Now we passed the first of February and the Winter season is really here. A lot of upcoming adventures is on its way. This time of the year is nice due to that now we can plan for really nice adventures.
In the fashion the outdoor look has been in focus for a couple of years. At the moment the 90s is in the focus, and for example fjallraven and Acne cooperate in designing of clothes. and all of a sudden, the fleece sweater has become hot. The history behind this garment there is a story. It was in the 70s, the climber Yvon Chouinard asked a textile Company in Massachusetts if they could design something better then the woollens that get wet and heavy. So then the soft Shell/fleece was born. And also a new brand, the Patagonia.
And as a coincidence I will review Stellar Equipments M guide Merino mid hood. First of all I like Stellar. Good price and high quality. They also try to be inovaiters. This garment is not a exeption. With a mixture of 18%merino and 76% polyester an 6% elastane it is quite interesting. The hood is big enaugh for a helmet and is to adjust. Two high pockets which not will be in the way of backpacks straps or a climbing harness. If there is any thing I got objection to it will be: lack of drawstring in the waist. And I like clothes that are slim in alpine style, this is a bit of loose style. But overall so far, it is real good.
The North Face has produced a new breathable textile that will be awailable from the autumn this year. The name is futurelight. With a factory that is powered by solar power and with recycled textile it will be real sustainable. It has been tested on Lhotse and Mount Everest.
I will begin with the question about workout for mountaineers. This one is a tricky one, because it depends on what area you will active in. Ski, climbing, mountaineering, glacier hiking, trail-running etc. From my point of view, you first need to build up an endurance capacity. This will be the base you can rely on. Then you need to build up strength and mobility. So, the third part will be the “branch” specific workout and mental strength. The set up for the workout can be divided into three phases. Build-up, strength and cardio and branch specific period. Example: summer mountaineering, Nov-Jan; Build up period, Feb-April Strength and mobility and May-June branch specific period. How will this be practically done? One example: Saturday is endurance day in Buildup period you will be running 15km cross country. In the Strength period you will be doing hill running and end the workout with jumps. In the next period you will be doing hill training with back-pack for 3-5 hours. If you need a specific workout program, you can contact me for a suggestion.
My next topic will be a book. “Välkommen till Fjällvär(l)den.” Which is a book of Pierina Wester. A book that will enthusiast you to new mountain adventures. Here you can read about the Life as a an wardins. I really like this book. With poems and mountain stories it really become an inspiration.
A real cabin story from the Mountains..
Early morning the heat from the stove is still there, even if the room is real cold. We been eight persons snoring the night through,I think at least two of them have been up peeing during the early morning. The smell of sweat and wet wool enfolds the room. My lips and nose tip are cold, and some smoke comes out during my breathing. It is still dark in the room, I put some cloth on and turn on the head lamp. The light lightnings up the room, the shadows is playing in the room. Slowly I start building the fire in the stove. Soon the fire will crackle cozy. Time to start preparing the porridge. Today we will be skiing towards the Valacabins and continue to further to Lunndorren. The journey of the day includes 29km with about 6-7 hours on ski. The daylight starts to come through the window. As we are in March the light starts to come early. Of sudden and there it is, the feeling of expectation and a bit of tension. The feeling is familiar, it wakes me up and gets me dedicated. Now the rest of the crew in cabin start to come alive. We know the routines me and Mattias since all years of night in cabins and Mountain stations. Get up early means we can get away early. The morning is crisp but pleasant. The breakfast of porridge and sandwiches and of course coffee is done in a hurry. After filling up the bucket with water for the rest of the people in the cabin, we are done. The ski boot is on, so now it is time for prepare the skis. The ski vax of the day is put on, and the back pack will be on the back. Breathing in the cold air in the nose and thinking this is the best time of the year. The first part from the cabin is downhill, and there I fall. So ok back to relative, I am not the good, I am just a human lending the mountains for a while:-). The creek is winding around, and we must find a route. The ice is thin at some places, so we have to change route a several of times. It is a small valley with small hills and a lot of mountain birches. Soon we find a way through the terrain and get on the trail towards the first milestone of the day vala-cabins. With Kroktjarnarna to the left and Smällhögarna to the right the view is fabulous. We take a short stop for an avalanche test, and yes it still is a high risk. The wind increases and the last 500m towards the cabin is tough. The hosts and the guest couple look wide-eyed on us. We have not even got the chance to start the coffee making before the questions start hailed. -Where do you come from? Will you stay here tonight? When we answered polite that we were heading for Lunndorren and, just been doing the half of the day’s journey I could see that they thought we was crazy. Doing a two days journey in way day (and the same the day before) Does not always make you to a hero in this area. Either you are knowing what you are doing or either you are a fool. Until you know what, you will be counted as a fool, with all rights. After looking to our equipment and 100 of other question, I think we was counted as mountain men. But with a little bit of sceptics. This story ends here, but the day before with a day in storm and a mountain rescue was not included. Neither the sauna experience at Lunndorren and the reindeer hurdle there. But as Kipling said -that’s another story….
