Tag Archives: winter

Tour skating weekend events 2017

The coming week 8 and weekend from 24th to 26th of February will be busy for tour skaters who want to attend events organized in the lake areas across Finland. These following 4 locations will host interesting events ranging from big international to smaller, local events.

Across lake Haukivesi

Kuopio / Finland Ice Marathon 22-25.2.2017
This international skating event seems to be the biggest in Finland. The event lasts several days, starting with side events like skating for schoolchildren, ice biking and moonlight skating. The race day will be on Saturday 25th, as well as recreational series on the same day.
Definitely an event for those who appreciate the proximity of a bigger town Kuopio, a variety of programs or a real skating race.

Oravi / Linnansaari Day 24.2.2017
The yearly Linnansaari Day offers well-maintained tracks for those who want to skate (or do kick sledging, skiing or biking) through national park of Linnansaari on lake Haukivesi (part of greater lake Saimaa). A true delight of skating for nature lovers in a peaceful natural environment, the most unique skating experience in one of the Finnish national parks. The route of 18 kilometers connects the village of Oravi and Porosalmi resort on the opposite sides of the lake.

Punkaharju / Punkaharjun soihtuluistelu (Torch Skating) 24.2.2017
The route of 6 kilometers is lighted by outdoor candles and “Lumberjack candles”, big wooden torches. The relaxed evening skating goes by the Punkaharju ridge on the the lake of Saimaa, with a waffle cafe at the shore. Punkaharju is located near the town of Savonlinna.

Savitaipale / Skating Day and Torch Skating 25.2.2017
One of the first tour skating tracks in Finland, the route on the lake Kuolimo offers 5 kilometers of skating. Along the day and the evening there will be two shows of syncronized skating and the route will be lighted by torches in the evening.The closest town nearby is Lappeenranta.

There are other locations in Finland that have tour skating tracks and are active in maintenance and communications but do not yet have their special events. Among these are:
Kangasala / Saarikylät
Tampere / Hiking Travel
Tampere / Tohloppi
Kouvola / Kuusaanlammen retkiluistelu

Let’s hope also the towns of Jyväskylä, Mikkeli, Joensuu and Oulu will be active promoting their great tour skating tracks in the future.

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Tour skating track in Moisöfjärden, Espoo

In February 2014 the 5,5 km route in Moisöfjärden, Suvisaaristo is open and in very good condition. Thanks to volunteers who keep it open with their small snow plowers. There is a good parking place near Hanikka beach. From the same place you can go to Hanikka ski tracks.

The route was in very good condition on 2nd of Feb., 2014 when these picture were taken. For more information on the route see pages of Saaristokauppa or pages of Skrinnari.

Check also other longer, maintained routes in Finland, the list and map has nice tracks all over Finland.

The starting point on Hanikka beach. People started their Sunday trip whether they were going to skating, skiing or ice fishing.

Hanikka beach start

Near Soukanniemi

The route goes past Amiraalinsatama harbour. On Sunday there was also a ski track by the skating track.

Route goes past Amiraalinsatama harbour

Nice Sunday morning

The route is about 5.5 km long and goes past beautiful archipelago views with nice old mansions and houses.

Enjoy archipelago views while skating

The condition of ice could not have been better.

Very good ice

The route goes between small islands.

Past tiny islands

Palkaskero fell in Lapland

One of the most beautiful places of Lapland is the area near Pallastunturi fells. It is a part of Pallas-Yllästunturi national park. One very nice and easily accessible top is Palkaskero fell near Pallastunturi Visitor Centre.

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.

Palkaskero seen from the Visitor Centre.

Palkaskero

Snow kiters on the side of Palkaskero fell.

Snow kiters

Snow waves on the way to the top.

Waves

A view to the north.

To the north

Below was the start of Palkaskuru ravine.

Palkaskuru ravine

On the way down the fell.

Descend

A view to the south.

To the south

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.

Tour skating in Linnansaari national park

The tour skating track between Oravi and Porosalmi in Linnansaari national park is probably the longest maintained natural route in Finland. The route is about 18 km long so whether you leave from Oravi or Porosalmi and go to the other side of the lake and back you will skate good 36 kilometers.

The route goes through Linnansaari national park, where else can you skate in national park? Just wonderful. An unique place, absolutely.

The starting point in Porosalmi. You can rent skates, kicksparks, shoes and even helmets from the safari house on the shore.

Start at Porosalmi

A day ticket to the route.

Ticket

At the start the route is quite a road, ice is well kept and smooth.

Wonderful ice way

You can have the first stop by the island of Pieni-Lappi (Little Lapland). There is a fire site and a nice bench by the route.

First stop at 4 km

The kickspark is ready to go on.

Kickspark ready

After 13 km we reached the hotspot of Sammakkoniemi on Linnansaari island, the most visited island of Linnansaari national park in summer also. I did not expect to see so many skaters, it was almost crowded at the fire site and at the cafe.

Sammakkoniemi rest stop

The tiny weekend cafe was full of people waiting for their lettu (thin pancakes) and coffee.

Cafe in Sammakkoniemi

Along the route were nice benches with blankets on them, nice! I guess because of Linnansaari Day tourist skaters were treated this luxury.

Blankets on the benches

After about 18 km and several stops we reached Oravi in the eastern shore of lake Haukivesi.

Turning point in Oravi

A part of the route has been opened just a few weeks ago.

Ice

Coming back from Oravi we enjoyed a moderate head wind. On the open lake, after 36 kilometers it felt like a real exercise.

Against the wind

These characters are watching you while you skate by. Made by Nature.

They're watching you

Kayaker’s paradise in summer, skater’s in winter.

Linnansaari national park

A video from the trip.

Tour skating in Jyväskylä

There is a 2,5 kilometer long tour skating route in Jyväskylä on lake Jyväsjärvi. Due to its popularity the ice can be a bit worn at times.

Starting point near Lutakko, Kuokkala bridge in the background.

Starting point

On the other side of the lake, there is another starting point near Ylistönrinne and Mattilanniemi campus area.

Near Ylistö bridge

There is no rush on the ice on mid-February Sunday afternoon.

Towards Lutakko

In Lutakko side the kota cafe offers typical set of sausages and “kahvi ja pulla”. They rent skates and kicksledges, open on weekends.

Kota hut cafe

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.

Path

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.

Downhill

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

Branches

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

Kaitalampi

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.

Silence