May 2, 2015 Live from the road

Kilpisjärvi

Reported by Jan Klaile 13.0 km

Dawn breaks on huts in Kolari...

Logs for heating the sauna...

Bark for getting the fire going quickly...

Plank-steps down to the beach...

Encrusted with a patina of lichens...

Boardwalk from cabin to cabin...

This cabin served as the boys' lodging...

Our pets included these friendly reindeer...

...and these woolly sheep...

Tornionjoki (Torne river). In winter the thick ice connects the two strips of road, supporting cars driving between Sweden and Finland. However, don't try crossing on May-ice...

We drive 5 hours along a straight Lapp road up to Kilpisijärvi, which is located in the tip of the left hand of Lady Finland, at the border to Norway and Sweden...

Trailers on the way to Kilpisjärvi for the biggest event of the year: an ice-fishing competion attended by over a thousand people from around the region, near and far...

Kilpisjärvi

We will take the torch up to Saanatunturi - Mount Saana. It is 1029 m tall...

We started our climb at around 500 m...

It is 4,5 km up to the top...

Mount Sana is a sacred mountain...

In single file the pilgrims trudge up steps, partly swallowed by snow...

This is our super jolly and kind host and guide: international-level cross-country runner Heimo Rantakokko...

Sweden to the left, Norway straight ahead. The mount on the right is still part of Finland...

Zuzana

This is a Riekko, or Willow grouse, native to the Tunturi (low Lapp mountains)

Don't let sun-burnt lips stop you from making the climb...

Ah the top still looks quite far...

Oh well... Carry on!

Heimo tells us that the weather today is exceptionally good. There is only a slight breeze close to the top...

Jigyasu under cover taking the final steps...

Thank you so much Saana for allowing us to step on your holy rock!
Thank you Kilpisjärvi for giving us perfect climbing conditions!
Thank you Heimo for leading us up to the summit!

The silver scene of Kilpisjärvi lake below...

Envigorated by the blessing of Saana we all start running down...

After a while some of us try some body-sledding...

Weeeeeee!!!!!

Snow spray!

Heimo gives us commerorative Saana badges!

Then it is off to Kilpisjärvi school...

The police has been stationed here to wait for us...

...to escort the team now boosted with these 3 students towards the ice-fishing competion...

We get an extremely cheerful greeting from the ice-fishers...

Are we all gathered?

The torch is passed from hand to hand...

With wishes of Peace...

Thank you Heimo for a really great time!

People amble towards the start of the ice-fishing competion....

Teepee and ice-scooters...

The torch and the team in the middle of the lake...

There the fishers all are, a few minutes to the start signal. You get 2 hours to catch as many fish as you can. The fishing takes place within a predefined square...

Ok! Here we go!

There is among others a prize for biggest fish caught...

We were told that each fisher may catch a maximum of 2 fish. If you catch a third you let one go...

In last year's competition a total of 3 fish were caught.

Zuzana tries her hand at drilling a hole in the ice...

Nearly there...

Ice-fishing is a tranquil sport...

The Red Cross is here!

Iiris and Chetana!

A merikotka - white-tailed eagle flies straight above...

Reporting for the local newspaper....

Thank you for an eventful and inspiring day everyone!

On the way home we pass by a reindeer farm...

...and also see reindeer in the wild...

Torch carried by
Andreas Riska (Finland), Anne L Leinonen (Finland), Chetana Hein (United States), Daniel Novak (Czech Republic), Iiris Nuuja (Finland), Jan Klaile (Finland), Josef Sverma (Czech Republic), Kamaniya Palmer (Sweden), Lauri Tervo (Finland), Lilu Lähdesmäki (Finland), Pekka Aalto (Finland), Salil Wilson (Australia), Sanita Slare (Latvia), Tanuja Konecna (Czech Republic), Zuzana Klaskova (Czech Republic).  
Photographers
Andreas Riska, Lilu Lähdesmäki
The torch has travelled 13.0 km in Kilpisjärvi.

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