6th of December and Via Ferrata.

 

6th of December and Santa is on his way.

Today it is the 6th of December, and the Christmas is coming up closer. Today I will write about Via Ferrata. Nothing is as good as a day of Via Ferrata. What I like with the Via Ferrata is, that it in no rules (except the safety rules of course). It is the climber’s choice, how to do it. And it is a link between hiking and climbing. The perfect entry for climbing. As a reward, you will have a fantastic view. Another advantage is that you can do it yourself, but of course you normally will get a more holistic experience with friends.

The severity differs, and there is different scale for the difficulties. The French, The Austrian, the two different Germans and the Italian. The Italian scale has been adopted by UUIA in 2016 as an international standard. from F, PD, D, TD, ED. So, you just should choose which one that suits and challenge you.

In Sweden, we got Skuleberget, Kebnekaise, Funasdalen and the Kullen area. In the Dolomites, you get a lot of different ones you can choose from. Also in southern Germany, Switzerland and in the French alps as well. Here follow some short advices; Get out early, this will help you to avoid the crowd. And as a bonus you often got good weather. Were gloves and a small backpack. This will help you to avoid blisters, in the back pack you can bring some beverage and a jacket for bad weather. Clip in as far forward as you can. This will help you to be safe, and remember just one at each section at the time. You must commit. It not easy to turn, you need to fulfil the action. So, once you are clipped in, you must continue. Be aware of the elements. At a Via Ferrata you will be exposed. So be aware of slippery parts, and unlock from the wire in thunderstorms.

 

Todays christmas gift suggestion:

And the Winner of the quiz this week:  Mikael, and the price is  the book Min historia av Petter Northug.

See ya tomorrow..

https://www.austrialpin.at/en/products/via-ferrata-sets/detail/as93cs2-hydraevo-via-ferrata-set/

And todays clue for the quiz: During the 1800 people thought the higest peak in Sweden was here..

5th of December and all about the weather..

5th of December and it is all about the weather.

The weather is one of the most interesting topics for the outdoors’s. But, if there is something you can’t influence it will be the weather. In the mountains, the weather is fickle. In an area, you are well known of, you can see the signs about changes. But in new areas you need to have skills and maybe some technical support. An altimeter/barometer is a very good tool for this. Here you can follow the pressure and can predict an upcoming weather change. In the alpine environment, it is difficult even for a meteorologist to predict weather here. Beside the meteorological skills, you must know the height of the mountains, broad or narrow valleys and in what direction they follow. How does wind move, and what direction they take depending of from where they come?

By watching the clouds, you will get a chance to predict weather changes.

Altocumulus floccus (Sv. tofsformade böljemoln)

This is a sign for an instable atmosphere, in about an hour you will have bad weather.

Altostratus (Sv. skiktmoln)

 

When a low pressure and a precipitation area is approaching, this cloud will be a sign…in about one or a couple of hours the bad weather will hit you.

The daylight is also a fact you must consider. When you planning the mountain trip, be sure about have many hours you can spend in light. You shall always bring a head lamp in case of darkness.

In the northern part of Sweden now we got the “polar night” that means that we from the 30th of November to January will not have any daylight at all.

Plan, and have good preparation done for bad weather. Always plan for a retreat out of the area, or what to do if the bad weather hits you. In the mountains, a good suggestion can be to bring a couple of bamboo stakes with a small pennant on. In bad weather with decreased sight, this can be very helpful and a safety.

Mattias Jansson at aconcagua using bambu sticks in case of bad weather condition.

I got a short interview with Sverker Hellstrom at SMHI about mountain weather.

How does the mountain environment affect the weather?

Well, it differ from place to place. That is why it’s hard to predict. The wind direction for example, especially if it is a tapered valley. The height affect the rain/snow/fall. There will be more rain/snow at the merchant side. The contour of the mountains is also a factor to count with (related to the wind direction)

Due to the global warming, can you see that the extreme type of weather increase in the mountain environment?

