Saturday, 30 April 2011

Day Two- Cross Country Skiing and Ice Climbing

Pingu… that’s what I felt like shuffling past the igloo’s on cross country skis!

After a far superior nights sleep in a warm comfy double bed, to Ben’s bed of ice, we woke to another perfect blue bird day. This morning’s skill session was learning how to get by on the Nordic favourite- cross country skis.

We were once again down on the ‘sandy beach’ and were going to use the ski tracks that ran around the lake to practice our skills. First was scooting along on one ski. Before two skis, no poles and finally both skis and poles, at which point I managed to fall over… but whilst standing still!

The one thing that will still in my mind about cross country skiing and helped me throughout the week was the ‘disco’ dance taught by Eki, before being copied by the group in some weird version of ‘Thriller’ on Ice. After a trip down the lake to the village it was time to move on to downhill, I watched first time as they all flew down then decided to give it a go- screaming but staying upright.

I didn't think I'd enjoy cross country skiing, it always seemed a lot of hard work without the downhill thrill, but once I found balance on the thin ski's I actually quite enjoyed it!

Following a filling lunch it was time to ice climb- I was really looking forward to this! Fastening my crampons on for the first time ever I felt a thrill to be doing something I’d read about so much in the many climbing and adventure books I read.

Of course Ben picked it up no problem, apart from trying to break half the ice off the wall by pounding his axe in. Whilst enjoying it, I struggled with arm strength- as I found with rock climbing. Twice I stopped before the top, but on the final try I slowly and ungracefully made it all the way- what a feeling of achievement!
A very much deserved sauna and hot tub was enjoyed before dinner of creamy chicken. Teemu was looking after us this evening and told us a great story of Kimi Raikkonen's parents having to choose whether to use their savings to replace their outside loo with one indoors or support their sons motor racing career.

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