Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Caving

Christmas seems like a good time to spend on improving your cave lights. Or, "improving" as it may be in my case. But I really like to the colours of the new lights :-) 

I also took the opportunity for some pre-Christmas eating caving, in anticipation of a tight crawl. My home town Kauniainen has a few small holes, but no real proper cave, not even a boulder cave that you can crawl through. Except one... maybe. It turned out that I wasn't actually able to crawl through, although it would have been possible, I think, without the fleece, with a few kilos less, and maybe also someone to call the fire brigade if I get stuck.

(Although I've always wondered what the firemen would do? Spray lubricant?)

Caving lights in use:

This cave will go some day. Maybe in the summer with a t-shirt. In the meantime, I made a simple map:



The full map is in PDF here. I named the cave as Lohkarepuristimen luola, or the Boulder Squeeze Cave. The coordinates are N 60.213026 E 24.691544.

Here are the entrances:



A big fallen tree marks the place:


Christmas foods followed. Here's the dessert:

 

This article has also appeared at TGR. See more caving stories at Planetcaver.net, and all Planetskier and Planetcaver stories at Blogspot and TGR! See also my cave map that runs the Psgeo software that has now been open sourced! This article and photos are (c) 2020 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Switzerland. In Hyvinkää.

 

Reckless travel to Switzerland during the rising wave of the pandemic? Well, the name of the place is Switzerland. Hyvinkää's Switzerland.

But what a wonderful experience! While the temperatures in southern Finland are mild, around 0 degrees, the blasting snow guns created a local snow storm. I have never had so much fun while covered in layer of ice :-)

And the colours of evening-lit ski slopes, particularly in bad weather (whether man made or natural). So wonderful! I like the sunshine as much as the next guy...  but the evenings bring out the interesting colours.

They had two ski runs and lifts open, as well as the beginner's magic carpet lift.

Concerned about the infection? I think the place is pretty safe. The ticket sales are through a window, outside. The hill is not crowded, and people seem to leave plenty of space between each other even in the few people that are waiting for their turn on the ski lifts. And the lifts are single-person lifts. All good. Go get some exercise, everyone! It is good for you. It certainly is for me, I have been sitting inside for far too long. The year, basically :-)

I have a long history with the hill in Hyvinkää, although the hill has moved in the meantime (!). Read more about this from a previous blog article.

The Hyvinkää ski hill is one of the few open ski resorts near the capital region. The Vihti Ski Center is also open. I will also try that in the next couple of days. I have fond memories of last spring in Vihti...  they had closed, but the snow lasted for months, and we kept hiking up and skiing until May.




Kid slope:


The author:


Weird beer bottle installation in the forest outside the slope:



This article has also appeared in TGR. See more Planetskier stories from TGRBlogspot, and Planetskier.net. Photos, videos, and text (c) 2020 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Sauna at the duck

 

Tero and I stayed at the "Duck" (Ankka), a cabin near Ruka. We had driven up with Tero's car to avoid having to use flights or get too exposed to viruses.

A primary criteria for me in choosing hotels and cabins is of course that there's a sauna!

The Duck was not new, but a reasonable and nice place to stay at. There was also a small sauna.

The cabin:




Reindeer on the road:

For more sauna and swimming stories, check out planetswimmer.com and saunablogger.cool websites! And of course the Planetcaver, and Planetskier blogs for other stories in Blogspot and TGR! The photos and text (c) 2020 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

White wall


I recently watched the new mini-series "White Wall" on YLE Areena. This is a Finnish-Swedish production. The plot is about a mine being converted to store nuclear waste... until they hit something strange.

Much recommended, I really enjoyed the series. It is freely accessible from YLE Areena (in Finland).

The series have been shot at the Finnish Pyhäsalmi mine, Europe's deepest metal mine. There's also the world's deepest-located sauna in this mine (something I'd *love* visit some day). 

See reviews and more information about the series from Wikipedia and IMDB.

See more caving stories at Planetcaver.net, and all Planetskier and Planetcaver stories at Blogspot and TGR! See also my cave map that runs the Psgeo software that has now been open sourced! This article (c) 2020 by JJari Arkko. All rights reserved. The TV series image is from YLE.