No, nothing that we can see as a pattern right now.

What is your suggestion to prevent from being captured in bad weather condition?

First of all, listen to the weather report on the radio. Be aware of the warnings. Doing this will give you a good overview, from where you can make decision for the activity of the day.

When it comes to x-flash, what is your recommendation there?

First it is less common with thunderstorms within mountain environment. But if you being caught of one, avoid high points.

Ok, and then one of the most important questions; what type coffee do you prefer at your outdoor activities?

Ha ha, for me it is brewed coffee it will be. So I rather choosing short activities so I can get home and brew…

todays chrismas gift suggestion, the Fjallraven Canada shirt. A must for the outdoor enthusiast..

 

Todays clue of the weeks question: The name of the area has something to do with the sun..

See ya tommorrow

4th of December, Gear..

Door four and you about equipment will learn more. 

Equipment this dear topic. We all know a lot and got our own view of this, so from that point of view see this as just an advice… The base where you should do the big invest will be the; base layer, boots and shell layer.

The Base layer. Most important is to not become wet. So, you must ventilate and open and take of mid-layer etc. If not, it doesn’t matter what base layer you wearing. You will be wet, and you will freeze. A good advice is to stop after the first 20 minutes of an activity, to suit the clothing. And now we can talk about the material. If you are going to have intensive physical activity, you might can use synthetic. But I always prefer wool. The advantage with wool is that it always warming, even when its wet. And you will not become a hero when you are boiling water in a cabin and not smelling sweat.

When it comes to boots, you just must analyze what activity you are going to perform. Stiff sole or a flexible one. Are you going to use crampons, you will need stiff sole. I always prefer a stiff sole, I will get a better support for my feet’s, but others like the flexible ones. I will not dig into mountaineering boots because that can be a story by its self… The Gore-Tex boots got a lining, that protect you from blisters. But as all Gore-Tex you need to clean it for fully function of transport moist.

Shell layer. I will never leave for the mountains without a Gore-Tex jacket. What is important for me is that the pockets are deep, so things not fall out when opening it. The pocket should be placed high so you can wear harness under (for us mountaineers which climbs) It shall have a hood, big enough so you can wear helmet under. I also like to have zipper for ventilation under the arms/back. As mention before, take good care of your Gore-Tex equipment, wash it and waterproof it after. Jacket you can choose after own taste and feeling. I like small details such as pocket at the arm for compass keeping for example.

Here comes same new climbing stuff for us climbing nerds. Most of this gear is not available at the market yet…

New backpacks from Climbing Technology, Alpha from Arcetryx and news from Mammut during 2019.

 

 

 

 

A light ice axe for the mountaineerer from Blue ice will be available in the beginning of next year.

 

 

 

 

New belay devices. You can buy the soon..

AustriAlpin, Beal and Edelrid got new equipment coming up..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choucas harness from Blue Ice and Akatta from Rock Empire is new for 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New shoes during 2019: Butora Sensa Pro and Black Diamond Z

 

 

And the clue for the quiz today: There is a village in the area with approx. 425 inhabitants.(In Norway).

Todays christmas gift suggestion:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000XMUDW/?tag=buzz0f-20

 

See ya tomorrow..

3:rd of December and forgotten and unknown trails..

Today we open door three, and more about forgotten trails you will see..

Forgotten trails.

This is a subject I always will come back to. We always do the same journeys; I think it is for that simplify the planning. I think it also must do with that that we think it will be as nice as last time…But to improve our skills with need to challenge ourselves. And to be honest, it’s more fun with new places and new discoveries.

So here comes one good suggestion in the Kebnekaise area. Go direct towards Tarfala, continue to the Black Lake (Svarta sjön) and downhills towards Guobirvaggi, and you then come out between Sälka and Singi and Kungsleden. Continue towards Singi and Kebnekaise mountain station. This route give you the opportunity of to attempt of ascend the Kebnekaise, and the peak of Sälka (with a royal view) You can also an attempt of the Kaskasatjåkka peak as well.

