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, 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 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 and 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.