Monday, January 27, 2014

Back on skis! (or still on the bike)

We started quietly from Rasitla avanto as the sun was setting: 4 on skis, 1 on bike. City lights brightening the sky were enough to guide us without the use of headlamps. The first kilometers went by smoothly, though the thickness of the snow layer forced Dries to leave his bike on the shore to continue the journey on foot. Upon turning east at the tip on Ramsinniemi, a constant wind with heavy gusts made the progress a bit slower, and dragging the pulkka with regular cross country skis proved to be a challenge. Adding to that, the wind started to create snowdrifts and leave many patches of bear ice: a difficult changing terrain. 

Our efforts were rewarded when reaching the cabin, probably the most luxurious place Sub24 has ever had as a campsite: a large open shelter with fireplace, firewood , table and benches, toilets, and an underground "bunker" built of stones that would prove to be a really cozy place for the night and a great protection against the raging snow storm.

The temperatures were not so cold but the wind made the place quite chilly. After a quick stove competition with various attempts to melt some snow (alcohol burner, gaz stove, fuel, fire), we all chilled out by the fire before calling it an early night (10 pm).   

After an uneventful night only troubled by the howling sounds of the wind, we all got up, had a quick breakfast and 2 parties formed for the trip home: Dries-Robin, and Olivier-Patricie-Florian.

The landscape as we returned to the sea ice on the way home was stunning: Huge drifts up to 50m high, battered by a constant wind made for serious arctic conditions. Around Ramsinlami, Florian took off to Rastila while Olivier and Patricie would continue the journey to Kalasatama.