When it comes to Jamtland I will suggest the trail between Helags Mountain station and Sylarnas mountain station. Here you can choose to go by Ekorrdorren or direct to Sylarna. My suggestion here will be to go by Ekorrpasset, and a peak tour to Sylskalsstoten. You can even reach it from the Sylarna mountain station. And don’t forget Herrklumpen. The staff hill of the mountain station. Perfect for skiing in the winter (do you remember Mattias, when we were snowed in at the mountain station for four daysJ) And you also will get a fantastic view over the Sylarna area as reward for the ascending…

Also the trail from Anaris towards Valastugorna is a forgotten and very nice trail to follow…You will probably be alone on this trail.

 

It has become more popular to spend the winter season of skiing in Sweden. When the interest increase, the price will go same way. With a weak Swedish crown, and with climate anxiety we choose to take the car to the Swedish mountains. But if you plan the journey, you will get a better price says Emma Persson private economist. Accommodation and lift card are the two most affected areas, this will increase with about 10%. Skistar which is the biggest actor, got a differenced model. Booking in time, and the right weeks will give you a better price…

For this week’s quiz, there will be a clue every day. And we seek a mountain area.

First clue of this: This is an area between Sweden and Norway. Two thirds of the area are in Norway.

This days suggestion of chrismas gift will be a perfect thing for control of the risk for avalaches in the slopes..

Check the temperature and the angle of the slopes. You put it on the ski stick..

https://www.addnature.com/pieps-30-plus-xt-557216.html

See ya tomorrow.

 

2. December and Chamonix.

So today we open the second door, and see what a alp Town for adventure us store..

Chamonix got approx 9 000 inhabitants. Chamonix is the fourth municipality of France. There are more visitors at summer(100 000/day) then during the Winter(60 000/day). The first Winter Olympic games where held here in 1924.

Whatever, both Les Houches and Argentieré is both very good for all sort of adventures. Hotels are quite cheap during summer. Chossing a Three star hotel it will not be so fancy, but cheap. The access to all transportation is easy. Buss, tramway or Cable cars. Everything is Close to the city..The Aguille du Midi is a must, but all visitors wants to try this..

Waking up, and the first sight in the morning is Mont Blanc, a good start of the adventure day..

And the restaurants, many and with nice meny. My suggest will be a visit of Monkey, a burger Place with lot of English people or Poco Loco Another nice burger Place. La Biouvaqe is Another favourite with local dishes.

A nice hike I suggest will be the Lac Blanc. You can then also go by the nice Les Cheserys lakes, a real nice area.

Photo Ulf Bergman.

You can get both easy adventures and tough challenges at Cham. And best of all it is easy to get there..

Photo Ulf Bergman

And since it is the first of advent, we will have a quiz. So here it comes. Click on it to get it bigger if needed. For every answer I get, I will climate compensate with 5 Swedish Crowns:-)

Send your answer to +4670-250 90 28(latest at Wednesday). There will be a prize…

See ya tomorrow..

 

1st. Of December. Push your limits to you failure…

Okey, its the 1st. December and it is time for this years calendar. This year will be the 6th in a row. And what is better than open the first door with an interview.

Said Belhaj one of the best, or the best climber in Sweden..

 

Push-your limit’s to failure…
Today’s interview will be with Said Belhaj. Said is the only professional climber in Sweden today. He is the only Swede that has climbed difficult 9A! He was born in 1981 and grew up in Gothenburg in Sweden. His first climbing attempt was at Rallarberget, equipped with a harness build out of a seat belt.

