Korvatunturi has fascinated the Finns for ages and due to its distinctive shape and remote location it has been traditionally considered as the real home of Santa Claus.
As most of the geological formations in Finland, Korvatunturi is also heavily shaped by the last Ice age. On this area the ice sheet retracted northwest around 10,500 years ago. Initially only the topmost edges of the fells were freed from the ice. These ridges are called nunataks (from Inuit word nunataq). Between these nunataks the melting waters created saddle-shaped canyons that are still visible today.
The geological structure of the area consists of three main types:
- Granulite formations
- Granite-Gneiss formations and
- Schist formations
The fells on the region and especially Korvatunturi are geologically formed in schist. Unlike other fells in the region, Korvatunturi consists of a coarse schist that is based on metamorphosed gneiss with a lot of minerals like garnet and staurolite. The topography of the area was formed in the late Tertiary period around 30 to 50 millions years ago.
Finding this Earthcache requires meticulous planning and help from other people. It is located on the border zone, so a permission is needed to enter the area.
As of 2010, the local border guards no longer give out permissions to enter the area. You can get the permission from the local tour guides. There are at least two tour operators that arrange trips to Korvatunturi: Kemihaaran loma and Samperin Savotta. The price of the trip varies a lot according to the group size but you should be prepared to pay up to 100 € per person. To get the best possible deal, you should negotiate with the tour operators in advance and agree the schedule and what will be included in the price.
You can get 20 kilometers from the location by car. After this you either have to hike or go off-road. For an additional charge, the tour operator could pick you up from a train station or a bus stop.
The tour operators have off-road equipment like snowmobiles that will considerably help getting to the location. However, you should still be prepared to stay sleep one night on the trip.
You have the few final tasks in order to log this Earthcache:
- Describe at least two different kinds of rock formations that you can see on the area (or ones you saw close to the area on your way here). Also describe the types of rock the chosen formations most likely consists of.
- Provide some means of verification that you physically visited the area. This can be done for example by taking picture and adding it to your log.
This Earthcache will take you to a geologically unique location with a mysterious history. Respect the nature and enjoy the adventure. And after it's done, share the story of your journey for others to enjoy too.
You don't need to wait for a permission to log the cache.
Korvatunturi, Savukoski (in Finnish)
Geological study of the region (in Finnish)
Additional geological information (in Finnish)