Outdoor hygiene

Todays topic will be the outdoor hygiene. What is this and what does it mean. If we go back to the C in ”COLD” = clean, it will be the same here. You have to take care of your own hygiene. This meaning you have to be ”clean” for avoiding injures and infections and deices etc. It is also important for the overall well-being. In 1989 I ran the Fjällräven extreme marathon at Björkliden, and when we reach the night camp we pitched the tent. After 12 hours mountain running, we decided to take a bath in Loktajavri. The other competitors looking at us as we were lunatics. But it was a great feeling, and for sure we slept better then any one at the camp. And that’s what is all about, you feel so much better with a good hygiene. So number one, wash your hands. This will keep the bacterizes away. Next thing to check will be the feet’s. Dry feet – means happy feet. Check for blisters and wounds. Wash them and anoint them. Now it is time to brush your teeth and wash your face.

Now you also can check if you have got any tick. It is also important that you dish the cooking and eat equipment. Bring alcogel for hand hygiene or wipes.

See ya tomorrow…

Why sustainability is so important

For a mountaineerer the mountains will be a crucial thing. This meaning that we must take in consideration to keep the sustainability in our mind all time. Mountain regions cover approximately a quarter of the Earth’s land surface, although the exact percentage depends on criteria used to define them. The rain and snow that fall in mountains eventually move downstream and provide water for millions of people. China and India, the two most populous countries in the world, depend on water supply from the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau, and in arid regions, such as the western USA, the mountain ranges are islands of critical water supply. There is increasing evidence that the effects of global warming and climate change are often enhanced in high mountains so the need to understand why has become critical.

Elevation-dependent warming (EDW) is the phenomenon whereby the rates of warming depend on elevation (or height above sea-level). This means that areas high up may be warming faster or slower than areas immediately above or below. When moving up a mountain, you may notice that the vegetation and landscape tend to change with height – you may start with farmland and areas where people live, then forests thinning to alpine meadows, and finally snow and ice.

There is also increasing evidence that mountain precipitation (which is caused specifically by rising air up mountain slopes) is not as enhanced as it was in the past. Even though in a warmer world the hydrological cycle is predicted to speed up, leading to increased evaporation and episodes of more intense precipitation, this change appears to be most marked in lowland areas and less evident in mountains so far. Therefore, although precipitation is increasing in many mountains, it is not increasing as fast as would be expected given a warmer atmosphere.

Together these changes in temperature and precipitation (there is also a change from snow to rain) have been detrimental for snow, ice, and glaciers with nearly all mountain glaciers receding around the world. This has accelerated in many regions in the past 20 to 30 years. There has also been an uphill migration of climate zones, causing many species and their associated habitats to move upslope with it.  Eventually, this could lead to mass extinction events on the top of isolated peaks where there is no longer mountain to move up.  Most winter tourism in mountains is dependent on snow, and the skiing industry will see major negative impacts. Even in areas where skiing is not the major activity, the presence of snow and ice can enhance tourism, such as on Kilimanjaro in Tanzania where people climb the mountain in part to see the glaciers and gleaming snows at the summit. Finally, when snow is replaced by rain, which is sometimes heavy, mountain flash-flooding and associated hazards such as landslides may become more frequent in many regions.  So this is what it can be like in the near future…So we all got a responsible to take our environment…

Flash Flood in Switzerland – YouTube

The sound of Silence -The Ghost of Johnny Cash #johnnycash #SoundOfSilence #Disturbed – YouTube

Aconcagua – Award Winning Documentary – YouTube

See ya tomorrow…

Practical first aid

One of the earlier topics was about being mentality prepared for take care of incidents. Today you will have focus for more practical skills. First of all you need to prepare your own first aid kit. I suggest you buy a store case so you know how to organize it. It shall also be flexible so you can add or remove or change the content depending of your activities.

When it comes to more practical parts you need to have a lot of phantasy for solving field challenges due to first aid. I f you need a stretcher, you can use your rope like this:

Building a stretcher from nothing but a climbing rope. – YouTube

It can also be very good to bring gear for fast stabilization of a broken or injured body part. So a splint roll, then you got a lot of options..

