Pyhä ski resort in Pyhä-Luosto national park lies north of the arctic circle in Finnish Lapland. This winter wonderland with perfect conditions for snow sports. This stunning area has jaw dropping views of snow covered forest as far as the eyes can see. With it’s own unique identity and relaxed atmosphere and undisturbed landscape really stand apart.
Pyha ski resort area consists of 14 ski slopes with one of them reaching 1400m in length. Surrounding the resort is the national park.
Due to its heavy snowfall and long winter you can easily find routes with fresh powder for ski and snowboarding. For snow shoeing or fat biking you can head off down what seems a totally undiscovered route with only traces of fauna’s footprint prints.
In February we stayed in the Pyha Luosto National Park and got to take part in an action packed weekend of ice climbing, snow shoeing and aurora chasing through much better adventures and led by local guides of Bliss adventures.
We were staying at Asteli Resort in Pyhatunturi close to the Pyha Luosto Ski resort and were picked up on our first morning by our guides who took us to get kitted out for a morning of Snow shoeing. The snow shoeing started at the ski resort and was led by guides from Bliss adventures.
What Is Snow Shoeing?
Snow shoe origins were thought to be from North American Indians who were migrating however there are findings of the first snow shoe in asia around 4000bc, called ‘shoeski’. Regardless of when and where they were first introduced, they solved a very real problem for long hikes across the snow.
Snow shoes allow you to spread the weight over a larger surface area which in turn allows you to explore and walk over tick and softer snow. The bindings need to attach to walking boots in a similar way to crampons. Snow shoes vary in style from those that are more oval to those that are shaped more like a ski (with an upturned toe and tail at the back) and those that are soemwhere in between, resembling a tennis. racket shape.
Unlike ski’s the binding clips on the snow shoes allow you to lift the heel independently from the rest of the shoe for easier walking.
Snow Shoeing In Pyha Luosto?
We started at Pyhätunturi ski area and did a loop to Isokuru kota-hut. This route is only a few kilometres long but we got to take our time and our guide stopped to teach us about the different wildlife in the area, spotting tracks in the snow, identifying birds and telling us about the the different trees and forest maintainance.
When we arrived at the hut, we had a break for lunch where our guide roasted a finnish style hot dog in a bun on the fire. It was wrapped in foil and honestly, I’m not sure why I havent done this before, it tasted great. We also had hot berry juice which we soon became slightly obsessed with.
The conditions on the day offered clear skies and low lying sun for the most part. The snow was really deep and soft due to fresh snow fall the day and night before.
Snow shoeing is suitable for anyone, and I wouldn’t consider this any more challenging than hiking. It might just take a bit of getting used to at the beginning and there are moments where your snow shoe may catch or you might drop below the snow if there is a dip (or if you are clumsy and a walking risk assessment like me, this is constant).
I found the whole experience really fun and relaxing.
Renting Snow Shoes And Self Guiding
You can rent snow shoes from a lot of places rather than having a guide but I would not reccomend this unless you are a competent and experienced navigator in winter conditions. Whilst there is good phone signal in the area, this is dependant on your phone and service especially if you if you venture further out into the national park and beyond.
With the area being heavily forested and lacking in distinctive landmarks and no peaks it can be easy to find yourself in the wrong area even with some basic skills in using maps and compasses. This is even more of a concern with the limited daylight hours.
If you are used to these environments and snow shoeing then there are a number of wilderness huts around the park to use for rest, cooking lunch and with compost toilets.
What other activities can you do in Pyhä in Winter?
- Ski or Snowboard
- Snow Surf (yes surf, like snow boarding without bindings and it’s very popular here)
- Ice Climb at the Tajukangas Ice Fall
- Arctic Fat Bike
- Snow Mobiling
- Cross Country Skiing (approx. £60)
- Aurora hunting and Night Photography
- Amethyst mine
- You can also combine the Snow Shoeing with the Amethyst Mine Tour for a full day adventures for about £165.00.
Check out our experience Ice Climbing here
Can You Snow Shoe Elsewhere?
Yes, snow shoeing is not exclusive to this area or to Finland. It is a popular activity in many countries.
However, most travellers will be in Rovaniemi for the majority of their time or at least flying into there and there are plenty of offers around rovaniemi for this activity.
Rovaniemi Snow Shoeing
- Get Your Guide offers this for £65.00pp for a 3 hour Snow Shoeing Trip.
- There is also a combination deal for £85.00pp for 4 hours with ice fishing (See right).
- Viator offers a Snow Shoeing for £72.00pp for 3 hours.
- There is also a full day excursion from Rovaniemi to Karouoma Canyon where you can Snow Shoe through this stunning natural beautiful for £120.00. We visited Karorouma Canyon for the full day from Pyha with guides to hike and ice climb. It was truly amazing.
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