15-Apr-2002 -- My wife likes cross-country skiing and she is very fond of Lapland and wandering in the nature. Usually once a year she had been there in northern Finland skiing or hiking. This year she wanted that we should go to Lapland together to enjoy the snow, skiing and the light of spring there.
We decided to have a holiday of one week and spend it in Lapland at Olos-tunturi near Muonio in middle April and rented a cottage there.
While we studied the maps of the region and planned skiing expeditions to come I noticed that the confluence 68N 24E is within a couple of kilometers distance from the cross-country skiing route, that goes between Pallas-tunturi and Olos-tunturi.
I insisted that if we are going to travel one thousand kilometers from home for skiing and get so close to a confluence then we must visit it!. So we agreed that we would spend one day trying to reach the confluence if the circumstances for visit are appropriate.
The confluence is situated inside Pallas-Ounas National Park ( http://www.metsa.fi/luo/kpuistot/pallas-ounastunturi/ ). One is not permitted to hike there freely. During winter when snow covers over the land you can wander anywhere by ski, but during summer you can walk only along the marked paths. Most time in winter the skiing outside the readymade trails is very difficult because of the deep snow.
We were hopeful that the spring weather would be suitable for making the “hankikanto” which means that when the sun smelts the surface of snow during spring day and then it gets frozen during night frost, you can ski or even walk anywhere on snow most time of the day.
The second day after arriving to Olos-tunturi was ideal for our expedition. At the afternoon day before the temperature was just above zero and during the night before it was about 10 degrees Celsius below zero. Weather was nice, temperature some degrees below zero and wind was calm. My wife Ulla-Maija and myself took some lunch with us in our backpacks and started to ski from Toras-Sieppi towards Pallas-tunturi, northeast along skiing trails that had been made by snowmobiles.
I was equipped with a Benefon Esc GSM/GPS device with loaded maps, Suunto compass-altimeter wrist watch and paper maps. After about 10 kilometers we left the trails and went east in the direction of the confluence. The surface of snow was firm, so skiing some kilometers from the trails to the confluence was quite easy.
The terrain also made for easy travelling: Not too dense forest, some birch, some dwarf birch and Norway spruce.
The confluence is at the western slope of the hill of Lehtirova about 350 m. above sea level. There are no wide views from the spot because the hill is not so high and the confluence is inside the forest. The typical northern taiga forest was still very beautiful and the snow there was full of tracks of hare, ptarmigan and fox.
In the calm forest the stillness was perfect. The sun began to shine during the visit to the confluence and we had to leave the place before the surface crust would get too soft. We returned to the trails and skied some kilometers northwards to a hut for lunch and then skied back to Toras-sieppi.
So, the confluence visiting day was very nice and after about skiing of 30 kilometers we had a pleasant Sauna in our rented cottage!