Hiking in Finland

Climbing, bikepacking, skiing & packrafting in the north

Hiking in Finland Says "Thank You Dear Readers"!

In the words of someone much more smart, well articulated and funny than me:

It's just a ride.

My thanks go to all the fine readers and smart people who comment and regularly check in here, you keep me motivated and inspired to write and share my stories with you.

Many, many thanks go out to all the fine folks whom I have met due to this wee blog - the guys from the Trekking-Ultraleicht.de Forum who entrusted me with organizing their Winter Tour, Phil and Steven who came for a sauna and fire trip to Finland, my fellow Nordic Lightpackers whom I met for an adventure in Vålådalen, Thomas for his hospitality in Oslo, Mark for his willingness to meet me for a beer in Tampere, as well as Matti for going on a snowshoeing & skiing trip and Xavier for his patience in Salamajärvi National Park. Also a big thank you to Peter whom I very nearly met - I am sure in 2011 we will climb some mighty Scottish peaks and wildcamp there.


So while I am already venturing out to 2011 and what will happen, what more can you expect? Well, my Wilderness Guide education will see me skiing a good seven weeks around in Finland between February and April, and a Canoe (Packrafting!) trip is scheduled as well. School ends in the end of June, just in time for some summer adventures. I reckon autumn will be that golden time where I might take clients to see the beauty of Lapland, and before you know it, it will be December again.

The "Ultralight A - Z" video series will start to appear soon-ish. Gear and Book Reviews will be coming at a steady flow. Ultralight climbing and mountaineering will make its debut on this site. More trips. A new design. Plenty of stuff to stay tuned for. You keep reading and commenting, and I keep writing, video- and photographing.

And remember: It's just a ride.

Book Corner: Scotland by Chris Townsend

My trip to Scotland at the end of November didn't happen. What's the next best thing I could do? Get a copy of Chris' superb Scotland book.

As someone who has never been to Scotland, this is an excellent resource to plan a trip. We live in a time and age where we often forgo books and maps for the internet and mobile apps, but seldom that, what you find for free from the net, is of high (enough) quality. So if one is serious about a trip to Scotland, be it for the TGO Challenge, a solo traverse of the Cairngorms or any other trip, this tome of knowledge is required reading.

After I got the book I wasn't able to put it back down. Chris manages to capture your interest with his writing style, and first after I went through the whole Introduction chapter I took a break. In the introduction you'll find pretty much everything you need to know if you plan to walk the glens and mountains of Scotland, from how to get there, how to behave in a bothy, where you can find accomodation and what gear would be smart to bring.

Because I haven't been in Scotland before, it is also very, very useful that the book has a glossary at the end of the book - now I know that glen (Gleann) means valley, a Burn is a stream and a Loch is Gaelic/ Scots for lake. The maps are good, but for a trip you should get the proper OS maps. Chris is a good photographer, and the book is full of fine photos from mountaintops with great views, waterfalls and scenic wild camping spots which makes you want to pack your rucksack and start walking right away.

Chris divided the mountain areas of the region into seven areas - from the Southern Uplands to the Northern Highlands and The Islands. Each of these chapters starts up with a summary, which lets you know the highlights of the region, a general map to get an overview and an introduction. Then Chris dives into the details, describing hills, access to the area, where you can finds pubs & accommodation as well as suggestions for routes and trips. Because Chris has walked all the munros - twice! - he knows the region, and you can feel that when reading this book. However if you expect ready-made routes, think again - Chris wants to inspire and encourage readers to plan their own routes and trips, while he gives them all the tools they would need for it.

A list of further recommended reading, the current list of Munros and Corbetts (apparently mountains in Scotland are still growing/ shrinking =), and a handy Index round out this tome. At a massive 1184 gram, divided over 557 pages, Scotland by Chris Townsend is something to read at home, next to the fire while pouring over maps to plan a trip.

In conclusion, if you plan on any rock/ ice climbing, mountaineering, ski touring or hill walking in Scotland, for a daytrip or for a week or more, you should get this book. The knowledge and insider information in this book, together with the stunning photos and maps for planning, make the book mandatory for all those who plan to spend time outdoors in Scotland. It is also excellent for those who see their trips thwarted =)

Cicerone was so friendly to allow me to raffle off one copy of Scotland by Chris Townsend. To participate, you need to leave a comment and tell where in Scotland you'd like to go. The raffle closes on Sunday, 2nd of January at noon Finnish time and the winner - determined by Random.org - will be announced in The Week in Review on that day.

For those who don't trust their luck or can't wait, click the underneath photo & link to purchase your own copy.

Disclosure: If you buy the book via the link I will earn a couple of cents, as I have a Amazon Affiliate Account.

The Week in Review

The times, they are a-changin.

News & Various:

Pig Monkey created the latest and greatest Gear Tracker.

Grant has 5 tips on How to save money on skiing.

Mungo was shooting the moon. I wonder if he also was barking at it?!

Read Jill's account of her first ultra-marathon, the Rodeo Beach 50K.

David captured trees in many beautiful angles.

Stick lets us know the recipe for a natural winter drink.

Richard reflects a bit on the past and shares some cracking winter photos with us.

John had the great idea of looking back on the year soon to be over with the photos of where he has been hiking in the past twelve months. Great idea, I imagine we'll see some more of these kind of posts soon =)

Brawny has some wise words for all those of you who are planning a long hike in 2011.

Dunko explains how to bring back an axe.

Ross presents part 3 of cheap, lightweight backpacking food, this time the topic is baking.

Joe made a MYOG Stove pad.

I reviewed Allen & Mike's Really Cool Backcountry Ski Book last Monday, and if you only got rubbish for Xmas go and get your copy now.

Trip Reports:

Jim walked the Chatfield Trail in Killingworth.

Sonya and Andy visited Ben Lomond and Lui - it looks cold!

Casey went for a hike at Backbone State Park in Iowa.

Gustav visited Svarthamrane.

YohonP, who's planning an AT thru-hike for 2012, went to scout the AT in Maryland.

Jason visited Red Hill.

Kelley and her owner John went for a walk around Harbor Brook and Elliot Mtn. Pretty!

Karl went for a day trip around Echo Lake State Park.

Steven and his daughter went for a daytrip on Saline Bayou Hiking Trail in the Kisatchie National Forest, Louisiana. Lovely photos.

Mike, Brian and Charlie spent the Solstice Morning on top of a hill with a great view.

The Alpine Ridges of Glencoe which Gary visited look mighty fine to me.

Scott and Ryan went fishing amongst Bikinis. Very nice, enjoyed that post a lot.

Jeff and Jason started their Sedona Traverse.

Anne went to Rialto Beach and brought back stunning photos.

Chris' Lonesome Lake trip report is really nice and worth your time.

Chris visited Big Pine Canyon in the Inyo National Forest last year and shares some superb photos with us.

How about some mid December San Juan packrafting? This weeks recommended read.

Gear Talk:

Check out the Bushman of Yukon's Inferno II stove including a video!

Phil reviews the Pacific Outdoor Equipment Peak Elite AC and raffles one off among those who comment.

Rio shows off his latest moves in his fresh Patagonia R1 Hoody. Sweeeeet!

Blogger Zed givves us the latest on the Evernew Ti DX.

Still wondering about footwear for the winter? Check out what the Adventure in Progress Family uses!

Al fin, I reviewd the Finisterre Bise MkII vest.