• BLOG
  • Season 2016/2017 – Skiing In Jungfrau Ski Region

    Tiina Kivelä

    See you in May 2017, she said on Friday,

    holding her brand new 2016/2017 season pass for Jungfrau Ski Region in her hand.*


    And what a start I got. 4 weeks after I was hiking here in T-shirt I was now skiing in knee-high powder. Not a bad start for a season, and definitely a good confirmation that the season pass for Jungfrau Ski Region is worth the money. Especially with the 50% local discount, including free local trains and busses and cable cars, and various discounts for other train rides, events and other ski resorts around the world. And with little extra the season pass can be extended to Adelboden even. Quite a nice deal, and as you can see from the pictures, awesome location for little getaway, just one hour train ride away from the current basecamp.

    Tiina Kivelä

    * The pass also includes ridiculously blurred face shot, which has already caused many laughs. Traveling incognito and keeping people happy, so to speak. Just like the stars of the old times, looking solitude in the Alps, and more precisely in places like the Hotel Bellevue Des Alpes in Kleine Scheidegg^ (“minor watershed”) mountain pass at an elevation of 2’061m. From here, it’s only one stop left, the top of Europe aka Jungfraujoch.


    Location: Kleine Scheidegg, Jungfrau Ski Region

  • BLOG
  • Visiting Finland November 2016

    Tiina Kivelä Lapland

    It was Arctic, Finland November 2016. Snowstorms in Helsinki, below -10°C degrees in Lapland, trains and planes delayed because the cold and snow, and for whatever reasons. And I was delayed from everywhere too, because the phone decided to freeze and because the sparsely build Finnish cities managed to surprise me, after months abroad in these cozily arranged Swiss towns.

    ONE EVENING IN HELSINKI, FINLAND

    But despite the cold Finland was nice. Most of the time. Seeing dearest friends is always nice. And Lapland is always nice, and Swedish Lapland was the nicest and the most tempting destination showing off in Skiexpo (yes, Swedes have eye for detail and style). And the Skiexpo sidekick party for Freeskiers, Vapaalaskuiltamat at Vanha, was also nice, but this time the hotel bed* and especially solitude, after 5 months in shared dorm-like flat, was more tempting than the party and films for more than short stop. Sorry friends, I can see them later online I hope. And hopefully see you all f2f in the Swiss slopes this winter; welcome to Jungfrau Region, I’m waiting!

    TWO DAYS IN LAPLAND

    And then there was the Lapland in details. Santa Claus Village, of course, as it happens to be so cozily on my way always. There was Arctic Light hotel, pampering with the in-room Sauna, polar bears and the famous, best ever breakfast! Highly recommended. And there was couple of drinks and beer tasting at friend’s place (greetings to Haarige Kuh Brauerei, you got very good reviews!) too.

    And then there was more Sauna at the original home, packing and frozen surroundings (and one broken red wine bottle in the checked in carry-on, damn.. (Goodbye that carry on and nice paper wrappers for swiss chocolate). And a last dinner at Roka, and way too early wake up call for the flight back.

    LOOKING FOR AN ASSISTANT

    After all this I have to confess that at some point during all that traveling, including the last day with wake up call at 4 am, 12h traveling in 2 flights and 2 trains, with 4 bags and couple of kilos too much, I decided this was the last time I took care of everything by myself. For the next time I’ll hire a personal assistant. Or find a husband, as that would suit better my poor budget… Or something. Too many bruises and aching muscles to count now, no matter how proud of myself I am after surviving the challenge in one piece and with all the bags (except the one^ destroyed by that bottle of wine).

    And in the end I would like to say, if this isn’t already clear enough: Go to Finland, and especially Lapland! It’s always worth it, and it kinda needs it. These days you can even take direct Germania flight from Zurich to Rovaniemi, if you’re from Switzerland or close.

