Skiing to the top of the fell Sokosti is something that every frequent hiker of Saariselkä should do. In winter time the tour is very demanding and it requires good preparations, experience of the conditions, and good physical condition. Sokosti is the highest peak in the area of Urho Kekkonen national park and Saariselkä. The peak rises 718 m above the sea level. The best place to start the tour is from Kiilopää fell center.
- 75 km, extremely demanding, back-country skiing
- places of interest:
- reindeer fence in Niilanpää
- museum hut in Suomunruoktu
- The canyon Tuiskukuru
- The top of the fell Sokosti, 718 m
- The canyon in Rautupää
- The top of the fell Kiilopää, 540 m
- places for overnighting / having a rest
- Suomunruoktu open and locked wilderness huts
- Tuiskukuru open and locked wilderness huts
- Luirojärvi open and locked wilderness huts
- Kuusela locked wilderness hut, Luirojärvi
- Rajankämppä open wilderness hut, Luirojärvi
- Raappana hut, Luirojärvi
- Kotaköngäs fire place
- Lankojärvi open and licked wilderness huts
- Rautulampi day hut
- places of interest:
First stage – To the reindeer fence of Niilanpää
From Kiilopää, the trail starts towards the fell Niilanpää and Suomunruoktu. For the first five kilometers, the trail follows the maintained ski track towards Rautulampi. Directly after the fell center, the track rises above the tree line and heads towards the fells. After four kilometers of skiing you will reach the reindeer fence of Niilanpää.
Into the canyon
Just after Niilanpää the trail separates from the maintained ski track and heads towards Suomunruoktu. Soon the trail will also reach the top of the fells and start descending to the canyon between Kopsusselkä and Rautu fells. After 14 kilometers skiing the trail reaches the hut of Suomunruoktu which is situated by the river Suomu. Next to the hut you can find also the museum hut which was originally built already in 1935 during the gold rush. Later it has been used by hikers but nowadays it is only in museum use.
From Suomunruoktu the trail continues towards southeast along the river Suomu. In Aitaoja it is time to leave the river behind and start following the slopes of the fell Vintilätunturi towards Tuiskukuru. You will reach Tuiskukuru approximately 13 kilometers after Suomunruoktu. In Tuiskukuru there is a wilderness hut where it is possible to overnight. The name of the place, Tuiskukuru, means a canyon where wind and snow forms different dunes of snow. The canyon is situated right behind the wilderness hut.
To the lake Luirojärvi
The lake Luirojärvi is situated eight kilometers east from Tuiskukuru. On the way the trail rises to the fell Ampumapää from where you can already see the fell Sokosti. By the lake Luirojärvi there are many different options for overnighting which of Kuusela locked wilderness hut, Luirojärvi locked wilderness hut and open wilderness hut, and rajankämppä open wilderness hut are located on the southern and western shores of the Lake Luiro. Besides, there is an open wilderness hut (Raappanan kami) on the northern shore of the lake. Before skiing to the top of the fell Sokosti, you should leave all the extra equipment down by the lake so that the climbimg would be easier.
Up to the fell
The fell top of Sokosti is approximately 430 meters higher than the lake, and the climb is five kilometers long. The climb is steep and long so it is recommended to serpentine in to slope to make the climbing easier. One nice trail option is to ski to the top via canyon Jauruskuru. After the exhausting climb the sceneries from the peak feel like a reward. The way back to the lake goes easily.
Chooce the way back according to the season
The way back from the lake Luirojärvi towards the lake Lankojärvi is approximately 18 km depending on the trail. The way back starts on the western side of the lake towards the canyon between the felss Joukhaispää and Vasanlyömäpää. Halfway between the lakes there is a fire place (Palovangaoja) where it is possible to take a break. Depending on the season and ice situation you should consider where you can go over the river Suomujoki. In the beginning of the winter when there is not enough snow you can use the bridge on Kotaköngäs but later in the winter you can go over the water for example at the lake Lankojärvi.
In Lankojärvi there is an open wilderness hut and a locked wilderness hut where it is possible to have a break or spend the night.
From the lake Lankojärvi it is still approximately 20 km back to Kiilopää. From Lankojärvi the trail continues along the small river Rautuoja towards west. The trail starts to climb slightly immediately and the climb continues all the way to the pond Rautulampi (pond with arctic char). By the pond there is a day hut where it is possible to take a break.
Along a marked trail or wandering through the fells
After Rautulampi you can choose whether you want to ski along a marked and maintained ski track or through the fells. Between the fells Rautupää and Niilanpää there is a deep and beautiful canyon which is easier to pass by from the south. After climbing up to the fell Rautupää, the terrain is almost flat all the way back to Kiilopää. The last descent to the fell center on Kiilopää is easy and fast.