Interview with Eddie Gustin.
Eddie Gustin is a real globetrotter, he has been in 193 different countries. He is working as tour guide, bus driver and leader at the Rosa Bussarna. He knows what it means to travel. He has been travel to North Korea, Colombia and Namibia for mention some of all the countries he been visiting. Today I meet him at a cafe, and I can recognize him instantly. He got that aura of humility and with a alert look. With a soft drink and a coffee the conversation will begin..
What is your background, and how come that you start traveling? -I come from Småland Huskvarna, and my family has always been interesting in travelling. During my youth we went on car trips in Europe, so that was the start I think. But one day a friend of the family came and visit us, and told us his story of interrailing, and a visit in Greece. A funny story of photo from the foot side got me interesting in the idea of travelling. In the adolescence I went on interrailing and also a trip to a pen mate in Brazil. The flight to Brazil was my first flight in life. Quite exiting to do that as the first flight trip. Today I still wondering how I got the guts to do that trip. At that time we only correspond in mail. So I was bit worried standing at a airport in Brazil waiting for my friend. The plan was to be there for one month. But I really liked it and stayed as long as it was possible. That was three months. I was thinking of moving there, but I went on a journey to Canada, Australia and New Zeeland. And then it was time for the service in the Army. So I went on a mission in Bosnia.
-But how did you end up as a tour leader at Rosa Bussarna?
Well, it all started with a 10 week long journey with the Rosa Bussarna as a participant. And as I got the driver license for bus, I joked with the driver. When he went in for a brake I turned the bus around for him. He asked me if I wanted to drive the bus sometimes and so I did. I got the mission to become an extra drivers mission in 98 for a trip to China. But after that I did not get any new assignment as driver. So at that time I worked with 3-4 different jobs to collect money for new journeys. But in 99 I got an assignment as a ”real” driver and I took it. Normally we are three drivers at a trip. One is the main tour guide, one mechanic and one chef. -which country will be your favorite?
Namibia is fabulous, the orange red desert is fantastic…
-You been travelling in 25 years, you been in North Korea how was that tour?
Well, it is a country that I don’t like or dislike. The impact on the environment is much less there than in other countries. It is not so lots of cars etc. So the environment has not been so affected of pollution and so on. -What is the most important quality of a real globetrotter do you think?
Social skills, and you must like humans. Open minded and lots of humility. -And the back side of being globetrotter?
Ha ha, that must be the restlessness.
-And the last question, what coffee do you prefer on your journeys?
The one with other people around. The coffee itself is not the most important. It is to drink it together with others. I can drink the as well, but not with milk. At a police station in Pakistan I got the with milk. Due to the hospitality I had to drink it, and I was ill for three days…
By the way, there is a very interesting Project I got involved in. That will be real interesting..But still a secret…
Risk assessment for outdoor activities.
First of all, why should I do a risk management? For me as a guide it is obvious, but for any one? Well I think it is important from that point of view for being prepared. This will also help you for bringing the right stuff and have tick in the boxes for avoiding accidents and aggravating events. One example where I think this failed was the accident in northern of Norway. Four skiers were caught by an avalanche. They got skills, training and the right equipment as I understood. The failure as I can understand was the missing of a risk assessment and a toughtful professional decision making. I think a professional guide, has not taken the decision to continue into a risky area at that time…that’s why you sometimes should hire a guide, someone you pay for getting professional decisions.
