Winter Adventure in Koli

For the winter holiday we planned a few days adventure in Koli National Park. We had enough of the little snow here in Southern Finland, so we thought Koli would be a good choice for a little winter adventure. We drove off to Koli from Helsinki in the afternoon and arrived at midnight. We planned to put up our camp at Rykiniemi camp site, because the site was just a few hundred meters from the nearest parking lot. That way we would not have to walk long distances arriving to camp late at night.

Arriving at the campsite in Rykiniemi

What surprised us was that no one had visited the camp site for several days or maybe weeks. The official parking lot was completely unplowed. We plopped into the untouched snow in 0°C temperature to the camp with our stuff. After a quick reconnaissance of the camp site we pitched our tents and prepared ourselves for the night.

In the early morning we woke to some loud thumps and the whole tent shaking! We already believed in our tent that the neighbor tent had awakened to challenge us with a snow war, as that would have been totally expected… But after a moment we figured out that the noise was caused by heavy snow falling down from the trees above us.

Ski touring on Lake Pielinen

The next day we skied out on the lake Pielinen for a day trip. We took the direction north toward the elongated island Laitosaari. There were a lot snow on the ice, so we skied / plopped in the heavy snow that stuck to the bottom of our skis… After 5 km skiing we reached the fireplace at the lagoon of Laitosaari. There, we held a lunch break in the heat of the fire.

When we started to ski back the weather changed, so we felt like polar skiers in the strong head wind and snow. It was difficult to follow our old ski tracks because they begun to disappear. It was already dark when we arrived back to the campsite in Rykiniemi. The temperature started to drop. We enjoyed the evening in the heat of the fire, but in the end we decided to organize a Yatzy evening in one of the tents.

Snowshoeing the Summit Trail

The following morning we packed the camp and drove towards Koli Centre Ukko. The weather had turned into a brilliant – 8°C winter weather. We put the snowshoes on our feet and wandered off along the Summit Trail or the Koli Peaks Snowshoeing Trail, which is a 1.6 km circular trail that takes you round Koli’s best-known scenic points. It starts from the Visitor Centre Ukko from where the journey goes on to Paha-Koli, Akka-Koli and Ukko-Koli.

Koli is worth visiting, especially when the snow situation is much better there than in Southern Finland. I will certainly be visiting Koli again and maybe next time it will be a summer or autumn adventure. After the trip I also updated the review of the Bergans Trollhetta 3 tent.


An evening at Partioaitta

I participated today in an evening at Yrjönkatu Partioaitta. Pata Degerman was host for the evening and the theme was winter touring. The emphasis was on clothing and equipment. Although some of the content was already familiar to me, I also learned new things. I got for example to see a Paris sled which was equipped in a slightly different way than my own. I also got a good tip on how to fix a protection around my thermos bottle, so it will not get dents what could cause heat leakage.

The eternal question, of what kind of sleeping bag to wear in winter, was also discussed. According to what I’ve learned from previous lessons and courses, you should have an inner down sleeping bag and an outer bag with a synthetic material. That should move the moisture away from your body through the down bag to the synthetic material. According to yesterday’s discussion it was recommended to only have one sufficiently thick down sleeping bag. But it hard to say what is right and what is wrong. As long as you don´t freeze it´s good. We also went into the subject on how to do when nature calls in a snow storm, and that it may be more difficult for ladies to go to the “bathroom” quickly without having to remove several layers of clothing. Well, now there is GoGirl on the market! I’m not going in on that subject more, but you can check out this link: GoGirl, and make your own opinion on how practical it would be.

This was a pilot evening, and we can hope for that Partioaitta is going to arrange more evenings like this in the future. This concept is great!