Any holiday taken during the Covid-19 pandemic may be subject to change and with little or no notice of that change. As the past months have proven no-one can predict the situation from one week to the next, however, we will do our very best to gauge the best response to any new developments. New restrictions or guidelines might affect where we eat out, which accommodation we can stay in, and potentially transport arrangements if the numbers in vehicles are restricted.
Itineraries may not be exactly as advertised due to new regulations or restrictions, for example, we may not be able to stop and have lunch at a mountain farm as stated in the itinerary, because the farm has had to react to new rules with regard to serving food and drinks. We imagine that there will be many scenarios which might lead to a change or adaptation in the itinerary.
When booking a trip during the pandemic we ask that you keep an open mind and be willing to adapt and be flexible.
The meeting and departure point for this trip is Kajaani airport in Finland. The transfer from Kajaani to Vuokatti takes 45 minutes and is included in your trip price. The transfer time on arrival is set to meet the flight leaving Helsinki at 1550hrs, arriving to Kajaani at 1710hrs.
If you arrive at a different time or miss your connecting flight and arrive later than the allotted time you can either take the public ski bus, costing approximately 10 Euros, which will take you to your hotel, or book a private taxi.
When booking a taxi we recommend that you to ring to book it immediately. If booking 6 or more hours in advance you secure a fare of 35 Euros to Vuokatti, otherwise it will be 95 Euros. The taxi number is +358 40 660 8000 and the website is Ktaoy Airport Taxi.
Please be aware that Finnair often sells flights from London with just a 40 minute change time in Helsinki. In our experience this is too short a time to get through passport control to make the next flight. If the flight times are not convenient for you then we suggest you arrive a day earlier and take time to explore Helsinki before taking the internal flight to Kajaani.
At the end of your trip you will be transferred from Arola back to Kajanni airport. This transfer is included in your trip fee. We will depart from Arola at 0740hrs and arrive at the airport at 1000hrs in time to check-in for the flight departing for Helsinki at 1125hrs going via Jyvaskyla arriving to Helsinki at 1320hrs.
Kajanni is a very small airport and arriving 1h30 ahead of a departure is normal. There is also a second flight departing at 1735hrs if you choose to take this then we can still take you to the airport on the morning transfer but you might like to have time in Kajanni centre before the flight.
When booking a trip we ask you to acquire insurance to cover you for the following:
Mountain Rescue Insurance
It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, mountain rescue, cost of repatriation and personal accident risks. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. The maximum altitude for any trip can be checked on the 'At A Glance' box on each trip page. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip, then please ask us for specific details.
Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance
You should also have insurance to cover trip cancellation and curtailment. Please note that your deposit and balance payments are non-refundable, unless it is Tracks and Trails who cancel the trip due to a failure to reach the required minimum numbers. In this case we will offer you a refund or the option of transferring to another trip if one is available. We also advise that you should have insurance which covers baggage loss/equipment damage as Tracks and Trails will not be held responsible for loss/damage to baggage/equipment.
As well as medical cover, we recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance so that if you fall ill and test positive for COVID-19 prior to (or during) your trip, you will be financially covered for cancelling your trip. You should also consider booking a policy that covers you if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday because you have to self-isolate. If you choose to cancel, cancellation charges will be payable, but if the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges. Please read the clauses below detailing trip cancellation and curtailment.
Travel Insurance covering COVID-19 is now available from a number of suppliers, Campbell Irvine, Trailfinders and Staysure. Please check their websites for the latest information on what is and isn't covered. It is likely that more companies will offer COVID related cover in the future.
All of the above insurances are detailed in our Terms and Conditions.
If you are joining a trip in the UK helicopter/mountain rescue insurance is not required as this is a free service.
For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.
We ski in Finland at the time of year when the snow is at it's best, which is from mid-February onwards. The snow season in the inland regions of southern and central Finland, see the first snow falls at the beginning of December and it usually melts during late March and April. The temperatures in February are usually around -3°Celsius (26.6°F) during the daytime, and dropping to approximately -10°Celsius (14°F) during the night.
In Finland the use of the ski tracks is free so there is no ski pass required.
The skis needed for this week are 'classic style'. The ski hire for the week is expected to be 80€ for winter 2021, and we will be renting from https://www.vuokattiskiservice.fi/
In Vuokatti the ski rental is skin-grip technology with NNN bindings. If you prefer to bring your own shoes and rent just skis and poles that is possible but the price is the same. Please make sure that your boots are compatible with NNN bindings. Ski rental can be paid for by credit card.
To ensure we get the correct sizes, equipment hire is arranged in advance. Please make note of your equipment hire on our Booking Form. We will need to know your height, weight, normal shoe size (you must give us your everyday shoe size and not your personal adjustment for wearing boots) and the measurement of your height up to your armpits (for ski pole hire). The skis we use are “normal” cross-country skis for classical style, and the width is usually 44 mm.
