In early April the skiing season is at its best with lots of snow and nice sunny days if you are lucky. I approached the top of Palkaskero with my Ski hoks which sounded a good idea at first but proved to be a wrong choice for the place. Though those short skis are great in the places where you usually would go by snowshoes, the icy slopes of Palkaskero requires longer skis and proper shoes and bindings. The ascend was still quite easy with skins. Descending from the top was hard because of the spots of ice on the slope, there were just not enough soft snow for it. You just could not put enough weight onto the edges of the skis. Snowshoes, like one of my friends had, would have been a good choice.
The view from the top is awesome. You can see the row of fells to the north and the fells of Ylläs to the south. From the level of about 450 meters you will reach the top of 705 meters.
Whether you want a fine telemark or cross country skiing place in Finnish Lapland, Pallastunturi is one of the finest place for it. Pallastunturi is a part of Pallas-Yllästunturi national park which means you really ski in the national park, not on the ski resort hills.
The weather was not very dry for a short walk in Pallastunturi in mid September. A lot of people had arrived to the start of the trails to national park because of yearly Pallas Day. There were tents built near Pallas Visitor Center which offered local and Lappish products and food.
There are a couple of circle trails from the visitor center, one of them goes to the highest point of Pallastunturi called Taivaskero. That was the target but the clouds were hanging very low and the upper the trail got on the fell the harder the rain got. There were almost zero visibility up in the fell so it was not very tempting idea to go up to the top. So to the shorter route had to be settled for.
Some people were coming from the north from 55 km long Hetta-Pallas route which is the most popular hiking route of Lapland. It is absolutely worth hiking, the view from the top of the fells (in good weather) is great with rows of fells at distance. No luck with weather this time, leaves a wish to come back again.
One of the most beautiful places to go cross country skiing in Finland is in Pallastunturi, western part of Lapland. Pallastunturi fell is part of Pallas-Yllästunturi national park. Around Pallastunturi you can find both fell ski trails on treeless area, off-trails for telemarking and nice well maintained ski tracks in forests.
Pallastunturi is not as crowded as many other ski resorts in Lapland are. There is even a small fell hotel amidst the national park, Hotel Pallas, the first fell hotel in Finland, built in 1948. It is a great place to start your day trips to the fells. The best time to visit Pallastunturi for skiing is from February to April.
Ski trails below tree line are well kept and marked. Most tracks on the fell area are maintained also during the season but due to quickly changing weather, wind and snow, some trails are marked only with trail crosses. It is advised to go to the fell area in a company and a map.
For adventurous spirits one exciting route goes from Pallas hotel to the fell near Taivaskero, following the hiking trail. Up on the fell you get great view to the north-western part of the fells. Follow the hiking trail and if snow carries you get the greatest ride beside and down the fells to Rihmakuru Ravine camping shelter.
From Rihmakuru follow the trail to Nammalakuru where you can enjoy coffee and “munkki” at the hut cafe (open only at ski season)(UPDATE: closed in 2013). From Nammalakuru there is the maintained track back to the hotel following the western side of Pallastunturi fell.