Sunday, January 19, 2014

Making lemonade

It's been a few weeks since the last snowfall in the Narvik region and the mountains have been thoroughly wind ravaged. Mostly the mountains are serving up generous portions of supportable crust, with sides of sastrugi, if you know where to look there are isolated pockets of wind drifted snow which offer some softer turns but these are few and far between.

Despite the unsavoury conditions this past week featured two stand-out tours.

On Wednesday Bjarte and I went for an endurance training session at Narvikfjellet: skinning laps from the base up to Linken. I managed to squeeze in 7 laps in just under 9 hours, about 6300 metres of vert. This was actually my 'biggest' day to date, and it was a good confidence booster for some other projects I have planned for later in the winter.

Bjarte at Linken on lap #1
On Friday I joined Micke on an observation tour near Stetind, Norways 'national mountain' and one of the most dramatic peaks in the entire world in my opinion. It was the first time I'd been there in over two years and the first time I'd ever seen the mountain in winter conditions. It was spectacular. A lack of snow saw us hiking up the first 200 metres and from then on conditions were so slick we used ski crampons for 90% of the outing. Up higher the winds were so strong that we were forced to a glacial pace and I was kicking myself for not having thought to bring any glasses. Character building conditions, but stunning views.

Ski-crampon conditions below Stetind

with Presttinden

A handful of nice turns on the way down to Svartvatnet

and some pretty light on Stetind


  1. Nice training. 6,300 meters is a lot! Good work!

    1. Thanks!
      I'm hoping it all pays off in the spring, when possibilities for longer traverses start opening up :-)