During the winter months of January and February there is a magical place deep within Finnish Lapland that will blow your mind. The temperatures rarely rise above minus twenty with minus thirty being the norm. It is beyond cold. Your eyes and face freeze. When the wind picks up all feeing in your fingers is gone as frostbite begins to set in. Why would anyone want to face such harsh conditions one might ask. The answer is because once you hike up to the top of this fell you have arrived into the amazing world resembling the children's game of Candyland.
Riisitunturi National Park is located midway up the country Finland in Finnish Lapland. The park has some of the finest sloping bogs located within Europe. During the winter the Spruce trees which litter these bog fells of Riisituntari National Park are covered in a thick coat of condensed frost which freezes given frigid temperatures. The trees tower over you like huge pillars some leaning over to the ground laden with the weight of the snow. It is easy to immerse one's self in this fantasy world of snowy white trees. Hours can be spent exploring the hillsides littered with these snow covered trees if you can withstand the subzero temperatures.
The hike up to this amazing forest is a bit of a challenge and sturdy snowshoes are recommended. Trudging in waist deep snow is the norm which is why I encountered very few people. If you are brave enough to climb up before the sun begins to rise as the blue hour unfolds is phenomenal. Winter light exaggerates the blue/pink earth's shadow affording magical pastel colors juxtaposed by the pure white snow. Once March arrives the temperature begins to rise as the days get longer and this beautiful forest begins to melt and transform back into a lush green vista as spring prepares to unfold.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor