So you want to become a mountaineer…

We all want to develop and become better in outdoor techniques. And we often wonder what it takes for improving and become more skilled. So this will be the topic for today. So let’s start from the beginning, here comes some suggestion to get a base to start from. You need to get the experience of walked with a big backpack for more than eight hours. You should also have had a day where everything seemed to go wrong. Gotten lost. Gotten soaked. Gotten cold. Experienced rapidly changing alpine weather above the treeline. Scrambled several peaks where you had to use your hands and crossed sections where a fall would have been catastrophic. Done at least two backpacking trips longer than a weekend. Learned the basic how to belay, and tie all the basic nots(ex. Green cars at the climbing gym). When you have done all of this it is time for the next step.

A guide will help you to develop your skills…

Now you should contact a guide for a training in the mountains. It will be worth the effort of spending a long weekend together with a guide training you to the next step. Now you will learn navigation skills including GPS, altimeter, compass, topographical maps, , safe travel and protection techniques for snow and ice terrain. Ice-axe technique, how to use crampons, self-arrest technique and also snow and ice anchors. Rope technique, metrology, crevasse rescue, route planning. Introduction to accident and emergency response. Evacuation techniques and resources for rescue. During this process, get yourself a partner. It will be a lot easier to do this together with someone. And much more fun as well.

Now we have come to the most easy (and for most of us, the fun part) Gearing up. So what will you need? A buying list in order; First of all non-cotton layering clothing system. Hiking boots, Merino wool socks. Back-pack, gaiters, climbing harness, helmet, more merino socks, Mountaineering boot, Crampons, Ice ax. And by the way always remember: never trust a guy with shiny gear, so now you are up to evidence. Get put there and practice. Why don’t you hire a guide again, and practice all of your learnings in a nice area somewhere….

So if you are eager to get the “know how” I suggest you sign up with us. We will spend a weekend(three days) in Feb-Mar at Sylarna. Here you for sure will develop all of your mountaineering skills. We will meet up at the morning on Friday and go by ski or snowshoes to Sylarna. Here we will spend one night in tent and one night at the mountain station. The cost will be 9490:-//PP including food, accommodation, needed equipment and guide. We will be back on Sunday so you can take the night train back home. Of course you can extend it with one or two days as well. After this you will be ready to get out there by your own…

Ok, so over to this weeks golden rule. The first one was; do not underestimate a person getting up 05.00 in the morning. The second; You are your best coach. And here comes this weeks golden rule: Planning your personal development. So how can you do this? First you need to set yourself goals. Next step will be to prioritize this goals. Now you set yourself deadlines for when you want to achieve them. Next step will be to recognize threats and opportunities. Develop your skills or increase your knowledge? Use your support network. And measure your improvements.

This weeks scouting will be about Kick-offs. It doesn’t matter if you are a participant or a planner of it, here comes the trends. After the pandemic it seems like the companies are eager to start up the conferencing again. But the market trends will be: simple and calm activities. Easy walk in the forest or in the mountains. Social togetherness, reflective exercises and cooking in the team. Ax troughing is way out at the time…So what does it takes to succeed with the kick-off? Set a clear purpose and goal for the event. Choose a spot with care, the place will be setting off the whole feeling of the event. Secure “air” in the agenda for socialization. Plan for free-time, the feeling of the spot shall be relaxed. All activities shall be inclusive, all shall feel comfortable with it. And as I always had said: Start a bon-fire, serve cooking coffee and when the twilight comes the stories will come…(no agenda needed)

See ya soon…

Kate Wolf – Green Eyes – YouTube

Your way of life…

We all strive for different things in our life, for example, more extreme adventures. Longer hikes, but for what do we strive towards all this goals? I think this question is really relevant. Do I have to go to Nepal or Kilimanjaro for becoming a real mountaineerer, is that what counts? Will I become more of an adventurer due to that? For what and for whom are you doing the adventures or this challenges for? We are fed from the media in generally and in social media in particularly. My suggestion will be; get yourself a nice cup of coffee, sit in front of a bonfire and look into the fire and into the glow. Let you mind wanderer. Soon now you will got the purpose for your adventure and now it will be for real. As I always has been saying; the best coach for you -will be…YOU. This is this weeks golden rule of life. So find your purpose for your adventures. It might be to rather get out often instead of extreme alp adventures. And if you want a challenge here in Sweden contact me and I will for sure give a damn good suggestion of an extreme challenge…

