SPRING IN LAPLAND
LONG WINTER HAS PASSED. DAYS ARE FILLED WITH BRIGHTNESS, NIGHTS ARE BLUE AND GREEN.
JOIN THE REINDEER MEN FOR UNIQUE EXPERIENCE IN LAPPISH MOUNTAINS
DATES, AVAILABILITY AND RATES COMING 2018.
Join us for a week long exploration of spring season in Finnish Lapland. We follow up closely the real life of local reindeer men and enjoy the beautiful pastel sunsets in the wilderness zone of Käsivarsi. During this expedition we'll spend time with reindeer husbandry and overnight in a local reindeer farm only accessible with a snowmobile. The other half we'll explore the Käsivarsi wilderness zone with snowmobiles and sleighs.
For three days we take part on reindeer herders daily routine rides with snowmobiles and sleigh which takes us up to treeless arctic highland, where we meet the reindeer herds. Joining the reindeer feeding allows us to capture wild galloping reindeers up close. After feeding we are surrounded by hundreds of reindeer relaxing in the spring sun, allowing us to capture unique portraits of these antler heads.
For the other half of the expedition, we do day and night trips to Käsivarsi wilderness zone. This area consists of vast treeless arctic landscapes, a network of wanderer cabins and beautiful valleys along the way.
If weather permits, we'll visit the highest peak of Finland, Halti 1323m above sea level. Halti area is considered to be sacred to the Sami people. It has roots long back into history. This area used to gather reindeer in the summer when they fled from mosquitoes. Before the country borders Sami used to migrate with reindeer in the summer north to the sea and back to southern forests for winter. Today it offers a summer grazing area for reindeer husbandry.
Kilpisjärvi is also known for providing some of the best opportunities for witnessing the northern lights, given its position directly within the auroral zone. Statistically, there is enough activity to produce visible auroras every second day, but of course this depends on the weather. Here the coastal weather meets the inland tundra weather giving two different climate zones to choose from. Kilpisjärvi in the middle also has its very own miniature climate which often creates a small opening in the clouds just above the village.
For the last day we head back to Tromsø. Norway provides the biggest contrast to Kilpisjärvi. After a 60km drive, we reach the arctic ocean and the climate changes from tundra to coastal. This is the land of frozen waterfalls and young sharp-peaked mountains. Open seas, high mountains and fast changing light give Norway's scenery its drama. With good weathers we take our time on the way and explore the valleys and fjords on the way such as Signaldalen and the famous Otertinden. Last night is in Hotel Clarion, Tromsø.
Pick-up from Tromsø.
Transfer to Kilpisjärvi, check-in, welcome info and dinner. The northern lights watch begins after dinner. Your accommodation will be next to Lake Kilpisjärvi which opens out towards the northern skies and Saana fjell.
Days 2 -4 :
Our base is in the village of Kilpisjärvi. We do daily excursions with snowmobile sleighs into the neighbouring wilderness zone of Käsivarsi
We explore the beautiful valley of Meeko 20km snowmobile drive away. This 25km long valley consists of several wanderer cabins, small river gorges, high snow covered cliffs and mountain birch forests. This area has a variety of elements, altitude changes and the most important part the complete feeling of isolation from the rest of the world. If weather permits we have the chance to visit Finland's highest peak Halti 1323m above sea level.
In case of cloudy weathers, we can easily go and see what's happening in the neighbouring climate zones within a 45 minute drive. If there is a full cloud cover, we'll spend the evening reviewing images and giving instructions and tutorials on post-processing as well as how to plan your photography locations by looking at weather, locations and aurora activity.
We drive 50km south of Kilpisjärvi to Ropinsalmi from where we continue our trip with snowmobiles and sledges. Our base camp is only a few kilometres away on the other side of lake Ropi. We are now in reindeer men's base camp. Bull reindeers are tied up in the main yard. Fox hunter's day's catch, reindeer sledges, dried meat hanging from the ceiling. We are far away from the tourist reindeer farms in the middle of the most authentic herding culture of north-Scandinavia.