Well, the way of risk assesment can be done in lots of different ways. So, this will just be a suggestion from my side. Do it easy, divided into three parts; Environment*), People and Equipment. Now you can start thinking about how the environment can affect me/us. The weather, inclination, ground, sight etc. How can I get the most updated information of the area? What will be the risks, what can go wrong? How to you grade the risk; high, medium or low. What can be done for preventing the risk from happening? Is the grading after that still the same? Can there be any extra controls, for preventing the risk. When you done, it’s time to go through the two other areas in the same way. Now you got a risk assessment list. Next step which is very important is to define the medical emergency. Estimate your and the groups skills and experience. From that, related to the activity and thing trough what options you got in case of emergency. For example, I always check where the nearest ambulance helicopter base is situated. And also, nearest medical station. What can be the realistic time for a rescue venture?
*) read the map, and always define a escape route for rescue of wounded or for bad weather.
What will you do if the GPS don’t work…?
The art of activity will affect how the risk assement should be done..
(Photo Mattias Jansson)
When it comes to adventure we been to Aldalen for the first ice climb of the season. The cigarr and pelaren was first to be climbed. Early seson means that we cilmbed totally new routes, really nice!
January again, a new year with new adventures. At this time of the year it is a good time for planning this years adventures. Because if you dont plan, it will not be reality. If you set ujp the goals you can also start training and motivate yourself to reach them. Today it will be a lot of gear. The reason is that inthe beginning of the year new products will be out on the market..
So we start with a rope bag from Sterling climbing. A unknown brand for the most of us..But this bag a really like..(it also contain a tarp!:-))
The next Product is from Another unknown brand; Vollebak. And this jacket is engineered with lasers, resin and over 2 billion microscopic glass spheres to create a crazily reflective ski and snowboard jacket that can shift from matt blue to a bionic blue in a nanosecond. The next edition of the Blue Morpho Jacket will be available in 2019.
Blue Morpho jacket, will help you getting nice shoots with the camera..
The next area will be backpacks and today I got two new suggetions that I like. One from salewa and one from Millet. Both nice and interesting.
The Salewa Apex will have a new isolation to the back, for less heat and less chafe. So this slim backpack might be your next best friend..
Millets Prolighter 30-10 is also a very nice pack, especially for example ice climbing. I Think Millet overall has developed there Equipment this year. So check the homepage..The Hybrid needles hooded jacket its a nice one.
Happy New Year!
First I will start with a poem, for a Norweigan poet. ”Den lykke du söker bak blånende fjell, kan hende du alltid har eiert den sjelv. Du skall icke jage i hvillös ring, men lär dig elske de naere ting”. Arne Paashe Aasen.
And now it is time for summing up 2018. A valanche, April and a avanache course in Åre. Real good training and real good skiing. B e true to yourself, I think it is important to do what you want. So think, plan and surround yourself with people who support your thinking. Catch your goal, your life you want to live. C uralla, this year most challenging Via Ferrata. This one was mor like a adventure track rather a Via Ferrata. D ocksta, a village you normally just pass. But if you like Via Ferrata, the name starts a desire in your mind… E naforsholm, This winter tour we was living at this place. Nice food and perfect rooms. With the sledge dog in front of me, I meet the king and queen of Sweden in the ske track. So this year even with a royal touch. F reuchen, and Peter Freuchen was a new acquaintance. This tough explorer from Denmark, that also started the Advetureers club of Denmark. G uiding, a couple of guidings to Skuleberget. Always very nice there… H olistic knowledge, you must know and got skills about all your Equipment. GPS, Spot-tracker, Compass and altimeter for mention some. Practice at home so you can use it in the Mountains when needed.. I nterviews, this year the blog has been updated with the interviews. It has been very interesting, and educational. It also has been very fun to learn toknow this people more. Thank you all for letting me interview you! J amtland, the playground of all. Chamonix is nice, but to Jamtland I always will return. Here you got it all. The highligt of the year must be the ascend of Lillulvåfjället with the family, including the Husky. K nots, with a slap of the flu, it ended up in training with rope and knots. This with increased skills. L es Cheserys lake, this area can be reached from Argentieré or from Flagieré. It is very nice a you will for sure get nice shots over the Mont Blanc massif… M ore focus on the environment. Yes we must be more careful of our environment. Read Naomi Kleins ”this change everything” and your jurney with the enviroment will start.. N orthern Peak of Kebnekaise, this was the year the Northern Peak passed the Southern in height. This will have impact in the ara how the