How to use a SAM Splint (Forearm) | Wilderness Medicine – YouTube

I also recommend to bring some kind of emergency light. This will help you to get found if its dark and bad visibility..

Another thing that will be a good knowledge is how to handle a rescue evacuation with a helicopter. First you shall chose a so flat area as possible to land on. Mark it out if possible. Take all you gear away so it can get loos in the wind from the helicopter. Stand up with your hand like a Y. This means you will Marshall the helicopter.

How to Marshall a HELICOPTER with Bear! 🚁 | Bear Skills – YouTube

See ya tomorrow….

The IML

Today it is the 18th of December and it will be about the IML equipment. In the standard and of course in the training to become a International Mountain Leader you use equipment in situation when you will end up in steep ground.

The kettlebell is a symbol for the responsibility you got as an IML…

As a International Mountain Leader you use a 30m rope, slings and carabiners in occasions of steep ground. You get trained and got skills for using this equipment in the right way. You also shall bring some kind of satellite communication such as Garmin InReach or for example a Spot Tracker or Zoleo. As I have mention before you get a real good training, but you also need to live up to the standard.

When you got the certification, well it is then it all starts. Now you got a lot of responsibility and a reputation of UIMLA standard and code of conduct to live up to…

Today I also got two suggestion of Christmas gift you can wish for from Santa… First a pair of pants from Mammut, the Courmayeur SO pant. This is a real mountaineering pant. Perfect for us in hiking, climbing. It is water repellent, and got reinforcement with double-weaver material on the knee, leg end and the back. It got adjustable waistband and is a real good mountaineering pant. The price ~165 Euro.

This coffee pot is my next suggestion, the Hällmark 0,75L coffee pot. Made in stainless steel, with just a weight of 200g this little fellow will be your best friend at your next adventure. Enjoy the cooking coffee, and you will be satisfied…The price 13.5 Euro:-)

See ya tomorrow….

Ice knowledge…

Today it will be abut ice. Due to the environment changes due to the global heating this will be a topic which will get more important. The first thing to understand about ice is that its strength varies. It will not be good enough to its thickness just were you starts the passing. The ice will not be the same everywhere…there will be local weaknesses in the ice. Even if the ice will be strong for long parties, a small weakened area is enough to risk going through the ice. Some weaknesses are clearly visible. Certain weaknesses can be predicted with the help of knowledge and experience where they may occur. Other weaknesses may appear more surprisingly. Regardless of experience, we get therefore never ignore the risk of ending up in the water. We must be able to handle a flurry if that happens. Local weaknesses in stable ice have the advantage of having safe ice nearby to retreat to. Even weak ice is more dangerous.

Ånn lake, close to Åre…

The ice changes over time, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Deteriorations can sometimes happen quickly during the day, e.g. by a storm breaking up, or the ice being broken up by waves and wind. Spring ice can quickly lose strength. It is important to remember that all information about ice is always shall be fresh produce(ex. from the locals) and that conditions can change quickly. It is important to always make your own assessment of the ice in place. The ice can be weakened even in cold weather condition; Where the water is flowing, under the snow and where it occurs wind and waves. The ice can also grow or becoming stable even if its plus degrees; out of good radiation in clear weather, of a dry wind.

Factors affecting the growing of ice. For ice to form and grow, the surface must be cooled. Cold air cools water and ice. Radiation, i.e. heat radiation into space, is another cooling factor. Evaporation is a third cooling factor. In order for the ice to settle, the water surface must be still, there must be no wind. But without wind comes the air closest to the surface to be heated and become moist and the cooling effect of cold air and evaporation decreases. Only radiation is left as a cooling factor. For icing it is therefore often more important with clear weather than with severe cold. Once the ice settles, cold weather and wind may increase ice growth. Ice formation is negatively affected by heat. Heat supply from the water takes place mainly where there is a current. Solar radiation, but also counter-radiation from clouds and objects, can also reduce ice growth. These factors often vary across the ice surface, which is a common explanation for local weaknesses in the ice.

