Varying scenery

Nordic Skating in the archipelago, two hours price/person

33,00 €

Nordic Skating is a recreational form of long distance skating on natural ice that forms on lakes, rivers and seas. For safety ice claws, a boyancy aid in the form of a rucksack, throwing line and ice poles for probing the ice are used. To protect against the cold and possible immersion also a set of exchange clothing is carried. Tour leaders develop their probing and route evaluation skills by participation in teory training and practice over the years. 

Here a group of skaters on their way towards Hanko from Barösund. A tour of 70 km with the wind in our back. The ice looks good and is good in most places. This group, led by Jöns, was the first to skate this leg in winter 2018.

 

A three hour presentation will present when and where ice will be strong enough to hold a person and how to probe ice for Nordic Skating on lakes and the sea. Skating on natural ice is a phenomenal nature experience. Because of the speed and potential weak ice the theory session prepares and builds understanding for what to expect and how to prepare for skating. You will get a basic understanding of how ice is formed, why some spots may differ from others, and how wind, snow and water currents may cause uneven ice formation, or almost secretly weaken the ice.  A trained person with experience will be able to almost unnoticed collect information and make correct judgements on route selections.

Skating in a group

Follow up I: Get outdoors and get Nordic Skates and equipment tried and adjusted for you (not included).

Follow up II: An introductory tour to get a feel for how far you can go (not included).

  Participation fee: 30 euro/person/session.

By this day Jöns has covered in excess of 30 kilometer of ice. Some weak spots as well while there are fairly trustable ice too. As always it is important to test the ice one way or the other to avoid the weak spots. If it comes to swimming you need to be prepared with short spikes to get a grip on the ice to drag yourself up, and also to have change clothing, preferably in a rucksack that gives some boyancy at the same time.

Finding skatable ice is often a larger effort, unless you are prepared to depend on reports from other people and skate on consumed ice. Weather reports, forecasts and observations from previous weeks, shipping ice reports, wind directions, satellite images and experience are part of the sources to study before you decide on where to look for good ice. After possibly good ice has been located by desk work a tour leader would go and observe the ice before taking a group out. It may require travelling, skiing or using ice roads. In the best case scenario one is ok with going to the closest shore to take a spin of tens of kilometers.

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Perfect skating ice usually does not last for long. A snow fall makes evaluating ice quality harder. The video was filmed on a section where waves formed along the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea starts to break ice. The outer edge will break first, forming a barrier of crush and possibly pack ice. A bit further in waves still travel, but under the ice that bends unless the waves are steep enough to break it, initially to large skateable sheets of ice that as waves continue, break into even smaller sheets. Here the waves limited the skating area most.

 

Subcategories

A few videos from skating tours primarily in the Ekenäs neighborhood.