Spring, in the Arctic means playtime to the locals. Each day brings more daylight, warmer temperatures and more trails that are open and maintained. Hence, this is the time of the year when Finns living in the south come north to play and to ski.
Some would argue that the landscape isn't as spectacular in spring as it is in the midst of winter since the sun melts the snow from the trees and you no longer have the 'fairy-tale' feel. The warmer days (generally -5 to -15C) tend to compensate for that, however, although don't totally bank on this. Over the last few years there has been a trend that one week, each February, wins the prize for being, at around -35C, the coldest of the year!
Nights, in general, are still very cold and mornings, crisp. However, daytimes tend to bring much warmer temperatures and you may need to take off your outer layers in order to be comfortable whilst active.
It is safe to say that we will be mushing, with clients, through the end of April and it is fairly safe to say that we can keep the shorter trails open until at least mid-May. Very occassionally, we are still skiing on frozen lakes at the end of June. However, this is not something that can be counted upon.
At some point in April, the Sami will again gather, vaccinate and separate their reindeer and at this time of year, it takes place near to a road so it is relatively easy to get to witness this traditional spectacle.
Soon after this time, the snow goes - usually within a period of two weeks - and we are into the end days of spring. These are cool, crisp and fresh and it is genuinely a nice time to be in the Arctic.
In spring, local entrepreneurs organise Hetta Snow Adventure Week and Ice Fishing Contests. Kilpisjärvi, in the western ‘arm’ of Enontekio, attracts many spring tourists for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling (particularly for Norwegians). Guided trips are arranged by accommodation sites, and Kilspisjärvi also boasts its own Snow Adventure Week Program. Many tourists ski to the Three Countries Border Marker, visit Siilastupa Information Point or explore the regions many nature trails.
In spring, various events take place that are of interest to tourists in the region.
Marianpäiväit (St Mary's Day Celebration):
This is a big celebration of Lappish Culture by both Sami and Lapps that has taken place, annually, since the 1500s. It happens right at the end of the main tourism season, towards the end of March.
Traditionally it was a time when people would gather together for baptisms, births, burials and trade. Reindeer racing has been part of the event since the 1940s and continues, today, alongside lasso throwing competitions, musical evenings, a Lappish handicraft and products market, Sami theatre and films etc. More information can be found here.
Hetta Music Festival:
This celebrated event takes place, each year, in the middle of March and concerts and choral evenings are held in the church and other venues throughout Hetta. More information can be found from here.
Hetta Snow Adventure Week:
There are 10 weeks of the year when the area's companies offer their products as part of a fixed weekly programme. More information can be found from the Tourist Information Office (the Skierri).
Enontekio's Ice Fishing Week:
This takes place annually in the last week of April and contests are held in waters around the municipality.
Each year thousands of people take part in the infamous ice fishing competition known as 'Only Two Fish' in Kilpisjärvi. Prices are pretty big and catching the fish such a low probability that some just pay entry so as to get into the prize draw.
There is generally one final reindeer separation in the Spring months that those lucky enough to have local connections may be invited to witness.
Sami Ski Race
This annual race from Hetta to Kautokeino is increasingly popular on the long distance race calendar. The main event is a 90km track across the tundra but it is also possible to take part in shorter 30km or 60km stages between Hetta and Näkkälä or Näkkälä and Kautokeino.
Lapponia Ski Marathon and Ski Week
There are a couple of hundred kilometres of ski tracks in beautiful landscape in Olos, Muonio, Finland. The ski week is about having a good time in great company and skiing collectively for three days in the week. Everybody receives a highly admired medal and diploma. Race office is located at Olos. One 60km race goes between Olos, Keimiöjärvi and Olos (although you can opt for a 30km race goes between Olos, Jerisjärvi and Olos that day). The 50km route is between Vuontisjärvi, Pallas and Olos with an option to shorten it to 25km between Pallas and Olos. The grand finale is an 80km race between Hetta and Olos with the op tion to reduce it to 40km if starting in Kerässieppi instead.
Real Women on the Big Fells Event
The Frostskade routes takes you through Norway, Sweden and Finland during some of the coldest months in the Arctic. Full GPX data and waypoints will be supplied for your GPS device. We do recommend and require that you purchase/ source the relevant maps and to carry a backup GPS device in case of failure.
The route is currently being amended/ developed and this page will be updated shortly.