Typical weakness in the ice will be, where the water flows, counter-radiation (heat radiation from clouds, bridges or other objects over the ice) insulating snow, uneven icing when the ice has settled in batches (where later laid ice is often weaker) mechanical impact (crashes, chutes, swings and ice drift).

Where the ice can be weak/thin…

Snow on the ice makes the ice more difficult to judge because the snow hides weakness, dampens the noise from the ice, hides obstacles (cracks etc.) Snow insulates and prevents cooling. If the snow cover is uneven, the risk of weak ice is greater where the snow is thicker. Under snow patches, the ice can be weak. Wind wells and other weaknesses can be difficult to spot under snow. Snow-covered new ice is therefore risky. On thick ice, snow can hide cracks and irregularities that can cause falls. Hard snow drifts constitute a fall hazard.

While skiing or snowshoeing in the Swedish mountains today might need to take a extra focus in safety planning. And you might to bring ice spikes or teach how poles can be used as ice spikes if its needs. But crossing a lake, creek or river during winter season will for sure need thoughtfulness…

A trough line can be good to bring in your pack when crossing ice…

Stephen Sanchez – Until I Found You (Lyrics) – YouTube

See ya later today:-)

Flora in the mountains…

Todays topic will be plants in the Swedish mountain environment. The first one out will be Willow. Why I start with the willow is for you shall avoid passing the willow. It will make you wet, and is tough to pass. It mainly lives at an altitude of 200 to 900 meters in mountain areas, but occasionally also further down in the valley.

Willow…

The next in line will be the glacier crowfoot. The glacier crowfoot is a perennial, low-growing, up to two decimeters high, bare and slightly fleshy herb with white flowers. The stems and leaves are often reddish. The leaves are deeply lobed, with rather short obtuse lobes. Glacier crowfoot blooms in July-August, the flowers are large and sit alone or few together. The petals are broad, white at first but eventually pink and finally dirty brown-red. Glacier Crowfoot is very characteristic with its fleshy leaves and stems and white or dirty pink flowers. Glacier crowfoot grows in snowfields and other sparsely vegetated, moist ground in high mountain areas. It is fairly common throughout its distribution area and one of the species that can be found at the top of the mountain tops.

Crowfoot(sv. Isranunkel)

The Silene acaulis (sv. Fjällglim) is one of my favorites. Silence acualis is a perennial, evergreen, densely tufted herb. The stems are short and branchy, only a couple of centimeters high, and form wide flat tufts. The leaves are silky, just under a centimeter long, light green and have short hairs on the edge. Silence acualis blooms in July-August. The flowers sit alone on short stems, almost submerged in the tufts. The feeding tube is reddish and about half a centimeter long. The petals are shallowly cleft at the tip and pink and rarely white. The species is usually dioecious, that is, it has separate male and female plants. In male flowers, the stamens protrude from the mouth of the flower, the anthers are white. The female flowers have three long white spikes. The fruit capsule is slightly longer than the lining. Over time, Silence acualis forms rather large, low tufts that often flower profusely and give the species a characteristic appearance. Silence acualis is quite common throughout the mountain chain. It is a characteristic plant for calcareous mountain moors, but also grows near snowfields, river banks and on cliff shelves

Silene acualis (sv. Fjällglim)

Saxifraga oppositifolia (Sv. Purpurbräcka) is a perennial, creeping, evergreen herb that is usually mat or cushion-forming. The stems are prostrate and have close-set, criss-cross opposite leaves. The leaves are small and triangular with hairy edges. Saxifraga oppositifolia begins to flower very early in the spring, often right after the snow melts, but flowering specimens can be found well into the summer. The flowers are purplish-red and quite large in relation to the size of the plant. The fruit is a capsule with many small seeds. The purple bracken is a mountain plant that thrives in moist soil, in rock crevices and near snowbanks throughout the mountain range.

Saxifraga oppositifiola (Sv, Purpurbräcka)

See ya tomorrow..