Your safety while skiing is our top priority. All skiers are requested to adhere to the Code of Conduct published by the International Ski Federation, or FIS. The aim is to make you, the skier, aware of how to avoid risks, take responsibility and act thoughtfully while on the cross-country ski tracks.
When packing for a trip in the mountains it is important to have appropriate equipment and clothing. This kit list features items we believe are necessary for the weather you will encounter and accommodation you will be staying in.
This trip uses ‘classic’ cross country skis and if you are hiring they will usually come with a NNN binding. If you are considering bringing your own, it is acceptable to use ‘fishscales’ or ‘skintec skis’ on this trip, but they must fit in the tracks, so should be a maximum of 66mm at their widest point. The skis you will hire will not be ‘fishscales’, but are more likely to be ‘skintec’. If in doubt about the suitability of your own skis please contact us.
Skis, boots, and poles with large baskets (not racing baskets) and standard wrist loops (so that you can easily use a large glove if needed). These can be hired at the start of the trip. If you are intending to hire you must inform us as soon as possible as equipment must be booked in advance. The type of ski supplied by the hire shop and costs are in the 'Ski Rental' section of the Trip Information page.
Personal First Aid
Items that are provided
**Supplementary snacks if you follow a gluten free or coeliac diet**
Leaders are all first aid trained and carry their own first aid kit
On many of our trips there will be an element of 'group kit' which will be shared amongst our guests. As mountain people you will be used to team work and working together to the mutual benefit and safety of the group.
The 'group kit' will be minimal and usually just a case of sharing a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. For example on a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it on to the next person.
If you are booking a trip in winter there will be a few additional safety items. These will be distributed in such a way that no one is over burdened.
Other group items necessary for safety and comfort will be carried by your guide/instructor.
For each of our trips a minimum number of guests is required before we can confirm that your trip will go-ahead. The minimum and maximum number of guests on your trip is displayed in the 'At a Glance' box on the righthand side of the trip page.
We strongly advise you do not book travel until we have confirmed your trip is 'guaranteed' to run. If you book travel before we have confirmed it is 'guaranteed' we cannot be held responsible for any financial loss if the trip does not go ahead.
When booking a holiday as a solo traveller a twin bedded room comprising of two single beds, is booked as standard. This will be with someone of the same gender unless you request to pay extra for your own room. Single rooms are often limited in supply so if you would like to pay a supplement for a single room we urge you to get in touch as soon as possible.
On this trip single rooms are available on the first three nights at Vuokatti. In which case the single supplement is £250 for winter 2021. However, it is possible that on the other nights in the forest cabins you may have a single room by default due to the amount of rooms available.
We go to great lengths to work with first class ski instructors who are passionate about their work.
Your ski instructor will be a BASI qualified, or equivalent, Nordic Ski Instructor. BASI is the British Association of Snowsport Instructors and is one of Europe's leading examining boards for those choosing a career in snow sports. For some countries your ski instructor will hold the national qualification required for the country you are visiting. All are all fully qualified, insured, and hold the correct documentation.
In the majority of cases your instructor will also be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader. International Mountain Leaders are not only qualified to ensure the safe management of the group, but are also a source of knowledge about the local flora and fauna, and traditions of the area which you are visiting.
Please note your instructor has complete discretion to make a daily decision on whether or not to take the advertised route based on the weather and the ability of the members of the group. They have our authority to make any route changes they believe are necessary in the interests of safety and enjoyment.
You can learn more about our guides and instructors on the About Us page.
During this trip you will have access to your luggage each day, firstly in an hotel, and then on the journey element of the trip while staying in cabins. It means your bags are transferred each day to the next accommodation and you only need to carry a small/medium sized 'rucksack' for items you might need during the course of the day. Please refer to the kit list for this trip for guidance on the size of rucksack required.
As your luggage will be moved along the route by taxi/skidoo we ask that you keep the weight to a maximum of 15kgs (33lbs), and ONE bag per person. Also with regard to weight be aware that you will have to carry your luggage to your bedroom, which may involve climbing stairs. Luggage on wheels is generally a good idea.
On some occasions, luggage can be misplaced in transit between flights. We therefore recommend you bring some clothes and shoes in your hand luggage so that you can still ski on the first day while your luggage catches up with you. If you opt for a flight which has a relatively short 'connection' time at Helsinki then this is important.
For the first three skiing days at Vuokatti your lunch is not included. You will be able to either order a packed lunch, or we may plan to stop at a cafe by the tracks. Your instructor will advise you of the options.
For the three days when we are journeying along the Finnish Russian frontier your lunch will be included. This will be a picnic often taken in the outdoors. Usually you will be served soup and a sandwich.
