Hiking Half Dome with Cables Down

Half Dome

Hiking to the summit of the Half Dome in Yosemite National park was the #1 goal on our West Coast road trip. Not being able to plan our trip far ahead to secure permits in advance, we opted for attempting the hike after the summer season had ended, and just before the winter season would close all the park roads. The only drawback was that the “cable staircase” would not be “up” on the final 120m (400 ft) ascent to the half dome summit. Besides that there are only positives: no crowds, not too hot, not too cold, flexibility to choose a good date and to wait for good weather, cheaper accommodation etc…

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How to prepare for Hiking Half Dome in one day

half_dome_3 Hiking to the summit of the Half Dome in Yosemite National park is one of the most spectacular day-hikes you can do. You’ll see amazing waterfalls, beautiful scenery and lots of nature. The hike is demanding but not technically too difficult. The trail is quite easy to walk until the final ascent to the summit of half dome, but keep in mind that there is a lot of altitude to be gained. About 1600 meters (4800 feet) in total. The total distance depending on the route is about 23-27 km (14-17 miles) and will take about 10-14 hours. [Read more…]

Get away from the madness – hike in Las Vegas

Many people cannot stay sane in the hectic Las Vegas sensory overload. Luckily I am not one of them. I really like buzzing a few days in Vegas. But I also like nature, silence and hiking, and there are many options for nice day-hikes at the surrounding mountains.

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Getting around & things to do in Bora Bora

There are some nice things to see and do in Bora Bora if you get bored sitting in the bungalow. The hotels located on the motu offer a frequent shuttle boat to the main island. The pier and drop off point is just a parking place, so make sure you have plans and a pick up arranged. Most of  the restaurants and tour operators offer free pickup from your hotel or from the dock where the hotel shuttle boat leaves you. When staying in  the hotels on a main island that the lack of taxis and public transportation may make it hard to explore the island on your own.

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Urho Kekkonen National Park Day 5: Suomunruoktu – Kiilopaa

Route: Suomunruoktu – Kiilopää

Distance: 15 km, 4,5 hours

Once again we woke up to a freezing morning. The temperature might have dropped even well below zero during the night, and we hoped that the school kids sleeping in tents outside had warm enough clothes and sleeping bags. The hut was packed to the last spot and so did not even try get up before the others had their breakfast. The group of women who had joined us in the hut the previous night seemed to full of enthusiasm and energy.

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Urho Kekkonen National Park Day 4: Luirojarvi – Suomunruoktu

Route: Luirojärvi – Tuiskukuru – Kustunlampi – Suomunruoktu

Distance: 23 km, 7,5 hours

The fourth day of the trip looked promising. Clear blue sky and no sign of rain anywhere in the horizon. Once again it was cold but we kept ourselves warm making some more firewood. The day’s hike was going to be the longest so far. First we would hike 8km to the Tuiskukuru hut, eat lunch and rest for a while and the we would continue 15km to the Suomunruoktu wilderness hut. After a quick breakfast we packed our stuff, cleaned the hut and headed for the trail around 10:40. Just like every previous morning once again there was a river to cross. After that the path was very easy and wide, mostly in the flat pine wood forests. No hiking above the treeline today.

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Urho Kekkonen National Park Day 3: Muorranvaarakka – Sokosti -Luirojärvi

Route: Muorranvaarakka – Sokosti – Luirojarvi

Distance: 14km / 7 hours

The third day began with sunshine followed by some rain showers, followed by some more sunshine. We decided to take the morning slowly and wait for some more stable weather. The temperature outside was still quite low. Only about +4 Celsius. That did not stop us picking up some fresh blueberries for our morning porridge. Yummy! At around 11.00 we started to pack the stuff again and started the day’s hike. The ground and the bushes on the sides of the trail were still very wet making the pants and shoes wet, but we managed to avoid all but one rain shower.

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Urho Kekkonen National Park Day 2: Sarvioja – Muorranvaarakka

Route: Sarvioja – Muorranvaarakka

Distance: 10km / 5 hours

Even though going to sleep very early, we slept until nine in the morning. First prepared our “instant” breakfast that included instant porridge, hot chocolate, plain bread, instant coffee and tea. The food rations had been carefully planned to keep the pack weight at minimum. Basically everything we carried was “instant” or high in calories (chocolate for example). Others in the hut had yoghurt and some cheese, cucumber and ham to put on their sandwich. We were a bit jealous to say the least…

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Urho Kekkonen National Park Day 1: Aittajarvi – Sarvioja

This August we spent 5 days backpacking in the Finnish Lapland wilderness. The destination was a national park  called ‘Urho Kekkosen Kansallispuisto’ or ‘Urho Kekkonen National Park’ in English. The area is huge, (about 2550 sq. km) and one of the largest wilderness areas in the whole Europe. There you can easily get really far away from the nearest road or other modern conveniences.

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How to pack light for 5 days in the wilderness

This Friday we are traveling to the northern Finland to spend 5 days in the Lapland wilderness. The destination is a national park  called ‘Urho Kekkosen Kansallispuisto’ or ‘Urho Kekkonen National Park’ in English. The area is huge, (about 2550 sq. km) and one of the largest wilderness areas in the whole Europe. There you can easily get really far away from the nearest road or other modern conveniences.

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