• Going Happy Places – Upgrade My Winter 2017-2018

    Tiina Kivelä

    While daydreaming in the middle of this November darkness, I thought it would be a good idea to write down a bit more about the dreams I’m planning to make reality this winter season. The dreams for which I’ve joined the #skierssquatchallenge (thanks for the inspiration Sandra), and for which I find the motivation to explore running the icy remote small town roads in pouring rain like Rocky.

    For this winter, I’m already past the first first half of the preparation project. Because these dreams really need  preparation and work to turn to reality. I’ve done the squats, gone running and nordic skiing, and lowered the spending and alcohol intake (after the wine fair that is). Unfortunately, I can’t have the long high altitude weekend hikes from last year. Those were the secret for surviving last winter and spring and even the marathon, and they were just so fun. But I do hope the other activities and even a bit more structured plan (I even have kind of a bullet journal now) will do good as well.

    This winter and the year coming, I want to really improve my mountain skills, both when it comes to skiing, running, skitouring and mountaineering. I wanna do some more “things I wanna do before I turn 30” things like the marathon already finished, and concentrate on my wellbeing, for common good (hello future employers and cooperators, I’m thinking of you too in here).

    Nobody climbs on skis now and almost everybody breaks their legs but maybe it is easier in the end to break your legs than to break your heart although they say that everything breaks now and that sometimes, afterwards, many are stronger at the broken places.


    Tiina Kivelä


    Talking of the dreams I have for this winter, one of the biggest is to spent more time in my happy places. First, in December I’m going to Switzerland to get my stuff, meet lovely people, and hopefully enjoy some December Swiss pow.  Then I’ll continue to Austria to catch up with some awesome mountain babes, and enjoy as much glühwein and raclette as possible, as it’s the Weihnachtsmarkt -season.

    After the reunion with my dear Alps, I’ll hopefully hop on plane back north for Christmas or at least New Years. Hopefully, because no tickets bought yet. As the sad story goes, Germania doesn’t offer the direct flights from Zürich to Rovaniemi this winter. Therefore, I have to consider more carefully when I have time and money to fly, with the expensive Finnair transfer flights. Especially during the extremely busy Christmas season, when charters are filling every airport in Lapland and Christmas tourists the regular flights.

    I haven’t been up here for the holiday season in two years, and I’ll have a brand new apartment then, so I kind of would like to be here for the holidays. But again, it might become too expensive and also, working for Santa for 4 months now I’ve had enough of this Christmas by now. The sun and cheap wine of south wouldn’t be a bad option either…

    After the holidays and turning to 2018, wherever that will be, I’ll get down to the Alps again in January, to go skiing in La Grave. Booked the camp through Boundless Betty again (not paid ad, just a honest recommendation) and I really hope this will improve my skiing and mountain skills a lot. Of course I’m going there also for the raclette, and to hang out with amazing women again, because why not. Alps are always a good idea.

    Then, depending on the work situation, I get back north north or stay south the rest of the winter, doing as many weekend adventures as possible before the spring ski mountaineering season comes into play. This will include a longer hochtour/hauteroute tour, and some cross-country skiing I hope. Plans and funding aren’t clear about these last ones yet, but fingers crossed (and work to do) there’s gonna be good trips like these later in the winter and spring too.

    Finally, and since my birthday is waiting in May, I also hope to squeeze in (and find the money for) a longer trip this winter (fyi: spring in south means winter in Lapland). Number one destination would be Colombia, for catching up with friends there, learning Spanish and experiencing the Colombian multisport scene. And more than anything else, to enjoy the sun, lack of which I’ve suffered hard this autumn. My friend also said, when inviting me there, that I should show with my experience how Colombia is a destination for a adventurous woman solo traveler. Ready for the challenge, but again let’s see if there’s enough funds and holidays for that.

    Finally there was the great glacier run, smooth and straight, forever straight if your legs could hold it, your ankles locked, you running so low, leaning into the speed, dropping forever and forever in the silent hiss of the crisp powder. It was better than any flying or anything else, and you built the ability to do it and to have it with the long climbs, carrying the heavy rucksacks. You could not buy it nor take a ticket to the top. It was the end we worked all winter for, and all the winter built to make it possible.


    2017 Tiina Kivelä


    This winter my plan is to write more, about my training and plans and projects, in here. I’m not sure how many is interested really, but still. To tell you, whoever is interested, what it takes to get to the final stage, to do those long climbs ahead, and stay alive those great glacier runs.

    First of all, even if you don’t do freeskiing or the other kind of adventures like I do, I think you could get good tips from my basic endurance and strength training, just to make your everyday challenges like work more bearable, and your body to handle all that more conveniently. Second, for the fellow mountain people, I hope the avalanche stuff and insights on how I view and manage all the risks help you to get forward in the mountains as well. Finally, I hope my insights on how I generally balance my life with my full-time job, all this travel, exercise and relationships, could be of help for someone else. Even if just letting you know that you’re not alone.

