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Ice skiing

In some winters, ice skiing is the only option if there is not enough snow, and in some winters even ice trails are not possible if it is not cold enough. However, the Sport Office always makes trails across the ice if conditions allow, and if the ice is safe, warning signs are posted at the starting points of the trails. For up-to-date information about the condition of the ice trails, please refer to the Sport Office's own website.

The ice trails maintained by the Municipality of Mäntyharju are connected to the cross-country ski trails and to the Neste service station in Vihantasalmi, where you can get something to eat. By skiing across the Siirlahti bay you can also get to the cross-country ski trails and to the Uutela lean-to, which is a popular skiing destination for families.

Jaahiihto KurkiniemiKirkonkyla

Kurkiniemi - Vihantasalmi - Kurkiniemi

A one-way cross-country ski trail for the traditional technique leads to Vihantasalmi. There is also a snowmobile trail at Pyhävedenselkä. If you want to ski to the Neste service station in Vihantasalmi and back again, you should reserve 3 to 4 hours. The total distance will be almost 30 kilometres. Download map/brochure

Starting point Kurkiniemi 
Asematie 11, 52700 Mäntyharju 

Jaahiihto KurkiniemiVihantasalmiKurkiniemi

Kurkiniemi - Kirkonkylä

The trails from Kurkiniemi to the old village by the Art Centre Salmela run in two directions, and you can also use the skating technique. Beside the ski trail is a tour skating track and a dog walking track. These trails are wide, and it is easy to get to the Nuotioniemi lean-to for a break. Download map/brochure 

Starting point Kurkiniemi: Asematie 11, 52700 Mäntyharju
Starting point at Kirkonkylä parking area: Mäntyharjuntie 25, 52700 Mäntyharju 

Safety guidelines

It is vital to follow basic safety guidelines when walking, skating or skiing across the ice. The first rule is that you should always have ice claws with you – the kind that you can hang around your neck and get to quickly without getting your hands wet. The ice claws should have a sharp spike that can penetrate even the thickest ice. You should also have a larger ice pick with you that can make a hole in ice up to 5 centimetres thick – ski poles are generally not strong enough.

If you are planning a long outing, take with you a backpack containing a dry set of clothes packed in an airtight bag. In case you end up in the water, the backpack will serve as a flotation device. We strongly recommend also that you carry with you a rope to help rescue anyone else who falls through the ice. The most important rule to remember is never go out onto the ice alone. Researchers in neighbouring Sweden found that only one in two people can rescue themselves after falling through the ice, even with all the equipment listed above.

In case you fall through the ice

Falling through the ice is not a catastrophe as long as you remain calm. First, calm yourself from the shock and turn around to face in the direction you came from. The ice in that direction will be strong enough to carry you. Lean against the edge of the ice and, using swimming strokes and kicking with your legs, get your body into a horizontal position. At the same time take out your ice claws, stretch out your arms as far as you can in front of you and drive the claws into the ice. Then pull yourself forwards.

If the edge of the ice breaks again, remain calm and repeat the same steps. If anyone has thrown you a rope by this stage, grab hold of the rope. Once you are safely on the ice, take out your dry clothes from your backpack, take off your wet clothes and dry yourself. After you have changed into dry clothes, you can continue on your way.

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