My first time: ski hiking

Our blog is full of virgin flights and now you get to read about our very first ski hike.

Outdoor Sisters take part in a traditional ski hike in January. I was a “tentative” for a long time but out guest pen Anna lure me to check the “I attend” box instead.

I had no idea it would be such a pleasant trip. Anna didn’t attend but I’m more than grateful that she wrapped my head around the idea.

I feared that it would take too much of a toll, dragging a sledge behind me (which it didn’t), freezing my butt off in the cold ( I didn’t) and not feeling at home with a bunch of women ( I did).

Friday

The trek was only three kilometers long in the pitch black darkness from the Padasjoki harbor to Vähä-Haukkasalo. The cracking ice offered us a nice symphony.

I can’t remember being that afraid of anything.

I was the very last in line, focusing on the rough sound the skis made against the ice, hoping no one would ask me to lead the way. This wouldn’t be an issue with the ice experts leading the group.

We took the Mailman’s Route which happened to be marked fairly well. The ice kept singing its cracking song and I couldn’t help but think of all the ways I’d save myself from the cold waters.

Our nightly accommodation wasn’t far and for a second, I forgot about my worries. But I still had to decide how I was going to spend my night. The hammock turned out to be the winner.

Saturday

As soon as I opened my eyes, I saw a double rainbow. So I was in a bit of a hurry to capture that.

Fortunately Heikki had forced me to take a camera along.

During breakfast, by the fire, I got to know a bunch of new people, since the dark made it impossible before. Everyone was keeping busy and I reserved the best camping tips for myself – I’ll let you know later on. Food stuff, mostly.

Some of the women arrived on Saturday and joined us on the voyage forward. There was very little snow on the ice and the sorry condition of it would’ve bothered me except I’d gotten my skis from SA-Kauppa and they did what they had to.

The sun was shining and no matter who you talked to, they were smiling.

We had lunch at the brautiful Lietsaari Island. We left our sledges at the shore and dug in. During lunch, we focused on it but afterwards, the talking began.

After enjoying a hefty meal, I noticed my first mistake. Lunch was supposed to be fast and light, while dinner was supposed to be heftier. Mine was the opposite.

I didn’t starve to death, however, thanks to all the treats I had packed up. I devoured my morning chocolates before getting out of the sleeping bag.

We arrived ahead of schedule to Kelvenne, where we laid our heads. I, too, decided to give my tent a chance. A few winter tents rose on the ice and even hammocks near the trees. After all that, we took in the beautiful scenery.

By the evening fire, we talked and talked and got to know each other.

This is one of those silly cocktail events where we all sport thick quilted skirts and completely different circumstances.

Even thought I love sleeping in a hammock, I have to say I prefer a tent on a windy night.

That being said, this one was on its first test drive after being bought used. It passed with flying colors, though. The ventilation was superb.

On Sunday, we skied back amidst the grey.

Thank you, Sisters. This was the first but not the last the time I attend your voyages. I learned so much and made so many friends.

All of the winter hiking tips, my own and the ones you taught me, will become their own post.

//Anne

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