Length: 9 km
Width: 5 m, 2 lanes
Surface quality (out of 5): 3
Highest point: Sea level
Operating times: 4-5 months a year, during the cold season
Route: Oulu to Hailuoto
How Driving On Ice Feels Like
Thrill seekers have found that one road they need to drive on to feel the adrenaline rush. We’re talking here about the Oulu Hailuoto one, the longest ice road in Finland.
Driving on ice is quite the experience when knowing that what separates your car and the water is a thick layer of ice. Ice provides a smooth surface, without rocks, holes and other obstacles. The road can be snow plowed or covered with a shiny layer of ice.
This kind of drives can usually be found in cold countries, such as Finland, Canada, Estonia and so on. Also, roads like the Oulu- Hailuoto one are open only during the cold season, for 4-5 months every year.
Although it’s easy to drive on such roads, due to the short distance lacking obstacles, it also is very dangerous. There is a speed limit cars have to respect that should prevent the weight of the card to cause waves under the surface of the ice. As expected, the waves can damage the road and create a disaster.
The ice should have a 40 cm or more in thickness, to support the traffic and the weight of the cars.
The ice road between Oulu and Hailuoto has a length of 9 km, and it links Oulu to the Hailuoto island. It used to be open 4-5 months a year, but recently, because of the climate changes, that period has decreased to only 4-5 weeks. Before opening this road, an inspection is needed to make sure that the ice is thick enough to support the weight of the cars.
There are a few things drivers should know, before driving on ice roads like this one here. Unlike in other situations, they shouldn’t wear a seat belt. Both drivers and passengers are not allowed to do so because, in the case of an emergency exit, it would take too long to detach their seat belts. This type of roads have the necessary warning signs like other normal routes.
During the other months of the year, a ferry operates between Hailuoto and mainland.
Driving on ice is a unique experience. Even though the road isn’t that scenic and all you can see is snow and ice, the thrill of driving on such a dangerous route cannot compare to anything else.
Photos: http://www.arcticairlink.com, http://www.mattigronroos.fi, http://www.trekearth.com, http://one.classetouriste.ber