guiding etc. will be set up. Looking into it with big interest. O pen mind, what does this mean? well, you must dare to question yourself. Try something new the upcoming year. I will for sure. P rogress, when it comes to workout it is two things that is important; one variation. And two, to have a program to follow. This year I have got PR in bench press with 100kg. Q ualifyed mountain leader, after the avalanche course I got the full qualification as Mountain Leader. R ole model, you must strive for getting better. One of the best things is to get yourself a role model. And by the way, try to be one yourself. For me it will mean; be a better listener during 2019. S ylarna, well Jamtland in generally but Sylarna in particular when it comes to the area. The Sylarna traverse, still lounging for you and in 2019…And now Sylarna also got its restaurant in place. Need to try that one… T hinking out of the box, this is one of my trademark. I always try to challenge my self in different ways. U ltimate gear, what is that? Well I will keep on testing and trying. This years brand is Stellar Equipment. Good price and with a excellent function/finnish. V ia Ferrata, with the right equipment and a Via Ferrata in Cham. This year has been good. But I really would have liked to test the one in Loen. But maybe 2019.. W indshelter, I never leave for outdoor adventures without my windshelter. This is one of themmost important gearto bring. You can also complement it with a rescue sleeping bag and other stuff. Z ero, days without workout was the goal. But the flu got me. One week off, but totally over 740 workouts this year, well I think it is approved.
24th of December again. 24 Days of blogging in a row, and now some rest. It like leaving the Mountains, a good feeling but with some kind of melancholy. Today it will be about leadership and the work as mountain leader. From my Point of view the leadship contains Three important parts; Charisma, accountability and safety. The Charismatic leadership is similar to other styles. Both it and transformational leadership rely on the ability of the leader to influence and inspire followers. Transformational and charismatic leaders motivate the individual or those around them to be better and to work for the greater good of an organization or society. And s charismatic leader you for sure will remeber. The accountybility comprices both the responsibility for the participants as well as to the client. The safty is of course the main part in a guides Life. As a guide you should and would be questioned. So Think it trough Before you go there. You must be able to challenge yourself in all of the way. In one of my assignment I was asked, -what type of adventure do you prefer? I aswered -all. The manager said, -perfect, that is exactly the answer I want to here. So you have to be costomizable . But then you will have the greatest of job..
Can you feel safe in stressful situation and were you will be validated all of the time, you will be able to like the work as a mountain leader.
How to work as Mounatin Leader..
See ya 31th of December and a Merry, merry Christmas to you all!
Today its the 23rd of December and just one day left of the calender. Today it will be about a cabin in Jamtland. The Blahammar cabin.
The cabin was built in 1912, and in 1920 a bridge over Enan was built for to make it easier to reach the cabin. But in 1923 the 25th og August the cabin was destroyed in a fire. Four people died in the fire. But in 1925 1st of March a new cabin was consecrated. In 1939 lars Aune did died, and his son Hugo Aune was appaointed as chairman for the assosiation of Blahammaren. The mystery of the fire, lives still today. What was it that happened that night of the fire? Ans as it should, Torsten Boberg the legend has a part of it as well. He was one of the first to say that the fire was built. The police investigation was quickly dropped in Sweden under mysterious circumstances. In Norway the Police investigation continued, but the archive was destroyed under a bombing during the second World war. But one of the thesis is that it was a rubbery of the cottge safe. It was the end of the season, and it should not have been so much people there. Karl Arvid Andersson Mellgren was arrested and lead to questioning. There was a lot of questions in his hearing. The 24th of August, Johan Ragnhaug a bank clerk decide to hike from Sylarna to Blahammaren. The reason is that he has to hurry home for job matter. He arrives late in the afternoon, eating a small dinner and goes to bed upstaair. Here also sleep Birger Norén the fourteen year laborer. Downstairs sleeps the superintendent Astrid Aunde and the Cook Alma Jonsson. The robbers enter the cabin, just Before midnight. Rognhaug Wakes up of the noice of the robbers. Went downstairs and discover what is happening. a tumult arises and Ragnhaug get killed by a axe or by the revolver. Now the women have wakened and screams. The robbers know that now there is witnesses, so they got killed. Birger is shoot in the bed. The robbers find a vessel with kerosene and put the cabin in fire. The robbers remove the arms and legs to make the investigation more difficult. Well, we will prabably never get to now the real history, it still will be a mysterious…
Far from the mysterious history people today enjoy the food and the familr hospitlity of the Blåhammaren mountain station..