Hi Said what is your outdoor background?
Well, the difference between me and others was that I never stopped climbing, as young to grown up. I can’t say that is was a specific day when I decided to become a climber. But during the 80s I climbed at Rallarberget close to my home and, well that’s the way. If you look at the people living in the alps, for them it naturally to climb. For me it was the same with Rallarberget.

Can you see any trends in the climbing of today?
What I recognize is that it has become more competitions and more focus of the performance. Before it was more of an adventure focus, now it is more focus on sporty climbing. For me the advantage with climbing is more multifold. And from my point of view it will be boring if not all different branches were included in the climbing.
I know that you are a challenging individual, and has challenge the establishment.

How do you look at the establishment today, is there any difference?
Well, the establishment is spending most of the time on everything else then climbing. Ridicules discussion about fixed bolts to be or not to be in sport climbing etc. In the 80s this was completed in Europe, and we still struggling with this type of questions here. It is like country side, and not very inspiring. Being a pioneer in a culture like that is hard. From my point of view climbing is for everyone, from the amateur to the elite…

So, what are you up to today, are you focused for reaching 9B?
Now, I am going to Finland, but I will go to china in a couple of weeks for climbing there. Nothing specific. I will plan the 2019 later, now there is no specific goal. It will be bouldering of course; it must grow. And for being able to remove borders you must got the flow…

Looking at your friends Sean Villanueva for example, what is the difference between them among other alpinists?
Well, first this type of climbers is very good skilled in climbing. They got a very high level of physical performance. The second is that they love to suffer in the mountains. That is a driver for them. So, with this parts they can be able to climb difficulties in a good way. But the biggest difference is the skills of climbing…

 

When it comes to speed climbing, Ueli Steck was casualty, what is your reflection of that?
Well, that was very unexpected from my side. The tragedy happened when he was reconnaissance the upcoming climbing area, and probably lost his focus. Climbers in this area are well known with the risks. But of just losing focus for hundredth of second, will cost…

For becoming a better climber what is required?
There is one crucial thing, use your potential your capacity. Keep on until failure, you must get ahead far away from the comfort zone. You must move borders all the time. You can fail hundreds of times, but then of a sudden you fix it. When it feels impossible, keep on going until you make it. That is the magical moment of climbing, that is climbing.

Where is the best climbing in Sweden?
I’m sorry but here it must be local patriotism, The Swedish west

 

coast, Bohuslan. Where the sea meets the cliffs, and granite in world class…

So now the 1st door this year is opened, and tomorrow there will be a quiz. And you can win a nice price..

And todays Chrismas gift suggestion will be a book..

https://www.adlibris.com/se/bok/min-historia-9789188671776

Very interesting to get Peters history..

 

See ya tomorrow..

 

 

Winter skills…

So the temperature is getting lower than zero, so it is time for prepare for the Winter.

 

The ability to navigate effectively and confidently in a Winter storm is crucial. The result of a misstake can be serious and many Winter accidents are a result of navigational misstakes. Winter is more demanding, due to lack of visability and shorter day light, Also the absence of many summer navigational features affect us. First of all the temperature will affect us. With Cold fingers it is easy to fail in taking a bearing for example. A good investment is a real good pair of gloves. Snow cover makes it more difficult. This means that you must plan your activity in more detailed way during the Winter. I Always got the bearing for the day route, with ”Catch places”. This means that I keep them on the Compass, which i got easy to grip. With a Watch and a altimeter you will be real good prepared. The Cold will also Always require more energy, so you Always shall bing extra energy in your pack. A storm will Always get you more stressed, a real good suggest is to bring a pair of earplugs. This will reduce the stress from the wind, which will help you from take bad decisions.

Always challenge yourself.  When it is stormy, even at sea level get out and navigate under bas circumstances. This will get you more skilled and be more prepared in a tough situation at the mountains..

