The job progress

Text and images: Kari Saariniemi

The length of the snowmobile route is 29 km. From the border across Kairala (Kuolajarvi) and Vuorijarvi to Alakurtti about 80 km. The reparation of the snowmobile route started at 7.9.2006 by three men. Later joined the fourth man. The work started at Renttima-aapa by widening the route to 5-6 meters. The clearing was made according to the previous route, but in some places was new route made. The trees was made to firewoods or logs on the both sides of the route. The trees was put on stacks, from where they were brought to piles labeled with the forestowner's name.

The mainprofile of the route.

The forest before clearing. The forest after clearing.

In Sarivaara a reindeer fence was moved about 10 metres aside the route. The making of the new reindeer fence started after the harvester did the thinning. The poles was made of wasted trees by sawing slices from two sides. The tip was sharpened and the top was cut off diagonally. The poles were burned so they don't rotten so easily. The bars were also made of wasted trees. The poles were mounted and the wire-netting was attached to the poles, which was supported by the bars. About 200 meters of new fence was made.

The dismountable reindeer fence.

Burning of the fence poles. New reindeer fence.

To the work-place in Kaita-aapa there was a 3 km walk. Because there was the Kuola River between, we had to walk across Uuttulehto through swamps. The forest that should be cleared was very dense birch and pine. Hummocks had to be cut off at Uuttuoja, because it was too bumpy.

The Kuola River.

The route heading from Kuola River towards

The crossing point of the reindeer fence
at Kaita-aapa.

The circular saw came to Saija 28.8, where the bridge supplies was made. They were made of robust spruce and were carried on lattices. The route guideline poles and other supplies were made. The route guidelines is being painted at later time.

The saw. Spruce logs. Ready-made bridge supplies.

Puukkokangas was so far away so we used an ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle). The equipment were brought with this vehicle to the work-place, so that the walking was a bit easier. There is a crossing were the route is separated to Salla, Naruska, Kotala, Saija, Sarkela, Tulppio and the frontier station. There is also well done guides, where one can plan the next target of the ride.

The eqipment on board. The drag. Guides at Puukkokangas. These are renewed during the project.

Perhaps the most difficult part of the route was on Aapa-Tuohilampi. It was a dense several kilometres long forest. We made a lot of wood. Every stack was marked with a coloured band, so that they is easy to find. After this area the work was easier, because we came to the Tuohiaapa swamp. There were only a few trees to cut. The swamp near Puukkokangas was so wet so we had to go round it. After all, the route is now wider and the work is continuing with the making of route guidelines. The bridges are made later after the route has been trimmed by the digger. The traffic- and the guidesigns is probably made at next year, because the winter is coming. These pages are intended to be updated later as the work is proceeding.

Piles in Aapa-Tuohilampi. Ready-made route. Stock pile and the equipment.

The painting of route guidelines was started at the end of september. The boards of the cross were made 60 cm and painted with oilbased red ochre paint. The poles was made 4 meter and burned in a fireplace. They were also painted with same paint. The assembling of the guidelines are made according to precise instructions and they are mounted aside the route at required points.

Painting of a board. Painted boards. Painting of a pole.

The building of Aapa-Tuohilampi bridge started at 23.10. and it lasted ten working days. At first the cut-outs for the anchors were made with an excavator. The beams were made on the anchors and at last the deck. The bridge is about 4 meters wide and 6 meters long. The bearing capacity was estimated at least to 6000 kg. Click here for more details on how the bridge was made.

The anchors. The beams. The finished bridge.

The job continued on 4.6.2007. In June 10 new bridges were made in ditches where needed. In July most of the guides were mounted. Also traffic signs were fastened on existing route guidelines. The guide supplies were transported to corresponding places with a trailer drawn by an ATV.

ATV Swamp grass Fastenings
Transport of the supplies. Trailer with swamp grass. Fastening of the guide.

Holes were digged out for the concrete bases. The guide was fastened to the pillars with fastenings and locked to the bases with locking rings. Plastic caps were mounted on the pillars. All the guides were mounted with this working method.

concrete bases Pillars Guide
Concrete bases in the holes. Pillars were locked with locking rings. A mounted guide.

The bridges were propped in case that the spring-flood doesn't move them away. Traffic signs were mounted on appropriate places so that driving would be safe. The most important trafic signs is speed limits, stop signs and signs informing about the snowmobile route.

The bridge

Bridge props

Traffic signs

A bridge.


Traffic signs.

Crossing Multaharju Renttima-aapa
You have to accelerate at the crossing, otherwise you have to reverse. Now and then there are beautiful forest to drive through. At Renttima-aapa you can drive a little faster.

The snowmobile route's main page