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…

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..

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..

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..

Meet an entrepreneur, and some new gear..

So now its November in our calendar. I am not satiesfyed due to I got a cold that grabbed me. Yesterday I was at the climbing gym, and also run with my husky. But today I am drinking tea, and lying in bed..

One day on the wall..Next day in bed:-(.

This weeks interview  will be with a real entrepreneur. Fredrik Hjort are a ”handyman”(Sv. tusenkostnär) He work as Management Consult in banking, he is CEO for the Adventurer of the year and also work as guide at Aventyrsresor just for mention a couple of his missions..

Fredrik, what is your outdoor background?

I started in the scouts and of course did a lot of outdoor activities there. Even role-playing with adventure as a focus was also a part. In 2010, moving from the gym to more trail running. In turn, this led to Lidingöloppet, and with that it became a ”Svensk Klassiker”. Then it became more towards Ultra. In that sense, I felt that the experience became more important than the weight of the bar in the gym. Then I was asked by Renata Chlumska if I wanted to do the Goran Kropp challenge. I thanked and, asked if I would be to be the first to do it I would be interested. And I did it in May 2016. So then  cycling to Kebnekaise and summiting the South peak, and cycling back. Can tell you that it was exciting to do this in May !. Then I did the Mountain Leader training. and that I did in the Friluftsfrämjandet. A fantastic organization. And of course, I become a member in STF as well.  So today, I work as a Management Consultant, traveling at Nepal, Svalbard, Kilimanjaro as a guide. It’s about getting it all together. Luckily, I and my partner Wilma are sharing the interest for outdoor activity.

Can you see any trends in outdoor activities?

”One thing I can see is that longer hikes are increasing. The fact that Kebnekaise is a popoular is a fact for sure. Hope the South peak continues to build on with snow so it may be the highest again. for the reason to prevent accidents from people climbing the North peak without enaugh knowledge..
If you are going to be the year’s adventurer 2019, what will be required then? Is not everything done?

-Ha ha, no, there’s a lot left to do. You can look at those who were nominated this year. Going through the desert, adventure with cultural focus, as well as adventure with animals are such areas as will be more common.
How do you look at the trends for outdoor enthusiasts when it comes to the media?

-I think newspapers will be replaced by digital media instead. Pods such as, ”read me” is solutions where we will find inspiration. David Breece is doing a fantastic job with the Outsidesweden.

Ok, the best coffee you ever drank on an outdoor tour?
-Always the first of the morning, lying / sitting in the sleeping bag with abside open and with a nice view. (Please prepare with the help of a thermos) and take good time on you …

Hidden special places for you in Sweden?
-There are many of them, but for mention some; Vålådalen is one I have found out to become a favourite of mine.  But also the whole Keb area is incredibly nice. My suggestion here will be: Take Durling’s trail (the route goes from Singistugan to Kebnekaise south peak)

And what  happens in your life at the moment?
-Now I am going to New York for running the marathon, but just for ”feeling good” after a intensive year so far…

And with 26 day left to the first of December it is time to check the wish-list to santa. So here comes some suggestions:

First aid kit it Always a good thing to bring in the backpack. This one from Ortovox is easy to pack, and got all you needed for the outdoor tour.

For becoming a real alpinist you must have a pair of glacier glasses. This Classic ones from Julby are real nice

And for us who wants to ski, and have fun offpist this ski from Black Diamond would be a must to have. The lightest ski in there series.

And here comes one of my favourites..Everlast

See ya soon