Lapland: a name that conjures up images of Santa, Christmas, freezing weather and warm cozy lodges. But it is so much more than that. Admittedly I visited in March and Santa was long gone, hibernating away next to the fire in a cozy cabin somewhere.
When we landed we were treated to a balmy -1 degree centigrade (I say this because temperatures over the winter can get down to -40!) Everything was coated in a smooth white blanket of snow and the magic of this place, especially for children, was immediately apparent. We only had a weekend here and my girlfriend Julie and I packed it full of activities.
First up was Cross Country Skiing. I can snowboard but I have never gone near a set of skis. I was surprised at how easy it was to pick up. I can’t imagine its downhill counterpart would be anywhere near so forgiving. We spent a couple of hours sliding through snow covered pine forests, not a person in sight. Things went quite differently that night.
We decided to venture out on the skis at 9pm to go hunting for the elusive Northern Lights. I have been fortunate enough to witness the Aurora in the past but for Julie it would be her first experience and she was tingling with excitement. We headed out alone back into the forest. After an hour or so we stopped when a faint green glow started to slowly snake across the sky. I took my skis off and set up my camera gear.
By now it was down to -20 and it doesn’t take long for that cold to seep through your layers of clothing when you stop moving. The Aurora gradually got brighter, in a giant arc to the North glowing a luminescent green. We spent the next hour watching and photographing this incredible natural phenomenon. The cold started to become too much and we decided to ski back.
It was here that we ran into problems.
We realized our skis had frozen up and we were unable to clip our boots back in. We tried for ages to warm them up and to free them but to no avail. We ended up walking back through deep snow for an hour with numb feet. We learned our lesson!
To find out what happens next, and check out the beautiful shots of the Northern Lights see Tom’s full article published in Face the Current April edition pages 26 – 29. Digital or print? You can purchase either, click here!
About the author
Tom is a freelance photographer with a passion for travel. He shoots a variety of work from weddings to advertising, he is completely self-taught and his work has taken him all over the world. He is in the process of building workshops, sharing his passion through teaching landscape and adventure photography in some of the most beautiful destinations on the planet.
www.facebook.com/tomarcherphotography | Instagram: @tomarcherphoto
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