Easter hiking 9.4.-15.4.1998

Juha, Johanna, Anni, Owe, Antti and Tiina


Day I 9.4.1998 Written by Antti

Here I am, sitting in our tent,freezing and thinking. Is it wisdom to come out to nature, to leave warm houses and an easy life. Or are we just out of our mind, probably yes, but this really is a life. To be on our own, to survive.

We left Oulu last evening and in our minds was just one question:"What I forgot" We also found out that the "forgot something" feeling is global as Owe and Jin proved. After sleeples night we went to our starting point by bus, took our equipments out, said bye to busdriver and found out that we were two kilometers from the right place. That wasn´t even a worth to mention for we as a... group are all well known for our extreme skills and a good physical condition. Just to notice, this is my first time in Soopa hike. And suddenly I managed to be too slowly to rise my hand and got an honor to lead the group at the first day.

Our first "etap" was to cross the lake Över Umean and to hike over the small hill. Lunch break at 12.00 am. For somehow many other groups of hikers were going in the same direction as we. It was like in rush hours in the lake of... "grazy people, go to your homes, this is our lake". Anyway we did continue by the exellent amount of energy given by mexican soap and juusto and meetvursti.

In the evening we crossed the other lake and started to aproach the glacier and mountain we are aiming at tomorrow. Of cource we didn't manage to found any water and we had to melt few m2 of snow. That's life. And the end of the first day has come.

Yeah, and some words about weather. It was about -5 to 0 to -10 from morning to night. It was both sunny and cloudy. It's strange feeling to be in the middle of the snowrain and at the same time see the sun shining.

UGH! I have spoken!


Day II 10.4.1998 Written by Owe

After very nice night - we all were very tired and it was too cold thus we slept good and long - we got up aroud nine. Brekfast with sunshine and beautiful view. At 11.00 we left our camp with climbing equipments and food for day. The first huge break was in front of impressive part of clacier - time to be a real tourist, which means time for group photos in front of clacier. It was amazing to look at the structures of the ice and freezing. becauce of batteri problems Johanna tought her camera how to fly.

We continued our hike across same hills. The rubberboots were not the perfect shoes to climb a partly icey slope. But out team managed ofcource all situations very well. Before the steep part of the way started we decided to have a lunch break and to put the belt and irons on. A very intresting compination: rubberboots with climbing irons, but it worked somehow. After the lunch break it started to be alps. It become steeper and steeper. The last 50 meters was nearly vertical. But after this part the wiev was just amazing. .....?....Unfortunately it was already quite late and we were just on the hill before our top. The top we wanted to go was impossible to climb, so we decided to devide the group. One part went back and and the other part hiked on another top. After 1 1/2 h more we had (Antti, Juha, Owe and Anni) a perfect view over the area. We were on the top of Mount Soopa (1870m). I learned that it is a habit in Soopa to make photos on the top of a hill. It was f.... cold.

The way back was quite comfortable because we were sliding the steep parts. The evening was likeday before: eating, evening meeting, sleeping. The only difference was that we saw northern lights and the temperature was quite slow.


Day III Saturday 11.4.1998 Written by Anni

This day begun as all the days before. The only difference was that it was a bit windy. But the sun was shining on a clear blue sky! After morning porridge we took the tents down and started on our way. I was the day's leader. lucky for me that the day's route went along a river on a valley. We had some hope actually NOT to get lost...

But the start wasn't easy. We were above the timber line and and had to get down. Johanna took a route of her own while we others tried to balance on a steep slope.Some managed and some not. I myself took clocer contact to the Norwegian ground. many times and Owe took a loooong slide down.

The rest of the day's trip was really easy skiing. We enjoyed the beautiful view, the warm sunshine and grilled out faces. I even got a change to practise my Norwegean listening comprehension and spoken Swedish twice: "oo-o, det är mycket fint väder!"

This time we built our camp to a real idyllic place in the middle of those funny little spruces. And no time at all and it all started looking very cozy.. Sleeping bags, wet socks and felts from the inside the boots hanging on every branch... We also made a notation; we are such a top group that even the clouds start to gather over our heads. the entire sky was almost perfectly blue, but just above our camp there was a point where all the baby cloudswere born and grew the grantic sizes. damn! But still, this brought very little relief to our western muslim ladys who had burnt their noses.

Later after lunch Juha and Johanna went up and tried their telemark equipments. the rest of us chopped some wood and after that went to get some water from a frozen rapid we had found earlier. On our way we experienced some really great slides.

