This winter with little no or little snow has been quite awful for cross-country skiing in the Southern Finland. However, the conditions for Nordic Skating have been quite good here at Tampere. The last week offered almost once-in-a-lifetime conditions as the big lakes (e.g. Näsijärvi) got ice cover that was durable enough for Nordic Skating. I had already lost hope for that to happen this year, but a week of “normal” winter frosts did the trick.
First we had a 63km trip on lake Aure, a little over one hour drive from Tampere. Aure is also close to the national park of Seitseminen and the nature there is wonderful. You can watch a video from that trip below:
Even though Aurejärvi was nice, the real highlight of the week was skating from Tampere to Kuru (83km) on Saturday. We had already made an “ice scouting trip” from Kuru to Tampere on Friday—to see that the ice conditions were good enough for a bigger group to skate all the way. The ice proved itself one of the best I’ve ever skated on. And I got the chance to enjoy it twice, first on the scouting trip and then with the bigger group. As always with Nordic Skating, the window of opportunity was short: already on Sunday the ice was covered with snow and the same kind of trip was not possible anymore. However, there are three well-maintained skating lanes on lakes in the Tampere region. On these it is possible to skate even when the other parts of lakes are covered with snow.
I hope the video below catches some of the mood of our skating trip.