Tuesday, September 5, 2023

August turns: Check


Mini skis. Lapland. Helicopter. Heli-mini-skiing? And big mistakes and miracle rescues. In any case, the turns for August have been completed. I have to ski every month because not doing so would break the long streak.

The story begins when I'm leaving for our exploration tour, from home. For some reason I convince myself that I don't need skis. Twelve hours later we're still driving north but Duncan's scanning of the satellite photos reveals evidence of white spots. Snow? I could not pass an opportunity to ski, if there is snow.

But by now I have a problem. I have no skis. And the only feasible skis to take on this trip are the mini skis. I would have had many pairs at home, but how could I score a pair in a few hours, already far up on the journey. 

But Google and Oulu's Prisma shop to the rescue! They happened to have mini-skis on their shelves. In August. Well done!

So now I was equipped. 

In the helicopter I saw the first snow and knew that I had made the right call to pick up the skis. When we landed and had walked just half a kilometer, we saw a bigger plot of snow, hidden in a small canyon. We hiked across a river to reach the canyon, and found wonderfully shaped, red-colored snow still hiding at the bottom. 

It is never easy to ski on the miniskis. No edges, straps instead of bindings. But, lightweight to carry in situations like this when the skiing isn't the main target. My bag was weighing already 24 kilos, so a few hundred grams for the plastic small skis was the maximum I could have taken.

Both Jarmo and I skied, while Duncan explored the surroundings for caves. I also peek under the snow, because it had formed a layer above ground, touching only on the sides of the snow plot. Quite cramped, not good for my back to be sliding on sharp stones. But such wonderful views from underneath! Happy I did that.

And why was I here to begin with? I was in Lapland to do some research on caves and Karst and lakes without outflow rivers... hence the riders to the middle of nowhere, not just for the skiing (see the other article linked at the top). So glad that we happened to have snow there as well, and that I decided to spend the extra grams in my backpack for the mini-skis.



Heli-ride views:

This article has also appeared in TGR. Read the full Planetskier series at planetskier.net, or all blog articles from BlogspotTGR. Photos, videos, and text (c) 2023 by Jari Arkko, some photos and videos by Jarmo Ruuth.

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