Hiking and Ice Climbing at Korouoma Canyon in Posio, Lapland

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Posio in the south of Lapland consists of thousands of lakes and ponds, surrounded by forest and ancient canyons. Due to its elevation and northern latitude (just below the arctic circle), it results in an extended period of snow cover. This results in a stunning winter wonderland.

Hiking and ice climbing through the gorgeous snow covered ancient forest in Korouoma Canyon, Posio, Lapland

Quick Fact

Lapland is referred to as Sápmi by the Sami people.

Lapland was named after Lapp; a name given to Sami people by Scandinavians which is often considered derogatory.

About Posio, Lapland

Posio is in the south of Lapland and about 80 miles south east of Rovaniemi and takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to from there. We were staying in Pyhätunturi about 100 miles north of Posio and took us just over 2 hours each way.

If this is your main destination then you can stay nearby and fly into Kuusamo airport which is about 40 miles away which has connections from helsinki. If you are visiting from the U.K or outside of Europe.

I’d love to come back in winter and ice climb again (aswell as other activities), but I’d also love to hike here in the summer and check out the wildlife that inhabit this. This area was the first place in the country to recieve the Sustainable Travel Finland Certification.

Hiking At Korouoma Canyon

The location for this hike and ice climbing trip was at the impressive Korouoma canyon. This valley weaves for 18 miles and at some points is 130m deep. This results in14 frozen waterfalls with the highest being 50m high. Korouoma canyon is Finlands most well known ice climbing area and by all accounts the best place to ice climb in the country. We spent a full day here that started with a hike.

Unlike the ice fall at Pyha Luosto, these water falls are more wild, therefor you are further away from toilets and a campfire. With this in mind, pack accordingly if you are coming here ice climbing or planning to spend a full day here.

Korouma Canyon looking up towards the start of the ice falls area, posio, Finland

What to Expect Hiking in This Winter Wonderland

I would strongly reccomend going here on a guided tour of some sorts. The trail is quite easy to follow but there are a lot of areas where the snow is more compact from others and more icy, as well as spots where the trail is very narrow but concealed.

Fire Pit, Korouoma canyon, posio, Lapland, Finland
  • It is free to access the area and there is a car park.
  • There is also a cafe that is open a short walk from the entrance to the trail but the days and times do vary.
  • You can visit here to hike for a full day tour from Rovaniemi which includes transfers and a tour guide who will go into the history of the magnificent landscape, sharing local traditions and stories, they will also have additional winter gear you can use if needed and bring snacks or meals.

There is an open wilderness hut, day trip hut, rental hut, lean-to shelters and fireplaces scattered but there will be other groups, so plan to possibly walk further. The trail is approximately 5km before and loops round. We cut off at mammoth falls but this loop extends and brings you back to the start. It isn’t too challenging technically, you will gain some 184m elevation but with the cold and sometime steeper sections in the snow.

Don’t Forget To Pack Appropriately For A Winter Hike

To hike you will need to make sure you are wearing appropriate boots and clothing for the duration. I have done a help article on this, after many cold climate winter trips and a few multiday ice climb trips, I’ve learnt from my own mistakes.

  • I’d reccomend a pair of waterproof B1 walking boots at a minimum with gaitors.
  • If you plan to head up to falls and get closer then you will need some crampons and ideally some B2 boots that are compatible.
  • You will need to make sure you layer appropriately with base, mid and waterproofs.
  • Also don’t forget snacks and a hot drink.
  • Check out my full help article here.

Cost: The best prices from get your guide start from £125.00 here or £107 here from viator but there are more reviews on the get your guide page.

Ice Climbing at Korouoma

Hiking and Ice Climbing at Korouoma Canyon in Posio, Lapland

As mentioned previously there are 14 frozen waterfalls in Korouoma. The largest 3 are along the main trail and are the ones that are best for climbing. They are Jaska Jokunen (Charlie Brown), Ruskea virta (the Brown River) and Mammuttiputous (the Mammoth Fall). We climbed up the latter Mammoth Fall.

If you are planning to ice climb then I would reccomend doing this with a guide if you are new to the area. If you are an experienced mountaineer with winter climbing skills and the full gear then you will be able to lead climb these routes and find some challenges to take on.

  • Guides: Bliss Adventures – Book Here
  • Cost: £300
  • Duration: Full day (up to 10 hours with travel)
  • The price includes pick up, hot drinks, some hot food and all the equipment needed. They also have extra clothing needed such as extra down jackets, gloves and boots (just let them know your size). Don’t forget with this trip you will be hiking for a while to get to the canyon waterfalls hence the additional cost and duration.

