4 - 5
FATMAP difficulty grade
This is a great trip in the area that sees much of the high quality snow in Finland.
The terrain is in the forest and has some steeper pitches all the way to 47-degree angle. The distance for the tour is approximately 10km, but don’t be fooled by its rather short length.
It’s recommended to take into consideration that because of the steep angle of the slopes the ascents might take a longer time.
The route starts at Saarua parking lot at Ruka Ski Resort then heads towards Valtavaara and continues all the way to Konttainen, the steepest fell in the area.
There are multiple good forest runs to choose from but finding them from the top is not easy.
Having a local with an experience is recommended to maximize the experience in these short but rather steep runs. Ruka: Start from the parking and take the winter trail towards Valtavaara.
This trail ultimately takes you to the top of the fells where you can travel all the way to Valtavaara.
An alternative route is to go from the backside through the trees and enjoy the vast forests. Valtavaara: At Valtavaara have a snack in the day cabin.
You can not stay overnight - it’s made for short visits only.
You can drop into some nice tree runs just from the west of the cabin.
If you decide to go towards the northwest then it’s highly recommended to check the small convex roll before descending.
This spot collects a lot of snow and has avalanches every year.
Descend all the way to swamp from where you can change easily back to skinning. Second Run: There are multiple runs to choose from but one that is really good is located close to Surmanoro gully.
This run has some good open spaces in the middle of the slope.
The slope also needs stable conditions because the rather smooth rock surface doesn’t bond with snow the best, especially if there are facets in the snowpack.
Descend all the way to Pihlajalampi from where you can either travel towards Konttainen on flat terrain or tour up for another forest run in Valtavaara area.
Remember, Konttainen is the most challenging point so leave enough time to do it with plenty of energy. Konttainen: The steepest fell in the area - the west ridge of Konttainen has some sections that are close 50 degrees.
This is also the most inviting point to explore but take care here - it is very avalanche-prone terrain, especially towards the south and northwest.
The ground is mostly moss and the rock is very smooth.
If there is a slide you will not avoid the trees at the bottom and the outcome won’t be good.
The safest way down is in trees towards the south. Once at the bottom, walk on the road or skin up to Konttainen parking lot where you hopefully have someone to pick you up, or your own car waiting.