Lapland - Summer Hike 2012 - The Mists of Time

19.07.2012 - Day 3 - Morning. You could feel the drop in temperature during the night. The pounding rain and wind kept me awake with only brief periods of sleep. It doesn't get dark of course so I could peek outside and check the visibility which varied from 50 meters to 10 meters each hour. Sakari had developed a serious chest cough during the night and Stuart and I were thinking that he might try to push on in the morning rather than getting the rest he badly needed. With the fog closing in it seemed unlikely we would get very far.

6am Day 3
Sakari and I had discussed the various scenarios of a 3 man team hiking in the wilderness. Accidents can happen to anyone, and opportunity usually favors the well prepared. In good weather you can manage all kinds of small risks traversing rivers, climbing hills, and pushing your physical stamina to a comfortable limit. But when the weather deteriorates, and especially visibility you might as well stay put.

Stuart comes up from the lake during a brief moment when the fog partially lifted.
Staying put is a hard one for me. It take more discipline to keep me still than it does to get me into action. The hills surrounding us seemed to be saying something. They covered us in fog - here about 1000 meters or more up in the hills of Halti - and said 'You just wait here for a while. You must listen to us.'
A very clean cut boulder - so how exactly, and when...?
But that is precisely why we came here. We came to listen to the voice of nature, to pick our way through this broken world of stone and pounded earth. We came to become smaller in this vast landscape - to feel something,  to turn away from the biting wind (ok well maybe not biting) and to immerse ourselves in the uncompromising power of nature. And so we did.

SolarStrap doing its best to charge my iPhone
The cold had drained quite a bit of power from my phone overnight. I had forgotten to turn it off and in the morning it showed a 1% charge. To the rescue - Suntrica Solarstrap #2. The four flashing green LEDs indicated that since I left Riihimäki on 16.07 - 4 days earlier - the charge had remained full and I got the 97% charge fully downloaded to the phone battery in under an hour. So here is the video of that cramped, in the tent, cold and a little damp update on the start of Day 3.



For reasons that I would like to keep between me and my therapist, I had brought a Canon Speedlight flash unit with me and some Yong Nuo wireless transceivers. Was I hoping to recreate a little studio lighting session up here in the hills? Was I so focused on taking portraits that even a hike in the wilderness couldn't keep me from having a go miles from anywhere? Who knows. The thing is though that if I have to stay put, I can still have a bit of fun in an environment rather difficult to replicate at home.

Stuart in one of those famous explorer shots that appears in the history books 200 years from now.
Sakari with his 75 year old digital Nikon - the intrepid photographer recorded for posterity
One of those portraits of this blogger that shows I have both an explorer's keen sense of vision and fashion awareness.
Photo. S.Savolainen
So in that strange Jurassic Park setting high up in the hills of Halti I got Sakari and Stuart to pose for me while I wiped the lens free of condensation every minute and using each of them as VOLs (Voice Activated Light Stands) I managed a few fun shots against a backdrop of scattered glacial rocks and the timeless summer fog.