    Or the other way round, dear Lapland people. Your host is waiting for the first guests! The cute little villages are dressing up with fairy lights and snow. Can’t get more idyllic for the end of the year. Both in Lapland and in Switzerland.


    *Ps. I have to ask, Clarion Hotel Helsinki Airport, where was the real butter and fatty milk for coffee in breakfast? ? Non fat is so last season, didn’t you know? 

  • BLOG
  • Sunday Tour – Pyhä Ski Resort

    Tiina Kivelä

    Went skiing. Into the clouds aka Pyhä Ski Resort; kind of my home resort this is. Wasn’t so bad, although this is far (too far) away from mountains. And mountains; oh boy I miss them a lot…. But hey, lets get back to the hills. Today the snow would have been great for touring, packed and settled, but unfortunately visibility was like this. And since the weather wasn’t ideal for touring, I decided to buy the damn expensive lift ticket.

    Oh Lapland… when you’d realize you just can’t ask almost the same for 4 slow lifts and 10 slopes & 400m height while the Alps (example) offer 3000m on height and around 50 lifts and slopes – not to mention the food and wine and beer etc. But since today I got the lift to the Holy Hill (that’s Pyhätunturi literally translated) and not the Alps, I took what I got and enjoyed some expensive lift assisted freeskiing (unfortunately the holiday season had overskied the snow) and technically excellent (krhm) runs on the slopes. Which, luckily enough, were in excellent shape; it’s been a good snowy winter in Lapland. The visibility, on the other hand… Artsy.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    And now something personal (and nostalgic). As a child skiing wasn’t an elite sport. This was my home resort, our weekend living room, where we skied and partied with the local freestyle talents and tested (and improved) our limits and skills on some of the most deepest and challenging runs in Finland. Back then even the old chairlift pictured here was still running. Pyhä was also the hill which for the first time (RIP) really made me realize how dangerous and risky sport skiing is (before that incident there even was a time we skied without helmets). Back then, also the ticket prices were way below current rates (and we even got this amazing local/youth discount for the season card). Only later (moving south / abroad) did I came to understand how things like skiing or hunting weren’t the average Jane’s business, like it was (and still partly is) in Lapland.

    Today skiing for me has these two sides – on the other is the elite sport, too expensive to practice regularly (hello sponsors!), and on the other is the freeskiing and skitouring; Norway style.* And luckily cross-country skiing is still free, at least in my parent’s “backyard”.

    SHOULD YOU GO TO PYHÄ ?

    Nowadays there are few jobs left up north, especially for the highly educated like me, and very few live there year round. Nevertheless, couple of years ago I tried to get back and lived and worked in this resort/village for a while. But, even though I love(d) the wilderness and activity possibilities the outdoors have to offer, I had to admit I couldn’t live there permanently. Unfortunately so. I need other people, I need more motivating a job and I need the fresh ideas and opportunism, even the hustle, what more densely populated towns and cities have to offer.

    But for a holiday, for a short visit and relaxing in silence; Pyhä is just perfect. So if you have the money I’d recommend you to enjoy the best skiing and cross-country skiing, fatbiking, hiking (summer and winter), mountainbiking, canoeing etc. in Finland, next to the Pyhä-Luosto National Park. And if not on active mood, also chilling by the fireplace / in sauna, and eating, is more than fine. And what’s even more nice is that Pyhä is easily reachable from the hub of Lapland, aka Rovaniemi city and airport.


    Note! If and when you like freeskiing and skitouring, I’d like you to notice that even though the steep downhills make this an excellent destination (maybe even the best one in Finland) for backcountry skiing etc, the steepness and rocky terrain also make it a very risky place when it comes to avalanches and falling while running / mountain biking / hiking. So please, when you’re going into the wild there; take into account the current weather and avalanche forecast, familiarize yourself about the terrain by maps / asking locals / ski school and take care of yourself and others.


    *I’m also wondering if resort skiing should be like golf – only available for the club members. And so that also the skills, not only money, would be taken into account when distributing the shares…