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  • 1

    Start Logging Lodge by Basecamp Oulanka.

    Start at Basecamp Oulanka for the first briefing and to visit the kit room to collect all the clothing needed for a week of cross-country skiing in arctic conditions. Depending on the arrival time we may have dinner here or later when we arrive at the Logging Lodge in Oulanka National Park. **

  • 2

    Morning wilderness skills session. Easy Introduction day to cross- country skiing.

    Our first day is spent reacquainting ourselves with cross-country skiing. Before starting we get an introduction from the leader about what needs to be done in the wilderness. We spend the day not far from the Logging Lodge, either practising on circuits cut for us in the forest or in a larger clearing on the edge of the forest. In summer this is used as a gravel pit, and whilst that may not sound hugely appealing, a healthy dose of snow in winter turns it into a wide open area with a few ups and downs, perfect for getting easing back into the swing of things. Lunch today is taken back at the Logging Lodge. We aim to have a few hours practice in both the morning and afternoon.

  • 3

    Ski east towards the Russian border.

    The goal today is the log cabin known as the ‘Russian End’, on the banks of the Oulanka River, close to the border. After the briefing we are given dry sacks to fill with the belongings we’ll need for the next two nights. These are then packed onto the trailer and taken by snowscooter to our destination. We set off through the forest enjoying the tranquillity of the Finnish winter landscape. On the way we stop for a snack and a warm drink, usually in one of the small shelters that dot this part of the National Park. Eventually we come to the edge of the Border Zone with Russia, often a nice photo stop, before heading on to our cosy home for the next two nights. The total distance is around 14km and we aim to arrive by mid afternoon depending on conditions. Those that wish can accompany our second leader down to the river to collect some ice which we’ll use for a well deserved sauna or undertake further skiing if there is time. This location has little or no light pollution so there is a fantastic chance in the evening of seeing the Northern Lights in all their glory if the conditions are right.

  • 4

    Return trip to a wonderful viewpoint at Saunavaara, reach a viewpoint for spectacular views over Lake Paanajarvi.

    After a night in splendid isolation we awake to a warm breakfast and prepare for our day tour. The route takes us first across the river and uses initially some forest roads, again skirting the border and eventually to the beautiful viewpoint which overlooks Lake Paanajärvi on the Russian side, a wonderful spot from which to admire the pristine untouched natural surroundings. Our way back takes us through forest inhabited by Elk so there is a high chance of seeing one. In the evening we can relax in the traditional Finnish sauna and head out to the frozen river for an amazing view of the night sky.

  • 5

    Ski back through the forest to the Logging Lodge visiting the reindeer round-up place.

    Today we pack up our kit for the return journey to the Logging Lodge then head out on the skis following the same route as day three in reverse. We pass a Reindeer herders farm where we will stop and look for the reindeer which wander freely in the area before stopping off at the fire pit for a coffee, hot chocolate and snack break. Once back at the Logging Lodge there is a free afternoon for relaxing in the sauna. Extra skiing opportunities may be available if we arrive ahead of schedule. The total time this route takes can vary greatly according to conditions and group proficiency.

  • 6

    Free day for optional activities.

    Free day. There are variety of optional activities on offer today including the new and increasingly popular winter activity – fat biking; explore the winter wonderland with specially made bicycles with ultrawide tires that can run easily on the snow at very low pressure. Alternatively cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are also available.

  • 7

    Return trip to Oulanka Visitor centre. Farewell dinner by open fire

    Today is the longest day of the trip as we head north along the Oulanka River towards the visitor centre. Our route starts by crossing a small frozen lake before heading into the thick woodland of the Oulanka National Park. At the end of the ride we have lunch at the visitor centre and have time to see the exhibition about the national park as well as ride the short distance to the Karhunkierros rapids. Then we head back to the Logging Lodge for dinner and time for a final sauna.

  • 8

    End Logging Lodge

    The trip will end at the Logging Lodge.  Lunch is included for clients booked on the group flights for departures from Dec. 24th to Feb. 11th (included) due to a later inbound flight time.

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