This weekend it has been a peak tour towards Bydalen, Oviksfjallen in Jamtland. After breakfast in Åsarna we steered the journey towards Gräftåvallen. From here we took the trail up in the ski-slope with Österfjället as goal. After an hour the weather started to become rough. The wind and rain whipped us in our faces. But after 1,5 hours we reached the peak and we all was satisfied. The fact that we have to search 5-10 min to find the peak (due to the weather) was fast forgotten. One hours later we was back at the start. Now it was time to eat and continue to Drommen and Höglekardalen. The plan was to do two peaks at Saturday.

Österfjället dressed in autumn colors…

Drommen is a straight forward peak, its fast and steep. This day the sight was reduced due to low rain clouds. But with a fast ascend accompanied with a herd of reindeers we reached the summit after one hour.

Dromskåran…

After a short lunch break it was time for the third of the peaks the Västerfjället. This peak is also exposed to the elements, but today it was kind. So pretty soon we reached the peak and got a nice view over the Jamtlands mountains. So with 3500 height meters within total 6 hours everyone was pleased and happy with the result. And by the way, we did it for ourselves, and not for anyone else. And probably the game at the evening was the best part of the journey:-)

String Along – YouTube

Bury My Bones (Official Video) – YouTube

See ya soon

A tribute to the fantasy and the golden rules of life…

The fantasy is an very important content for our life’s. Realism + Fantasy=Effectiveness.  Devotion towards your goal makes the journey more effectiveness. A study tell us that engagement and reached goals are strongly interconnect. A combination of realism and fantasy increase the ability to solve problem with greater effectiveness. By thinking a bit different and using our fantasy we have the possibility to affect our own way of thinking and by that got an easier way to reach our goals. Gabriele Oettingen (Professor in psychology) done a study about the way how the fantasy can affect and improve our engagement. She let three different groups solve a problem, but all the three groups got different conditions. The first group she let focusing on a positive picture of the fact that the problem already was solved. The second group have to focusing of the negative fact that it  was just a problem. The third group she let to have a combined approach. First the third group visualize the positive solution, and then they focused at the current problem. All the three groups also had to reflect over their expectation of how the fact of actually of solving the problem. The result of the study; well I think you already know. The third group with the contrast-technique solved the problem with the best result. But it also showed that the high expectation of solving the problem was clearly controlling the outcome of the positive result.

The conclusion Gabriele Oettingen got is that both emotions and thoughts rules, very high degree, both the motivation and the ability to devote yourself completely to a goal. The survey also shows that individuals who commit to the goal become more energized in the process and significantly more efficient and solution-focused.

Rethinking Positive Thinking – Gabriele Oettingen – häftad (9781617230233) | Adlibris Bokhandel

Though one thing to bring in to this is that the fantasy got burst when it come to predict feelings in the future. Our brain steer us to avoid things or situations that can be dangerous for us. The fear of things can be excessive, and not realistic. That can be something to bear in mind as well. But as we can see in the study the fantasy is very important to grow, it will help us to become motivated and reach our future targets…

At todays blog I will also start a serial of rules of life from my perspective. The first will be: never underestimate a guy who gets up 05.00 AM. Early morning the mind is pure, now you got your own time. Often the weather is good in the morning. Starting early means your up while the others sleeping, you already ahead of all others. First in the gym, on the track or at the office. Or all of them:-). The morning feeling makes you feeling great, and I can ashore that you will become more effective with this approach. So my first golden rule of life: Never underestimate a person who get up 05.00 AM (and also start the day with a cold shower, this will also improve your immune system…).

I’m Going to Work On Maggie’s Farm Forever – YouTube

Next Sunday it will be a report from Bydalen…

 

See ya soon.,,

Upcoming adventures….

