Year started with a hike to Hyyppäänvuori.

Happy Hiking Year 2016, which as it happens, started with a hike –  to Hyyppäänvuori. This hill is located about 30 kms from Jyväskylä towards Laukaa and it has been playfully dubbed ”Koli of Middle Finland” on the account of its beautiful scenery. I have to admit that after trying to squint through the wall of mist that awaited us at Koli in November, this view took the cake and like our friend Ulla said:

We can just pretend we’re there (Koli), since we missed the scenery last time.

One of the reasons we decided to go was to check the lay of the land for the following night. The plan was to go stargazing if weather permits. We knew the view would be worth two trips so we packed our cameras and hit the road. The weather forecast was all about clouds but fortunately all we saw was the sun blazing from clear skies, painting the forests in Autumn colors. Lievestuore Lake was still open for the most part but ice covered all the smaller nooks and crannies.

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With us on this trip were our friends Roope and Ulla (and Ulla’s Australian Cattle Dog Kitka).

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As the sun was starting its descent, the colors in the sky shifted in the most interesting way. Light blue in the center, going from yellow to orange nearing the edges. The wall of clouds in the horizon looked more like snow capped mountaintops.

There are little signposts on the edge of the roads when driving towards Hyyppäänvuori. The GPS guided us fairly well and parking was a breeze, since there’s no snow. We arrived at the scene, as they say, at around 1:30 PM and stayed until the sun began setting.

Before we headed out, some pre-trip information was needed and for this I highly recommend Retkipaikka – it’s basically your number one source of everything involving hiking and nature (in Finnish language, sorry). I have to mention something, though: the map the area was located at the very top of the hill. You can use it find your way back, I suppose. Sure, it shows you the way to the caves nearby. Some of the trails do criss-cross a bit but the risk of getting lost is tiny as long as you keep heading uphill. There is a marked trail, mind you – but we didn’t search for the starting point, we just kind of stumbled across the blue marks. Follow the blue, find the view.

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