Rovaniemi to Pyhä – Ready for an action and sports day in Pyhä Ski Resort, we went to Rovaniemi bus station, where the Skibus departs to this beautiful place, on a regular basis. Besides alpine skiing, many activities are offered to the visitors in this great location.
In this case, and for the rest of the trip, I had the company of Alicia, who managed to sleep for a while on the bus, as we can see in the image below. The bus trip lasted for a little more of 2 hours and, as in previous bus displacements, it was a pleasure to enjoy the landscapes, while having a quick look at everyday life in the area, through the windows. As a sample of how small the world is, we met Kirsi, an outgoing Finnish woman that used to live in Spain. who happened to have a common acquaintance with Alicia.
Ice Climbing – Once we arrived in Pyhä, we were received by Aleksi Mehtonen, a very friendly guy, and also a photographer, who changed his previous work in an office for the feelings derived from an open air job. Member of BlissAdventure, the people to contact if you want some to burn some adrenaline while visiting Lapland, he would be our guide during the whole day at the resort. Honestly, his labour was impeccable and I can´t think of someone better for the job.
Our first experience was Ice Climbing. Aleksi kindly helped us with the equipment, explained us the basic techniques of the discipline and did a short demonstration on the vertical wall. He gave special importance to the body posture – that should simulate the shape of an A, in order to avoid your legs getting too tired while ascending – and talked about the convenience of hitting as high as possible and in a certain angle, with the ice axes. During the explanation, I was busy taking photos and did not pay enough attention, turning my climbing into a bit anarchic one and more tiring than necessary.
Alicia was the first to try, and she did really well. At first she felt a bit insecure, which I find natural and logical, but then she managed to get a good climbing rhythm and, following Aleksi´s tips about body placement and correct leg use, enjoyed a couple of good climbs. According to her testimony, once on safe ground, she can´t wait to try again in the future.
I was the next to try. Although I practiced some boulder climbing in the past, when I was younger and much thinner, this seemed a lot different. My biggest mistake, as I mentioned before, was the lack of attention during Aleksi´s introduction. This caused an excessive fatigue in my calves, due to an incorrect placing of the feet in the ice wall, but didn´t reduce the fun I had in any way. I am also looking forward to try again, this time applying correctly the tips and advices received from our guide.
Altai Ski in National Park – After the enjoyable climbing, it was time for recovering energies with a lasagna and a good salad, before attaching out boots to the Altai skis, for another experience organised by BlissAdventure. These type of skis could be described as combination of a snowshoe with a cross-country ski, and offer a perfect balance with its short, wide dimensions and integrated climbing skins.
Getting used to the skis was a bit tricky, at the beginning, but this process was part of the enjoyment. I found it different from alpine skiing, which I also practiced when I was younger, but seemed like a great way to explore while you exercise and breathe the clean air of the forest that involves you.
At some point, we reached a wood cottage, that turned out to be the perfect place for a bit of rest and a warm juice, next to the fire. These cabins are everywhere in Lapland – something I find excellent – and allow the traveller or sportsman to enter and make a grateful stop during the journey or sport practice.
In spite of falling in some occasions and fighting with our rebellious balance, we successfully made our way through the magnificent and peaceful landscapes of Pyhä-Luosto National Park. A great day dedicated to outdoors activities, in a perfect surrounding, and the ideal complement for the rest of my trip in the wonderful Finnish Lapland.
Thanks and gratitude – Special thanks to Aleksi,
for his patience and efficiency, and the team of BlissAdventure.