Thursday, 29 December 2011

Kellostapuli - 500 something meters (maybe even 400 something)

In the last couple of months none of the mountain posts on this site have been on a mountain under 6000 meters. Well, I thought I had to change this fact to make the alps feel big again, so I went ski touring in Finland. 

Kellostapuli is a knoll just north of the finnish ski resort Ylläs in finnish Lappland. It could be called the off-piste mountain in this area and this is where I did my first ski tour a long time ago. I think I was almost fourteen years old and at that time these hills where real mountains to me. I remember the feeling of passing the ski area boundary all by my self on my telemark skis. It was a huge step to journey in to the unknown and ski the steeps for the first time. 

I was venturing on forbidden land. I don't think my parents even knew where I had gone, but it was all part of my breaking loose from my own mental chains. For every step up the mountain, what had been familiar entered in to the world I called my own, and it was one of the nicest feelings of freedom I had ever experienced. There was a laughter from inside of me telling me through sensation that; this is life! 

For the years to come i would climb this mountain innumerable times and then ski down the north and north west sides, get about two hounded vertical meters of skiing, cross the lake and then walk back to my family's cottage. I came to become the ritual that finished off every worthy ski day back then. 

Now, some fifteen years after my first ski tour adventure I were once again back where it all started for me. Being somehow used to fifteen hour ascents I was pretty relived when it now took fifteen minutes to get to the top. 

Looking at the surroundings, a smile came to my lips and I could remember the feelings of exhilaration I had a long time ago. 

After five turns down the north west face I hit the tree line and the stratugis changed to light powder snow. For a minute or so I enjoyed playing around the trees in perfect conditions before I arrived at the cross country track and the lake. 

Half way over the lake i turn around and look at my latest ski. It didn't look neither big nor steep anymore, but being on a mountain alone, whether it's big or small, always gives me feelings of peace and joy. For me thats two of the best things to experience in life. 

Ylläs seen from the approach to Kellostapuli

Ylläs seen from the top of Kellostapuli 

Kesänki seen from the top of Kellostapuli

The ski down the north west face

Kellostapuli seen from Kesänkijärvi

Ylläs seen from our porch 

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