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What were we thinking?

March 27, 2006
Old habits die hard and comfort zones are really hard to leave… This winter the Mr. and I have been testing different ski trails where we live in Espoo (many of these for the first time ever).
On March 18 we skied from Oittaa to Pirttimäki. Round trip is about 15km and it is a good trail for an intermediate level skier such as myself. Snow conditions were variable because we skied during the snow squalls that blew through Finland on March 18. Unfortunately we don’t have any pictures from that trip, but I can say there were a fair number of people out on the trails then. Pirttimäki has a little cafe that is open on weekends all year round, so whether you ski, hike or bike – there will always be a hot coffee waiting for you at the end of your trip.
The snow conditions have been ideal, so we hit the trails again last weekend… On Saturday Pirttimäki was the staging point for our trip from Pirttimäki to Solvalla, which is about 20km round trip (and that includes the 3km loop at Solvalla, which is not far from Nuuksionpää in the Nuuksio National Park). The Mr. originally wanted to ski from Oittaa to Solvalla and back, which would have amounted to close to a 30km trip. I flatly said there was no way that I could do a trip that long, and if we had done it, I might still be in the bush somewhere between Oiitaa and Solvalla at this very moment – no kidding!
The route from Pirttimäki to Solvalla was challenging; with big changes in terrain and we spent a lot of time climbing hills. Not far from the finish, even the Mr. had to concede that Pirttimäki-Solvalla was pretty tough and that he was glad he heeded my warning. I nearly had a nasty introduction to the tree people, not once, but twice within 200m.  Thankfully I didn’t mess up any body parts and my equipment survived in one piece; but there was a lesson to be learned from that: When I am tired, going down rollercoaster types of hills can be dangerous. A word of wisdom to inexperienced skiers who might want to try out Pirttimäki-Solvalla, it is challenging and it tests your fitness. Now while I don’t normally show my face on these pages, the attached picture of me should give you an indication of how tired I was…
I did recover from our odyssey and was ready and raring to go for a spin on Bodomjärvi the following day (well that would be yesterday). Everyone and their dog was out at Oittaa yesterday and Bodomjärvi was like the Turku Motorway at rush hour. (Refer to my entry a few weeks ago about skiing on the sea ice…) It was amazing! The folks who take care of the trails (hats off to them) have made a complete track for traditional and skate skiing all the way around Bodomjärvi. We estimated the trail to be at least 10km long as it took me about 1h and 15 minutes to ski from start to finish. The trail conditions on the lake were much better (=more consistent) than they were in the bush the day before and my wax held up well. Some of the attached pictures will give you a better idea of what we experienced on the weekend.
How on earth we never did this earlier is beyond me.  When the conditions are good, skiing in Espoo is a wonderful experience!
See more on Espoo’s skiing conditions here: is the home page and you can view skiing conditions in five other municipalities around Finland.
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