The autumn is here, a bit of melancholy and expectation in the crisp air.  It’s time to plan the upcoming adventures.  Soon it will be a adventure to Bydalen, to visit the Falkfångarfjället. And after that a guiding session at Skuleberget and Via Ferrata and after that it’s time for a  a tour to Funäsdalen.  So a lot of stuff is upcoming. For the Funäsdalen hike I am planning for a hike towards the Messlingen canyon with the Evagraven . And it can also be a vistit of Mittåkläppen or Storskarven…

This week I have done a review of the Deuter Freescape 24SL a real good ski-alpinism back-pack. With two outside pockets for avalanche equipment etc.  Many options for attaching gear etc. So this one will get NNNNN. You got a lot of back-pack for the money.

Big Iron – Southern Raised | Bass Singer Cover | – YouTube

See ya soon…

50 years of learnings from outdoors…

Three insights from over 50 years of outdoor activities in the mountains.

Looking in the rearview mirror of my experiences under over 40 years, I can see three basic learnings. The first is the weather. There is much things that we can affect, but weather is not one of them. This meaning that I must adapt to it instead. The wind, the chill, the precipitation and the heat will affect us. So this is something I really have to take in consideration of planning an adventure.

The second will be humility, you must understand that in the mountain environment you are nothing when the nature playing its instruments. By listening and stay calm you will have much more effort from your tours. Interact with others by having a great deal of humility will help you to grow, and building knowledge and a nice network as well.

The third will be to keep an open mind. But, what will this mean? This will mean that you must stay curious. Interesting in new ways and angles of point of view. By challenge your own values and your sight of things, you will develop your self in a good way. This learning also includes to have this behavior even in stressed situation. Its when the shit hits the fan, this quality becomes very important. By training this ability in calm situations, you will have the skills to use it when you are stressed. This will help you to solve a problem in more efficient way. So what tools can I use for developing this ability? 1. Learn to question yourself. Next time you say no, try to understand why. 2. Set a goal to experience at least one new thing each month, a new kind of workout. Read a book that isn’t from your preferred genre, or change radio station one day. 3. Examine your precious from another perspective. This including politics, morals and religion for example. 4. Let yourself become vulnerability, of you shall be able to open your mind this is one of the most important things to do. 5. Stop making assumptions, if you put people or fact into subjects you lock your mind. Challenge your own rules and restrictions, this will help you to open your mind into new worlds…

How to choose/buy a jacket?

Hard-shell, soft-shell, hybrid, wind-proof, fleece, synthetic…

Today it is a jungle to choose a jacket. The 4th of December I blogged about the optimized shell jacket. Today it will be more of a study of the whole area of jackets. First of all you need to ask yourself: What are you going to use the jacket for? If its for alpinism in stormy weather, it will be a three layer shell-jacket with good ventilation. If it is an a area with cold temperature and dry air, pressed wool could work-out. A dry hiking tour between cabins you can use soft-shell jacket with a wind and rain jacket to add if necessary. A 2,5 layer jacket can be used for speed hiking etc. So back to where I began – It’s a jungle…But how should I think when I am buying a jacket then? First of all you must decide what you will use the jacket for. If it for all type of activities you will need a 3 layer jacket. If you going to use it for fast and physical demanding activities you will need a 2,5 layer or a soft shell jacket with wind and rain repellent shell. A jacket over 200Euro shall have ventilation zippers, at least three pockets outside and at least one inner pocket. If you also with add the sustainability angle as well, you need to by a jacket with long life. From my side the soft-shell jackets is nice to have, not need to have. I use them for dog walks in good weather, and nothing to bring to the mountains.

