So we left Pyhäkero wilderness hut behind us and what did we see?
A reindeer hopping over the boardwalks in the distance. Sadly, no photo opportunity there but maybe later..
Upon ascending Pyhäkero mountain, the cautionary tale of the innkeeper echoed in our ears: it’ll look like you’ve reached the top but it’s just the first step. And she was right. But after realizing this, we focused on the climb itself. Thankfully I had decided to learn how to use a trekking pole. I loaned the second one to our hiking buddy. At first it felt weird to use but after a while I got the idea: better circulation in the shoulders and even in the head!
The mountain was about 300 meters tall. We were exhilarated even after reaching the midway point where we had our two-year-anniversary photo taken. There was also the matter of having to participate in an interview via phone, like big shots!
It was easy to walk the graveled trail. It’s better for local nature that people strain a controlled path than the entire hill. Since Summer was well on its way, you could see flora everywhere. I’ll show you at some point, since we have plenty of flower pictures! The mountainside even had snow here and there, which made us laugh and play around in it – something that might’ve or might’ve not come back to bite us in the butt.
You could see everything from atop Pyhäkero mountain. It was windy as hell up there but I couldn’t stop smiling like a loon and we were just 10 kilometers in. Lapland madness was setting in nicely.
We didn’t want to leave the top but as it turns out, we eventually did lift our backpacks and headed towards our next stop, Sioskuru wilderness hut. The hike seemed longer than it was because even though you can see miles ahead of you in the mountains, you can’t see everything. The hut was hidden in a valley, you see. We had to double-check our maps to see how far we’d gotten and if it was anywhere near us. But like I said, you couldn’t see it until you had like, a kilometer to go.
There was a creek flowing in front of the hut in addition to the usual outhouse, maintenance building and fire pit combo. There were two sections in the building, one you can book (accommodates 8 people), and one you merely walk in that accommodates 16 people.
As we were boiling water for meal purposes, we noticed the non-bookable section was getting very crowded and our hiking buddy had to settle for a tent. There were girl scouts, several tent municipalities and a group of women who eventually showed up on our section. All of them had hiked the trail at least five times over, one had 35 years worth of hiking experience under her belt. Apparently she’d had to start bringing her grand-kids along since most of her friends were “heart medicine people” as she so nicely put it.
So I concluded that hiking is an excellent way to keep yourself from transforming into a “heart medicine person”.
The hut had it all: a gas stove, a proper table and benches plus sheets and mattresses! A rookie mistake though: we carried our backpacks indoors whereas all the pros left them outside in hooks.But we were forgiven. I was sure we’d need earplugs during the night but evidently, I was wrong. Not once did I wake up from snoring. Let’s hope they didn’t either!
We took on the Hetta-Pallas hike (from Hetta to Pallas) in early June 2016. We chose the Hetta-Sioskuru-Tappuri-Hannukuru-Nammalakuru-Pallas route. We’ll be presenting the hike in small portions of ten posts, of which this is the second. Part 1 can be found here. I’ll also be talking about the gear choices we made for this trip. If there’s anything you’d like to know about a specific destination or if a certain part engages your attention, please don’t hesitate to comment! We’re happy to tell you more.