Snowshoeing

Todays topic will be how to chose the right snow shoe. First of all you need to decide what activity you are going to do. Recreation-hiking, or technical snowshoes or running/fitness snowshoes? If we start with the hiking shoe; it build up with a simple binding, it got a rounded frame, which is helpful for deep snow, or a v-tail frame (pointed in the back), which is helpful for snow build-up and increased maneuverability. It is made of TPU plastic, aluminum frames, white ash, or recyclable materials. Traction; Little to average traction, including steel, aluminum, or plastic cleats underneath the snowshoe’s toe and/or heel. You’ll occasionally find crampons underneath the sides of the foot, though it’s not as common.

The technical snowshoes help navigate unpredictable terrain and have the most features on them. For this reason, these snowshoes are usually more pricey when compared to other models. But, they pack advanced features and are made of very durable materials. Snowshoes in the technical category may feature the words “alpine,” “mountain,” “ascent,” or similar descriptions. Also, if choosing snowshoes for snowboarding, technical snowshoes are the way to go. These snowshoes are a must-have if you plan to break your trail through steep terrain.

It got a more advanced bindings for a tighter and more precise fit, such as a toe box or shoe-like binding. You may also find nylon, polyurethane, or TPU straps ideal for a wide variety of foot sizes (or snowboard boots) or a BOA closure for easy use with gloves. The frame might include a serrated frame, which can be heavy but provides excellent grip when mountaineering, or can be tubular (rounded at both edges) or v-frames (round at toe, pointed at heel) for deep snow. Its Made of very durable materials like an aluminum frame and nylon decking, carbon fiber, or other strong materials. When it comes to traction; it has a aggressive traction such as cleats/crampons under the toe, heel, and sides that may be at various angles to provide advanced grip. Accessories; Support for the foot, such as a heel lift or bar to provide extra calf support while climbing a steep slope, or toe/heel pieces to limit sliding of your foot while in the binding.

The Magic Is Real – YouTube

Tips For Snowshoe Beginners – YouTube

See ya tomorrow…

The story begins here…

Whatever you are a guide or just an adventurer, the skill of telling a good story will be a crucial knowledge to keep in mind. -It was a September afternoon at Bargah sevom in Iran the high camp at Mt Damavand. There has just been a skirmish between the camp-site staff and a Polish couple about the camp-site fee. Islam, a afghan who got his tent 1 meter from ours. spit swirled in the air and many harsh words sounded in the air… Islam offered us a cup of chai, which we gently declined. Then he looked at us with his dark black eyes and lifted up his hands. -this hand have killed at least 10 people he slowly said. Nice I thought, a real good neighbor to have just 2,5mm nylon between us.

The storytelling is so important for the social part to enhance the connection between people. Ok, so how can you become a great storyteller then? Well here you will get some advice, but most of all it comes by training as all skills for become good in it…First of all who is your audience? adapt your story to the situation and to what is going on at the time. The next thing will be to think trough the goal with your story, is to get laughter or is it to learn the audience something for example. Chose the right time(and place) for the storytelling, here you have to use emotional intelligence. Define your ”hook” in the story what is that will capture the audience. Be clear and concise, think; need to have in the story or nice to have…Get personal, this will give the story your own twist. Be aware of your body language, this is very important. The body must support your telling. And don’t forget the eye contact with your audience. Practice often and you will for sure become better. And be enthusiastic, energetic and confident. Listen, engage and interact with the audience. Empower other, Be vulnerable, personable and authentic. Build strong connections to other trough your storytelling…

Until I Found You (Lyrics) – Stephen Sanchez, Em Beihold – YouTube

See ya tomorrow…

Cold…

How does the cold affect the human body? To begin with if it is starting to get cold the body starts to shiver. This means that the muscle starts to contract. The blood flow in the outermost layer closes down, meaning the blood vessels closing down for decrease the heat loss from the surroundings. But there is also another heating system in the human body, which implies that the metabolism increase without the shivering. Both of this starts when the surrounding temperature decrease. This meaning that you still can keep the body heat in the “core” stable in a cold environment within certain limits if you have enough energy intake. It is when the “core” temperature starts to sink, we will get in trouble. When it goes under 35 degrees we suffer from hypothermia. If it sinks so low as 30 degrees we risk to die. With little muscle mass, small amount of body fat and poor circulation we get more affected of the cold.

