Last Minute Deal To Pyhä-Luosto

Every morning when I open my email I find last minutes deals that I'm never able to use. That's a bit shame, as these emails normally suggest that I should go to Paris or Lyon. They're right. some Beaujolais Nouvelle or vin chaud would do gooood just about now.

Well... maybe next year. 

Last Saturday I had something else in mind.

My runner friend Asta and I had planned to run from Luosto to Pyhätunturi for months. When we finally found a perfect weekend and decided to go, winter had started entering. We speculated that if everything goes as we'd like to, there'll be a thin veil of snow that just makes running softer and silent rather that hard and harsh. 

Poor map readers as we are, we didn't know the exact distance beforehand. Maybe 35 km, maybe 43 or 47. Maybe less. Depends who had done the map reading. We started our run near from Lampivaara Ametist Mine next to Luosto and ended it to restaurant Huttu-Uula at Pyhätunturi. At the end we made an extra round in Isokuru at Pyhä's end. Running this way the distance was exactly 30 km and we spent almost seven hours completing it. We wanted to keep the pace down, as we wanted to be able to have a normal exercise week after it. 

The run started at 8.15 am in eleven minus degrees. We'd two options: we could wind around the little fells of Latvavaara and Huttutunturi, or go over them. We decided to do a little bit of climbing and do the latter. That shortened the eventual kilometres with five km's. The trail is marked with yellow squares and the marks were easily seen despite the snow. 

You know, sometimes nature is so damn beautiful that it touches your soul. Last Saturday was one of those days. The sun hasn't shown herself too often lately, but she guided us almost all the way from the beginning to the end. I found these feelings of being in nature extremely difficult to describe without sounding naive or lame. Maybe the best way to sum it up is to repeat Asta's words and notice that nature is miraculous. Hours passed, we didn't feel them. We're too busy looking around and feeding our small souls with the landscape. Perfection.

We made a short but proper stop in Huttu cabin and said hi to Anssi, who had came there with chocolate and water. Out water bottles were already frozen at this point so it was a good moment to refill. Key word for next time: thermos. 

One thing came as a surprise. Mountain biking is prohibited in national parks in Finland, but things are about to change at least in Pyhä-Luosto National Park. If we would've known that riding is already allowed in certain, marked trails, Anssi would've joined us with his mountain bike. Unfortunately we found this out too late.

The trail from Luosto to Pyhä was partly rocky, but I'd nevertheless describe it as easy. The most technical part was when coming down from the last of the fells, Noitatunturi, but that could be handled with careful steps and attention. 

We both had spiked running shoes and gaiters and they turned out to be a perfect choice. Also, we both had one litre of water and some gels and energy bars with us. I drank far too little during our seven hours exercise and suffered dehydration later. Another note to myself: one must drink even if not thirsty.

At the end we completed the run faster than we'd thought, mainly because we ran less kilometres that we thought we'd run. However, it was a best possible long rung in best possible weather conditions in best possible company. 

One talent that I'd like to have is to be able to understand distances in nature. On the top of Noitatunturi it was hard to believe that we'd run all way from Luosto, that seemed from there as a tiny hill in the horizon. Well done us.

I wish to run on trails through the winter months. How about you?

Suom: Seuraava polkujuoksuinnovaatio voisi olla jäätymisenestoaine juomapulloihin. 

Kuvat: Anssi ja Asta.