Back country skiing along the Russian border


This exceptional back-country skiing trek in Kainuu region, along the Russian border, will make you discover a wild area of frozen lakes and beautiful taiga in one of the most remote area of Finland which counts more bears than inhabitants (though they hibernate at that time).

This trek makes you get your fill of fresh air and offers a great view on Lappish nature with its snowy trees with magical forms. Full autonomy for 6 days: you will be away from everything and everyone. For more adventure feeling, you will be sleeping in a wide tent heated with a stove. An unforgettable and demanding adventure to feel the thrill provided by Great North.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Journey and welcoming dinner

    Journey and welcoming dinner Transfer by bus or by car to Hossa (about 1 hour), at the gates of the park. Settle down in your log cottage or in your hotel room. First night, our guides greet you at the restaurant upon a welcoming dinner.

    Accommodation: Cottage or hotel

  • Day 2 Start of the ski expedition

    Start of the ski expedition The first morning is dedicated to the equipment preparation that you carefully organize with your guide. After a short car transfer, we start our trek. We leave for six days in absolute autonomy with back-country skis, throughout Lappish taiga. We have 15km daily stages, which are designed in order to discover all ecosystems. Every night we sleep in a solid MESS tent with wood-stove. This type of accommodation enables us to be even deeper in the Finnish wilderness and to enjoy the best aurora borealis (quite frequent in the heart of arctic winter).

    Accommodation: tent

  • Day 3 Kovavaraa hill

    Kovavaraa hill Today we move closer to the Russian border, sometimes through passages of underbrush, sometimes on crossings petrified lakes. We end the day with the ascension of Kovavaara's hill allowing us to get a little height in order to contemplate the vastness of the Finnish taiga.

    Accommodation: tent

  • Day 4 Along the Russian Border until Vieremajärvi lake

    Along the Russian Border until Vieremajärvi lake Today we ski along the Russian border much of the day. Soon, we plunge into the deep taiga and it will take some effort to make our mark and open the tracks. Advancing silently away from beaten tracks, we will may have the chance to observe the local wildlife: black grouse, ptarmigan, hare, fox ...

    Accommodation: tent

  • Day 5 Paasovaara

    Paasovaara Today we move away from the Russian border and go a little further west towards the Hossa's National Park. On the way, stand a few hills but also many small and closed kettles lakes, geological relics from the Ice Age.

    Accommodation: tent

  • Day 6 From the Peaks to Hossaari

    From the Peaks to Hossaari Today we enter into Hossa National Park. We start the day by climbing peaks (spreading for hundreds of kilometers, then we will continue our journey through various lakes and forest to the Trapper's hut of Hossaari where we will spend the night.

    Accommodation: tent

  • Day 7 Hossa's frozen lakes crossings

    Hossa's frozen lakes crossings Here we are already on our way back after an expedition full of adventure and discovery! This morning we take our ski one last time to make the crossing of the lakes back to the base camp. A last glimpse of its vast white emptiness and silence before getting back to civilization.

    Accommodation: Cottage or hotel

  • Day 8 Transfer

    Transfer Breakfast and transfer back to Kuusamo airport.

Dates & prices

Departures for French-speaking groups:

From To Price per person Guaranteed Booking
€1,040 Yes Fully booked
€1,040 No Book now!
€1,040 No Book now!

Departures for English-speaking groups:

From To Price per person Guaranteed Booking
€1,040 Yes Fully booked
€1,040 No Book now!
€1,040 No Book now!

Trip code: S1

Included

  • Airport transfers to/from Kuusamo airport
  • 2 nights in cottage accommodation
  • 1 night in trappers huts
  • 4 nights in a tent
  • Sauna access most evenings
  • Full board from day 1 dinner to breakfast day 8
  • Activities supervised by Northern Wilderness professional guides
  • All technical equipment needed including cold weather clothing (see 'practical info' / 'equipment' for details)

Not included

  • Flights
  • Insurance

Additional Options

Please let us know if you would like to reserve any of the following optional activities/supplements:
  • Single room at the hotel: €220 pp.
  • Visit to our kennels: free
  • Local reindeer farm visit: €12

Notes

Comfort: 3/5 Various

Some of our trips involve a mixture of accommodation options. This trip includes :2 nights in cottage accommodation,1 night in trappers huts, 4 nights in a tent

Level: 4/5 Challenging

You should be in good physical shape to join our more challenging adventures. You should have a sense of adventure, a positive attitude and be prepared for a full-on action packed programme including 6+ hours of activity per day. This trip involves pulling pulkas and please note that our difficulty ratings may vary depending on the weather.