This week I will have a review of a hybrid jacket. As always with a combined solution there is a risk it will be bad or just a half good in both ways. First of all the question -would I bring this one into the mountains? Yes, for a hike between cabins or peak tours. For a longer hike -no! I missing zippers under the arms for ventilation, and also an inner pocket. I really like the finish, and for peak tours it will workout fine. With its Gore-Tex reinforcement on the hood, arms and front it will work fine for shorter tours…But it cant get more then NNN due to the price and missing of zippers and pocket. The upcoming week I will review a Deuter back-pack. The Freescape lite 24 SL, this will very interesting. I like to laboratory with small backpack for forcing me to reduce my stuff to bring at my adventures…

Loner Deer – I Hold You [Official Music Video] – YouTube

See ya soon…

The journey is the target…

This week I will reflect over the essence of the outdoor life. I’ve been on the top of Mt Damavand, the top of Galdhöpiggen, the top of Kebnekaise and so on. But to be honest, how long time did I spend on the top, and if I should compare with the time I spend by reaching the top it will be real interesting. I think we often forget to enjoy reflect over the effort and the journey towards the peaks. Much of the reason for ascend a peak will be the journey and effort to get there. The last guiding trip towards Kebnekaise, the sight at the top was about 5 meters. So we did not saw anything. But in the saddle between Tolpargorni and  Sinnicohka the view was marvelous. So it is really important to bear in mind that the journey shall be the target, and the adventure will become much more joyful.

This weeks hiking suggestion will be the Vålådalen area in Jämtland. You can reach the area from Vålådalens Mountain station. From Gåsen mountain cabin, Vallbo Sami village, Höglekardalen or from Persåsen Sami village. One nice trip is to go from Storulvån-Gåsen-Stensdalen-Vålådalen. Or from Vålådalen-Lunndörren-Vålåstugorna-Stensdalen-Vålådalen. This area have good communication with train and transfers.

When it comes to apparel I have two new garment in view. This time it is from a Italian brand, Montura. It is one par pants and a hybrid jacket. The pant is the Vertigo Tekno pants. With its 86% polyamid and  14 % elastan it is a really flexible pant in alpine fit. Spontaneously I really like this pant. Well, it don’t have much  of rain protection. But for being a softshell pant it is really smooth, but I will reply on this when I really have tested them. The next one will be the Montura Air Fleece Action Hybrid. This jacket got enforcement with Gore-Tex on the front and at the shoulders. I am a bit sceptic on hybrid solutions, because they often don’t fit at all. But I have tried one that really lived up to the functionality ( it was a Patagonia jacket) But this one will also be interesting to test.

And it was a time since I give some book suggestion, but here comes two:

This book will give a really good overview of the Swedish mountains trails in common and the ”Green band” in particularly.

Vandra Gröna bandet : en guide till svenska fjällvärlden – Jörgen Johansson – Häftad (9789186433871) | Bokus

The second will be this one,

Fjällrand : de krokiga tallarnas land – Thomas Öberg – inbunden (9789189021631) | Adlibris Bokhandel

A book about the virgin forest close to the mountain’s in the Swedish landscape. A book full of QR-codes where you actively can participate and enjoy the sound from the woods…

Lord Huron – Ends of the Earth (Official Music Video) – YouTube

See ya soon…

 

The Winter is coming up?!

28 degrees, and summer feeling. Running X-country with the sweat flowing, and he is thinking of the Winter !?.

Well, it is time to plan for the upcoming season, and this winter we will provide a range of possibilities of snowshoe hiking. First of all it is really nice to do it in the midwinter. January to March will be the best, even if it also is nice in the spring winter as well. I have chosen five rally nice mountain lodges, for this trips. So here you will have really nice suggestions for areas that is not crowded or exploited.  Lets begin with Kolåsen, In the mainpart of Skäckerfjällen you find this mountain lodge. With Sockertoppen, you will have a nice peak to hike.  Next one will be the Jänsmässholmen, in the ara of Jämtlands Sarek, you will be all of your own on your tours. Up towards Mjölkvattnet you have a really nice hike area. Next opportunity will be Åkersjöns Mountain Lodge. Here you also have the wilderness just outside of the door. A lot of trails and mountains to visit. Next stop will be a bit higher up.  22km North of Åkersjön you will find the Rörvattnets Mountain Lodge. Here we got the Ansättåleden and also the Grubbdalsleden to hike. Now we move 30km East and land at Almedalens Mountain Lodge. Here you will be really off, in the roadless country. So if feel inspired of this, please contact us for a plan. So what do you say about a nice winter hiking tour on snowshoes, in a nice winter day. A bonfire hot chocolate and swedish fika, and a three dinner course and sauna. After that just preparing for the upcoming adventure day. Will we meet?

