Friday, April 11, 2014

24h Liveblog

This weekend I am participating in the Ylläs 24h competition. The Ylläs Gondola lift will stay open through the night, and teams and individuals will compete on how many runs they can do. The one with most runs will win.

I have no idea if I'll be even able to stay awake through it. But I should be able to provide a live blog updates. I will post updates during the Gondola rides as the day and night progresses! I carry an iPad mini with a 4G connection in my backpack. This will be the first time I'll be trying to blog with this device, and I have no idea yet how well it will work. It will be interesting too do this test.

But back to the competition. The competition is primarily run on the Gondola ski lift. One lift ride gives you 430 meters of vertical difference, and two years ago the winning team made 123 runs or 52 kilometres of vertical during the 24 hours. Quite an achievement, given that this means less than 12 minutes per round.

I came to Ylläs now on Friday, around midnight. And I already found time to get to the off-piste. The most active bar at Ylläs. And it was very, very active, even if I was the only client! But the hotels were full, what is wrong with you people when you do not go outside your cabins in the evenings???

And the same thing with Bar Kaappi (closet), only a few clients. I had to come out of the closet.

Update 4pm: 9th round. Going slow due to headwind and the afternoon long route. Strong Windows, but I am hopina It will not cause gondola to stop.

Update 5:30pm: Weather getting worked, hoping wind does not pick up more. Sun is behind clouds. Round 16, if I have calculated correctly. Still fun, although I am already starting to feeling my legs :-) no breaks so far and that is also how It has to be to end up in the top... Some people take this very seriously.

Update 7:30pm: Feeling tired.

Update 10:30pm: Night lights. Latest leaderboard puts me and Janne U to the lead, but I think he has passed me now.

Update 10:35pm: Damn, I am one run behind the leaderboard, Janne U. Well, maybe a coupé hundred meters.

Update 10:45pm: Hmm. Gondola stopped. Ohälsosamt boy. At least a minute now.

Update 0:15am: the stop was only 5min but I have been resting on gondola reidessä, not posting. The Ylläs worldcup run is now in use, very fast runs! We are skiing at full speed, but making mild turns on the Waynen, as required by the tulessa. Feeling tired...

Update 04:30am: Latest reilut at 3am have Janne at 62 runs, Edwin 61, and me 60. Still going strong, or at least going. Felt pretty tired earlier now with morning Cloverfield feeling a bit better. Still Alkosta foursquares more hours on the high speed run. The lift has slowed down, however, due to wind. Foggy.

Update 8:30am. Ouch. Muscles, Back and handsfree all hurting form overuse. No new status information form the competition. Fine and half hours remaining. Weather and visibility is bad.

Update 10:45am: A bit over 3 hours remains. I have regained some of my energy, with the goal of possibly getting 3rd place, even though it seems impossible at the moment. Currently 4th at 80 runs (8am) with Janne U still leading at 84 runs. We will reach something over 100 runs in the end.

Update 2pm: Done!!! Last checkin 3 minutes before the deadline, just in time!

Update after the competition: It was fun, although particularly at 3am an onwards I was also extremely tired, and when the weather turned bad it was a challenge. And now after the competition everything hurts: leg muscles, fingers (for carrying skis), and my back. The back because the competition turned out to be largely a downhill competition with a very long track. The rules said that we needed to make some turns, but, e.g., three turns on the main slope of Ylläs was an appropriate amount, and we were also allowed to be in downhill form on the flat areas. Very different from my usual ski style and position.

The results are now in:

1. Janne Uski 113 runs or about 48km vertical
2. Edwin Pasto 111 runs
3. Leo Pasto 110 runs
4. Jari Arkko 105 runs or about 45km vertical
5. Janne Nokelainen 83 runs
... (23 participants)
1. Lehtolat 114 runs
2. #onemoreyear 111 runs
3. Ylipalaneet Heikkilat 110 runs
4. Kota-ravintola 108 runs
... (15 teams)
Here is also a picture of incredibly tough skier, Janne, who won the individual series, along with his prize (new skis). I am very proud to have skied with this guy.

Photo and video credits © 2014 by Jari Arkko

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


This is very embarrassing, but I have never walked to a ski hill. I've taken airplanes, cars, boats, and even helicopters and horses, but never walked the whole way to a ski hill. But today I walked to my home hill, in nice weather and at +12 C temperature. After just 15 minutes I was there. Boots in the backpack and skis attached to its side. Very nice! I recommend this method of travel for myself also in the future! :-)

Well, not everyone has a ski area near enough for walking. For me it used to be never possible. But for the last ten years I have lived in the same place and it would have been possible to walk. Yet I always took the car, why? There are of course some excuses, and maybe the least bad one is that I often needed to transport kids as well.

I was just so positively surprised how easy the walk was. By car the trip is longer than by walking. When walking, I can enter the ski hill from the direction of my home, at the top. By car I have to go around the hill to reach the parking lot at the bottom. And when coming back, if there were snow on the walking paths, it would be almost possible to slide all the way back. I had not realised how much fun the walk is. Local hills ♥♥♥
Oh, and many of us think that the winter is over, or even that it never arrived. But the Grani hill is open long into April - at least the first week if not more. And the snow quality is still excellent. Everyone, join us for some skiing in the warm sunshine!

Here are some "diamonds" on the slope:

The video:

And the racing is still on:

And here I'm packed up and ready to go back home:

Photos and videos © 2014 Jari Arkko. Tämä blogi löytyy myös suomeksi.