Is it possible to acclimatize for the cold? It was a research team in U.S Army who found out that if you spend two weeks 8 hours every day, in 10 degrees you stop shivering. In a small study in 2014, a group of healthy men spend 3 hours a day sitting in a bath with 14 degrees. At the start of the 20-day study, the men did a lot of shivering, which is the human body’s initial response to cold. Their heart rates and metabolisms sped up, generating heat. At the same time, their blood vessels narrowed and drew back from the surface of the skin, causing skin temperature to drop. Basically, the men’s vascular systems clenched—pulling blood toward their warmer interiors in an effort to escape the exterior cold. But by Day 20, much had changed. The men’s shivering had more or less stopped. While their metabolisms and heart rates still sped up in response to the cold-water bath, their blood vessels no longer constricted and their skin temperature didn’t drop the way it had before. The men reported less discomfort during their chilly baths. At the same time, their blood samples contained fewer markers of cold-induced stress and immune-system activity. It appeared their bodies had gotten used to the chill. the human body seems to achieve acclimatization through a mix of different internal adjustments, which people can either encourage or suppress depending on their behaviors. There’s evidence that a particular type of fatty tissue, known as “brown fat,” may help the body generate heat in response to persistently cold conditions. “Chronic cold exposure somehow activates brown fat, which we know undergoes dramatic seasonal changes,” says Shingo Kajimura, a professor in the Department of Cell and Tissue Biology at the University of California, San Francisco. Kajimura says newborns have a lot of brown fat, which helps them stay warm because they lack sufficient muscle to shiver. While it was once thought that people lost their stores of brown fat as they grew out of infancy, research has found that parts of the adult body—specifically, the area around the upper spine and neck—either retain brown fat or generate new brown-fat tissues in response to cold. The placement of this brown fat is important. Kajimura says that temperature perception is monitored by the brain, which detects the cold in part by noting the temperature of blood flowing into it through the neck. “That’s why putting a scarf on makes you feel warm,” he says. By warming the neck and the blood flowing through it, a scarf “tricks” the brain into believing it’s warm—just as a cold cloth on the neck can help the brain cool off in summer. It’s possible that, in response to regular cold exposure, brown fat in the neck area both forms and becomes more active, keeping us more comfortable at colder temperatures. Adjusting your thermostat down by a few degrees, shedding layers, and spending more time outside in cold conditions—basically, anything that causes you to shiver—will help your body acclimate to the cold, Brazaitis says. If you can induce shivering a few times a day, you’ll begin to feel more comfortable in colder temps after just one week, he says.

Spending time in a cold shower or in other cold environments is safe for most—and may even confer some health benefits. But people at risk for heart trouble need to be cautious. “The first thing that happens when you’re exposed to cold is your blood vessels constrict and blood pressure goes up,” Castellani says. And so exposure to the cold—especially extreme cold, like jumping in an icy lake—can trigger a heart attack or other problem in people who have heart disease, he says.

Ask The Mountains Vangelis – YouTube

See ya tomorrow…

A peak-tour in Finland?

Maybe it is time for a peak attempt in Finland upcoming year? The highest peak in Finland is the Halti peak.

Its situated close to the border to Norway and it is just 1324m but its a beautiful peak. The starting point will be Pihutsusjärvi cabin. If you choose that alternative you can leave your heavy pack here and heading for the peak with a small pack. The distance is 20k and takes about 7-8 hours. But you can also bring your whole pack up to the Halti cabins. From Pihutsusjärvi you follow the Govdavággi valley which end up in a pot surrounded with mountain peaks. At Haldijavri you can either go directly to the peak or turn to the Halti cabins.

The Halti Cabin in Finland…

Trad Sámi joik Ole Laya Loila 3 choirs 120 men chanting Finnish reindeer herding chant – YouTube

See ya tomorrow…

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