22:nd of December and today it will be about the vulcanic seven summits. Summiting all the seven is regardes as a mountaineering challenge, first postulated as such in 1999. Two of the vulcanic seven summits is also in the seven summits list. Kilimanjaro and Mt Elbrus belongs to the both series. In Africa: Kilimanjaro, In Europe Mt Elbrus, South America: Ojos del Salado, Asia: Mt Damavand, North America: Pico de Orizaba, Oceania: Mount Giluwe, Antartica: Mount Sidley.
In 2011 Mario Trimeri was the first mountaineerer finnished both seven summits and vulcanic seven summits.
When it comes to history and Mountain,s there is some clubs related to it. In every country with climbing history you can find it. In Sweden we got the ”De lappländska fjällkarlarnas klubb”. The club was founded in 1920 in Stockholm by 13 men. The menbership was increaced to 20 among the four criterias for membership were ”danger to Life” or first ascend of a peak of 1200m or more, or any performance of similar magnitude. The club supported the scientific investigations in Lappland and in 1929 started to issuing the year book Ultima Thule. They also advocated skiing as a national sport and one of the founding members, General Göst Lilliehöök become a leader of the military ski sport. The club was disolved in 1973 when the last member took of his skiis and turn the nose upward to the heaven. The club also funded and allowed to construct monument, the one t Bustvalen is one.
In Denmark they got the Eventyrens club. It was founded the 13th December in 1938 of Peter Freuchen. I have written about him Before so check that. This is a very interesting man. The club is Active with over a 100 of adventureers. The club got many different members with very diffrent type of adventures and experinces. They also sell interesting books. Today Björn Harvig is ”Förmand” chairman for Eventyrens klub in Denmark.
Today we got the 20th of December, and soon we got Christmas. The topicof the day will be mountain storys. First of all a story about ascending the North peak of Kebnekaise. Wednesday the 15th of April 1925 a small Company was travelling in Northt direction. The day after Three men was leaving the train in Kiruna. It was Three men with the face marked of wind and hard weather. At lunch time they left Kiruna by skiis for an attempt of ascending Kebnekaise North and South peak. After a night at Pirttivuopio, the tour continued towards Nikkulahti were they meet the legendary sami Nils Sarri,, as agreed should follow them to the montain station. One night at the staion and they started to prepair for the ascend. 25kg for each of the participants and almost 35kg for Sarri.
With snow up to the hip, the ascent was force tentatively. The supply was calculated to last for Three Days. The skiis was left at slope between Tuolpagorni and Rieppovare. The weather was good, and the wind was calm. At 18.30 the top cabin was reached. The cabin was hidden under the snow, so they had to diggit out. After 30 minutes the work was done and they took the cabin in possesion.
After a bastant dinner the Company started ascending the South top of Kebnekaise. At the same time as the sunset, and slowly the night was coming. The next day it was time for the ascedning of first the South peak keep on to the Ridge over to the North peak and back again. Thew weather was fine but much colder then the day Before..The distnce between the peaks is just 800m. Everything Went fine and the party reach the northern peak at 12 a Clock. Of a sudden the men is getting out of there Dreams, a paper from the camera protection goes up in the air of the wind. The weather is shifting. .The Ridge must be taken in a hurry. Late in the evening they are back in the top cabin. Late dinner, and then breaks the hell loose. A Winter storm at 2000m is notheing you play with. they will be stranded until Friday. And then they can descend back to the mountain station.