Jackson Dean – Wings (Lyric Video) – YouTube

See ya soon

The favor of guiding…

Early Tuesday morning I left Arlanda four a guiding mission at Kebnekaise area. After a hour transportation towards  Nikkaluokta it was time for lunch. At the lunch our extra guide joined us as well. Now it was time to hike the first 5,6km to the bout who would take us 6km up in the Laddjuvari lake. The weather was rainy, so the bout journey was pleasant.  After the ride we just got 8km in front of us to ( just 8km left to the mountain station)

the mountain station of Kebnekaise. Two and a half hours later we reach the station. We got our beds, and Me as a guide started to fix the dinner.  After a whole day of travel, I think all of us got tired after the dinner. But now the extra guide Kenneth got his time for briefing before the attempt of  summiting the south peak of Kebnekaise. Do all the packing ready before bed, breakfast at 05.00 and leaving the station at 06.00 at latest.

04.30 I get up and prepared the breakfast. 05.10 the first of the participant got there.  At 06.05 all was ready and Kenneth have his briefing of the weather, risks and day-planning.  He also exemplary did a gear control of all participants, and at 06.15 we left. After 1km we stopped for customize the clothing. Pretty soon we reached a river crossing, but we find a easy way and passed it with no problems at all. Soon we was in the end of the ”Kittel” valley. This part is heavy, it is steep uphill and uneven stony ground.  After 4km we reach the (Kittel creek)

bridge over the Kittel Creek, and it was time for the challenging trail up towards the back of Toulpangorni and the peak of Vierranvarri. This is the turning point for those who feel very tired at this time. At 1716m and 6km uphill the legs protests. Now the real challenging part begins 200 height meters down and then 500 m height meters up. The mental game begins…After a short stop in the fog in the coffee valley it was time for starting the ascent of the south peak of Kebnekaise. After just 500m most of the participant in the group was tired, which they should be at this time. As head guide, I was watching the clock. We was in ok time, and not close to the turning point. So we just have to continue. Soon the group reached the old wind shelter at 7,7km out of 8,6 km and the top-fever powered up the whole group, the peak was now reachable. Soon we was at the place were the top cones snow reach the ground. The snow was hard and we all slipped for each step, But soon, very soon we all stood at the summit. The fog was dense over the peak, and we all decided to ( (Extra guide Kenneth Norberg at the south peak of Kebnekaise)

descend fast. We all reached the old wind shelter and there it was time for a short lunch break. Pasta Carbonara with grated Padano cheese made everyone happy and the other envy. Time to hike back to the Coffee valley again. The 200 height meter uphill is tough. After the uphill, it is steep downhill, and the thigh have to work hard. (The stairs built of Sherpas)

The stairs that the Sherpas has build was really nice to use at this time. Soon we all reached the bridge over Kittel valley again and we all stopped for a break. All filled up their water cans, and I gathered them all. I now telling them to get the feeling of reaching the top, drink water and boost the energy and mental will. Because now was the most dangerous part of the hike. The last 4km with tired legs and mind. The youngsters of the group was tired now, and slipped of the stones, but did well due to the effort of the day. The creek crossing went well except for a small fall. And at 18,30 we all was back. So after twelve hours and fifteen minutes we all have done it (in fog) and at 19,15 we all was seated for the dinner at the mountain station, tired but with a smile at our lips. Enjoying the day of summiting the south peak of Kebnekaise. After a shower and the sauna we all fall into sleep without any help of the sandman. Next day it was breakfast and gathering at 11.00 for planning the rest of the rest day. A short lesson about how a wind-shelter should be used and a demonstration of a bivvy bag could be used. Then it was two options:  A peak-tour to Kebbnetjåkka at 1766m or a hike among a creek. All choose the last one without me who went for the peak-tour. The next day it was breakfast at 06.00 and at 07.00 we went (Satisfied participant)  back to Nikkaluokta for transportation home.