See ya soon (Saturday)

A bad ass explorer

One bad ass explorer
During the end of 1800 and in the beginning of 1900 there were lot of explorers. Some of them more known than others. One of the bad ass one, not so known in Sweden is Peter Freuchen. This man is a real explorer. He was born in 1859 in Nyköbing, Denmark. He got his first own boat at the age of eight. He was rather interested of Hearing the histories down at the harbor then being at school. But he got his education and become title such as a doctor, journalist and an artic scientist, for mention some. He is referred to as Jew, but a friend to him was told by Peter that he was not. But in a company, were some of the participants was anti-Semitism, he was not late to tell he was of Jewish descent.


In 1906 he made his first expedition to Greenland. Later, he crossed the Greenland glacier three times together with Knud Rasmusen. At one of his expedition he become infused, and his beard was frozen to the ground. With his 204cm length he was a stately man, often dressed in his polar bear coat he was impressive. On a journey across Greenland “The first Thule Expedition, he was almost killed. All about these experiences you can read about in his books; Vagrant Vikings and I sailed with Rasmussen. This journey over 1000km across the inland ice was called “The finest ever performed by dogs” from Clements Markham President of the Royal Geographic Society.


He took cover beneath a dog sled, but the snow and ice overtook him and he was trapped. The ice was so tight against him that his beard froze to the ice, meaning that if he wanted to turn his head he had to yank a piece of his beard out. After 30 hours of trying to claw and punch his way to safety, Freuchen ingeniously and hilariously chiseled through the wall of ice with a shank he fashioned from his own shit, crawled three hours back to base, took off his socks, saw his toes had gangrene, and then he amputated his toes with a pair of pliers and a hammer.

 

 

Reuchen later became the leader of a movie company, returning to Greenland in 1932 on an expedition financed by the American Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studios. For over 20 years he was employed by the movie industry as a consultant and scriptwriter, specializing in Arctic-related scripts, most notably MGM’s 1933 Oscar winning Eskimo/Mala The Magnificent Starring Ray Mala.
In 1938 he founded the Adventurers club in Denmark, which still exists.
During World War II, Freuchen was actively involved with the Danish resistance movement against the Germans, even without one leg which he lost to frostbite in 1926. He was imprisoned by the Germans during the war, and sentenced to death, but he managed to escape and flee to Sweden. He climbed of the fence and barbwire from his prison, and took a small boat over the small stream to Sweden.
The preface of Freuchen’s last work, Book of the Seven Seas, is dated August 30, 1957, in Noank. He died of a heart attack three days later in Elmendorf, Alaska. After his death, Freuchen’s ashes were scattered on the famous table-shaped Thule Mountain in Greenland.
“The Greenland fjords are peculiar for the spells of completely quiet weather, when there is not enough wind to blow out a match and the water is like a sheet of glass. The kayak hunter must sit in his boat without stirring a finger so as not to scare the shy seals away. Actually, he can only move his eyes, as even the slightest move otherwise might mean game lost. The sun, low in the sky, sends a glare into his eyes, and the landscape around moves into the realm of the unreal. The reflex from the mirror-like water hypnotizes him, he seems to be unable to move, and all of a sudden it is as if he were floating in a bottomless void, sinking, sinking, and sinking…. Horror-stricken, he tries to stir, to cry out, but he cannot, he is completely paralyzed, he just falls and falls.”
― Peter Freuchen, Book of the Eskimos

So there was a man named Peter Freuchen. He was an Artic explorer who took a 1000mile dog sleigh trip across Greenland, starred in a Oscar-winning film, amputated his own toes, escaped from the Nazi death sentence, cut his way out of blizzard shelter with a knife made from his own feces and won 64 000$ question game show. A real legend..

See ya soon…

 

A humble man with great mountain skills..

This week the interview will be with Carl-Johan Olofsson. Living in Arvidsjaur but spend most of his time in the  mountains…

Carl-Johan Olofsson at Kebnekaise

What is your outdoor background?

