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Hunt Lapland's Backcountry Powder from a Military Truck

Find the best slopes for Backcountry Ski-Touring in the Finnish Pyhä-Luosto region while travelling on a former military truck . 2 days off work.

  • Finland
  • Rovaniemi Airport, Rovaniemi (RVN)

Pyhätunturi is the go-to-spot for Finnish backcountry skiers and it’s not hard to see why; the region boasts striking sceneries in the true Finnish wilderness, as well as unbelievable skiing away from crowds and it is one of best spots to see the Northern Lights. Forget about boring hotels; This adventure sees you travel in a renovated military truck to some of the most remote Aurora hotspots and best backcountry skiing areas in Finland, with help from your guides. What’s included:

  • 2 days of backcountry skiing
  • 3 nights of Aurora hunting (incl. photography “workshop”)
  • 3 nights of accommodation in a former military truck
  • All meals on trip, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 2 local professional, English-speaking guides
  • Airport transfers via Skibus
  • Snowshoes
  • Tripod
  • Sauna
  • Liability Insurance

Perfect for:
Backcountry skiers and riders who want to get away from the crowds to explore the true Finnish wilderness and learn to photograph the Northern Lights.

Need To Know

The following are not included in the tour price:

  • Flights to/from Rovaniemi
  • Travel insurance that covers backcountry skiing
  • Snacks, alcoholic drinks and personal expenses
  • Additional activities in Rovaniemi
  • Ski and avalanche equipment
  • Tips for your guides (optional)

This trip will run with a minimum of 4 people, and a maximum of 6.

Sure can! A lot of people do, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

As Finland has a population of 5,5 million people with more than 2 million saunas, you’ll be able to find saunas deep in the forest and in places you would never expect them. So, visiting saunas every now and then is not a problem!

Pyhätunturi is the go-to-spot for Finnish free riders thanks to its vast ski touring potential and diverse off-piste runs in unbelievable scenery. It is host to Finland’s deepest ravines such as the Isokuru, as well as 400-year old beautiful pine forests, untouched by human hand.

Much Better Adventures are very social in nature and we’ve seen lots of new friendships born out of them. Expect a mix of solo travelers and very small groups of 2 or 3, all with a shared appreciation of escaping the city for the great outdoors to try something new and meet new people.

You should have had basic experience of backcountry skiing to do this trip. Bearing in mind that you will spend 5-7 hours skiing per day, a moderate level of fitness is best to help you make the most of the trip.

Sure can! Your host can assist you with the rental of a split board, or, if you prefer using your snowboard, your host can also provide snowshoes to climb up the hills.

No, unfortunately, the Northern Lights are notoriously unpredictable so it is impossible to say that you will definitely see them. The chances are highly dependent on the weather and visibility, as you will need clear skies to view them properly.

However, this trip will definitely increase your chances as you will be staying in remote locations accessed by your truck, which are away from light pollution.

Your guide is a professional chef and will cook a mixture of European cuisines with a Lapish twist.

Absolutely! Just let us know at booking.

Temperatures in winter can vary from -20°C to -5°C, but while it is cold, this usually makes for the deepest powder snow in these months.

Should the weather conditions cause the trip to be too risky, the trip might be interrupted and the group will be returned to the accommodation.

To capture the Northern Lights in its full beauty, your host suggests to bring a camera with manual settings. Using a full-auto camera often does not allow capturing the phenomenon.

Your guide suggests that you bring:

  • Randonné skis, telemark skis or splitboard
  • Ski boots with walk mode
  • Poles (telescoping preferred)
  • Helmet
  • Backpack (~35 L)
  • Sunglasses
  • Goggles
  • Thermos and water bottle
  • Outdoor winter clothing (waterproof jacket and pants, thermal underwear, wool socks, midlayer, down or Primaloft jacket, 2 pairs of gloves or mittens, hat)
  • Down Jacket.
  • Neck gaiter or warm scarf

Yes, of course. We work with some of the best leaders in the industry.

