We’ve just returned from our traditional Easter skiing trip from Ylläs – the biggest skiing resort in Finland. We spent total nine days on the slopes.
As the trip takes around fifteen hours by car, we took night train to and fro. The resort is quite distributed and using own car is a must, so we took it with us in the train. The ride took fourteen hours one way and we arrived in Kolari train station surprisingly well rested on Saturday one week before Easter.
We had rented an ski-in apartment next to the fell, and cooked most of our meals by ourselves. The kids are picky eaters and there is no point to go to restaurants to eat just french fries for a week. Thus, we visited the local grocery stores, even one in Sweden – it is very conveniently located, less than a kilometer from the Finnish border. We bought some Swedish specialties there and the bulk of the food from Kolari center before heading to the fell.
The week itself was nice but sort of uneventful in that sense that most of the days were very similar: wake up, eat breakfast, go to slopes, eat lunch, go to slopes, eat dinner, spend time in the flat, go to sauna, go to bed – rinse and repeat.
Our family friends arrived on Tuesday evening and we spent three days in the slopes with them, on and off due to little kids in both families. On Saturday they went to cross-country skiing and we decided to visit another skiing resort – Pallas – around 60 kilometers to north. Pallas is located inside a national park and thus it has not been developed actively – in other words, it still has the original Lappish feeling.
It was a fun trip. The slopes were in excellent condition and we skied as a family some part of the day, before the boys started to feel itchy skiing as slow as their youngest sister and then they continued on their own. The resort has only two T-bar lifts and nine slopes, but the views were spectacular. Unfortunately it was so cold on the summit that I decided not to take any photos to save my fingers from the biting wind.
In Ylläs I also tried going backcountry skiing by climbing to the smaller Ylläs summit – Keskinen laki. The distance is only a few hundred meters, but I got the taste of going upwards with muscle power and it felt nice enough that I could do it again later. Need to ponder on this and also think which kind of gear I would need – some of my current stuff is okay for backcountry stuff, but much should be bought, too.
Another big thing for me personally happened on the morning of the last day – yesterday – when I bit the bullet and ride my snowboard from the top of the fell, around 450m vertical. Before those two rides – couldn’t do more, my abs were hurting like hell – I’ve rode only on slopes for kids and beginners. Despite falling over multiple times, it was fun. I’m still sore, but happy.
We boarded the train back to Helsinki in yesterday evening and I felt promptly asleep a bit after nine o’clock – as well as the rest of the family – to woke up around seven in the morning. After getting back to home, we’ve unpacked the car and washed a load of laundry. Tomorrow is a working day, so need to get things done today.