in the forest with snow storm

At half past eight the alarm-clock doesn't seem very nice. Still I get up and have a shower.
Clothes on, unnecessary things out of the pockets (or so I think at the time), snow shoes on and over the lake the trip starts. About 10 km away is a mountain called Pyhäkero, 711 meters high. Actually I meant the lower hill visible across the lake at first, but we'll see. If I have some energy left after climbing this then I can continue.
The sky is full of unfriendly clouds and wind beats the snow against my face. I can imagine being on a polar expedition.
On the other side of the lake I bounce against a raindeer fence. One place would be good for climbing over but since I'm not sure if there will be a place like that on the other side, I abandon the thought. The fence has to end somewhere. The mountain is a bit to the left so I start going around that direction. In the forest I sink into snow pretty deep despite the snow shoes (these don't make you into Jesus, even not in snow). I go back to the lake. The snow is not so deep there. There are some motor-sledge tracks which means harder ground and easier to walk on. The lake is criss-crossed with various tracks, nicely marked with tree branches or blue-red sticks.
The fence goes on and on. At some point it seems that there's a gap. I climb up the steep bank but no, the fence continues further away in the forest. Somewhere should a ski-track go towards the mountain. It's probably not allowed to walk on the track but at least there has to be a hole in the fence.
It's about 2,5 km to the ski track. Carefully made with a tractor, classical track on both sides and in the middle space for freestyle. The middle part is hard enough to walk on it with snow shoes without leaving much traces. Someone has already walked there on snow shoes. After some time a skier approaches from behind. They move very quietly and can scare you. A sign says it's 6,5 km to the mountain. Not much, I can do that. Then the trail forks. It shows both directions to the mountain. No map there. I go to the right and meet two Southerners whose snow shoe traces I saw earlier. They are going back already, with the help of ski poles. Some forest, then crossing a lake with heavy headwind. There's a cabin by the lake and it looks like a nice place for picnic. I should have taken some food with me. And drink. I eat snow. The map shows it was the wrong track. It's possible to reach the mountain from there but with a huge circle. I decide not to go back but continue and see at next crossing what does it look like. Next 4 km go very fast. The skier comes again, again from the back.
Next sign. At the mountain there's a cafe (my wallet as an unnecessary item is on the living room table), to the cafe it's 2,7 km, from there to the mountain 3,3 km and up 2,2 km. Back to Hetta it's 5 km and from there to home about 3 km. It's past two o'clock, I've been going for 12 +something km. I'm hungry and thirsty. But to climb the mountain would be nice. All together would be about 30 km, the end would be in the dark, its not very easy to walk with snow shoes etc. Snow storm covers the track in places and its difiicult to follow it even with day light. A landscape which is all white does not make it easy to judge distances. I continue for a kilometer, then sit under a fir and turn back. I have seen mountains before.
Snow shoes demand a special way of walking, with feet a bit apart. My knees don't like it. Now and then I take snow shoes off. In addition they make one boot rub my ankle and hurt. If I had taken the other track at the beginning, I'd be coming down from the mountain right now... The way back is slow. At some point a Finnish couple catches up with me and they confirm that the other track would have been the shorter one. They followed my footsteps and inquire what time I started walking and how much have I walked already. In the end of our conversation the man asserts that at least I've got a lot of fresh air. Indeed! And it actually has been great. If only I would reach back home. There is sauna, food, beer, ...
Strong wind on the lake. From one side the sky is dark blue, from the other greyish yellow. Snow whirls around me.
Total distance was 20,2 km, moving time 6,5 hours.
Sauna is hot! And there's cozy fire in the fire place. Sitting in sauna its relaxing to hear heavy wind outside around the house. Especially nice is to know how it looked and felt like out there.
Today there are clouds all over and there will be no night driving. Tomorrow clear skies are above Sweden.
aurora in the clouds

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