Start point?
If you upgraded to a private transfer, you’ll meet your driver at Rovaniemi Airport at 11:15. Alternatively, take the included Skibus from the airport to the doorstep of your hotel in Pyhä where your guides will be waiting for you. Your host suggests booking any flight arriving before 14:00 to meet the bus shuttle. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Finish point?
Your guides will drop you off at the Skibus stop in Pyhä for your return trip, or, if you chose a private transfer, you’ll be dropped off at Rovaniemi airport. You’re free to book any flight departing on Monday that meets the transfer times of the ski shuttle. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Rovaniemi Airport (RVN) is served by regular, inexpensive flights, including direct flights from London on Norwegian Air Shuttle. You can get any flights that suit you, but please arrive at RVN by 14:00 on Friday. You can always fly through Helsinki before of after the trip to give yourself more flight options as well as a chance to explore the capital.

Round-trip airport transfers on the SkiBus are included in your costs, or you can upgrade to a private transfer for an additional GBP 54.

Private transfer: Your host will meet you in the arrivals area with a sign. Travel time: 1.5 hours.

SkiBus: The Skibus travels between the airport and Pyhä several times a day. Check the updated timetable. Catch the 18:05 bus at the latest. Travel time: 2 hours.

To find the bus, exit the airport through the main doors; the bus stop is 30m away. The bus driver will already have your reservation. Show your passport and you’re good to go. The 5th and final stop is right in front of your hotel.

We will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

Location

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Pyhä-Luosto National Park, among the most exciting wilderness areas in Finland is located well above the Arctic Circle in Lapland. Pyhätunturi is the go-to-spot for Finnish free riders thanks to its vast ski touring potential and diverse off-piste runs in unbelievable scenery. It is host to Finland’s deepest ravine, Isokuru, as well as 400-year old beautiful pine forests.

Rovaniemi, the unofficial capital of Lapland, is located right at the confluence of the rivers Kemijoki and Ounasjoki in the Arctic Circle. The once harsh trading post for gold and fur now boasts a variety of winter activities from ice-fishing, dog-sledding and Reindeer rides. If you’re lucky, you may even see the Northern Lights.

Start point?
If you upgraded to a private transfer, you’ll meet your driver at Rovaniemi Airport at 11:15. Alternatively, take the included Skibus from the airport to the doorstep of your hotel in Pyhä where your guides will be waiting for you. Your host suggests booking any flight arriving before 14:00 to meet the bus shuttle. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Finish point?
Your guides will drop you off at the Skibus stop in Pyhä for your return trip, or, if you chose a private transfer, you’ll be dropped off at Rovaniemi airport. You’re free to book any flight departing on Monday that meets the transfer times of the ski shuttle. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Rovaniemi Airport (RVN) is served by regular, inexpensive flights, including direct flights from London on Norwegian Air Shuttle. You can get any flights that suit you, but please arrive at RVN by 14:00 on Friday. You can always fly through Helsinki before of after the trip to give yourself more flight options as well as a chance to explore the capital.

Round-trip airport transfers on the SkiBus are included in your costs, or you can upgrade to a private transfer for an additional GBP 54.

Private transfer: Your host will meet you in the arrivals area with a sign. Travel time: 1.5 hours.

SkiBus: The Skibus travels between the airport and Pyhä several times a day. Check the updated timetable. Catch the 18:05 bus at the latest. Travel time: 2 hours.

To find the bus, exit the airport through the main doors; the bus stop is 30m away. The bus driver will already have your reservation. Show your passport and you’re good to go. The 5th and final stop is right in front of your hotel.

We will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

What to Expect

Please note, this is a sample itinerary. Every morning, you’ll get the best snow of the day. On average

Friday: Arrival and Aurora Hunt

As you arrive at Rovaniemi Airport, you’ll have the option to either meet an optional private transfer or hop on the Skibus to Pyhä, which is included in the package.

Upon arrival, check into your accommodation and base camp for the week, the military truck “Pesä”, aka the Nest.

From here, you will drive to a forested area away from any artificial light, which will maximise your chances of seeing the Auroras on your first night. You’ll be staying here tonight, so settle in and relax, as your guide takes you through the plan and gear for the weekend. He might even tell you a few stories about life in the arctic.

