Sunday, April 22, 2018

Deadly bunker trap

Well, that was dangerous. We're very careful when we visit blown-up bunkers. But, we did not expect intentional traps, at least not recent ones. Next to a bunker in Siuntio, Jarmo almost fell into a 5-meter deep well that was covered with fresh tree branches. Would he have hurt himself if he fell in, or even if not, would he have been able to get out if he was alone? Who does this sort of thing?!

Otherwise, this location was quite a visit, a big 2-storey ZIF-25 bunker in Siuntio backcountry (is there other kind?). Blown up worse than we've seen elsewhere, but still possible to crawl to the main room through the hanging wreckage. And two functional exit tunnels.

We also saw the remains of another bunker nearby, a smaller one and we didn't even bother to go inside to this badly destroyed structured. However, what was interesting that at the back of the bunker there was a cliff wall, with pipes running to the bottom of the wall. With all the snow it was not possible to see if there was something at the bottom, so we'll have to return in the summer.

Here's the hidden hole and tree branches:

And the video:

Pictures from inside the bunker:

Approaching the bunker:

Here's the second bunker:

This blog is also available at TGR. Tämä blogi löytyy myös suomeksi Relaasta. Photos and videos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko and Jarmo Ruuth. All rights reserved. The song "Trap Unboxing" is by Jimmy Fontanez and Doug Maxwell, freely usable in YouTube audio library.

Replacement Poles. Cutting them...

Ski pole bouquet, five poles! Should be enough for redundancy, now.

I lost a ski pole in the Ylläs competition, just an hour or so into it. I had spare ones, although a bit short.

The staff had not received the pole anywhere, nor did we find the pole upon search later. Oh well.

But, this meant that I needed new poles. I use fixed length but lightweight poles unless I'm planning on skinning or packing skis in backpack.

So, I wondered if I could buy another pair from Ski Service, with exact same model and length? Unfortunately, they did not have the 130cm any more... but I got a great offer for 135cms for just 20€ pair. That's a very good price for this composite pole. However, I'd had to cut it by 5cm.

The first attempt at dislodging the glue on the handle did not work with just warm water. But as instructed, with boiling water the glue came off easily. Cut the poles, insert new glue, and now I have correct length poles!

Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Salomon Driver Ski Helmet Review

To be honest, I did not expect much. My old helmet was broken in the back, I was flying to the Ylläs competition next day, and the Ski Service shop was closing. They had only helmet model that was even close to what I was looking for. I had to buy it.

What I got was the Salomon "Driver" ski helmet, one with an integrated visor.

I had grave suspicions that it wouldn't work... would collide with my eyeglasses in practice... would leak too much air at high speed... be too hot in slower speeds... and of course it has a weird name, like I was buying a motorcycle or car driver's helmet. Who comes up with these names at Salomon???

But, to my surprise this helmet was a perfect choice for the competition. It never had any issue with my eyeglasses, and it provided good protection in all situations, much easier to use than regular goggles, particularly when I can wear with glasses. It was also very comfortable, a very good fit to my head with or without additional warming layer, even if at first I thought it might have been a tad too small for my big head :-)

I'm very happy with the helmet now.

The only questions that remain are about bad weather, how protective will be in snow storm? And will the visor get easily scratched in travel? I guess we'll see. I suspect it will be perfect in weather, too, and I'm mostly worried that scratches will harm my new favourite ski toy :-) But for now, I can only warmly recommend this helmet!

Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Tivoliberget Forts

I had a long day at my Kista office today, but on the way back to the airport I managed to scout ruins of fortifications and bunkers at Tivoliberget in Bergshamra, Solna, near Stockholm.

These are not part of the Korvlinjen that I've been tracking earlier. More information about the fortifications can be found here.

I found a bunker, at the top of the hill there some fortifications (perhaps bases for guns), and there's also basement ruins of a house.

And nice graffiti!

Coordinates for the bunker are N 59.37502629 E 18.03478, for the ruins N 59.37506 E 18.03388, and for the fortifications at the top of the hill N 59.37472 E 18.03345.

Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Bromma Airport

Many things are better in Sweden than in Finland. Take their appreciation of small city airports, for instance. Bromma is a small but thriving airport in Stockholm. Whereas in Finland... the idiots are tearing down a historic airport.