Minimum age: 14

International flights

Flights are not included but this trip includes airport transfers to/from Kuusamo airport - please contact us if you require transfers to/from somewhere different.

Insurance

Practical info

Staff

Activities supervised by artic specialist and English speaking guides. Ask for the availability of a guide who can speak your own language!

Food

Finland is not a land of gastronomy, even though some specialties are delicious! Because of weather conditions and our isolated location, fresh products are quite rare. During your stay we will offer you simple dishes which will fit your energetic needs. You will also have the opportunity to taste some Finnish specialties such as marinated or grilled salmon, salmon soup, reindeer stew or traditional cakes. A generous buffet breakfast will be served at the hotel restaurant, as well as dinners when you sleep at the hotel.

For the activity days :
  • For lunch, you will enjoy a picnic with wood-fire grilled food
  • For your nights in trapper cabin or tent you will prepare and share a dinner together with your guide 

Accommodation

Our basecamp is located in the heart of Hossa Park, 100km away from any village or shop. Our conception of tourisme has nothing to do with mass tourism hubs like Rovaniemi, Ivalo or Kittila. No Santa Claus Village with us! There are 23 inhabitants around Hossa and most of them are reindeer farmers. Indeed, there are more bears living up there than inhabitants! We are living there in autonomy and are working in deep cooperation with the National Forrest Service which runs Hossa Park development. During your stay, you will not have many opportunities to meet local people since there are very few of them. You might meet some ice fishers or Nordic skiers.

During your stay, you will be accommodated for 2 nights in our cottages, 1 night in a trapper's hut,  and for 4 nights in a tent:

- Hotel and Cottages : Our hotel is ideally located beside a conserved lake. The hotel has 25 rooms (single, double and triple). All rooms are equiped with a private bathroom with shower, practical storage units, a T.V with international channels. Bed linens and towels are provided by Norwide. Nearby your room, you have free access to our sauna. After an energetic sport day, you will enjoy relaxing in this wooden piece of peace !

- Here is another accommodation option: the cottages (on request, subject to availability) :
  • The « Classical » cottage, with an only room with living room/kitchen, twin or bunked beds, private bathroom and sauna

Bed linens and towels are provided by Norwide.

- Tente mess:
For the bivouac overnight in tent, you will sleep into a MESS tent, just like a special tipi warmed up by a wooden-stove. This tent can accomodate up to 8 people. 

-Trapper cabins:
These are log cabins just like mountain refuges. The comfort is basic. These accommodations consist of a single dormitory or a room for 4 to 6 people with one main living room. There is no running water or electricity. The room is heated by a wood-stove. Despite cold weather outside, the room is quickly warmed up by the stove and we easily get to fine temperatures inside. There are dry toilets outside. The cabins are all equipped with a traditional sauna. They are full of charm and that’s why we love them!

Transportation

- 6 back-country skiing days, with pulka
This trip is an opportunity for you to discover all the mysteries of the wild taiga via a form of travel very adapted to the environment: back-country skis with pulka. It helps you going in extremely snow-covered areas, off the beaten path and at a relatively fast pace. 5 to 7 hours a day with back-country skis, and very low differences in elevation. The route that we offer here corresponds to a hundred kilometers to go in harsh climatic conditions. In addition, you are in complete autonomy which means that you carry, thanks to the pulkas, all your personal belongings and the common equipment for the entire week. The tracks that we use are drawn and maintained but thanks to back country-skis you also go out of trails and make your own mark, each person successively, in the vast sceneries.

Vital equipment

  • High protection sunglasses
  • Mask
  • Personal medicine kit
  • Sun-cream (from the end of February)
  • Vaseline or waterfree mosturising cream
  • A headlamp
  • A thermos, in order to always have some hot beverage with you while practicing the activities. For lunch, the guide will provide you with hot beverages.

