I remember reading that Lapland has eight seasons. That's so wrong!
The correct number is five: summer (lasts two days), autumn (lasts two days), winter (lasts two days) and spring (lasts two days). Then there is this fifth season during which it's either raining, or gray, or too cold or cloudy. Let's call it a middle season. It takes place between the basic four seasons.
Summer, autumn, winter and spring are short in time but they have a long psychological influence. One good day outdoors is enough to keep you going for weeks.
We're lucky to have one fabulous winter day in Pyhätunturi last weekend. The characteristics of perfect weather conditions in February are the following: minus degrees but less than –10c, sun, blue sky, new powder snow and hardly no wind at all. Ah!
Pyhä has lots to offer to us backcountry people. This year they have made a map from which you can find seven good backcountry slopes from the area. Part of them are situated in Pyhä-Luosto National Park and should therefore be treated with great respect. Each route is described by detailed instructions, but you need to have an idea of where is East, West, North and South before instructions become usable.
The idea of making backcountries available for beginners like me is brilliant! It makes going into the wilderness less scary. It also makes the sport less mystical. There has been some avalanches in Pyhätunturi in past years and I find the idea of huge snow masses scary. Finnish Meteorological Institute updates daily the forecasts for avalanches. Better check that before going.
Anssi had another Ilahu prototype for testing and I tested splitboard for the first time. We first took a lift to the top of Pyhä, and then continued to go towards the cabin next to Karhunjuomalampi. There were lots of other people doing the same route, but we managed to ride to the untouched area. It was all white, silent and beautiful and I could have spend all day skiing just there. But Anssi had other plans.
From Karhunjuomalampi we followed the path of the route number six, that is one of the most known and easy routes around there. Lesson learnt: newer ever decide to go home, if you have a sunny winter day and enough daylight. Next day the weather was so foggy, that we did not want to go hiking anymore. On Monday the weather was even more terrible. It was raining water. My heart was crying blood.
I like snowboarding but I like hiking more. I need to get sweaty and feel that I've used all the energy I have before I can feel balanced, or before I can concentrate on anything.
On Saturday I definitely felt that I had given it all. I've been training a lot recently and I think my body is using all the carbs I give to it very fast. I made a mistake when I forgot to pack food for our hiking trip. I had even bought some vihis to take with. Normally we have at least half-eaten Snickers-bar in some of the pockets, but this time we did bring absolutely nothing.
Hiking is surprisingly hard. I had so low energy levels that Anssi's worst nightmare came true: I got low-blood-sugar-angst and became melodramatic. Still I think it could have been possible to hike a bit more. But It would have been hard to Anssi, I guess. Not because of the sport, but because of me. Ha-ha.