Saturday, February 18, 2012

Moominworld Cliffs


Skiing towards the Moominhouse

My family is very supportive of my skiing obsession hobby. I get to make many trips and spend a lot of weekends skiing. One of the things that I am doing in return is trying to accommodate whatever wishes the kids might have. Like my youngest son, who likes the Moomins so much that we spend as much as eight days per year at Moominworld, the theme park. This is not your typical commercial amusement park. No rides. Their main attraction is visiting the Moominhouse and hugging the Moomins. A unique place, the best amusement park that I can imagine for small kids. But the Moomin song ("muumihumppa") plays all over the place, the park is on a tiny island, and I know no one else who visits it more than a day per year.


Moominhouse

We usually make four two-day trips to the park. I try to find something to do in addition to staying in the park, to get some exercise and to not get bored. In the summer renting a bike and going around the small, beautiful town of Naantali is recommended. But now we were going in the winter.

Yes, Moominworld is open in the ski vacation period, for a week every winter. This year they are open from February 18th to 26th. Their attractions include ice skating, grilling sausages, and - you guessed it - hugging the Moomins.

This time I wanted to see if I can combine this trip with some skiing.

WARNING

This is a really stupid idea. The things that I describe below are dangerous and possibly illegal. The island of Kailo has no skiable terrain. Even if you find some, you'll be making at most one or two turns. More importantly, the island is full of cliffs, and venturing anywhere beyond the marked paths can very easily lead to major falls. I do not recommend this to anyone, and absolutely not to any kids.

Routes

The below map shows the four possible routes:


Moominworld ski routes

Official Moominworld pulkkamäki. You can find this next to the Moominhouse to the left (south) of the main walking path towards the house. This is the small kids' sled slide. Not for adults or for skiers, too many small kids toiling around.


Moominhouse descent

Moominhouse Descent. From the back of the Moominhouse there is a trail that passes first the Moomin boat and then climbs to the hill south of the house. The trail ends in the cafeteria area between the Moominhouse and Mamma's Kitchen. Just before getting to the cafeteria and to the official pulkkamäki you'll see the Moominhouse through an opening in the forest. This area slopes slightly towards the house, and can be skied. It is an easy path, except at the very end where you'll have to be careful to find a good way to come down to the yard.


Beginning of the Moominhouse descent run


Cliffs above the beach drop

Beach Drop. Another trail connects the cafeteria area to the Moominworld harbor. A bit before getting to the harbor the forest opens up to cliff areas. These cliffs can be skied down to the path that leds from the harbor to the sand beach. Aim ten meters left of the small hut on the border checkpoint between Moominworld and the beach. However, route finding is difficult, and cliff falls are a danger.


Tricky end of the beach drop run


Fence above president's cliff


Entrance to the president's cliff

President's Cliff. This is the grand off-piste of the island. In the summer, the trail from back of the Moominhouse leads to an observation deck at the highest point of the island. From here one can view the summer house of the president of Finland, across the sea.

A fence separates the platform from the cliffs that drop 15 meters to the sea. You can enter the area by going under the fence. However, route finding is extremely difficult and even the best route is basically a vertical cliff. FALL DANGER! GOING HERE IS NOT ADVISED!

But going down is not as difficult as coming up. Even in the winter, ice may not be strong enough right next to the island, so going back the same route is practically the only option. In the summer this route would probably be easily climbable, but on ice and snow it is dangerous. I got back up, but I really wished I had brought my crampons and ice axes.


President's Cliff

Not skiable


Going back up, because it was the only route

Important Parameters

Moominworld entrance is 23€ in the summer and 16€ in the winter.

The recommend hotel to stay in the area is the Naantali spa. If you have Diners Club points, staying in this five star hotel can be free. For dinner, I recommend Tammikellari. They serve snail appetizers, which are my favorite ski food.


Outdoors pool at the Naantali Spa

Signs leading to Moominworld

Kailo is about a kilometer walk from the parking areas

Recommendation

Not for skiing. This is a dangerous place. Otherwise much recommended!


Moominhouse

Photo credits (c) 2012 by Jari Arkko and Tarja Arkko

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