Day VI – 3rd July 2017 – Ruka and Karhunkierros
The night was terrible. The wind was deafening – we were afraid that our tent will fly away. After short sleep we got up quickly, because we had plenty things to do. Next 4 days we were supposed to spend on the Karhunkierros Trail (82 km on foot). We had to prepare for it. We went to the resort centre and in the tourist information we took maps and left our phones to charge While our phones were charging we did some shopping (you know that chocolate is essential in mountains, right?).
Before heading on the trail we decided to use the ski lift and see those beautiful views – only mountains, trees and lakes, which was the only view we were going to see for next 4 days. We could even see Russia from there! It turned out it was only 20 km to Russia and we have never been there, so at least we have seen it. To go back to the village we used bobsleigh track – it was 1 km long and the sleigh could speed up to 60 km/h.
At 12 o’clock we were finally on the Karhunkierros. First attraction was waiting for us after 1 km – it was ski jumping hill (the one on which there is World Cup).
The trail was well marked – we just had to follow the orange trail and after each kilometer was a sign with a bear (Karhunkierros means The Trail of a Bear). First couple of kilometers were hard – we were going up and down, there was no flat terrain. We’ve also met some reindeers!
All over the trail there was plenty of huts. The most common kinds were – night huts and day huts. The day huts were smaller and they only gave you a shelter from the rain, but there was toilet, fireplace, some cut wood, ax – everything outside. The night huts were even better, because apart from all that there was a kitchen and a place to sleep inside the hut (you could also close them). Sometimes there was even a fireplace inside a hut so the bravest ones could do the track in the winter time! The place in hut was limited- each hut was different, some were smaller than others- so if you weren’t lucky there was plenty of room the put up a tent near the hut. They were usually located near a river or lake, so you could draw water from there. What was the best in this is that they were totally free! You just had to leave the place clean. Sometimes there wasn’t a trash bin, so we had to take our trash with us. Can you imagine a trail with fully equipped huts and even tools that were in good shape and absolutely clean? Nothing was broken or stolen and there was no single piece of trash on the ground. For us it was shocking. Finland you amaze us!
So after couple of kilometers and a first hut which left us in astonishment, we reached a peak and a beautiful viewpoint – Valtavaara. The view was breathtaking…
On the first day we did 15 km in 6,5 hours. Just before reaching our hut (in which we wanted to sleep) we had our first crisis. Dominika’s backpack broke and we had to find a quick, rather makeshift solution. We reach our hut at 6.30 p.m. There was one open, day hut and two closed, night huts. One of them was still “uninhibited”, so we had it all for ourselves! It was above a brook, so it was really loud inside.
Hot dinner after a whole day of walking was something that made us happy. In the brook we could draw some water and even wash our stuff (in that order!). It was difficult to fall asleep – the hut above a brook maybe looks pretty, but it turned out it’s hard to sleep with water constantly flowing 1 meter beneath you…