I have had the privilege of serving in ”outdoor units” where we work both in the forest and in the mountains for a great deal of time. In 1996 I did the service at Commandment at Lapland ranger Regiment (I22) in Kiruna, and it was mainly there I was stacked for the Swedish amazing mountain environment. This was containing a mix of a winter and summer climbing of Kebnekaise. Then it continued with mountain tours both in my spare time as well as in the service. I was trained at the Norrland dragon regiment in Arvidsjaur, which today is the Army Ranger Battalion, to become both the Mountain instructor and as avalanche specialist. Later (2005) was given the opportunity to conduct an organization and method attempt (OMF) to create a more varied mountain capacity at the federation, commissioned by the headquarters. That decision meant a lot. If I know, then what was required I would have said no for sure. At today, I regret absolutely nothing but it has been a time-consuming mission that has taken a lot of energy over all. And of course, spent much time affecting both physical and mental presence in family life. Then it has of course given enormously much and the whole family is today active downhill skiing in IFK Arvidsjaur Alpine club. An interest that was born when I had to raise my own skills in downhill skiing where my skills of it were lacking. I simply had to travel with the family to Hemavan, Riksgränsen and of course our local hill Prastberget. In 2006, I started a three-year education in Austria to Heeres Bergführer (Military Mountain Guide). The training was conducted practically for about 15 weeks a year in Austria. The time between time was to raise our own personal skills while the OMF was to be carried out with three conscript’s mountain platoons (2007-2010). The development of new mountain equipment for the organization, training plans and education of the soldiers. Thus, that I could sometimes be almost 8 months a year in the mountains, the alps or some battalion exercise in the woods or in the mountains. Two young children there at home, of whom the youngest’ s first birthday, I could attend when he was 7 years old.

The time in Austria was amazing. We continuously completed the education in new mountain areas and the experience bank was built up in avalanche speed. Moving the boundaries forward and being pushed by the instructors to the utmost with the aim of learning where the limits of our own ability lie. Then, of course, there were requirements in skills that were to be achieved both practically and theoretically. In total over three years, there were about 150 different examinations. The term of office of the head of the course was clear. ”It is now it starts”. Now you are standing by yourself and you cannot afford any mistakes.” It was true it was when it started. An increased responsibility to lead relationships in extreme terrain, to constantly raise troops / commanders, as well as create progression and effectiveness in the education programs without crossing the borders. It requires mutual trust. When we practice, we have one that I call ”buffer zone” until the limit goes. With more experience and expertise, it shrinks that zone, and with operations we are close to the limits if required. Winter is my favorite season in the mountains. Ski touring in our subarctic climate zone and laying the first line in the new snow is an unbeatable enjoyment. I have also had the privilege of being the only international student to date, such as Austrian Heeres schilehrer, an education divided into three times, 2 weeks during 2 years. From being able to make the perfect plow in the slope to extreme off-piste skiing in steep gutters in St. Christof am Arlberg. It has been a life in the mountains for the past fifteen years. We have been forgiven of accidents despite enormous activity, which I am so grateful for. Over the years, we have supported various agencies with rescue and clearance operations in the mountains. When other authorities do not have knowledge or resources for example mountain rescue, we are a resource force that can be used. Two of the major challenge have been the Hercules accident in Kebnekaise and the post flight in Ritsem, where I was the military director of Operation. The Hercules accident we worked with during 5 years and saved about 38 tons of a total of 40 tons of wreckage in hard terrain.

When it comes to leadership, what would you say is the difference in the mountain environment compared to ”regular” leadership?