Our Thoughts On The Day Of Ice Climbing And Hiking

Both myself and my fiance Ben absolutely loved the entire day. The beauty of the landscape, the opportunity to develop, the support from the guides and every bit of hospitality and preperations from the guides at Bliss.

I was struggling on the walk up due to pelvic pain (due to my endometriosis) but I was determined to keep going and just take each moment as it came. There were a few points where I went from being at the front of the group chatting away to being set back on the hike and needing to pause.

I spent a lot of the time when the group was climbing just enjoying the view, watching people climbing and enjoying the vast wildnerness. I managed to do a climb but struggled again (like the day before) due to pain and fatigue kicking in. But again absolutely loved it and just gave what I could.

The trip this activity was part of for Much better adventures was absolutely awesome. We enjoyed every second of it. My only criticism is that it didn’t last longer than a weekend. We are currently planning a trip to book direct with Bliss adventures to head back in 2 years.

A group looking over Korouoma Canyon and the winter landscape after ice climbing in Posio, Lapland

Other Things to Do In Rovaniemi Lapland

There are so many activities on offer when you visit lapland in winter. This was a day trip from Pyha, however as I mentioned you can book this from Rovaniemi or even drive yourself here if you have rented a car and are competant driving in the snow.

Rovaniemi is where most visitors will fly to and although it is a city, it certainely doesn’t feel that way in (well not in winter). Here you can enjoy the festivities, learn about Sami culture, go husky sledding, snow mobiling and so many other exciting winter experiences.

Need More Inspiration To Plan A Trip To Lapland?

Why not Pin for Later or check out our other articles on this stunning area:

Follow Nicole:

Owner of Travels and Wandering | Lecturer by Day, Nomad at Heart Adventure Travel Tester | Outdoor Instructor | Mountaineering and Outdoors Researcher | Strength and Conditioning Coach | Yoga Instructor | Personal Trainer | Fitness Pro | Endo Warrior, Pelvic Congestion Syndrome, Spoonie

10 Responses

  1. Kavita Favelle

    Posio really does look like a winter wonderland! Korouoma Canyon seems a great choice for a winter hike, though as you say, definitely worth planning and preparing properly before you set off. The frozen waterfalls look stunning, I’m not sure I’d be up for climbing them but just to see them would be lovely. What an amazing experience!

  2. Tanya Michelle

    Absolutely amazing and thank you for sharing! I knew about huskies and all the Winter appeal for festive period, but forget there is so much more to see and do in Lapland

  3. Lisa

    What an amazing experience! I’m not adventurous at all and not keen on cold weather but I like to read about others experiences. Going with a guide would be better, especially in the icy and snowy conditions.

  4. Natascha

    Posio looks like the perfect place to try iceclimbing. I am a rock climber and I really want to do try ice-climbing. I did not know that there are opportunities in Lapland as well, but I will definitely look into this. Thanks for your post!

  5. Shreya Saha

    Lapland is in my list but I have never thought of ice climbing there. It is definitely a fascinating activity and I would really want to do it someday. I never knew Lapland also offers such opportunities. Posio looks like a winter dreamland. Would put it in my list for sure.

  6. Puloma Bhattacharya

    Posio,Lapland is truly a winter wonderland with all the snow clad surroundings. Undoubtedly, Korouoma canyon is an ideal place for hiking and ice climbing is a unique activity to indulge in. A frozen waterfall is one of the unusual things to view and thank you for sharing all the essentials needed for ice climbing like the B2 boots and clothing. You have me thinking about a future trip there now

  7. Umiko

    Sounds like a great trip for winter outdoor activities enthusiasts! Although I’m not familiar with this activity, but I like reading your experience. I think a guided tour is the best choice to do this. Hopefully your next visit with the Bliss will be epic! 

  8. Maria Veloso

    The title piques my attention! I’ve never tried ice climbing but would like to, despite the fact that it’s quite difficult. This has now been put on my bucket list!

  9. Angela

    I have been to Rovaniemi twice but was unaware of adventures such as this one not far away. Your photos are great but detail how tough the hiking and climbing must have been – I would imagine you have to be of a particular fitness ability to traverse the weather conditions. I’d still love to give this a try though. Any reccomendations for physically preparing for this trip?

  10. Clarice

    Wow! This looks like fun. I haven’t really tried ice climbing so I am really interested. Thank you for sharing your experience. Will take your advice to do it with a guide. 

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