In the evening, your guide will give you a masterclass in Auroras, explaining the folklore and science behind them - and why you should never, ever whistle under them. You’ll get firsthand advice on how to make the most of your manual camera and capture the fascinating phenomenon which will give you amazing pictures to share with friends and family back home. You will also be given a tripod to make your photo session nice and stable.

Please note that though the Auroras are frequent in Pyhä-Luosto area, there is no guarantee them appearing since it is up to Mother Nature only, eventually. So, fingers crossed and keep observing the sky!

Saturday: Skiing in Pyhätunturi

After a nutritious breakfast in “Pesä”, you will head out to the Pyhä Ski Resort slopes and meet your ski guide for the weekend. They will take you for a couple of runs on piste to make sure everyone’s equipment is safe and fully functional before hitting the wild backcountry.

You will be exploring the best snow in the region with your guide until you reach your lunch spot, a Finnish Kota (wooden shelter) with a fire. You’ll then continue to ski after lunch for another two hours in the surroundings of the Pyhä-Luosto National park.

Head back to “Pesä” and enjoy the drive to your overnight hideout. Your driver will choose the best place in the wilderness for hunting the Auroras, away from light pollution. Here, you’ll be able to shoot the Aurora for the second evening.

But first, your driver, who is also a professional chef, will prepare dinner for you in the truck. Once you have filled up, head out with snowshoes and headlamps as you start hunting the Auroras.

5-7 hours of Ski Touring
Estimated time up/downhill: 30% downhill, 20% flat 50% uphill
Estimated elevation gain/loss: ascent: 600m ; descent: 800m

Sunday: Skiing in Noitatunturi and Ukonhattu

After a cosy night and hearty breakfast at “Pesä”, you will travel to the Pyhä-Luosto region for the second day of ski touring and powder skiing.

Here, if weather and snow conditions allow, you will go even deeper to the National park, visiting two different fells; Noitatunturi and Ukonhattu.

Your guides will help you pick the best lines to ski and take you on the most beautiful off-piste runs in the Finnish National Parks. They will also give you feedback and suggestions on your off-piste technique to help you get the most out of the trip.

There will be a light lunch served in the depths of the ancient forest before you hike back to Pesä - and head onto the sauna. This time, there will be a truly Finnish twist: if you want to feel truly refreshed, your guides will cut a hole through the lake ice so you can take a dip, before heating up again in the sauna.

In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner with your guides and finish the trip looking out at the Northern Lights by your trusty truck “Pesä”.

6 hours of Ski Touring
Estimated time up/downhill: 30% downhill, 20% flat 50% uphill
Estimated elevation gain/loss: ascent: 600m ; descent: 800m

Monday: Departure

Enjoy your last breakfast in “Pesä”, before heading back to the airport. You can either take the optional private transfer or the included Skibus.

Return home with incredible stories and pictures to amaze your friends.

Note: The actual itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather conditions and forecasts, road conditions, etc.

Accommodation

You will be staying in a former military truck, originally designed for hostile off-road terrain. Now, the truck has been refurbished into a comfortable 6-bed moving cabin for guests, with a wood stove for heating. The truck is relatively basic but has a cosy atmosphere and solid 24/7 WiFi.

The truck lets us get to regions which have no accommodation or where a normal car wouldn’t be able to take us, making it the ideal vehicle for a true arctic backcountry exploration.

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Dates & Prices

Prices include

  • Accommodation
  • Airport Transfers
  • Guide
  • Local Transport
  • Meals As Described

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

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Your host will confirm your booking subject to availability. There may be a minimum number of guests required to guarantee that a trip will go ahead.

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Optional Extras

Make your life easy. Once you have reserved your space, your host can help you arrange the extras you’ll need. Here are some guide prices which can be confirmed with you during booking.

Ski/Snowboard Rental per day Payable Before Departure
Ski/Snowboard Rental per day £50.00
Private Airport Transfer (min of 4) Payable Before Departure
Private Airport Transfer Retour (p.p.) £46.00

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