Noora & Matteo wrote about their skiing in Kaldoaivi wilderness area 18th – 23rd February 2018
We had five nights skiing trip in Kaldoaivi wilderness area on February. Our plan was to start more or less from Nuorgam and get back there: so not the classic Pulmanki-Sevettijarvi one way trip. This meant we had to be a bit creative in our navigation in the park, in order not to ski all the time on the same way. The weather was definitely on our side – even though we were prepared for the worse: temperature was between -15 / -25 at nights and -7 / -15 during the days. We had some snow, clouds and sun. The days weren’t windy which made the skiing enjoyable and the cold bareable. The silent and slow skiing, the wild nature, the unspeakable beauty of the surroundings, the peace and quiet – this all made our week one of the bests we’ve ever had.
On Sunday, the first day, in the morning we met Reetta at Alma Arktika. She had prepared our skies, pulkkas and gathered other necessary gears. After packing our stuff we got a lift by car till our starting point (20 km from Nuorgam): south of Pulmakijärvi at the beginning of the trail towards Sevettijarvi. We didn’t follow all the time on the winter path but chose our own ways following the herds of reindeer. The first night we reached and stayed in Tsuomasjärvi open wilderness hut, a lovely, well-kept hut close to the lake Tsuomasjärvi
On Monday we headed towards Tsaarajärvi wilderness hut. Again we chose our own, definitely not the fastest, path. We skied through hills following more or less the summer path. We arrived to Tsaarajärvi hut in the afternoon and went ice fishing on the lake next to the hut. No fish, but we enjoyed every moment anyway. Then again a lovely night in this beautiful hut.
On Tuesday we decided to head towards a turf hut on the west from Tsaarajärvi. We didn’t know the conditions of this hut but since we didn’t want to go back and forth from a tupa to another we decided to try this little turf hut, on the lake Moresveaijärvi. We had a tent with us and we were motivated and ready for everything. We calculated that the airdistance was about 10km. Skiing up and down the hills, through little forests with half meter of snow with the pulkka always pulling us back made the way anyway a lot longer. The cold had eaten our batteries of the gps, but we managed to orienteer with the help of a compass and map. Once on an open hill we checked our location on Google Maps and realized we were close to the turf hut. We found our way to it, but got a bit disappointed: the hut was covered with snow, full of it even inside and without any fire wood: definately not for winter use. We shovelled an area for the tent next to the hut and spent the night in the tent. It snowed during the night so the temperature rose a bit.
On Wednesday morning we packed our things under the snow. It had been snowing almost the whole night and continued snowing in the morning which meant that there were not our tracks anymore. Our plan was to ski from the turf hut towards Tsaarajärvi and then take the winter path and ski untill Tsuomasjärvi open wilderness hut. Although no tracks, we found our way pretty well and arrived on the Tsaarajärvi lake a bit after noon. The path from Tsaarajärvi to Tsuomasjärvi was well marked and easy to follow – even though the weather was snowy and foggy. We arrived in Tsuomasjärvi late afternoon and had a warm and cosy night.
On Thursday we headed back following the skiing track, climbed the hill west of the lake (not that easy with the heavy pulkkas behind) and then down to the main winter track, heading north. At the bridge we got out of the track and started skiing on the river. The plan was to follow the river Luossajoki till’ when it meets the Pulmakijoki river and sleep in the nearby turf hut or in the tent. Unfortunately it took double the time than skiing the same distance on the track and it was quite an adventure: the snow was soft and between 50 cm and a meter deep; the river flow was that strong and full of big rocks and rapids so that at a certain point the ice was open and it was not only heavy but also dangerous to keep skiing on it. We decided to enter the steep forest on the north side of the river and, skies on our hands, we continued stubbornly towards the hut (Finnish sisu makes you do this). Once arrived the surprise: the roof was collapsed exactly where once there was a nice fire place. The hut was then of no use. Under the head lamps light we put once again the tent and had a lovely dinner inside it. The night was much colder than the other one in the tent, but good sleeping bags kept us warm enough.
On Friday, our last day, we were already worried about our way back to the bridge, where to meet again the winter track. The first part in the forest was hard, again. But once reached the river we had a great surprise: our previous day tracks were icy and rock hard. It was super easy, fast and a real pleasure to ski on them: in one third of time we got back to the bridge. Then we took it easy and followed entirely the skiing track, over the mountain pass. New day, new way, new amazing views. On top of the pass, we saw Pulmankijärvi and, with a bit of nostalgy, we realized to be almost at the end. Short time later, after waving our hands to the last reindeers we reached the starting point, where Reetta came to greet us and pick us up.
It was a great adventure: this area offers a wide variety of opportunities, from easier, to more adventurous. It is a real wilderness area and even if the huts are great, well furnished and easily to be reached, the environment deserves respect and carefullness. From our small experience we can say that it was very worth and the place was amazing. We will never forget this trip and this harsh but beautiful land.
Thanks Lapland, thanks Alma Arktika for making this possible, thanks Reetta.