26 April 2014

From Abisko to Nikkaluokta: Final days


Sunday: 

On Sunday, the Easter morning, the storm was over.
We had it all figured:
If we turn away from the King's Trail and ski along the Valley Vistas,
we can still make it to Nikkaluokta.

The weather was wonderful and the view was even better.

Descending Vistas Dalen
















Skiing down the Valley Vistas was like dream.
Some places the snow was so soft the gliding was completely silent.
The high mountains on both sides were bathing in sunlight.
In the bottom of the valley the ice was so smooth the speed was wonderful.
Fast 18 km to Vistas Stuga















We had lunch break at Vistas cabin with no wind, no people
 - just sunshine and heavenly peace.
We went on and find out that the river in many places was open.
We had to carefully find our way.
The trail seemed often to be on the wrong side of the river.
crossing the river















The last on the trip we stayed in the tent next to Lisas Stuga.
It was a very special place.
Lisas Stuga















I wanted to swim in the river,
so I skied to a place where the water was open and did so.
The water was so cold,
I think it cleaned to only my body but my soul too!
refreshing
















On sunday we skied 35 km totally.
The only people we met was a sami-family coming from the mountains
and going to Nikkaluokta. They stopped and talked swedish, english and finnish with us!

We went to sleep early,
listening to the bids.

Monday: 

We woke up really early to ski the last 17 km to Nikkaluokta before warm day.
It was sad to put down the tent and to leave the paradise.
We reached the car at 9 o'clock and stated driving home,
where we arrived in the evening.
Not 'tired but happy´;  just happy this time!

From Abisko to Nikkaluokta: Middle days

Friday: 

Morning was beautiful with snow-grouses fighting.
We wanted to started skiing early.
It the cabin-rules it says silence between 22-06
so we started breakfast and packing at six.
As quietly as possible, for other people were still sleeping.
leaving Abiskojaure behind















Climbing up the hills it was more easy to take skiis off and walk.
After a cold night the snow was hard enough for that.
Towards midday wind started to blow.
We had a lunchbreak in a vindhytta.
It is a small cold hut or kota between the cabins.
In the middle of 22 km day















We arrived to Alesjaure early in the afternoon.
Our plan was to ski further and stay in tent,
 but the wind was getting really heavy,
so we decided it was best to stay in the cabin,
take bags and dogs in and tie pulkas tight.
It was a good idea: during the night there was a horrible storm.
It huffed and it puffed so loud that it was difficult to sleep.
STF Alesjaure Cabins
















Saturday: 

In the morning the cabin-warden said the wind might be too strong,
but we wanted to try if we can ski to Tjäktä.
We promised to turn back or put up our tent, if it was impossible.
against the wind















I have never seen a wind like that before.
After skiing one and half hours we had only made 3 km.
It was like going uphill all the time.
And it was only getting harder.
It came to a point were we had to sit inside the windsack and think.
There was three options:
Try to go further, try to stay at the point or turn back.
We wanted to go further, but it was not possible, because the wind almost knocked us down.
I wanted to stay where we are, but we were not sure if we can put up the tent or make it stay.
The silliest thing was that wind was so warm everything was soaking wet.
Our clothes and all were like after shower.
That would cause serious problems later if we stayed.
So the only change was to turn back to Alesjaure.
a tough decision in the windsack















I was afraid of skiing back with the wind pushing me like a kite or a sailboat.
I let Miilu free.
Without the dog it was somehow possible.
We made it back to Alesjaure Cabins without hurting ourselves or losing anything, not even a clove.
The only damage was one rope coming of the windsack.
We said to each other we made the right decision early enough.
there is no doubt of that.
But we were also dissapointed:
One more day delay probably means we can't make the Kungsleden route we had planned.
Maybe even our car was waiting in Nikkaluokta for nothing?

In the cabin, we were invited to have coffee
with all the other people stuck there because of the storm.
It was a nice gesture from the hosts.
After that there was nothing much to do, except to sleep.
And to tell you the truth, that was exactly what I needed!
After hard winter at work I finally had a compulsory stop.
Like somebody had been planning the trip schedule better than me...

sleeping day and night in Alesjaure







From Abisko to Nikkaluokta: First days

Last year I had my first touch to Swedish mountains. 
It was wonderful. This year I wanted to go again. 

It was not very difficult to make the time: 
Me and my husband both managed to get free time around easter. 
It was more diffiicult to find someone to come and stay at home.
Our sons (14 and 16) volunteered, but we could'n leave them alone. 
My parents wanted to come, but they were not sure about their health.
Finally, one week before the planned trip, they said they can do it. 
How grateful I am to them and to the boys,
who took care of the house and other dogs and the horse
when me and Markku where on holiday - 
without them all this would never have been possible.

Monday- Tuesday: 
My husband packed almost everything. 
I could only help a little after my working days.
We used the same list as last year, with only little changes. 
We also cooked meals ready for the boys and the grandparents.
packing snacks











Wednesday: 
After work, driving 700 km to Abisko,
we arrived there a 21 o'clock swedish time.
We spend the night in STF guest house.
I had booked a room, where dogs were allowed. 
Miilu and Mora behaved like house-dogs.
on the way











Thursday: 
Markku drove the car to Nikkaluokta. 
I waited with dogs in Abisko.
Pulkas and bags stayed in hotel luggage room with no charge. 
I took Mora and Miilu for a long walk.
I was very happy I had teached them at home how not to pull in leash!
In fact, the dogs were so nice I could leave them down in a chain 
and take a chair-lift up the Mountain Njuolla. 
What a view!
The mountains, Torneträsk, Lapporten...
Abisko has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. 
chair-lift to Mountain Njuolla

Markku came back at about 2 o'clock in the afternoon. 
We had lunch and then we started skiing.  

the start in Abisko











It felt really good to be moving. 
First day was easy: Only 16 km to Abiskojaure. 
It was almost too easy to spend a night in a cabin like that. 
There was sauna and all!
Overnight in STF cabin costs 305 SEK per person, if you are a member, like we are. 
You don't need to book in advance and you can pay with invoice 
if you don't have any swedish money with you. 
Many of these cabins have more than 50 beds and all of them have a host taking care of things. 

STF Abiskojaure Stugorna






02 April 2014

Kuusamo Sprint 2014

I'm happy: I was able to take my four-dog-team to start in Kuusamo Sprint on sunday.

This year there was much more mushers: 21 in 4-dog class and 19 in 6-dog-class.
Both had to do 9 km track, in 4-dog-class once and in 6-dog-class twice.

My time was 23.30. That's three minutes better than last year!
In results I ended up being number ten.
I'm very happy about that and also how my dogs behaved.

Here is my team in full speed:











(Great foto by Erika Klemetti)

In my team was running Miilu, Tete, Mora and Piitu.
It was very nice to see Piitu's and Tete's breeder Sari Ikonen in the race.

This is her six-dog-team, which came fouth:














The best thing on the racing day was to notice, how nice all the people were,
and that I already know quite a few mushers and have friends there :)