Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring is here.

It's the season of frosty weather and thaw taking turns, changing from snowing to fully sunny days. I hope temperatures to drop back below zero still, allowing some good skiing to come before the snow melts away.

As I,ve mentioned earlier, in February and March I'm quite busy with guiding on sled dog trips. Not making much knives at all, as I'm trying to spend as many free days as possible skiing in the woods and fells.

Here's some sceneries and such of my daily chores since the previous post.

Can't really complain about this kind of view from your "office".

Even though the spring is usually quite sunny up here, that's not always the case. This day it was pretty difficult to keep your eyes open without any goggles. Tough wind for the people. For the dogs it most likely gave some wellcomed extra cooling, as the temperature wasn't that low at all.

This hazel grouse trusted in me not spotting it. It was a safe bet though, as the hunting season is in the autumn. I skied a circle around it, only 2 meters away at the closest.

Willow grouse hunting is on 'till the end of March up here.

Youngest member of our family, 6 months old nordic spitz Kumu, being a clever guy here....

When I knocked on the window he obviosly was pretending just to be sighting up there.....

But didn't take long to see what was the real reason to jump up there.

Watching a young dog enjoying the outing always makes you happy. Animals have better ability to live in the moment. Is it a gift or an inability if you compare to us?

Kumu noticed that suddenly it's possible for him to run freely almost anywhere, as the cold nights after warmer days have stiffened the snow. What a joy!

Quite a lot of snow at some places still. This was taken on a skiing trip in Lemmenjoki national park. My pole is about 150cm, and didn't touch the ground yet on this hillside

Benefits of the winter; crossing creeks, rivers, lakes, and marshes is pretty easy.

Peaceful view, open wilderness as far as you can see.

There are pros and cons in both, but good thing in skiing compared to snowshoes is you get to travel gentle slopes like this almost for free.

Nice place for an open wilderness hut in Lemmenjoki national park.

This is what happens for me quite often when hunting willow grouses. Before you get your gun ready with the skis and poles on, birds have taken off already. Especially when the weather is really cold and you have to wear thick gloves while skiing. But there's more days to come. And if not, skiing in the wilderness for the last one definitely wasn't the worst choice.....

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Even most of my working time goes on sled dog trips at this time of the year, there's a knife or two coming out of the workshop every now and then.

Here's a leuku with 16cm blade. Handle in typical Lappish materials; reindeer antler, curly birch, and reindeer hide.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


During February and March I'm usually busy with guiding on sled dog trips. I'm working for a farm here in Ivalo, Guesthouse Husky. They have about 150 alaskan huskies, and 6 room guesthouse for tourist accommodation. 

These pics were taken on a 3 day safari, 9 customers and 2 guides. First day we travel 53km, second 35km, and on third same 53 back to the farm.
Everyone has an own team. 4-6 dogs, depending on the weather conditions and the load to be pulled.

First team has usually more dogs, 7-10. It's always easier for next teams, as they have someone to follow. Especially if there's fresh snow, so lead team will open the way.

Both nights are spent in a log cabin on an island on lake Inari. Good place to spot northern lights too if sky is clear, as it's far away from any town lights.

Dogs waiting for some water in the morning of 2nd day. First day was very warm, so sledges got some wet snow on the runners, and after a night below zero it got frozen and needed some cleaning.
Dogs stay in chains over night, everyone has an own kennel. During the night they're pretty quiet, if nothing happens around.

Time to harness your team. Leaders are the first ones in, as they should keep the line stretched, to avoid messing up and anyone getting tangled.

 Leaders of the first team, Manu and Walter, doing good job. Staying calm in front while rest of the team is being harnessed.

And out we go again. Light snow covers the trail, soft for the paws.

Taking a look back to make sure all teams get going.

Track runs on lakes, marsh areas, and forests.

During our lunch break dogs get a chunk of fat/meat mix. Everyone is eager to get his share!

We have been using the same track since December, so it's quite well packed. Take a step off the trail, and you're above the knee level in soft snow.

 Few kilometers before getting back to the cabin The sun is starting to set. With a bit of mist it makes a nice scenery.

After unharnessing the dogs it's time to start preparing their meal. Meat is melted in hot water, and then given mixed with dry food. After they've eaten dogs always start a howling concert.

 Teams have just started from the lunch place of 3rd day. Just 1,5 hours to go, and we're back at the farm.

After very windy morning the last day turned into a nice weather too!