Category Archives: skiing

Two ski routes to fells in Ylläs – Lapland

Kukas and Haavepalo ski routes

Want to reach two fell tops by maintained cross-country ski tracks in Ylläs area? There are two wonderful points you ought to visit if visiting the area in the winter season.

First, Kukastunturi fell which is close to village of Äkäslompolo, offers very beautiful views from the top to surrounding fells of Lainio, Pyhä and Kesänki. All of them, as Kukastunturi fell, are in the national park of Pallas-Yllästunturi.


Although the route near the top of Kukastunturi is marked as black (difficult), it is worth a visit if you are an more experienced skier. The suggested route is to go to Kotamaja ski hut first (and have a coffee break) and then reach the top from there. The first part of the route down can get pretty fast and has a challenging curve at the track after about 600 m from the top.

The other fell top is Iso Totovaara fell, the point called Haavepalo. It offers a view to the same fells as Kukastunturi, this time to their eastern side. Haavepalo is located a bit farther away from the villages of Ylläsjärvi and Äkäslompolo, the easiest way to reach the track of 22 kilometers is to drive to the parking place near Lainio River. From the villages the route can get to about 40 kilometers long.


Along the route there are two ski huts with outside fire places and shelter for breaks.

There is almost all time some wind at fell tops, the conditions can be very different what they are down at the village. That means also that signs of tracks might be swept away, so at least some orienteering skills might be needed if the area is not familiar. Both routes can be reached by skating style skis also.

Get your printed ski map from local stores and check the maintenance of tracks before going. Both fell tops are among the most special places in Ylläs area by x-country skis. The maintained ski tracks to fell tops are a luxury, thanks to those who keep them available and in good condition.


Äkäslompolo, Lapland in December

Kellostapuli fell

A day before 24th of Dec., Jouluaatto for Finnish is nice and snowy in Äkäslompolo, Lapland. Luckily escaped the wet and rainy southern Finland where winter has not really arrived. 175 km of ski tracks open, 38 km of them are lighted.

Ski tracks in Äkäslompolo

The sun does not really rise for a few days at all, the blue lightness of the day last only a couple of hours. To ski on tracks that are not lit one has to plan to go between 10 am and 2:30 pm.

Trees in Pallas-Yllästunturi national park

The well maintained ski tracks go beside the Pallas-Yllästunturi national park. The weather is perfect, about -7C degrees.

Midday light

The Kellostapuli fell is close by.

At Kesänginkeidas ski cafe

There are some skiers but one really can not talk about a busy route. Kesänginkeidas ski cafe and other ski cafes open for a few hours a day.

Beautiful skiing route

Beautiful, blue moments of the day.

Dipper (cinclus cinclus) on river Kesänki

The dipper on Kesänki river can be spotted by the ski track.

Romevaara cross country skiing in Syöte

At the end of March I visited Syöte national park area in the northern Finland. One of the best skiing routes I skied there was the route around Romevaara hill. At the early evening skiing trip I spotted only a couple of other skiers – the major flock of Easter holiday tourists had not yet arrived, and Syöte area seemed to be more popular among down hill skiers.

Romevaara route

Plenty of snow at the top of the hill.

End of March

A view from the hill to Iso-Syöte fell.

Iso-Syöte fell

Near the top the trees were still covered with lots of snow.

Near the top

The sunshine at 6 pm.

Sunshine at 6 pm

Early evening skiing down from Romevaara hill.

Skiing in Kaitalampi with Altai skis

Suddenly in the second week of February a lot of new snow arrived in southern Finland. To practice my skills with Altai skis I decided to go to Kaitalampi area in Espoo which offers nice hills of different heights. Kaitalampi is close to the Nuuksio national park.

The forest was very beautiful, one can not imagine being so close to the coast.


Going up the hill with Altai skis is almost as easy as with snowshoes.

Up to the hill

Kaitalampi area around the lake is indeed quite hilly. This hill was beyond my skills.


Pine tree branches reach to the ground and offer temporary shelter for those small enough.


Crossing the lake. It keeps snowing. There are three fire sites on the shores of this small lake.


It was a peaceful Saturday, met or spotted only a few snowshoeists, skiers or walkers. Usually this “under a kilometer from the closest road” -place is quite popular.


Altai skiing to Pikkulaki fell in Ylläs – Lapland

A good start for the new year was my visit to the top of Pikkulaki, a smaller fell in Ylläs, Lapland. In early January the day in Lapland is very short. We were lucky to catch some beams of light on the way up on that clear day.

There is a marked snowshoeing trail to the top with two different starting points. There was a clear path almost to the top that day, and it was easy to follow the trail. There was a lot of new light snow so it was much harder to go outside the trail.

Coming downhill one would not want to follow the trail. I tested new Altai Ski Kar -skis, short skis with skins. They worked fine when going up and were a lot more fun than snowshoes when coming down the hill. In deep new snow they were not that fast but they beat snowshoes, no more walking downhill for me.

Day light showed for a while at noon
Day light showed for a while at noon
Moomin had landed
Moomin had landed
In thirty minutes the show is almost over
In thirty minutes the show is almost over
Lots of soft snow
Lots of soft snow
At the top of Pikkulaki
At the top of Pikkulaki
Time for a hot chocolate
Time for a hot chocolate
The old style
The old style
Ascending is easy with altai skis
Ascending is easy with altai skis
Skins on Altai ski Kars
Skins on Altai ski Kars

A 360 -view from the top of Pikkulaki, Ylläs.