  • Boots (type SOREL) are issued on arrival and are yours throughout the week
  • For snowmobile safaris : overalls and helmet
  • For dogsledge safaris : winter jacket for extreme cold and leather mittens
  • For each bivouac night spent in a trapper cabin: sleeping bag

Helpful equipment

« The three layer system » :
Extreme conditions need extrem level of protection. For your clothing, the multilayer method is the best. You will have to wear several layers of clothing. The closest layers to your body let it sweat easily. The other layers keep your body warm and protect it from extreme weather conditions.
- Base / Inner Layer Close-fitting articles of clothing:  polypropylene, polyester, capilene, wool or silk baselayer thermals. .
- Insulating / Middle Layer Warm pull-over or fleece jacket. .
- Shell / Outer Layer Goretex, or a comparable ski jacket is strongly recommended for this layer for its excellent water and wind resistant properties.

You will need the following:
  • Waterproof shoes, winter hiking shoes, sports shoes or snow boots (for evening wear)
  • Woolen socks
  • Warm winter jacket (ski jacket or down jacket
  • Ski trousers or ski overalls
  • Warm pull-overs or fleece jackets
  • Warm baselayer thermals : very important.  Thin technical fibers as Carline or Polartec are extremely efficient.
  • Expedition waterproof mitten/gloves and fitted silk gloves
  • Woolen hat
  • Hool, Balaclava
  • Scarf
  • Swimming suit (sauna)
  • Microfiber towel (sauna)

Personal effects that you must bring with you:
  • A sleeping bag linr for each overnight in trapper cabin (it goes into the sleeping bag that we lend you, for hygienic reasons)
  • Your driving licence (compulsory when you drive a snowmobile)
  • A credit card : we make a copy of it that is used as a deposit for all the equipment provided 

Luggage

Your belongings must be distributed into 2 bags :
1- A suitcase or flexible travelling bag (max. 20kg)
2- A backpack (30 to 40L) for your usual belongings that you will bring with you while practicing the activities
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Adrien

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  • Adventure travel expert
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Region
Hossa
Activity
Hiking Skiing Winter
Duration
8 days
Group
5 to 8 people
Code
S1
Price
From €1,040
Level
4/5
Comfort
2/5
Language(s)
French / English

Strengths

  • A real itinerant adventure with back country skis and pulkas
  • The discovery of one of the most remoted area in Finland
  • Bivouac overnights at the heart of wild nature

Guide's advice

This exceptional back-country skiing trek in Kainuu region, along the Russian border, will make you discover a wild area of frozen lakes and beautiful taiga.

This trek makes you get your fill of fresh air and offers a great view on Lappish nature with its snowy trees with magical forms. Full autonomy for 6 days: you will be away from everything and everyone. For more adventure feeling, you will be sleeping in a MESS tent heated with stove. An unforgettable adventure to feel the thrill provided by Great North.

Required level


This is a trip in harmony with nature, where you are active: the only form of travel you will use will be your two skis !

No need to say that a very good physical condition is required for this skiing trip but you first need to be motivated and to be kind of outdoor life to complete this challenge. Among all the trips that Norwide Finland offers, this one corresponds to the highest level. A previous experience in back-country skiing is necessary and you need to be a sports passionate and used to practice a lot (not necessarily with big differences in height). You can prepare for this trip by practicing an endurance activity (walking or cycling) once or twice a week, 2 months before your departure. We offer here a real adventure in total autonomy supervised by artic specialized guides.

During those 6 skiing days, you carry and take care of all the necessary equipment. The different stages are active but not too difficult  (between 5 and 7 skiing  hours a day). The trip will take place on a Great North remote land. This non-sanitized field of adventure will require from you certain adaptability to terrain and weather conditions which can vary quite fast. All of the expedition nights will be spent in tent or in a rustic but convivial cabin. This is a participative trip, meaning that you will participate into expedition equipment preparations. During the skiing trip, your will prepare together with the group and your guide meals, chop wood, fetch water, take care of the common equipment …

You will generally participate in the everyday group life. Teenagers from 16 years old can participate in this trip, provided that the young person is sporty and is used to practice outdoor activities (hiking, biking, skiing, sailing) and to resist to though weather conditions. If not, we recommend you to choose a family or less sporty trip. The trip selection is very important for a full enjoyment on site. We recommend this trip to anyone who is willing to rise to a challenge in the heart of Great North wilderness. A trip off the beaten track, with no other mean of transport than your skis and your pulka. An unforgettable expedition and human experience to share with a motivated group!
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