Reindeer packs are usually 10km drive away up in the treeless highlands. We join the reindeer men to collect the reindeer and look for predator footprints from overnight. Reindeer are easy to keep in a certain area with extra food. The moment the reindeer see us coming they know its feeding time and eagerly start following us. Feeding moment is very hectic. Food is spread out with a snowmobile around us. The reindeer quickly runs on the snowmobile trail to feed. After the feeding it is relaxing time. The atmosphere changes from hectic to calm. Some lay down, some start digging for more food under the snow.
During March - April sun is high and bright. Clear skies and cloudy, windy days both create unique conditions for reindeer photography. In the evenings we make another trip to the mountains during sunset. Pastel skies and mountains in the border of Sweden and Norway create a beautiful sunset show.
The second evening show, aurora borealis appears after 22:00. For the night owls full moon rises low in the eastern sky after midnight.
Breakfast, checkout from Kilpisjärvi & transfer to Tromsø.
The last night will be spent in Tromsø, a 2,5 hour drive from Kilpisjärvi. If we’re lucky with the weather we can make the most of the Norwegian landscape by taking more time on the road and visit places like the Signaldalen valley
Otherwise,we will head straight to Tromsø and enjoy the last day in the city.
Day 8 in Tromsø:
Breakfast, check-out & transfer to Tromsø (TOS) airport
UNIQUE FEATURES DURING THE PACKAGE
- Wilderness zone of Käsivarsi
- Visit the highest peaks of Finland
- Overnight in traditional cabins and teepees
- Meet the local reindeer herders
- Reindeer life
- Feeding the herd in the wilderness
- Polar pastel tones
- Northern lights
- Arctic desert
- Norwegian sea and coast
- Wanderer cabins of mountain area
- Shared accommodation
- Overnight in wanderer cabin and Lappish kotas
- Full board (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- All transportation
- All transfers to and from Tromsø airport
- Photographic guiding and instruction
- Image reviews, post-processing instruction
- Local English speaking guides
- Snowshoes & ice cleats during the workshop
- Snowmobile overall & helmet
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
- Airfare to and from Tromsø
- Snacks and drinks outside of normal meals
- Alcoholic beverages
- International Medical and Travel Insurance Coverage
- Anything not specifically listed as included
WHAT TO BRING
CLOTHING , thermal clothing is essential for this photographic trip.
- Thermal underwear, merino wool is recommended
- Fleece jacket and leggings
- Down inner jacket or sweater
- 2-3 pairs thermal socks, woolly socks recommended
- Wind and water-proof ski trousers
- Down jacket, we recommend long parka style jacket. Once you lean down your lower back will be covered.
- Balaclava or powder mask to cover your face
- Neck-warmer or a scarf
- A good warm hat which covers your ears.
- Thermal gloves. We recommend mittens rather than gloves for example a Hestra Kebnekaise Mountain Mitt mittens combined with inner silk gloves
- Water resistant thermal boots. It is very important that they are not too tight, boots that are a little loose will be warmer than tight boots. We recommend boots made for cold conditions such as Muck boots Arctic pro or Kamik Goliath 1.
- DSLR, Mirrorless system or Medium Format camera
- A stable tripod with quick release plate
- Standard zoom, for example 24-70mm
- Wide angle lens, for example 14mm f2.8
- Telephoto lens, for example 100-400mm
- Batteries and chargers, we recommend having at least 2-3 batteries
- Shutter cable release
- Polarising filter and ND filters
- Laptop computer with Photoshop and Lightroom
- External backup drives and memory cards for storage.
- Head torch
- Sun glasses
Most of the locations are 100 % accessible by minibus or snowmobile sleigh ride, however, you may be expected to walk 1-2 km with snowshoes in 20-40cm snow depths. This can be surprisingly tiring, and moving around with winter gear can be exhausting and a little sweaty. If you are in any doubt, please consult your doctor. You may also talk to one of our staff to check if the trip will be the right physical level for you.