Thursday, December 31, 2015

Darkest time of the year.

It literally is, the darkest time of the year here in northern Lapland. Last time we saw the sun just in the beginning of December, and next time we'll see it already in early January! On cloudy days it feels like the day hasn't even started before it's getting dark again. But when the sky is clear, arctic colours can be really stunning.

I've been pretty busy working on sled dog trips again. Here's few pics from a daytrip near Saariselkä ski resort. Crossing a fell area in nice weather.

Two kids travelling in my sledge. Cheering the dogs to pull stronger as we climb up the fellside.

And me cheering the dogs in the teams following us.....

What to do when you want to relax after driving a dogsled? Well, what else but skiing and taking your own dogs out... In the pine forests looking for pine martens and to birch growing areas for willow grouses.

Tracks of a pine marten on fresh snow!

They ended at a group of pines, and Kumu started barking at the trees. I was skiing around them trying to spot if the marten was still there. Couldn't see anything there....

... so I finally had to climb to the tree to make sure if the marten was hiding there. Dogs were barking below, I guess they were sure something will happen as I climbed up. But nothing this time.

So off we go again. Another line of fresh paw prints ahead....

And Kumu quickly forgets how annoyingly deep and soft the snow is for a small dog....

This time tracks lead to a steep cliff. Soft snow is falling under the dog and he can't get forward. Just barking for fresh tracks and frustration of getting stuck.

Finally he got up there by going around the other side. Lots of track around, leading to caves and trees. But nothing else this time either.

Short day of December doesn't seem to be enough for tracking a marten this time. Time to have a break by the fire just before it's getting dark. Kumu seems to be wandering around also during the break, so I open a rain poncho on the snow for them to lay on. It seems to work in keeping him resting for a while.

Friends? Sometimes, and sometimes not. Getting along pretty well, usually only food or treats can lead into more serious disagreements between the two.

As the winter goes on there's more and more snow. Has been warmer than usually I would say, but we haven't had much above zero temperatures. Snow is soft all the way to the ground, both for the dogs and the skier. Sometimes it's Kumu leading, sometimes Pyry.

Sometimes they go their own ways.....

And sometimes they're completely happy just to follow my tracks for a while!

Relaxing scenery behind my back as we ski back towards the cottage.

And the opposite direction, northern side.

For a skier who makes his own tracks there's always an unlimited freedom. Skiing on the tracks you're always following someone else...

... though it looks like Pyry is thinking if the unlimited freedom of bare ground would be better from deep soft snow.....


  1. Wonderful pictures and write up Pasi. I long to see that in person one day, but until then, I have your blog to read!

  2. Thanks Reno, glad you liked my short write up and pics!

  3. You dogsled too?
    I hope to experience that too some day and I hope to see you next year!

  4. Well, sometimes I do ;-)

    Hopefully see you this year!