Bromma is so convenient for me; it is a 10 minute drive, max, from the office. And it is so small that their maximum queueing situation can result in whopping 4 minute lines through security.

What's not to like? Well, trying to find a seat in the waiting hall or a free bathroom at a busy evening our can be a bit challenging. But I'm sure the new terminal buildings under construction will fix these things.

But Helsinki, oh Helsinki, why are you tearing down the Malmi airport, just when quadcopters, delivery drones, and small aircraft are about to boom? It is a crying shame to destroy a world class historical airport. Why? For the sake of some friendly construction company deals, or gaining more customers for city mayor's nearby businesses?

Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Ylläs 24H Live!

Tero and I are joining the Ylläs 24h race. They hold the ski lifts running for 24 hours straight... and whoever skis most vertical, wins. There will be no rest :-)

I've participated this competition a couple of times (see here and here). I don't really feel like I'm good shape this year, but lets see how it goes. Ski as much as I can. At least it will be more vertical than on a usual ski day :-)

This year I will be tweeting live pictures and video as the race goes on. Follow the hashtag #yllas24h or my twitter handle @jariarkko.

Here's the team:

And here's how it looked like in 2015, including my visit to the Gondola sauna:

Tämä blogi löytyy myös suomeksi Relaasta. Photos and videos (c) 2015-2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

New Helmet!

My old helmet broke (maybe in transport), and since parts are now sticking out, I needed a new one. I got a helmet with an integrated visor, and it will be interesting to see how it works.

The helmet model is Salomon Driver. It seems to work with my eyeglasses on; but I consider this an experiment. I really don't know if this type of a helmet is suitable for me. I think it will be convenient for the Ylläs 24h competition that is coming up in two days.

I like the helmet's style, it fits well, and is compact. Some of the question marks for testing include:

  • Will it work well with my glasses in reality?
  • If I'm going at high speed in the competition, will the visor actually protect me eyes from excessive wind?
  • Will the visor become scratched or broken in transport?

We'll see! I'll report back.

And where else to get it than from my trusted source, Ski Service in Pitäjänmäki:

Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

More Sepänkylä Bunkers

Olli and I went to Sepänkylä to visit more bunkers, and to fly our drones. We found a standard Soviet Porkkala bunker model, relatively intact except for the room under the gun hole. But what wonderful flowstone!

I've also been doing some reading about stalactites and concrete. Stalactites and flowstone are examples of speleothems; in concrete structures such as bunkers, these can grow very quickly. But they are technically not classified as speleothems in concrete, because the definition of the relates to caves:
Definition 1. Speleothems are secondary mineral deposits formed in a cave [1].
Flowstone is sheetlike deposits of calcite or other carbonate minerals [2], in a cave environment. In concrete, it is called concrete derived flowstone [3]. This is an example of calthemite:
Definition 2. Calthemite is a secondary deposit, derived from concrete, lime, mortar or other calcareous material outside the cave environment [4].
What I definitely did not know before was that calthemite and speleothems actually form with different chemical reactions. Calthemite comes from calsium hydroxide (leftover from making concrete) reacting with carbon dioxide as the two come into contact when dripping water from the concrete reaches air:

           Reaction 1: Ca(OH)

 + CO

 → CaCO

 + H

The resulting solution contains calcium carbonate, some of which will be left on the surface as the water drops away.

But regular cave speleothems form through calcium bicarbonate (from dissolving limestone) reaching air and turning to calcium carbonate:

           Reaction 2: Ca(HCO
 → CaCO(s)
 + H
 + CO(aq)

In other words, both processes end up with calcium carbonate on the surface of the growing flowstone or other speleothem/calthemite, but the process at which they come to this is different.

While cave stalactites grow very slowly, few millimetres per year, calthemite can grow much quicker. A calthemite straw stalactite can grow 2 millimetres per day in optimal environments [3].

The coordinates of the bunker we visited are N 60.161310 E 24.502157.