    Like already said, last winter didn’t go so well in the end, so I hope this time I know how to do this better. This winter I’m really going to upgrade. Be it doing like the Swiss Tourism tells me to do in the video below – to upgrade my winter in the Swiss mountains (check! – booked and the skis are waiting me there already) or just doing everything better this winter, wherever I am.

    Tiina Kivelä

    I do have few extra challenges this winter though, like the non-existent direct flights and still unknown future since my current work project ends soon. But I hope that knowing I need to keep better eye on these things, I manage to beat those challenges and travel to the highest mountains and unknown territories more than once.


    the fun of skiing was to get up into the highest mountain country where there was no one else and where the snow was untracked and then travel from one high Alpine Club hut to another over the top passes and glaciers of the Alps. You must not have a binding that could break your leg if you fell. The ski should come off before it broke your leg. What he really loved was unroped glacier skiing, but for that we had to wait until spring when the crevasses were sufficiently covered.


    Tiina Kivelä

    Let’s hope those springy glacier runs will be good and if interested, follow my journey here, in Instagram or Facebook.

    Let’s do our best to upgrade everything this winter.

    Where: Berner Oberland, Switzerland

    Quotes: Ernest Hemingway

  • BLOG

    Tiina Kivelä

    Hello. It’s me. I was wondering if after all these days you’d be wondering why I haven’t answered your emails. Sorry for that. I guess I should explain a bit. Tiina Kivelä

    I’ve been home (the original one) and busy. Not busy in the normal urban way though. My current location (and physical state) couldn’t be more far from the urban than it is (or well it could, but not much). Here in the periphery I’ve been busy reconsidering my life and the way I react to this world. I’ve been busy keeping myself away from the normal life, which lately hasn’t been as lovely as I’d hope it would be. It hasn’t paid back my efforts as I’ve expected it to do and generally speaking the world hasn’t really made any sense (as I’d hope it would). Therefore I have simply ignored the messages (and your emails) from the normal life. Reading the excerpts has been enough; I haven’t wanted to waste my energy on roads which doesn’t lead anywhere. And literally, I’ve been busy commuting these tracks. At least these ones lead somewhere; today to waffles and sauna.

    I have gone to the forest.

    It’s the best time of the year in Lapland and my private luxury resort has offered me an excellent opportunity to escape the normal life; your messages, refusals and exhausting unpredictability. Nevertheless I don’t know how exactly I should describe this current state – active mindfulness? Keeping myself busy while staying away from busy? Or just wellness? Nevertheless, I’m doing ok. Getting stronger, building stamina and endurance, and just staying alive as best as I can. Reading, watching and listening, getting inspired  knitting, learning, eating, sleeping, laughing, skiing etc. Thinking if I should set a goal for my training… A competition? A mountain?

    And silencing that little voice (I do feel sorry for not answering those emails) by sending you these digital postcards. I’m thinking of you, no matter what.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Take care!

    *Quote: Knut Hamsun

    Terveisiä Lapista! Elämä voi olla myös tällaista. Ajattelin nyt hieman selittää mitä olen puuhaillut ja miksi en ole vastannut useimpiin vastaanottamiini viesteihin viime aikoina. Anteeksi. Tiedän sen olevan huono tapa, eikä kovin rakentava. Mutta kun. Tässä on ollut vähän muuta tekemistä. Ajateltavaa ja tavallaan pakoiltavaakin. Olen ottanut aikalisän, välimatkan ja hengähdystauon ns. normaalista elämästä. Koska rehellisesti sanottuna olen viimeisten vuosien aikana tuhlannut normaaliin elämään ja yrityksiini pysyä siinä kiinni, paljon enemmän energiaa kuin olen itse siltä saanut. Siksi siirryin umpikujaan johtavilta teiltä hetkeksi tänne, erämaahan ja laduille, jotka johtavat saunaan ja tänään jopa vohveleille.

    Olen hiihtänyt, lukenut, kuunnellut, katsellut, inspiroitunut, kutonut, nauranut, oppinut, syönyt, nukkunut ja niin, ollut vastaamatta niihin viesteihin… Kehittänyt itseäni, taitojani, voimiani ja ajatuksiani. Miettinyt pitäisikö tässä treenata jotakin varten… Kilpailu? Vuori? Ehkä pian jaksan myös palata niihin viesteihin, normaaliin elämään. Mutta ei ihan vielä. Koska maaliskuu on paras aika vuodesta Lapissa. Ja Lapissa kaikki tapahtuu hieman hitaammin. Kun on niin paljon tuota lunta. Ja nyt aurinkokin.