Hiking Saana, the Laplanders’ Sacred Mountain

Have you ever climbed a mountain beyond the polar circle covered with a meter of snow when the wind blows like mad and the temperature is far below zero? By below zero I mean -18C! Let’s climb Saana – the sacred mountain of Laplanders!

Saana mountain, Finland

Information about Saana

Altitude: 1029 m, of which only 556 m of ascension.

Time needed:  ~4 h in summer, ~6 in winter

Distance: 4 km

Level: Easy in summer, fucking horrible in winter

Departure: 1 km from Kilpisjärvi. The road is clearly indicated, no guides or preparations needed.

Material recommended: Snowshoes and Nordic sticks.

 Arctic Hiking, Finland

About Ascension

Hiking in winter, who could ever imagine that it would be like this? As non-professionals, and without planning this adventure in advance, we didn’t prepare any suitable clothes. Which meant being frozen as soon as we made a stop and melting in our own transpiration as soon as we kept going. On the bottom of the mountain, the snow was too deep, that every step demanded so much physical effort, that I had been exhausted even before we walked even pathetic 400 meters. But when this thick zone was over, there was another no less horrible one. It was smooth, but this wind… This wind blowing sharp small snow send directly in the eyes. The funny, or rather tragic thing was the fact that the wind was coming from the right side, so our right half of face was totally and incredibly frozen. Not talking even about eyelashes and eyebrows.

We optimistically brought tea in thermos, but it was useless – it got almost immediately as cold as everything around. I was literally crying, which didn’t help my frozen eyes at all, by the way. But all these efforts were rewarded. Look at this beauty!

Rabbit traces, Finland

Rabbit traces!

Arctic Hiking, Finland

Arctic Hiking, Finland

Arctic Hiking, Finland

Arctic Hiking, Finland

Arctic Hiking, Finland

At the same time, despite the worst physical circumstances we’ve ever endured, the feeling of proudness was filling us. Even if it was difficult and painful, we did it, and got our reward.

Just after this ordeal, the guy who rented us the snowshoes announced that there was an elderly man running on the top of snowy Saana every morning, just as the usual jogging routine. Face palm.

Arctic Hiking, Finland

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What about climbing the sacred mountain of the Laplanders in Finland? You'll love the sceneries!

2017-05-13T13:15:38+00:00 December 29th, 2015|