8 Photos from a Ski Touring Adventure under Finland's Northern Lights

Night ski tour in Levi, Finland

By: Cat Ekkelboom-White + Save to a List

Seeing the northern lights was always on my bucket list. And during our honeymoon in Iceland in 2014 we were lucky enough to see them twice. And it was wonderful. But there was still that burning desire inside me to see them again.

Whilst planning our last holiday to Levi in Finland, we saw lots of companies offering northern lights safaris; by skidoo, snowcat, reindeer sleigh or husky safari. Even though the last two did sound lovely, we came up with our own plan. We decided to take our touring skis with us and if the weather was looking right, we’d tour up the fell and try to capture the auroras away from the lights of the resort.

We subscribed to northern lights alerts and checked the forecast almost hourly. After 3 very cloudy nights, finally we were due to have clear skies and a chance of seeing the aurora. At 10pm we got dressed in to our ski gear, packed our skins, head torches and a flask of tea, and we headed out. At 531 meters above sea level, the 350m vertical climb took around 1 hour. We left the lights and sounds of the town below us and climbed up in to the frozen wonderland above. The tree branches glistened like crystals against the light of the full moon and even though the temperature was -16°C, the climb up kept us nice and warm.

We hadn’t even reached the top when we caught a glimpse of swirling ribbons in the sky behind the trees. Fumbling with gloves and rucksacks, we managed to get the camera set up just in time to catch the show. Nature, not wanting to make things too easy for us, decided to only show us a small show and enticed us further up the hill to above the tree line, where we were treated to a front row seat to her performance, not a soul around but us.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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