Today there will be an interview with Per Olov Wikberg.
-Hi Per Olov, what is your outdoor background?
Well, the outdoor have always become a main part in my life. Skiing, hunting fishing ski alpinism, well everything. Living in the Jamtland area means that you really got easy to access the outdoor environment…Today I am working at the Swedish Environmental Safety Protection Agency as coordinator for the Mountain safety.
-I heard that the budget for developing the avalanche program has been decreased, what will that have for effect of the area of mountain safety?
We will keep on working within the program, but this will mean that we can’t implement the satellite system for preventing for avalanches in Sweden. The system is developed in Norway and can help to predict the risk situation of avalanches in different areas. Today we got six areas where we are working with avalanche safety program, and we would like to increase with three more areas in the program. Today the program includes the Abisko and Riksgransen, Kebnekaise, Vindlefjällen, Kittelfjallen and Are – Funasfjallen. The result of reduce budget means that those three areas will be delayed. For us is very important to develop the safety. For the last ten years, six persons has died in avalanche accidents in Sweden. The numbers of avalanches will be over a thousand for a year in the Swedish mountain environment
-When it comes to the Mountain safety council, what is the news there?
The decreased budget will of course even affect us here as well. But we still work with developing the Mountain safety program. Today the association contains twenty different organization, which our responsibility is to coordinate them in the Mountain safety area. We schedule two meeting every year and one of them we normally plan for being in field environment. The next meeting will be in National Land Survey authority (Lantmäteriet) offices and one of the topic will of course be about the Mountain maps, the quality and how to distribute them in an efficient way. We also try to update the Mountain leader certification to level 2.0 so a lot of ideas and plans is ongoing.
-I’ve been talking with consumer agency(konsumentverket)t and tried to get some information about statistics about incidents connected to the Mountain leaders and there activities. The answer I got is that nothing has been reported. What do you think about that?
I think this is a culture question. We need to increase the willing of reporting incidents. I think it is hard to report that you as a guide has been involved in an incident/accident. Here we must work tight together with the Mountain Leader Association.
-I guess you been around a lot in the Swedish mountains, what will be your favorite area?
-There are many of course, but the Ljungdals area. When it comes to skiing of course Are will be a easy chose for a Jamtlander. But my special suggestion will be Frostviksfjallen. A very nice area, and an area where you will be on your own. This is a hidden pearl.
-And the coffee, what is your choice there in the outdoor environment on your tours?
-The easiest will be the Nescafe, but if I have the time I will have the coffee fresh boiled in the coffee kettle.
See ya soon