See ya soon…

Yamuna – YouTube

From last week…

Last week the blog was about the art of guiding in general and judgement in particular. And it was six areas about this; What I take in, Who and what I trust, What I know about this, What I feel and believe, My choice and at the end Delivery. So here follows how you can improve all this areas.

 

  1. What I take in. When listening and reading, be aware of your own information filters – make sure you are not just getting what you like to hear or see. Secure the consistence of the information. If the quality of the information you receiving isn’t good enough don’t hesitate to demand improvements.
  2. Who and what I trust. Ask yourself how much you know about the source of the information you are taking in and about the source you getting it from. How credible are they?
  3. What I know about Keep a track record of your judgement for what went wrong and wright. Identify lessons that you learn from decisions taken at times of stress. Look for broader experience to build understanding an knowledge in areas where your judgement could be tested in the future.
  4. What I feel and believe. At least understand, and if possible mitigate, your own biases. Check your understanding of these with someone independent of your viewpoint, such as a coach or mentor. Be aware of the values that needed, or might preclude you from pursuing certain decisions or courses of action.
  5. My choice. Check the way a choice has been framed for mistakes, biases or omissions. Ensure there is a risk assessment. Consider preparation for the choice. Prior meetings to review and clarify issues can help take the pressure off the final decisions. Pre-mortems can help anticipate what might go wrong further down the line.
  6. Delivery. Consider your own relevant delivery experience and that of those making the recommendations to understand feasibility and associated risk. Check the evidence and implications of the proposed speed of action, being explicit about trade-offs between time and cost.

And at the end always thing of: Think critically, and tackle ambiguity and complex problems effectively and efficiently. Listen, respect others and appreciate diversity in all its forms. Surround yourself with highly-regarded people. Communicate clearly and effectively. Act with purpose and intention.

(the back pack for the upcoming guide session) I will try to use all this thoughts and guidelines in practice in my upcoming guiding session.  My result will be in the next blog. So time to go to Lapland and Kebnekaise…

Real nice tribute for Jämtland:

Min Hyllning Till Jämtland – YouTube

See ya soon

The essence of the art of guiding…

Todays topic will be about guiding. I really don’t know how many hours we have spend about talking about how to become a good guide, and what is the difference between a good to a great guide…

( A lot of thought and coffee about guiding)

When training guides you learn a lot from the students, as well from the other trainer and most important about yourself. This topic is really complex, because we all have our own view of the conclusion. But from my understanding and discussion with other there are three main parts for becoming a good guide. But first of all is to understand the role of the guide. As a guide you should be a part of the team sometimes, a leader sometimes and also teacher or a coach. The ability to play and feel the right time for all roles will be the ground to stand on. I always also comes back to the three step thinking. What will happen in the next step if I take this decision, and the step after that…And when it comes to the ground the foundation it will be our way of making our judgement. This is an interesting area which I will dig deeper in. I must understand why I make the judgement I do.  1. What I take in. This is about how much attention we pay about what we hear and see. 2.  Who and what I trust. We rely on the quality of people and material for the raw material of our judgements. In an era of “fake news” we are more aware than ever of the need for care about sources. Some colleagues are more reliable than others. 3.What I know about this Judgement is context-specific. What is right today may be wrong tomorrow when events have moved on. 4.What I feel and believe Values and beliefs are inevitably involved in judgements. It’s important that we are aware of them, not only to incorporate them if they are required, but also if they represent biases that could get in the way. 5. My choice (the stage at which many decision analysis techniques are available.) We need to make sure we bring together the raw material of the judgement in a way that improves the chances of success. 6.Delivery .Choice is not the end of the story. The feasibility of delivery also has to be considered.

And for being able to make and developing your ability of making good and right judgement, you must consider a responsibility of the participants, and safety. And also do it in a seriously way. With all important weight in the weighing scale. At Sunday I will continue of how to improve your way of improve your ability of making judgement.

KALEO – Backbone (LIVE at Breiðarmerkurjökull) – YouTube

see ya soon.

Din väg till äventyret…