Archive for February 2011
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Freezing overnighter

The weather has been record cold for this winter in this week, nightly lows has been -25°C to -29°C and daily highs -10 to -15°C. This weekend looked very good for an extreme overnighter with a full moon. I was too tired on Friday evening and didn't have enough time to prepare properly. So I decided to have a go on Saturday night. The destination was the lean-to of Hevonpää in Paimio, a place where I haven't been before, and not too far away.

The goal of this overnighter was to see if I can still be comfortable even with the very cold conditions. Forecasts predicted -28°C for the night. My Marmot Never Summer sleeping bag is rated for -18°C, with the survival rating being at -37°C. Not really enough but I have a very warm wool sweater and old down jacket. Also, I decided to take two pairs of wool socks and two new Vaude pocket warmers. I knew that without them my foot would be too cold and that would make my night pretty miserable.

I left home late, somewhere 11PM, temperature at -24°C. The start was awesome and stunning.

The two batteries of my camera were fully charged, but the first one died after these shots! Not a suprise, as Olympus uTough-8000 has a full metal frame.

I rode very slowly, trying to not to sweat, that was the key for sleeping well in the night. Things went as planned for the first 40 minutes, althought the gears of my bike didn't work properly. My plan was to get to the lean-to in an hour, and I estimated that this way my foot would not get too cold. Wrong. My toes started to hurt slightly after the first 30-40 minutes, but I moved them and the situation was still in my control. The Moose Mitts pogies and Orso two-finger gloves were almost not enough, but they were ok.

I was getting closer to my destination, the only problem now was to find it. I had looked the maps at home and figured that the lean-to should be easy to find, as the instructions says that the route should be marked with yellow strips. I rode two of the small side roads of the 110-road. On the later one, I found a couple of yellow strips but nothing else.

After this photo also my second battery died. Things didn't look too good. My toes were pretty cold. Then I found some ski tracks nearby. I decided to hike and see if they lead to the lean-to. They didn't. I had also early signs of bonking and ate some frozen chocolate raisins. I had also sandwiches but they were, of course, pretty frozen.

The clock was probably close to 2AM in the night. I could have camped to snowdrift, but it didn't feel as a good idea. I decided to abort my trip and head to home. As a plan B I could camp to a place very close to my home where there is some kind of shelter, depending how I feel. But I was running out of time, the night would be too short. And the conditions felt even colder.

I was home at 3.30AM. This was a right decision, look what had happened to the pocket warmers!

Completely frozen. The temperature was -28°C at home! I don't know what kind of liquid it is inside of the warmers, and haven't found the information on the net, but the freezing point is fairly high. In the future I have to keep them in my jersey pockets.

Interesting overnighter! I'm a little disappointed in not finding the lean-to, but I'm not giving up. If the opportunity comes, I will try this again.

Peter managed to do a lot more succesful overnighter on skis on Friday/Saturday night, check out his report, awesome stuff!

By Toni at 13:02 | Permalink |
Category: Adventures, Gear, Photographing

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Winter S24O at Marttila

We were at the Wilderness of Marttila on May 2010 with Peter, and I thought that it would be nice to visit there also in winter. The trails are not rideable as there is so much snow, but the area is awesome and should provide some stunning visual stuff. And we weren't disappointed.

The weekend weather forecast also looked good, nighttime temps around -4°C. My goal was also to do more some gear testing, with the new stove and cookset, and see how comfortable one can be during an overnighter.

Peter rode from Turku to Paimio where we met, and continued to Marttila.
Getting closer to hike-a-bike section to the lean-to. This part was rideable!
Into the bike pushing.
Peaceful bliss.
The lean-to.
We started a fire and grilled sandwhiches.
Into the night, and I slept fairly well, althought there is still room for improvement. In the morning we made coffee and porridge. I forgot my fuel canister home but Peter borrowed his. My stove worked well.
Morning twilight.
On the move again.
Peter is a tall guy at 6"3 but this shows how much snow there was.
Nice landscapes.
The hike-a-bike was easier with our nightly marks.
Pushing almost over.
These small roads were actually a little challenging to ride and would have been spot-on for a fatbike.
A very nice morning.
Just before home took some photos of my fully packed adventure bike.
Almost home.
A really nice overnighter! Thanks for Peter for the company. A slideshow with more photos is here. And there is of course Peter's report, check it out, there are again some stunning photos.
By Toni at 5:48 | Permalink |
Category: Adventures

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Chasing sunset


Above photo was taken this week on Monday (31st of January 2011). There hasn't been many opportunities this winter to take good sunset photos (or sunrises), but this Monday evening was very good for that. I took a lot of photos, and some of theme are here, take a look. Sunsets and sunrises are probably my favourite theme for landscape photographing. I hope I will catch a lot of more good sunsets this year...

After Monday the scenes has looked pretty much this:

January was warm. Too warm. On the other hand it could have been a lot worse. In 2007 there wasn't snow in January at all, maybe a little in the end of that month, and there were some pretty heave rainfalls.

There has been lately some predictions that the end of this winter will be very cold and could last even to the early April. Interesting to see what will happen.

Slushy conditions have not been really an issue for me, commuting has gone very well. And a very nice thing is how well the Revelate Designs bags work for grocery shopping. And small packets are easily transported with the seatpost rack:

Today's commuting featured both slush and ice:

Today I finally received a cook and cutlery set for my adventure gear, and I will test them soon:

By Toni at 23:29 | Permalink |
Category: Commuting, Gear, Photographing