The difference is big and I have learned a lot. I am conducting activities today in the same way as I do on the mountains, which is successful*). I usually work in three steps, TARGET, FUNDS and ENVIRONMENT in all activities that I conduct. Environment is the central part and it is not environment in terms of mountains, forests etc. It is the working environment. To always create as good working environment as possible for all employees regardless of the conditions. If we create a good working environment where there are times for good recovery, we will be able to focus on the goals of the tasks we have, and with greater likelihood of reaching them safely. A present leadership is a must, you got to know and understand the coworkers condition. It is usually easy to see, but also easy to miss as we work very often in a decentralized way. There is nothing that hurts such deep wounds in one’s self than when one hears that someone has been exposed to unnecessary risk or ended up in a situation I did not calculate with. Building mutual trust in which we can trust each other is the essence of the business. I must trust that I can send employees independently on assignments without crossing the borders, and employees must be able to trust me not to send them on assignments that are beyond their ability. Getting to the dialogue in planning for an assignment, where it is an open climate where everyone can say stop before and during the mission. It is no more difficult to change the plan and redistribute funds. Regardless of business, I’m of the opinion that we will always try, but where we can say stop before we crossing the limit. Then we choose a new direction towards the goal.

*) Carl-Johan was appointed as the leader of the year 2015 (of the Chef Magazine in Sweden).

What does the military mountain guide education differ from the civilian (besides the tactics of weapon technique, combat technique, etc.)?

Many differences, even if not count on the matter of such as reconnaissance and combat. Militarily, we work with larger volumes of personal. We should be able to lead everything from an individual to a whole unit. It imposes other demands on safety tips and techniques to make more difficult passages in extreme terrain and environment. We construct a lot of fixed installations i.e. builds what we can describe as field work compared to ”via Ferrata” solutions on snow, ice and rock. A major training package in Bergführer education was just fixed installations. We put in addition to the very time of security by evaluating the terrain in theory and practice. We are translating it into situation map ”gebirgslage”(Sv. Lägeskartor) which we then follow up during planning and missions. A lot of time is spent by planning and training Mountain Rescue. We always involve qualified healthcare professionals who are also trained for mobility in the mountains. During the Bergführer training we conduct a three-week training course to become an international rescue specialist where we practice rescue in all its forms, with rails, cable cars, fixed installations. And finally, one week of winch from various helicopter types used in the Alps. In the field exercises in mountain ranges, Bergführer is the role of being the commanders right hand as ”counselor” in all questions related to the mountain environment both tactical strategical and technical. I usually say that on the ground I am the captain, but in the mountains, I am the general. Then we will remember that our primary task is to be a soldier where we serve. We are not out of any adventure; we are training to achieve an ability to protect Sweden’s interests in international conflicts or which God forbids in the event of sacrifice in our territory.

From who is the Mountain Platoon gets its assignments, who is the client?

The government is the ultimate client of the Armed Forces. The Armed Forces have set the task of the Army’s Rangers Battalion to maintain the Armed Forces ability to act in mountain terrain. When it comes to tasks to support civil society resources, a request for the Duty Officer at the headquarters and / or to the Duty Officer’s military area is north. In that case, we do not maintain any basic preparedness or extra training. We support the ability, i.e. the skills, material and staff we have available, which usually suffice.

Can you see that the need for mountain warfare and arctic skills increases?

It increases significantly. The strategic importance of the Arctic regions has increased and many actors have interests in those areas. We have international units we co-operate with in subarctic mountain ranges and that interest grows. It’s not for the adventure, it’s because there’s a capacity and in Sweden we have good conditions for practice. And we have good experience in mountain/artic warfare.

Can you see any trends in mountain sports?

What I see is that more tourists value our mountain environment both summer and winter. The number of tourist increase. It is not the classic hiking trails that currently apply. Skiing alpinism has, for example, increased and thus also facilitated access to extreme terrain. Unfortunately, not everyone has the knowledge needed. Poorly equipped and limited skills to evaluate hazards cause accidents to increase.

Your special spot in the mountains?

I always value the time in the Kebnekaise massif. There is something special about the area that engage me. Winter time of course with all these fantastic ski opportunities. I’m very excited at Nikkaluokta where I got many friends for life here, since the work of Hercules’s accident. It’s extra nice that Sarris manages the transport and restaurant with accommodation in Nikka, and that Marit is the manager at Kebnekaise mountain station.

