Nature and Environment in Ylläs
What are the seasons like?
Ylläs and the rest of Lapland has eight seasons instead of four!
1.Early Spring – The days start to become longer than the nights
2.Spring – The ice on the rivers and lakes melt and the migrating birds return.
3.Early Summer – Plants recover after the long winter and begin to grow and blossom again
4.Summer – The nightless nights arrive with the midnight sun.
5.Late Summer – Darkness starts to return at night and the forest floor is covered with delicacies, including berries and wild mushrooms.
6.Autumn – As the temperatures drop the trees and plants change to a symphony of colours, known locally as Ruska.
7.Early Winter – The first of the snow arrives and comes with it the opportunity to see the Northern Lights (Revontulet)
8.Winter – Mother Nature rests during the polar night (Kaamos) when the sun doesn’t rise beyond the horizon.
How long do the nightless nights last in the summer?
The midnight sun can be experienced from June to July; however the days are significantly longer than the nights from the end of May to the middle of August. Midsummer (Juhannus) is celebrated throughout Finland. In Ylläs, midsummer is celebrated with bonfire parties where locals and tourists come together. You can check www.yllas.fi to see where the celebrations will be taking place.
Does the sun rise at all in the winter or is it permanently dark?
The sun does rise in the winter, however in December and January the days are very short, this does not mean that Ylläs is in complete darkness though. This period is referred to as the ’polar period’ or ’kaamos’, during this time the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon creating what is called ’Twilight’. Many consider the polar night to be one of the most beautiful periods in Lapland. The darkness is something quite different due to the illumination created from the snow.
Is there guaranteed snow?
In Ylläs snow is guaranteed every winter. The first snow usually falls in November, if not before, and lasting until May. This winter 2011/12 the lifts are open until 1st May.
How much snow is there?
From January to April there is around 1 meter of snow creating perfect conditions for the slopes and trails.
How cold does it get in the winter?
For the coldest month, January, the average temperature is -15°C but it is not unusual for the temperature to drop below -30°C. The dry climate means that even the very low temperatures don’t actually feel that harsh. The locals say there is no such thing as bad weather just the wrong clothes so wrap up properly to make the most of your time in Ylläs.
What clothing do I need?
Regular skiing clothes are suitable for the climate in Ylläs as long as they are teamed with good quality base layers. The first layers should be well fitted long sleeve thermal top and thermal leggings. One of the guidelines to follow is to wear and extra layer for every 5 °C below 0 °C! A number of thin layers are more effective than one thick wooly jumper!
Can I rent specialised clothing locally?
Some tour operators provide thermal overalls, or alternatively thermal overalls can be hired from most safari companies; these are designed to be teamed with good base layers. The thermal overalls are designed for participating in excursions and getting around the resort and not for skiing. There are also well stocked sport shops in both villages if you need to buy any extra layers.
Are there walking paths in Ylläs?
As well as the walking roads adjacent to the road there are also a number of forest routes for you to explore. These are marked on the cross country skiing maps.