IWG Exped 05: Conservation Trip – Jungfruskär Island, Finnish Archipelago

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This is one of two trip reports that I did not get round to publishing from my time training in Finland. In May 2015, we spent a week on Jungfruskär Island, which is situated in the archipelagos to the south west of Finland. We were here to do some conservation work and study the local flora and fauna. The college has a deal with the Forest and Parks service that allows the class to stay on the island and use the facilities in return for doing some conservation work.

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IWG Exped 03: The Bear Ski – 9 Day Solo Skiing Trip – Finnish Lapland

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The Bear Ski was a 9 day solo skiing trip through the Hammastunturin Wilderness area in Finnish Lapland. It was the trip that had intrigued me the most before heading out to Finland. The thought of spending so much time completely alone, in the middle of nowhere and pulling all your gear and food was an exciting yet daunting prospect. It felt like it was going to be the true test of what I had learnt over the previous 7 months training as a wilderness guide. Whilst on the 930km drive up to Hammastunturin I wrote an Intro to the bear ski. The post didn’t actually upload as my signal suddenly cut out when we were nearing our destination. I thought nothing of this at the time. But later that day the trip was about to change quite dramatically for three of us in the group.

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To The Far North: An Introduction to the Bear Ski

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Update: This post was meant to send last week, but the signal on my phone cut out. I actually ended up having no phone signal for the whole trip which meant my solo ski had to be altered slightly, but will explain all in an up coming post.

Starting this morning we embarked on the 930km drive to Hammastunturin wilderness area in the far north of Finland. We will drive through the night and should arrive in the early hours tomorrow. From here we will start an 8 day solo skiing trip – The Bear Ski.

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IWG Exped 02: 5 Day Skiing Trip – Kylmäluoma, Eastern Finland

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This was the second expedition undertaken as part of our wilderness guide training. A 5 day skiing trip through Eastern Finland, in an area known as Kylmäluoma. This trip allowed us to practice our guiding and leadership skills, our cooking skills, our organisation skills, our personal camp skills and our kit. It also served as direct practice for the Bear Ski – A 9 day solo skiing trip undertaken in the far North of Finland in April.

After a 690km drive from Kuru to Kylmäluoma we arrived later than planned. The final stretch of single track road had been specially ploughed for us. As the road unfurled before us, the 1m high walls of snow to our sides made it feel more like we were navigating a river – meandering its course into the snowy depths of an unknown forest. The vans’ headlights were the only light around, offering enchanting glimpses into the pallid monochrome landscapes that enveloped us. Tree branches hung low from the weight of snow and it felt like we had stepped into a magical wilderness.

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January Microadventure – 24 Hour Ski Race

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This is my first of twelve microadventures. If you don’t know what a microadventure is or why I am doing one every month this year, head to my previous blog post explaining the whole idea. Which hopefully might persuade you to join in too..? Basically it boils down to this: committing to getting outdoors either alone or with friends for a small overnight adventure and trying something new, once a month for 2015.

As the title of this post appropriately suggests, the first adventure is a fable of a 24 hour skiing trip shared by an Englishman, two Deutschlanders and an Irish lass – Sinead and the Wild Boyz to you.

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