30 December 2011

Summing Up My Outdoor Year 2011

The year 2011 started with loads of snow in the Southern Finland. Actually temperature had stayed under zero since mid Nov 2010. Heavy snowfalls followed soon after.  Therefore, it was a perfect winter for me.

Experienced snowshoeing a lot, what a fantastic way of staying outdoors!

36" Tubbs

Lower backside problems kept me out from cross country ski tracks most of the season. That was a big blow.

Central Park, Helsinki

I have usually exercised running throughout a year. No exception this year. During winter months one need to have good grip on ground (on snowy and icy roads). I've got Icebugs (Sisu model) with spikes and been really pleased with them.

One disappointment of winter was the lack of skating opportunities on frozen lakes and sea. Early snowfalls brought thick cover of snow which isolated lakes and they never got frozen enough to carry human weight (though some exceptions again).

On Sea, East Helsinki

In April I started to commute to work by bicycle. Also the first day-hikes took place then, as well as a kick-off of the sea kayaking season.

Trip to Northern California cut the Spring. Cycling on Golden Gate Park and hiking on Mt Tamalpais were really nice. It was time to get more serious for barefoot running, soon FiveFingers got introduced to my toes.

In Muir Woods

Hiking, sea kayaking, bicycling, running fulfilled Spring time, including Helsinki City Run, a half distance marathon.

White Water Lily

Summer months were mostly filled by sea kayaking. Absolute highlight was the 10-day sea kayaking trip to Archipelago National Park.

Bengtskär Lighthouse

During Autumn continued sea kayaking by doing two-day trips to archipelagos near by.

Basecamp, Skorvö Island

Had really fun one weekend doing wild water kayaking.

Pernoonkoski Rapids

Participated on a half distance marathon, this time by Inov-8's barefoot shoes.

BareGrip 200's

Also a new experience was a bicycle event, Tour de Helsinki, 140km of pure fun.

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!

After them hit by a strong flu, a sticky one. Actually it was a chain of them, one after another. They took more than two months. A real pity since Autumn this year was very nice.

Villa Elfvik

After recovering from these flu, outdoor activities were quite lightweight, no overnights, just day walks.

Visited several Nature Reserve, Recreation Areas and National Parks in Southern Finland. Would have been nice to stay overnight in most of them.

Komio Nature Reserve

Spent the first week of December in the Swiss Alps, in Ticino Canton. There was no snow (except on 2800m level). Did some daily hikes in several valleys. Mountains looked naked without leaves in trees.


Just before Christmas we got some snow, which of course vanished soon due to a persistent rain. However, saw a glimpse of what nature might look if all is white.

Rudolph The Red Nose Coming?

All in all: " 'Two Thousand And Eleven', You Were A Bloody Good Year".

As a summary, did various outdoor activities altogether nearly 4000km (3500km in 2010), some highlights were
  • 1500km of cycling (500km in 2010)
  • 1000km of sea kayaking (1000km)
  •   500km of running/orienteering (850km)
  •   500km hiking/snowshoeing/walking (300km)
  •   200km of cross country skiing (650km)

My best photo(s) taken during 2011? Too difficult to judge, perhaps these ones:

I've recorded many of these activities into my outdoor blog. Some of my photos can be seen in Picasa Web Albums.

Prospects for the year 2012?  More outdoors, please.


  1. Looks like a good year!

    Happy New Year!

  2. Inspirational stuff! Your sea kayaking trips looks fabulous. I have some future plans to do some sea activities in 2012 and beyond.

    Happy New Year and keep up the great blog!

  3. Sounds like you had a good year outdoors! I like both of your best photos. The one with ice on the side of the river catches the eye. The more abstract one looks great too.

  4. Thanks a lot! I think it was a good year. We were quite lucky in Finland of having a proper winter conditions and a warm summer, too.