And suprise suprise, it was time to eat again. Oh these small pleasures of human lifes! This time the source of satisfaction was grandma's mashed potatoes with meat balls. Yammy! (while reading remember that we are on a hike...)

Meanwhile Antti made a good effort on making a fire for us. I think it actually burned for a while but i doubt if the boots ever got dry. Maybe it would have been better to leave them inside the shoes to avoid all these clouds... in a usual manner we gathered to the Akka-tent. What a nice end tu such a beautiful day!


Day IV 12.4.1998 Easter Sunday Written by Johanna

Easter Sunday, and the sun should be shining, but it wasn't. Clouds were hanging and covering the tops of the mountains. I come out from the tent at 10 o'clock, this was holiday. Until 11 a.m we waited if it started to become a little bit more beautiful weather, but it wasn't.

The idea of this day was climing up to glacier which was opposite to our camp. Because weather didn't get better we started on way, First we skied to the other side of the lake On half way we took of our skiis, and continued without them. But we changed irons. Sometimes it started to wind and snowing an don other time sun really tried to shine. I was the leader but also the last one Antti told us about the geology of ice and so on...

Before we started the last (and the hardest part) to glacier we kept lunch pause. ( The place was very very windy, so the tea in a cap get cold before I had drank it). Then we took "some" photos with the rope. And I think that was the coldest part of the trip. Clacier was beautiful, but more close we get to it, it seemed to become smaller, anyway it was quite big. Also the small pieces ice was blue! Ofcourse there we had to take photos too, to show mother! Because it was cold and windy there, quite soon we started the way back to camp. spesially Antti, Anni and Owe showed us different ways to sliding down in soft snow. And we all rest wanted to tried it too. The skiis we foud quite easily, despite it started to snow more and more... Onthe way back we took (and drik and drink) running water to bottles. Lucky we took all the enpty bottles with us. It's more easier to cook when you don't have to melt the snow first.

This evening before we went to sleeping bags we had the traditionally shocolate meeting in our neighbour tent. And also the last because shocolate was finnished!

Johanna " the 4th leader"


Day V and VI 13.-14.4.1998 Written by Tiina

I was the leader of the last day and I had a quite demanding task: to lead the group to the same point we left on Thursday morning. When we left our camp at 11 am the sky was cloudy. We started to ski along the river to the lake and we knew that we would have quite a long way for the last day.

As I said I was the leader, but I have to admit that later we needed better skills and boys came to beginning to read the map. The way to the lake was easy and we had lunch-break by the river; soap from the termos and bread. Owe, Antti and I eat rest of our hard bred, and the other group had even soft bread for the last lunch. When we continued our way over the lake it started to wind, and the wind was really against us! From the lake we started to follow another river and the way went up little by little. Johanna had difficulties with her telemark skiis and she took them off and walked some of the hardest parts. Other of us just added more wax to our skiis.

Yeah, after the lake the rest of the day was really hard. The upper we got the more windy it was and we had to take our stormy glasses on. We were supposed to go from the middle of two hills and after we got over the treelevel it was hard to keep balance, and we moved slowly step by step.

It was getting dark when we started to go down. Anni and I took skiis of and walked. I don't know how the others come but the whole group managed to get down anyway. it was already evening and we had eaten only chocolate and russins after lunch. At least I was really tired and we had about 7 km still left. We all thought that it would be a good idea to have a little rest and continue to pick-up-point early in the morning ( we were supposed to be there at 8 00 am). And soon we found a perfect place for temporary camp! We cooked exellent dinner and slept four lovely hours. At 4.00 am I woke up when Antti had cooked porridge and we had breakfast in sleepingbags!

Suprise! The morning was calm and the last 5 km was really easy. By the way, I forgot to tell we were in Swedish again. we crossed the border a few km before our camp last evevning. So we were at time in the right place wen the bus came to take us at 8.00!

On the way to Hemavan we picked up other groups and drove to the swimming hall. Swedish-style sauna was a bit slowly to get warm...But it was so lovely to swim and relax hurting muscles and was hair!

Drive home went nice all singing together KARAOKE. I don't about other groups, but TEAM BALANCE had an unforgettable trip. Keeping balance was important in our group: balance between sugar and salt, sun-shine and storm, freezing and swetting, exitement and lazy days! And so nice it is to return back to normal easy life, but I'm sure we all will leave again!

Tiina "the last leader"