The snowmobile trail is in ideal condition. It ranges from a flat and wide groomed trail to narrow, curly forest tracks that bring variation to an otherwise smooth progression. The rising temperature has made the surface of the trail soft, which helps to make traveling comfortable.
We arrive at the unplowed forest road and break through the rest of the trail with the permission of the landowner. The snow is wet and soft in some places, but both of our four-stroke travel partners, the narrow-tracked 49 Ranger ST and the wide-tracked Commander Grand Tourer, manage the leg effortlessly, even with heavy load.
We leave the snowmobiles at the end of the forest road near the border of the national park. We switch our riding gear to hiking clothes and lift our backpacks. We jump on the skis and head to the wilderness hut on the side of the fell.
Short and wide skin based skis are a great way to move around in the winter. Due to their length, they are convenient to pack in a sleigh or on a sled. Another advantage of shortness is the agility of the skis in the dense forest terrain. The wide bottom floats the ski well on the snow surface and the skinbase takes care of the grip when steep forest humps are to be climbed.
Our ascending journey feels like a true workout for us with backpacks on our backs. After just over an hour of skiing, we arrive at the wilderness hut. Open wilderness huts, maintained by the Finnish forest service, are free to use for hikers and a Finnish specialty. The huts are freely accessible to all and can be used by those who travel under their own manpower, for a temporary stay of one or two nights. The only rule is that space is always provided for the last person to enter the hut. Now we hardly have to go out for the night, as the guest book says that the remote hut had its previous ski trekker a couple of weeks ago and there are few notes in the book anyway for the past winter.
We light the fire in the stove and change into dry clothes. We carry water from a nearby creek and wonder if we can ski for the evening on the top of the fell next to the hut. However, the light is already running low and the long day out is felt in the energy levels, so we decide to focus on eating and resting.
The temperature is getting low for the night and the full moon illuminates the yard so that you can see to go outdoors without a headlight. We are out of reach of mobile networks, so now is a great opportunity to reminisce, how sleep was caught in time before social media, audiobooks and podcasts. We dive into the sleeping bags and fall asleep surrounded by the crackle of the stove.