7. The Kulmakuru gorge

Classification: Geological sites

Description of the site

On the southern slope of the fell of Harripää, there is a small esker ridge. It is a sub-glacial esker formed in the meltwater conduit at the base of the retreating glacier. The esker ridge leads into the Kulmakuru meltwater gorge at the 375 m level and runs further to the Eskottijoki river valley, where there are again glaciofluvial hillocks. This shows that esker ridges and the Kulmakuru sub-glacial gorge belong to the same sub-glacial meltwater system, where a powerful sub-glacial meltwater stream passed over the fell ridge. Kulmakuru is a gorge more than 20 metres deep with steep, craggy edges. Its angular form is a result of the crossing fracture zones in the bedrock. The bottom is covered with jagged stones that have rolled down from the slopes. Its bottom seldom sees the light of the sun. 

 

How to get there?

There are several alternative routes to Kulmakuru. You do not have to be a fell wolf to get there, but there are no existing paths to this impressive path.

If you are in good shape and have orienteering skills, you can make a day trip from Saariselkä. Of course, you will have to cross the River Tolosjoki, but that is easy under all circumstances. In the summer, you can wade across wearing rubber boots. The overall hike there and back is approximately 15 kilometres.

Motorists should drive from the north of Saariselkä to Eskottivaara road and turn directly from there to Riekkovaara. The hike from Riekkovaara is only a little over one kilometre. Altitude differences are great and, of course, crossing the river also slows you down. There is a camp fire spot and official crossing on the riverside, but using it will double the distance while however making the ascent more gradual and the hike more pleasurable in general. There is no need for actual orienteering on the Riekkovaara route, but you will need a map.

The third route is from the south via the Kuttura road. The driving distance is longer than to the Riekkovaara route. This alternative is the best for mountain-bikers. Gradually worsening roads will take you directly to the edge of the gorge and you will not have to cross the River Tolosjoki. You will not need a compass on this route, but you should have a map.

 

7 GeoThe Kulmakuru Gorge page 001 Kopio