08 August 2010

Hiking in Kiilopää, Lapland Finland

Aug 2010

Day 1
Flew to Ivalo and took a bus to Kiilopää. Stayed at the hotel there for two days. The idea was to do some hiking a couple of days in Urho Kekkonen National Park to be prepared for a longer hiking trip at Lemmenjoki National Park later on at the same week.

At arriving day the weather was sunny and warm, about +24C.  As a positive surprise, there were no mosquitoes at all (why?). Instead, there were hundreds of orienteering runners competing for National Championship of Fell Orienteering. Must have been very demanding, up and down the fell, nature looking mostly the same everywhere or hiding well all special interest points in the map.

Climbed to the top of Kiilopää fell. The climb was an easy task as it was not too steep.

A path to the top of the Kiilopää fell

Some part of the path had wooden rails

Beautiful scenery from the top to each direction. The top was not just a high peak but a flat large area.

A scenery from the top of the Kiilopää fell

There was a small nice pond near the top.

A small pond on Kiilopää fell

Tried the very first time to take an underwater photo, with not so good results. The water was crystal clear but freezingly cold.

Underwater picture from a small pond on Kiilopää fell

Came down northern part of the fell. Although there was not any path in the beginning it was easy to come down and spot another path down in the valley which was leading back to the hotel.

A path directing back to the hotel

Nature was not yet in autumn colours, but some individual plants showed their best.

A small lingonberry plant showing already its autumn colours

Walked altogether about 6km.  Had a dinner at the hotel bar. All in all a nice welcoming day in Lapland.

Day 2
Disappointing view from the window in the morning; clouds were very low and rain was starting at any minute. Temperature was dropped to some +15C, also the wind seemed to be stronger than yesterday.  The breakfast gave a boost so despite lousy weather the plan was to circle Kiilopää fell anti clockwise, approx. 22km.  Friends promised to pick me up afternoon, so there was no time to loose in morning.  

Started hiking at about 9am.  Although visibility was sometimes only about few meters the scenery was still astonishing, very rural and poor plants.

The path towards Rautulampi cabin was more or less uphill. Just before reaching the cabin, some reindeer came on path. Strange enough they were quite friendly allowing some photos to be taken.

A path from Kiilopää hotel towards Rautulampi cabin

Reindeers near Rautulampi cabin

Who are you?

The speed was good, about 5km/h and the cabin was reached in about 2h 20mins, distance some 11km.  There were some people in the cabin drying their clothes.  Although the rain was light the wind on top of the fells made it feel stronger and pushed it in horisontal direction. 

A short break at cabin; had some preprepared coffee and sandwiches with snacks. These gave necessary boost to continue hiking now down the valley towards Luulampi cabin.  Now the rain was constant. The path followed a creek which was increasing all the time transforming into a small river.  Horisontally the path was quite flat. Distance was about 7km.  Spotted again some reindeer, some of them having really big horns.

Reached the cabin again in good speed. However, now the body felt the distance and spent time and put to wonder the real distance back to the hotel.  There were some people at the cabin drying their clothes.  Some coffee and snacks brought energy back to the body. People at the cabin instructed a more direct route back to the hotel. Decided to take that shorter route, signing post showing about 4km.  

That was a heavy route, directing straight over the fell.  Happily but being really exhausted reaching the hotel after some 22km of hiking in rain and wind was a great reward. 

A shower and dry clothes felt rewarding.  Tried to dry some clothes an hour, checked out from the hotel. Friends picked me up and we started to head towards Lemmenjoki. 

For the very first time, Kiilopää gave a very good feeling and impression on wild and rural nature.  Especially treeless areas near top of the fells were most beautiful to see.

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