there was just this little problem, the store was closed and we needed milk and butter to make the mashed potatoes mix… so it turned out to be: Macaroni stewed with a instant soup (Two bags, because we could) and soy mince…

The trip home.

The last day we didn’t have anything but coffee and cracker bread (without butter) for breakfast, so we had coffee and cracker bread, a quick shower and off we went, the nearest open shop was in Sorsele, 85 km from Ammarnäs, so we went there to get some bread and butter and stuff, drew out to a lake, sat in the car and had a sorta picnic, then we drove home pretty much the same way as we drew there…

All in all it was a good trip, the weather sucked much of the time, my feet are still not completely healed but it was an adventure and the mood was always good… Of course there were times when the feet hurt like hell and I almost didn’t have enough energy to lift them from the ground and just felt like laying down to wait for a helicopter or something, but luckily we have a selective memory and next year we are aiming for Kebnekaise (in august)… =)

A long time ago my mother and I decided to go trekking to Sarek in northern Sweden, we planned it for a while but when we realized that Kebnekaise isn’t in Sarek we changed the destination to Kebnekaise and hoped no one would notice… we planned everything very well and had some problems getting shoes and so on… but eventually we were ready… so Mom was gonna book the room online when we realized that the place shut down in the middle of the month, i think it was the 15th… it was already the 18th.. so we looked around panicked a bit and decided on Hemavan… it looks like a nice place and they are open… but all the huts around Hemavan did also close a few days ago… so discreetly we changed the destination to Ammarnäs… and now we have a three day trek planned:

Day 1, Ammarnäs vandrarhem to Rävfalls stugan (up on the fell side) 21 km
Day 2, Rävfalls stugan to Vitnjul and back to Rävfalls stugan 16.5 km
Day 3, Rävfalls stugan to Ammarnäs vandrarhem (down in the valley) 17.5 km

After that we should be just about the right amount of dead… We’re leaving on Monday =)

I got my Hanwag Alaska today… The very first impression was that they were a bit on the smaller side but then after trying with a variety of different socks I came to the conclusion that they fit me… Went to try them out at a short trekking path (Tornberget)… Walked about 4 km on mostly rocks and they feel just right…
So now we can go to Kebnekaise =)

I’m having a Tea and plan to go for a walk later on…

Oh yes, I’ve got a job, to make a front for a calendar… I’m not sure what the customer want yet though because it came in a bit backwards… I really should go ahead with making my company, there’s customers already… company or no company.. =)
I need to get some sort of a image from the town thou, a image that is good enough to sell calendars… planning to walk there now and have a look around… maybe try to take some shots later on… in the morning…

I went off-road to the trekking trail at Larsmo, about 15 km or so north of here… I have a pair of trekking shoes that I bought last year after we came from the fells in Abisko, Sweden and they are a number too big for me. Every time I used those shoes I’ve got chafed feet, but I thought that if I put two pairs of socks I would be able to use them anyway… wrong… I got about 4.5 km on the trail that are either 8 or 13 km depending on how you walk, so I was past the point of no return when first the heel on the right foot started to hurt and then the left one followed… I’ve said it before but now I mean it… I WILL NEVER EVER USE THOSE SHOES AGAIN… period.

I also had an encounter with an elk, it was at a rather overgrown part near a small lake, something run of into the forest like elks do when they get scared, I said aloud Are there elks in this forest? and then something ran with a lot of noise to the other direction… I take that as a yes… =)

Hello…

I just came back from walking an hour ago or so, had a cup of tea and made this blog thingie, I started making these GPS tracks when I walk, but I don’t really know what to do with them. I figure this is a good place to store them… =)

I’ve been out two times today, ones on the roads and ones in the forest, I normally bike but the bottom bracket bearing is not well on it so until I get me a new one from Ireland I have to stick to walking… We probably go trekking in the fells somewhere later in the autumn Mom and Me and I guess it’s a good idea to get some exercise… Here are some of the tracks anyway…

This one is a 8 km road track that I just made…

This one I made earlier today, it’s 5.5 km around the walking-trail at Arbetsplatsberget in Kållby. I shot a whole lot of photos so it’s not quite straight… nice scenery though… =)

13.5 km track on asphalt… This is actually from yesterday night but I didn’t have a blog yesterday, or an hour ago for that matter… =)

I found yet another one, this is a 10 km track from August 1’st…

I think I should say that the maps are made on a webpage called gpsvisualizer.com

Now I kinda feel like going out again, but I really should sleep. I think I’ll have a look if it looks fantastic out there then Maybe I go take some photos… I am a bit tired so probably not… let’s see…