January and the first interview of the year.
I will begin with the question about workout for mountaineers. This one is a tricky one, because it depends on what area you will active in. Ski, climbing, mountaineering, glacier hiking, trail-running etc. From my point of view, you first need to build up an endurance capacity. This will be the base you can rely on. Then you need to build up strength and mobility. So, the third part will be the “branch” specific workout and mental strength. The set up for the workout can be divided into three phases. Build-up, strength and cardio and branch specific period. Example: summer mountaineering, Nov-Jan; Build up period, Feb-April Strength and mobility and May-June branch specific period. How will this be practically done? One example: Saturday is endurance day in Buildup period you will be running 15km cross country. In the Strength period you will be doing hill running and end the workout with jumps. In the next period you will be doing hill training with back-pack for 3-5 hours. If you need a specific workout program, you can contact me for a suggestion.
My next topic will be a book. “Välkommen till Fjällvär(l)den.” Which is a book of Pierina Wester. A book that will enthusiast you to new mountain adventures. Here you can read about the Life as a an wardins. I really like this book. With poems and mountain stories it really become an inspiration.
A real cabin story from the Mountains..
Early morning the heat from the stove is still there, even if the room is real cold. We been eight persons snoring the night through,I think at least two of them have been up peeing during the early morning. The smell of sweat and wet wool enfolds the room. My lips and nose tip are cold, and some smoke comes out during my breathing. It is still dark in the room, I put some cloth on and turn on the head lamp. The light lightnings up the room, the shadows is playing in the room. Slowly I start building the fire in the stove. Soon the fire will crackle cozy. Time to start preparing the porridge. Today we will be skiing towards the Valacabins and continue to further to Lunndorren. The journey of the day includes 29km with about 6-7 hours on ski. The daylight starts to come through the window. As we are in March the light starts to come early. Of sudden and there it is, the feeling of expectation and a bit of tension. The feeling is familiar, it wakes me up and gets me dedicated. Now the rest of the crew in cabin start to come alive. We know the routines me and Mattias since all years of night in cabins and Mountain stations. Get up early means we can get away early. The morning is crisp but pleasant. The breakfast of porridge and sandwiches and of course coffee is done in a hurry. After filling up the bucket with water for the rest of the people in the cabin, we are done. The ski boot is on, so now it is time for prepare the skis. The ski vax of the day is put on, and the back pack will be on the back. Breathing in the cold air in the nose and thinking this is the best time of the year. The first part from the cabin is downhill, and there I fall. So ok back to relative, I am not the good, I am just a human lending the mountains for a while:-). The creek is winding around, and we must find a route. The ice is thin at some places, so we have to change route a several of times. It is a small valley with small hills and a lot of mountain birches. Soon we find a way through the terrain and get on the trail towards the first milestone of the day vala-cabins. With Kroktjarnarna to the left and Smällhögarna to the right the view is fabulous. We take a short stop for an avalanche test, and yes it still is a high risk. The wind increases and the last 500m towards the cabin is tough. The hosts and the guest couple look wide-eyed on us. We have not even got the chance to start the coffee making before the questions start hailed. -Where do you come from? Will you stay here tonight? When we answered polite that we were heading for Lunndorren and, just been doing the half of the day’s journey I could see that they thought we was crazy. Doing a two days journey in way day (and the same the day before) Does not always make you to a hero in this area. Either you are knowing what you are doing or either you are a fool. Until you know what, you will be counted as a fool, with all rights. After looking to our equipment and 100 of other question, I think we was counted as mountain men. But with a little bit of sceptics. This story ends here, but the day before with a day in storm and a mountain rescue was not included. Neither the sauna experience at Lunndorren and the reindeer hurdle there. But as Kipling said -that’s another story….
Interview with Eddie Gustin.
Eddie Gustin is a real globetrotter, he has been in 193 different countries. He is working as tour guide, bus driver and leader at the Rosa Bussarna. He knows what it means to travel. He has been travel to North Korea, Colombia and Namibia for mention some of all the countries he been visiting. Today I meet him at a cafe, and I can recognize him instantly. He got that aura of humility and with a alert look. With a soft drink and a coffee the conversation will begin..
What is your background, and how come that you start traveling? -I come from Småland Huskvarna, and my family has always been interesting in travelling. During my youth we went on car trips in Europe, so that was the start I think. But one day a friend of the family came and visit us, and told us his story of interrailing, and a visit in Greece. A funny story of photo from the foot side got me interesting in the idea of travelling. In the adolescence I went on interrailing and also a trip to a pen mate in Brazil. The flight to Brazil was my first flight in life. Quite exiting to do that as the first flight trip. Today I still wondering how I got the guts to do that trip. At that time we only correspond in mail. So I was bit worried standing at a airport in Brazil waiting for my friend. The plan was to be there for one month. But I really liked it and stayed as long as it was possible. That was three months. I was thinking of moving there, but I went on a journey to Canada, Australia and New Zeeland. And then it was time for the service in the Army. So I went on a mission in Bosnia.
-But how did you end up as a tour leader at Rosa Bussarna?
Well, it all started with a 10 week long journey with the Rosa Bussarna as a participant. And as I got the driver license for bus, I joked with the driver. When he went in for a brake I turned the bus around for him. He asked me if I wanted to drive the bus sometimes and so I did. I got the mission to become an extra drivers mission in 98 for a trip to China. But after that I did not get any new assignment as driver. So at that time I worked with 3-4 different jobs to collect money for new journeys. But in 99 I got an assignment as a ”real” driver and I took it. Normally we are three drivers at a trip. One is the main tour guide, one mechanic and one chef.
-which country will be your favorite?
Namibia is fabulous, the orange red desert is fantastic…
-You been travelling in 25 years, you been in North Korea how was that tour?
Well, it is a country that I don’t like or dislike. The impact on the environment is much less there than in other countries. It is not so lots of cars etc. So the environment has not been so affected of pollution and so on.
-What is the most important quality of a real globetrotter do you think?
Social skills, and you must like humans. Open minded and lots of humility.
-And the back side of being globetrotter?
Ha ha, that must be the restlessness.
-And the last question, what coffee do you prefer on your journeys?
The one with other people around. The coffee itself is not the most important. It is to drink it together with others. I can drink the as well, but not with milk. At a police station in Pakistan I got the with milk. Due to the hospitality I had to drink it, and I was ill for three days…
By the way, there is a very interesting Project I got involved in. That will be real interesting..But still a secret…
See ya soon