The holy fjell in finnish lapland

Sanna Kyllönen, Black Crows ambassador, introduces her fjell at the heart of Finnish Lapland. Fjells are big hills characteristic of this old, highly eroded and gently shaped terrain. Among northern lights and boreal atmosphere, Sanna talks about her country, one of the cradles of skiing.

 

May I introduce my home fjell and village in the Finnish Lapland, Pyhätunturi, “The Holy Fjell”. Pyhätunturi is a nature park area with several fjells located in North-East Finland. The main ski fjell, adjacent right next to the national park, is called Kultakero. Kultakero translates as a “Golden Hill”, where people tried to dig some gold back in the days. It didn’t work that well, but Kultakero still offers precious spots to ski some powder in a very special atmosphere.

The highest top at Pyhätunturi is just 540 m above the sea level, so it doesn’t offer super long skiing lines. But it gives you the freshest air in the world, beautiful forests and views with soft shaped fjells as far as the eye can see. Often there aren’t many people around and one can just hear the sound of wind blowing. In the mid-winter snow covered trees – also known as snow monsters –  welcome skiers into the middle of fjell forest, which gives nice powder turns.

: Teemu Kuisma http://www.teemukuisma.fi/
Heavily snow-covered trees, “snow monsters” are a trademark of Finnish Lapland.

: Teemu Kuisma http://www.teemukuisma.fi/
Below the tree line you often get soft turns between the rocky shapes. Sanna in the middle of a cream cake last winter.

 

On the top of the fjells there might be rough conditions. Wind may blow over 30 m/s, ski lifts cannot always run and the snow might be hard as a concrete. In December and January it can be -35 degrees temperature.

We do have tipi-like-huts, wickets and open huts in the wilderness where a skier or whoever wants can go and have a packed lunch or even stay overnight. It’s a pretty special atmosphere to feel the nature around you, just listening to the silence and feeling the warmth of campfire after a touring day.

Why is this magical place called “The Holy Fjell”?! Hundreds of years ago Sami people lived in this area and had their pagan religion. Around The Holy Hill there were several sacred places where ancient Sami people sacrificed deer to their gods. There’s still some magic and sanctity to sense around the fjells.

: Teemu Kuisma http://www.teemukuisma.fi/
The ski resort is located next to a national park, where skiing is partly limited. Anyhow, there’s a plenty of playground with an amazing view. Sanna shredding last February at Pyhätunturi.

 

Pyhätunturi is located mostly in the municipality of Pelkosenniemi, a very small village (less than 1000 inhabitants). The ski resort is one of the biggest in Finland, and was chosen as “The Ski Resort of the Year 2017” in Finland. It just has a few lifts but with super good slope profiles, and the authentic atmosphere and traditions preserve the feel, making this place special.

Local people work together for a common goal, are naturally just who they are, and love to hang around in nature. Tourists who come to Pyhätunturi feel pretty much the same. Not often big and fancy parties, mostly getting together in the evenings in small and cosy pubs.

Around Christmas we have the so-called polar night, when the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon. During the polar night season, when the sky is clear, the sky is painted with pastel colours and orange sunbeams. Opposite to the polar night is nightless night in midsummer, when the sun doesn’t set at all.

: Teemu Kuisma http://www.teemukuisma.fi/
Windy, frosty, fresh! Typical Lappish weather in February. Sanna, last March.

 

The skiing season in Lapland is long, from November until May. On the other hand, summer in Lapland is short. But I guess the most of us live here because of the great winter. For me, a skier girl who lives for her nature hobbies and employed as a physiotherapist, yoga and ski instructor, this is almost a perfect place to live. Welcome to say hello, I’ll show you some nice spots! 😉

: Teemu Kuisma http://www.teemukuisma.fi/
How about ice climbing after skiing? Or maybe a hot mint chocolate at the camp fire?

 

: Teemu Kuisma http://www.teemukuisma.fi/
Girls enjoying the magical atmosphere of Pyhä.

 

: Teemu Kuisma http://www.teemukuisma.fi/
The first sun beams caress “The Holy Fjell” in mid winter.

 

: Teemu Kuisma http://www.teemukuisma.fi/
In pubs and restaurants there’s a retro feeling at Pyhätunturi. Time kind of stops when you arrive to the fjell.

 

: Teemu Kuisma http://www.teemukuisma.fi/

In the wintertime at bright sky you can see colorful northern lights, aurora borealis. If you time your ski touring trip to the fjells well, you can be lucky and ski under the dancing northern lights. Well, it’s good to have a headlamp with you to not crash into a tree… The northern lights are not quite THAT bright even though they are magical.

: Teemu Kuisma http://www.teemukuisma.fi/
During the polar night season the sun doesn’t rise, but the sky is painted with pastel colors.

 

: Teemu Kuisma http://www.teemukuisma.fi/

 

: Teemu Kuisma http://www.teemukuisma.fi/
In Finnish we call the northern lights as “revontulet”, which is associated with the arctic fox. According to a folk tale, an arctic fox is running and touching the fjells with its fur so that sparks fly off into the sky as the northern lights.

 

: Teemu Kuisma http://www.teemukuisma.fi/
Sanna cruising in the spring fields, Pyhätunturi last April. In that “backyard” of hers.

Sanna Kyllönen

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