|The bridges of Uusimaa county; new...|
But the winds have changed and the temperatures soared to a giddy -4 degrees. Today I was sweating and was quite happy hiking in a merino t-shirt and R1 pullover - a microfleece, or glorified sweatshirt really. Rather than full on snow boots, it was nice to wear some light fabric hiking boots with just some shorty gaiters to keep the snow out the tops. After some really cold hand experiences over the last few weeks, I was actually happy walking for some time with out gloves on and was getting sweaty inside my Marmot XT gloves when I did put them on. What a difference a few days can make.
There are animal tracks every where, from tiny little marks that might be mice or shrews, hare tracks everywhere and interestingly what I think must be foxes that seemed to favour the river as a quick way to move about. Then there are the people tracks - lots of skiers have been out and about a few other snowshoers. Snowshoeing is definitely picking up in popularity in Finland. A few years back you basically never saw snowshoe tracks at least in the parts of southern Finland that I tend to frequent, whilst this winter in particular I'm seeing more and more. It is in someways not as graceful as skiing, more plodding and pedestrian, but it also has its own advantages and rewards of being able to go anywhere - particularly through dense southern deciduous-mix woods - with minimal hassle.
|More daylight - hurray! About 5 pm and the sun is still above the horizon|
|It's lucky I can never throw out odd straps, bits of velcro, elastic and the like as in my bits-and-pieces box I found the perfect ultra-light snowshoe holding system for my super light pack!|