Here are more pictures of the flowstone. I mean concrete derived flowstone:

Forest and the bunker from above:

The entrance and emergency exit:

And here's the drone pilot:

Tämä blogi löytyy myös suomeksi Relaasta. This blog is also available at the TGR site. Photos and videos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko and Olli Arkko. All rights reserved. The song "Hollywood High" is by Silent Partner, and freely available from YouTube audio library.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Easter Bunny Walk

April 2nd and the Easter. I'm back from the US, and far too jet lagged, but managed to go out on a walk in Kauniainen. Walked around the lake, through the small nature reserve swamp, through the underground tunnels... and also saw an easter bunny :-)

Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Pool at the Big Bear Frontier

When visiting the Big Bear Lake ski areas, I stayed one night in the village, and obviously had to try their pool. Even if there was no sauna...

The place, Big Bear Frontier, is a rustic (I'd say 2-3 star) and nice place, but with a great location. It is within a walking distance of the village shops and restaurants. The pool was quite warm and nice, and I was able to regain heat that I usually get from sauna visits.

Photos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Service Industry

The service industry is about experiences rather than products. These guys have taken that to the heart, also in a refreshingly honest manner!

Photo (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 30, 2018

LA Caving

Cave of Munits is a wonderful cave and a sacred site on Simi Hills in San Fernando Valley, half an hour from Los Angeles downtown.

I am on a business trip in Los Angeles, but busy even through the weekends. When I finally found some free afternoon time, I wanted to go see the few small caves, and quickly figured Cave of Munits would be a must see. To begin with, it is a nice hike in unspoiled nature. But, more importantly, the cave sits on a cliff and the views from inside the cave are amazing, as seen above.

The cave was also an odd formation, kind of like a cathedral, and I don't actually know how it was formed. It is full of steep holes reaching towards the top, but then those holes simply stop. What formed them? Water? From where?

Entering the cave requires some easy climbing; getting down is a bit tricker perhaps. But I realised that one can also go through the cave to the top of the cliff, and then hike other paths back to the parking lot.

Apparently, there's another very interesting cave somewhere on the Simi Hills, the Burro Flats Painted Cave. It has cave paintings, and its location is kept secret.

Cave of Munits is in the El Escorpión park. It was only later that I learned it sports rattlesnakes, "requiring observant footfalls and handholds". Hmm...

I also managed to go see the original "Batcave" or Batman's cave, aka Bronson Caves in Griffith Park. These aren't actual caves, rather mines/quarries, but they've been featured in various movies and TV shows. And sure enough, as I hiked to the hills where the cave is, they were shooting another movie and I had to wait a bit for the shoot to end. I also got to meet some movie stars, who in this case were a bunch of six year olds. (The movie was a children's show on the Internet.)

Coordinates: Cave of Munits N 34.197171 W 118.669814, Bronson Caves N 34.121308 W 118.314253.


Pictures from Cave of Munits:

View from the top of the cave:

Here are the pictures from the Batcave:

Hollywood sign is visible right outside the cave entrance:

This blog is also available at the TGR site. Tämä blogi löytyy myös suomeksi Relaasta. Photos and videos (c) 2018 by Jari Arkko. All rights reserved. The song "Hollywood High" is by Silent Partner, and freely usable from the YouTube audio library.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Unmarked bunker in Stubböle found!

Another guest blog article from Jarmo: He found a previously unmarked and unmapped bunker from Stubböle area.

When I visited Stubböle a week ago I noticed that farming fields were still covered with snow. This weekend I thought that it would be a good idea to combine skiing and bunker hunting. We had already found quite a few Soviet-occupation era bunkers at Stubböle and typically they were located just next to a farming field. My idea was to find a bunker that is not listed in any books or maps that we have seen so far.

Cross-country skiing on farming fields was fun! And a lot safer than skiing on a frozen lake or sea when the spring is coming and temperatures are rising. I also managed to start early enough so that the snow was still hard, skiing was easy and you could ski virtually anywhere where there was snow.

After maybe an hour of skiing I was in the furthest location and was ready to start my way back to the car. I did one last detour and noticed a small grass covered bump in the forest. I took off my skis and walked a few meters off from the farming field and immediately noticed an entrance to a bunker.

I had found an unmarked bunker! This bunker was not in any list that we have seen. It was a standard small size bunker with a gun mount on a side wall pointing to the field. As always it was blasted but still in a reasonable good shape.

Coordinates: N 60.071938 E 24.146817.

More pictures below. Here is the entrance corridor:

Entrance hallway:

Blown up hole in the main room:

Gun mount and steel reinforcement:

Skiing to the place:

Photos and text (c) 2018 by Jarmo Ruuth. All rights reserved.