Grottan 3


The third issue of this year's Grottan -- Swedish Caver's Association's magazine -- came in mail today.

The main attraction in this issue is Finland's cave historian Ralf Strandell's massive 16-page article on the history of Finnish caving from the 1400s. And that's only "Part I"! It is remarkable how Ralf has managed to find material about cave exploration in old times -- where Finland's rural society did not give much room for research and exploration, and written records were scant. Particularly when the Finnish caves are all quite small. Yet the earliest evidence of caves date back to the early years of the 1400s, coins from that era found from archeological digs, farm or place names referring to caves in maps, etc.

Ralf's article has previously also appeared the Finnish Caver's Association's magazine. If you haven't read Ralf's article, you can get a copy by ordering one from either the Swedish or Finnish association. The Finnish one can be ordered from here: Luola.

Interestingly, the Swedish association is now making all their magazines available online, as all issues from the beginning of time have scanned. I'd love to have this also for the Finnish magazine! Unfortunately, the Swedish site is currently undergoing maintenance, and the member login which would be required for the access isn't working right now.

The other interesting article in this Grottan is about John Mylroie's work on how caves in space might impact what we think of as caves. Ulla Petterson has looked at John's work. To begin with, clearly caves out there are not "subterranean". But what really counts as a cave, would'd earths's molten core count as a cave, it is a liquid-filled cavity after all? :-) And do humans need to be able to access a void in order for us to call it a cave, which would preclude lava bubbles inside rock from being classified as caves? Some definitions of cave discuss of voids filled with air or water, but would vacuum-filled moon caves count? How long does a cave have to last or how big does it need to be in order to count as a cave, does a bullet fired into water create a short-lived cave behind its path?

You can access John's original article from the caves.org page.

See more caving stories at Planetcaver.net, and all Planetskier and Planetcaver stories at Blogspot and TGR! See also my cave map that runs the Psgeo software that has now been open sourced! This article and photos are (c) 2020 by Jari Arkko, with the original magazines and books pictured being copyright of the respective publications, of course. All rights reserved.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Strange rock

 

Tero and I were on a trip... while caving was not the main purpose of the trip, as usual I also wanted visit a cave. A promising-looking hole at the Pyhä ski area turned out to not be a human-sized hole. But while returning to the airport in Rovaniemi, we drove south of the city to look at Tapulikallion onkalot (Tapulicliff holes). We founded a very weird, large boulder.

Usually, Finnish boulders are moved around by the ice age, and are made of hard rock and sharp edges. But the Tapulikallio boulder is ... weathered? Dissolved? Lost the weak parts of the stone? The entire boulder is covered by 5-10 cm small holes and crevices. 

At first we thought there's no proper cave here at all, even if the Finnish book of caves lists a "0.5 meter cave" at this location. But there is actually a hole under the rock, big enough for one person to be fully inside. I don't think this hole is necessarily part of the same weathering process as there was on the outside of the boulder. The rock surfaces are smoother, so maybe the hole is simply space left under the boulder.

The opening of the hole was maybe one meter across, and 40-50 cm high, and perhaps 70 cm deep. But on the right side of the hole the cave continued a little bit, maybe 1.5 meters so that one could indeed go entirely in.

The boulder is by the road, at coordinates N 66.40315 E 25.42945, near the shores of Kemijoki river. The name of the road going by is "Kemijärven itäpuolentie". 

There's also a simple (not measured) map here.

Rock surface:


The boulder:


Inside:




A troll?


More rock forms:


This article has also appeared at TGR. See more caving stories at Planetcaver.net, and all Planetskier and Planetcaver stories at Blogspot and TGR! See also my cave map that runs the Psgeo software that has now been open sourced! This article and photos are (c) 2020 by Tero Kivinen and Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Not broken

It isn't broken. It just needs more duct tape.


This article has also been published at TGR. See more Planetskier stories from TGRBlogspot, and Planetskier.net. Photos, videos, and text (c) 2020 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved