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Strap on them snowshoes, ’cause yer gonna need ’em!

March 20, 2013

We’re in the throes of a fantastic winter in southern Finland (for the fourth year in a row!) and that means time to enjoy the weather and all the associated winter sport activities!

As you may have noticed in my previous blog post, I had elbow surgery a few weeks ago to repair some damage I inflicted on myself when I was hacking the ice in my driveway a couple years ago. To make a long story short, the injury impacted my active lifestyle and cross-country skiing has been out of the question for the past two winters.

Enter Christmas 2012 and a gift of snowshoes from the Mr. (It was perfect, we went shopping after Christmas and we both got great gifts for each other – things that we really wanted.) I even got to test them out the same day!

IMG_2665 IMG_2666

I declined on getting some poles for now because I have been snowshoeing out on open fields. With a healing elbow I don’t want to take any chances of falling in the bush and re-injuring myself. This time of the year (mid-February until the snow is gone) is by far the best for winter sports. It’s cold, the sun is shining and there’s enough snow to make a getaway. As soon as I got my stitches out last week, I marched on down to the snow-covered fields just a 10-minute walk from home. The snow is deep, so snowshoes are a must.

I believe I inspired other people to head out, because until last weekend the only tracks on these fields were mine.

There is even a Finnish Snowshoeing Championship. This year it was slated to be held at Ruka the first weekend of February, but unfortunately it was cancelled because of a lack of participants!

Hard to believe, especially when there are so many new snowshoes gracing the feet of so many Finns. Hmmm – I am now considered a “Master’s” level athlete – maybe I can join in at some point. 🙂

Wanna know more?

This article features a short bit on snowshoeing up in the far north (which is a dream for me), but there are some great places to go close to home.

The Finnish Broadcasting Corporation (YLE) TV show “King Consumer” Kuningaskuluttaja actually ran an episode last month in which they tested some snowshoes. The model I have (can’t remember off the top of my head, I’ll get back to you on that) was not featured here.

There is also a national association for snowshoeing.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 21, 2013 11:19 am

    Welcome back! I hope you’ve fully recuperated now 🙂 It took me long enough to master skiing (the cross country variety) I’m not sure I’m ready for snow shoes just yet. However I vaguely recall hearing that my local library will lend them. Have to check that out.

    Truly is a great winter this year!

    • March 21, 2013 1:16 pm

      Thanks Kanerva! So far so good. It’ll be awhile before I am back into full sports. My hope is to be in good enough shape to the do the Tour de Helsinki this year.

      Not having those “northern” genes, I can understand your difficulties in picking up skiing. 😉 Snowshoeing is much easier than x-country skiing. Since we have so much snow, I highly recommend you give it a try. You can even use poles to help keep your balance, but heading out on a flat field – you won’t need them.

      • March 21, 2013 2:23 pm

        Funny you should mention Tour de Helsinki. I was just thinking that I should get the bike serviced soon. Have you ridden that before? This year will be my 5th time 😉 There are a couple of local events and the Pirkan Pyöräilu (my favourite) on my cycling calendar this year!

        Thanks for reminding me about my southern genes! I knew there was a reason it was so difficult, although I’m naturally clumsy to boot so… this is one skill that will always be hard work!

        Now to get to the library to see if there are any snowshoes left!

      • March 22, 2013 12:46 pm

        Yep, I have done TdH twice, but my elbow problems have also kept me off my bike for the good part of two years. I am currently whipping myself into shape in the gym at work. Would love to get a new bike, but that’ll have to wait for a bit!

      • April 1, 2013 12:22 pm

        Hope to see you there!

  2. Sonia permalink
    March 27, 2013 8:43 am

    Not into skiing at all (and winter as such), but snow shoes have been tempting me!

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