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