|Summer in Grani|
I am at the summer ski center in Kauniainen. It is +15 degrees Celcius in hot sunshine and a gentle, warm wind. It is a perfect day to go skiing, in my swimsuit. Today is First of May, a national holiday in Finland. Most people party hard or gather in crowds in the city center to do silly things. I've chosen to do my silly things here on my local ski hill.
I try hard not to fall, however. Spring snow consists of large ice crystals that would not feel good on my skin at high speed. My 9-year old son is with me, and he keeps his clothes on. I'm glad that the next generation is wiser.
|Skiing down, and trying very hard to not fall|
The day gets only better as I visit the ski area for the second time later in the evening with my friend Bengt. The darkness begins to fall, and the colors are interesting. We arrive by 9 PM and leave a bit after 10 PM, and the day turns from almost fully lit into darkness during that time, having the sky go through many colors in the process.
It has been a month since the ski area closed. And there is still plenty of snow. But now the middle part is melting fast, just a couple of days and we can no longer ski down the whole slope without carrying our skis part of the way. I wonder if there's any snow left in June? I've never skied in Kauniainen in June, but I doubt the snow will last. Maybe if we dragged some white plastic over the snow field and let it reflect most of the sun away? I'm predicting at most two or three weeks of any snow left at this point.
|The ski lift has been abandoned for the summer|
In any case, I did four runs here today. And got thirsty. During the season, the cafeteria is one of the best small ski area cafeterias. Just consider that they serve spinach pancakes and eco soft drinks! But now it was not open, which left Hölmölän burger grill (direct translation: stupid people's grill) and Grani McDonald's as my options. I chose to carry my own beverages, burying them in snow while I was doing another run. And finished the day by going to my own after-ski sauna.
|Climbing up during the night|
|Pepsi Max being chilled|
|My after-ski sauna|
Photo credits (c) 2012 by Jari Arkko and Janne Arkko