On your itinerary you will find an indication of the amount of ascent and descent you can expect each day. This offers a guideline to how much effort might be expended each day and allows you to decide, based on previous experience, if your fitness and stamina are correct for the trip.
We make every attempt to ensure these statistics are as accurate as possible, but ask you to note that the most modern of technology used to record these details can show considerable variations in terms of ascent, descent, and in particular distance. In other words no two people using GPS devices on the same route will have exactly the same details recorded at the end of the day.
The statistics given should be used as a 'general' indication of the effort required.
Your leader will carry the correct maps and you are not expected to navigate, but if you would like to have maps of the itinerary you will find that the one given below covers your route:
Hossa-Martinselkonen 2013: 1:50,000
It is useful to arrive at your destination with some cash in the local currency, however, on most occasions it is relatively easy to visit a 'cash machine' after arrival and withdraw money on a credit or debit card. Some of our locations are an exception to this in particular Norway, where the accommodation will often have no facilities for withdrawing cash, but they will take a credit card.
On many of our trips we will visit remote cafes/farms where it is wonderful to enjoy a drink and a cake, at places such as these they will only accept payment in the local currency in cash.
On our trips we encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes that reflect the culture of the country and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for the traditional food of the region.
If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance to a certain food type which will make you ill the accommodation will cater for this as best they can, eg gluten free, nut free, lactose free.
If you are vegetarian then this is not a problem as the hotels/refuges are used to being asked for vegetarian meals. Our accommodation will try to cater for those with vegan diets but in remote refuges in the mountains this is more difficult. If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet please contact us. Gluten-free diets will be possible with regard to the evening meals, but we would advise that you bring along some gluten-free snacks for your breakfasts and lunches.
If you have a 'special' diet which is NOT because of an allergy or intolerance, and is not 'veggie' then we apologise, but we cannot cater for this. The accommodation on the popular routes will be catering for many people each evening, in some cases up to 70/80 meals per night, 7 days a week, and realistically they cannot produce many different meal options unless the food will result in illness.
The countries we visit all have tap water which is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating that you must not drink the water. At all times you are welcome to ask your guide/instructor if the water can be drunk. We would ask, for environmental reasons, that you avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and bring a water bottle that can be used repeatedly.
A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required for visits to countries outside the EU, such as Norway. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice.
We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:
Note that if your trip involves staying in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut that electric sockets may be in short supply and for that night you may not be able to charge any items. Although the accommodation will have electricity this will often be supplied by solar panels or a generator and limited to use by the staff. For this reason we advise that carrying a small slimline and lightweight 'battery pack' can be very useful for recharging phones which many of you will also use as your camera.
Before booking consider whether you expect to be in the appropriate physical condition on the date of your departure to allow you to fully participate in and enjoy your holiday. If you have any doubts because of an illness or injury it would be advisable to check with your doctor.
For UK residents travelling to an EU country you should obtain and bring with you a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance. Also note that if/when the UK leaves the European Union that the EHIC card may no longer be valid. Please check this before departing. We advise that you always carry your insurance documents with details of the Emergency Medical telephone number for your insurance provider, and your policy number.
We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. In particular we ask that you remove any toilet tissue.
You can read our full policy here.
Working across international boundaries, and with various currencies means that the price of our trips can change overnight. We have, however, undertaken to guarantee that once you have paid your deposit the price of your trip is fixed. In this respect we urge you to book early to ensure that you receive the price advertised on our website. The website price may increase due to currency fluctuations, but we guarantee that the price advertised on the date of your booking will be maintained in your individual case.
Due to the specialised nature of our holidays, we co-sell a number of trips with 'partner' companies. These are carefully selected to ensure they reflect our ethos and standards in terms of the service we offer our guests. By encouraging other companies to sell our trips it means that your chosen holiday may reach its 'minimum' number earlier, allowing us to guarantee the trip and to give you the go-ahead to book your travel arrangements.
There may be occasions when our partners have helped book your accommodation and organise the logistics for your trip. On these occasions your hotel may have recorded your room reservation in the name of one of our partners.
We guarantee that companies with whom we work will offer the same package as Tracks and Trails Ltd. The price will be the same, though occasionally they may be operating in a different currency. Your itinerary and the items that are included, or not included in your trip fee, will also be the same.
We believe in team work, and enjoy working with other small high quality companies. If you have any questions about this policy please contact us and we will be happy to discuss it with you.
Prices may vary depending on date.
|Code||Start date||Return date||Dates||Price||Status|
|FRF1||Sun 21 Feb||Sun 28 Feb||
Sun 21 Feb - Sun 28 Feb
|Price: £1795||Spaces available||Book|
|FRF2||Sun 07 Mar||Sun 14 Mar||
Sun 07 Mar - Sun 14 Mar
|Price: £1795||Spaces available||Book|