What do you always bring for personal equipment with you for the tours?

My ice axe: Grivel Jorasses never stays at home. It has fifteen years in service. Then, of course, I will not forget my Tirol heat bean.

What is your best mountain experience and what is your worst mountain experience?

There are many nice experiences. But one of the best is when I helped Aron Anderson and three more former childhood cancer patients to achieve their dreams. We passed Kebnekaise via eastern trail with Björling Glacier as a base for two nights. It was great to be able to support such a project and be a part of their joy. One of them was really sick of the disease and I was doubtful if we were to succeed. But with help of two of my instructors at the Eastern trail, we managed to finish. Do not stop until you tried …

The mountain practice in Kebnekaise that ended with a Hercules accident is probably the worst and most extreme. To be forced to decide to turn around during the rescue effort, even though we were close and understood where the planet was. The risk was too big and we had already been close to the limits of the condition of the weather. But it was difficult to wait for a weather improvement as we know that below has happened before and there may be survivors. Then look at the ridge between Kebnekaise North-South Summit, as we understand that there is nothing more to do. That’s something I could never imagine. An aircraft of 40 tons and remains in such small parts. It was tough, and took long time for processing. But there was much left to do for the relatives, the environment and the investigation. I had planned a trip with the family to Kebnekaise that summer, but it had to wait two years before I could bring them there. I enjoy Kebnekaise, but it will never be the same as before that experience.

Best coffee on the trip? Boiled, espresso, percolator, instant coffee?

Coffee is always included, and in quantities! I will usually only use instant coffee, as I always chase weight and volume. But a day without coffee is always a bad day!

What are you up to at the moment?

Right now, I plan a year of education with some new and some senior mountain soldiers at the mountain platoon. It is a mountain specialist training that starts in the summer of 2019. Also, planning of an EU meeting together with the Swedish Army Subarctic Warfare Centre (Sv. Vinterenheten) and the Swedish Army’s Land Warfare combat Centre (Sv. Markstridsskolan) that we conduct in Arvidsjaur with mountain schools from Europe (EU pooling & sharing, mountain training initiative). Then the light and warm part of the year has started. The ski slopes in Kåbdlais are open, so I will spend time with the family.

The next test of equipment will be the Millet K-shell Hoodie, a softshell with Gore-Tex layer…

https://www.trekkinn.com/berg/millet-k-shield-hoodie/136673764/p

A reflection from my point of view, I think it will be interestning to see how the Right of Public Access will be handled related to that fact that the number of people accessing more extreme terrain. I think this areas a more sensitive of being used…

See ya soon..

Leadership, and back on track..

In the hills with a Group of people, the party leader has one big paradox to resolve -the management of existing risk without sterilising the experience. The right balance has to be found between what seems safe and perhaps dull. A leader must be able to distinguish between real and apperent danger. A good selfknowledge is also a must. Knowing your weaknes and strength you can recognise and avoid situations where you be more concerned of your self than the party.

 

Becoming a mountain leader is not Always easy…

 

 

Vastra Bunnerstoten nice off pist skiing in Jamtland..

When it comes to gear and others I will sugest a combined helmet and a good book for the wish list to Santa Claus..

Salewa has a new helmet that is perfet for ski alpinism. It is approved for skiing and as well for climbing. So this might be a gift for the ski alpinist..

 

https://www.addnature.com/salewa-vert-helmet-black-732322.html

Daniel Pinks book: ”when” is a book that describes when it is best to do different activities. Read it and then you will know why you should not have a surgey in the afternoon..

https://www.bokus.com/bok/9789188659613/nar-vetenskapens-hemligheter-om-perfekt-tajming/

And at the end, check out this guys..My god…

And after a week of Cold, I am back to gym. YES, YES, YES:-). And this week there will be a real interesting interview..

See ya soon..