As an avid kite skier, utilizing prevailing winds to glide across snow covered ice, on lakes or in the Baltic Sea archipelago, it has been a dream of mine to take this method of transport into the fells. Recently, winters here in the Southern Finland have been rather mellow, limiting especially the amount of sea ice to a bare minimum, shortening the season for this captivating sport. Therefore it was with great pleasure that I accepted an invitation from Alma Arktika to join a kite skiing expedition in Finland’s largest wilderness area, Kaldoaivi, back in March. An article was published last spring in the Finnish SURF & KITE & SUP -magazine, fresh upon my return, and now with the new season about to kick in, it’s time to revisit this great experience in this blog as well.
What a winter kick off last week has been! Not quite like a typical November for many years, this time, following a dry autumn, Espoo started to turn white as early as November 5th, when the first snow fell. Followed by a steady snow fall for few days after, there was soon a layer thick enough to enter forest roads and trails on skis, record-early for me.
Espoo all powdery white and Skiexpo just finished, it is due time to start shifting focus to the winter. And what better way to get that started, than looking back at the last season’s ventures, for buzz and inspiration.
Season 2015/2016 was extremely good for me, right from the very start. Opening the season already early December, in Ruka, joining a 3-day telemark boot camp organized specifically for our small group, was the perfect kick off. It was facilitated by Ruka Ski School, with Martti Kontula as the instructor. Lucky with the weather, we even got some fresh powder, and the boot camp was both humbling and educational. Videos shot during the camp were ruthless in their honesty, but were a great way to highlight and discuss improvement areas in one’s form and technique. Tips, ideas and both physical and mental exercises were shared, to carry the teachings through the season.