Is there a more beautiful place to welcome back the sun after not seeing it for the past month?
It was the end of the polar night and we were spending the week snowshoe round Riisitunturi, one of Finland's most magical national parks in the winter. Riisitunturi National park is in Posio, not too far from Kuusamo. We would be heading out for 3 nights, and the temperature had dropped to around -32 so we were in for a cold few days. We would be using the log cabins in the national park for our stay, but you always have to take a tent or have an alternative place to sleep incase new people arrive and you can't all fit.
We had a couple of pulka's between us to pull all of our gear for the trip. There was an existing route already existing to the first cabin so our journey was nice and easy. We were all getting better at judging what layers we needed, but I must admit I was guilty of piling every single item of clothing I had on. As soon as your start moving you have to take off half your layers. It's just about being brave enough to start off a bit cold, knowing you will soon warm up.
Our home for the night was a beautiful cabin, surrounded by fairytale snow covered trees. I was in my element. This felt like a different planet.
We spent the afternoon learning some survival skills and practising again pitching the tent. We kept it up incase we had any late visitors to the cabin. There was 7 of us so we were already squeezed in a bit. Sat on the top bunk slowly roasting I found it too hard to sleep so I moved down onto the floor where it was much cooler. I awoke to the feeling that something just walked across me...rolling my eyes at myself and trying to get back to sleep despite the very vocal snorers I heard some scuttling. Too tired to investigate the potential furry problem I went back to sleep, awaking suddenly to a big furry mass on my face. Yep, on my actual face. I'm not scared of mice but I don't particularly want them curling up on my face. I decided that a bit of height difference from me and my fluffy buddy wouldn't be a bad thing so the rest of the night was spent on the bench, balancing myself nicely.
The next day we hiked to our next cabin, about 12km hike. This time we didn't have a nice well trodden trail to follow so it did take a bit longer. Despite it being about -28 again, with our heavy packs and fresh trails to be made we all kept suitably warm.
Watch the full episode of our adventure here: