Ylläsjärvi, Finland: A Photo Diary

Recently I stumbled upon the amazing opportunity to go skiing in Finland for a week. I found it to be three things: beautiful, fascinating, and COLD.

I was lucky enough to be offered a last-minute place on holiday with my family because one of my cousins found out that she couldn’t go. So I jumped at the offer, packed my bags and went. I had actually only been skiing twice before this trip, but luckily enough one of those times was only a month before, so I had some practice under my skis!

This was a beautiful trip filled with many incredible views, which is why I’ve decided to share some of my photos from the trip with you. I’m unable to find words to describe the beauty of the scenery, so I hope that some of these pictures do it justice!

Finland has to be one of the coldest places I have ever skied – and it wasn’t even a relatively cold week in the season. Usually, on top of the mountain, my regular ski kit is enough to keep me warm, but this was a whole new level of cold. Even though it only reached temperatures of -7ºC the wind going up the ski lifts was chilling and practically burnt our faces with the cold. But after layering up and borrowing a snood to cover my neck, I was ready to face the mountains.

There were two sides to the mountain and I have to admit I had a favourite. The best trail there was definitely the longest trail on the mountain (and in Finland), ‘Jättipitkä.’ I found that the beauty of the trails at Ylläs came from the scenery you were skiing in. Every trail led you through beautiful snow coated forests, full of views that stretched for miles and untouched snow and wildlife. This is why I particularly liked the longer trails, they really gave you a chance to take in the views and enjoy your surroundings as you ski down the slopes. I was even lucky enough to catch a brief glimpse of a reindeer!

We did run into a few difficulties, especially with visibility being so low at the top of the slopes. We often started pretty slowly and spent a lot of time in white-outs where we couldn’t even see the tips of our skis, let alone the edge of the trails. But once we cleared the cloud layer, it was smooth skiing and fresh powder all the way down and I really enjoyed spending time improving my skiing technique.

But, this trip wasn’t just made by the skiing. It was also just being surrounded by such beautiful forests and scenery 24/7 combined with the authenticity of a nordic getaway. One of my favourite experiences was the day that we walked to the ski resort instead of catching the bus. The trail led through a forest of white, I can’t explain how beautiful and surreal these trees looked. The only way I can think to describe it is if somebody secretly sprayed all the trees with glue and the falling snow just stuck to everything in sight. And when the sun is shining and everything around you is covered in snow, the whole world catches a beautiful diamond glimmer.

Ylläs is definitely somewhere I would go back to. With better weather and maybe more time I would also love to try some of the other ‘experiences’ that they offered, such as husky sledding and cross-country skiing. And I hope that if I go back another time, I’ll be able to cross seeing the northern lights off my bucket list.

I will definitely be skiing Ylläs again.


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