The last two weeks I’ve been i Lofoten working on a guide-course with NORTIND – the Norwegian guide association. This was the first climbing course for this group – with focus on guiding and rescue-skills. The weather in Lofoten i September can be quite bad, but we were lucky and had good weather for the most of our stay – and a few days with absolutely amazing weather.
Last week I guided Petter and Kjetil in Chamonix and Zermatt – our goals was to climb Mont Blanc and Matterhorn. We had fantastic weather all week and with strong clients and good conditions it was a perfect week. We had a few days of acclimatization before we climbed Mont Blanc from Tete Rousse hut. Then we traveled to Zermatt where Slovenien guide Rok Zalokar joined us for the Matterhorn ascent. Conditions on Matterhorn was the best I’ve ever seen. Petter and me was first on the summit and we could enjoy 10 minutes of solitude on the summit and also do the traverse over to the Italian summit. On the way down I had a hard time to keep up with Petter and we were down at the hut 6 hours and 10 min after we started.
Now I’m back in Chamonix and starting 8 days of work here and in Switzerland.
The last weeks been on-and-off with guiding – trying to do some training in between. I’ve been in Romsdalen, Hurrungane and Hemsedal for work, mostly guiding regular clients, but also some new. And I was one week in Hemsedal with a climbing course for the military academy in Norway. Now I’m finally back in Chamonix and will be here for the next weeks.
Belowe is pictures from Skagastølsryggen, Søre Dyrhaugstind and Dyrhaugsryggen and two different trips on Austadbotntind.
Last week I finally got the chance to do something I wanted to do for a very long time. Ever since I did Skagastølsryggen quite fast in 2006 I knew that it is possible to do it much, much faster. This winter I decided that it was time to give it a real try – to see how fast I could do it.
Skagastølsryggen is one of the most iconic ridge-traverses in Norway, and one of the most beautiful. It’s the highest ridge in the most alpine area of Norway – finishing on the third highest peak – Store Skagastølstind. The ridge itself is about one kilometre and has some climbing and a lot of scrambling. Never difficult, climbing and down-climbing up to grade 3+, and I know the terrain very well after numerous guided trips on Store Skagastølstind and the traverse. But most of all, Skagastølsryggen is an amazing place to be, and a spectacular place to go for a “run”.
Last time I did the traverse fast i spent 4h34m roundtrip from Turtagrø, now I hoped to do it in sub 3h. I waited for the right conditions – I wanted dry conditions on most of the ridge, but I also wanted snow on the upper part of the decent, that would be faster and save my knees.
So last friday I drove from Åndalsens to Turtagrø only to do the traverse. I brought only a thin windbraker jacket and a lightweight ice-axe in case there was some hard snow or ice I had to cross, some bars and energi-gel. And running shoes.
As I knew, conditions was good on the whole traverse. It was of course very tiering but still enjoyable. I spent 1h10min from Turagrø to Nordre Skagastølstind, 47min from Nordre to Store Skagastølstind and 55min from Store and back to Turtagrø. 2H 53MIN total. A total of 15.5 kilometre and 1750 vertical meters up and down.
When driving home I was happy and tiered after finally done what I’ve been thinking about for 7 years…
Here is a article that Friflyt.no made about it: Friflyt.no
The last weeks I’ve been in the Alps working, first guiding i n Chamonix then I’ve been one of the instructors on a course for NORTIND – the Norwegian guide qualification. We started in Bergel in Switzerland, but we soon moved to Les Ecrins in France because of the weather. Here we did some rock climbing and some alpine ridges.
Last weekend and the first days of this week I had Mikkel and Petter for six days in Chamonix. We did’t have any special plans, just to climb some rock and some alpine routes. The weather was warm and windy the whole time and we spent most days with Aiguille du Midi as a starting point. We climbed rock on the south face of Eperon du Cosmique and on Arete Est on Pyramide du Tacul. Then we spent one night on the Torino hut and was planing to climb Dent du Geant the next day. But we had to turn back half way on the climb because of very strong wind. I think we could have continued to the top, but decided not to because of the risk of getting the rope stuck on the windy abseils. Then we spent one night at the Cosmique hut and climbed Chere couloir to the top of the Triangle and continued to the top of Mont Blanc the Tacul in beautiful weather. The two last days we had strong wind, rain and closed lifts so we ended up with one day og rescue training og rock and one on glacier.
In Romsdalen you become a “Mountian King” or “Mountain Queen” if you climb seven of the most spectacular and popular summits – Juratind 1712m, Vengetind 1852m, Kvanndalstind 1744m, Romsdalshorn 1552m, Store Trolltind 1788m, Dronninga 1544m and Kongen 1614m. Normally each of this mountains is a day-tour, but if your fast you can do two or three in a day. For many years I’ve been thinking about doing all seven in one long day. But I’ve never tried – there has always been some god or not-so-good reasons to postpone it. Last fall, when I mentioned the plan to Ola Hovdenak, a Norwegian ski mountaineer and friend, we both realised that we had been thinking about the same thing. So, we had a plan – this spring we would try to be the first to do all seven summits in less than 24 hours.
We wanted enough snow so we could use skies a lot, both up and down. The ideal would be a cold period after some warm weather. Then the climbing would be dry and the snow would be fast. This year there was not much snow in Romsdalen and super-warm weather melted a lot of it in early May. I started to get desperate and was afraid the whole project would melt away. We did not get that period of cold weather, but on the last weekend of May the forecast promised good, but really warm weather. To much snow had melted so we would need to carry the skies a lot and the snow was be soft and not so good for trail-breaking, specially up high and where we could not use skies. But we also knew that we wouldn’t get any better conditions this year so we decided to give it a try.
We started at night on May 26. It was quite cold and we had good conditions on Juratind, our firs mountain. Then we drove to Vengedalen and skinned up Vestgjelet and up to Store Vengetind. From Vestgjelet we skied the small couloir east and down on the glacier to Søre Vengetind. Then we climbed Vengetindstraversen to Søre Vengetind, then Kvanndalstind before we skied down the glacier to the base of Halls renne on Romsdalshorn. After Romsdalshorn we drove to Trollstigen and did Store Trolltind in really bad snow before we finished with Dronninga and Kongen. We toped out Kongen 20 hours and 2 min after we started. We had done a total of 6455 vertical meters and almost 60 kilometres.
We used Dynafit ski mountaineering race gear the whole day and only carried the gear we knew we would need, also on the climbing. We used car to get between the mountain-areas and had two bikes placed in Vengedalen the day befor so we did not have to run the 4k to get to the car again. Except of that we did not use any sort of aid – no stashed gear and no pre-made tracks (the last would have helped us a lot).
Looking at the numbers, 6455 vertical meters in 20 hours is not very impressive, but considering that we did quite a lot of scrambling and climbing and that we had hard trail breaking on the last half of the day, I was quite happy with the time. But it can fore sure be done a lot faster. I hope someone else tries it, other-ways I might have to try again.
Here is a short video shoving us topping out on the last summit. The snow here was representative for the conditions we had the last half of the day.
And here is some pictures, click on images to see larger version
Last week I was in Hurrungane in the western part of Jotunheimen to prepare and arrange Highcamp Turtagrø. Highcamp is the biggest ski touring festival in the world with more than 600 participants. Together with Breogfjell, I’m responsible for all the guided tours and courses. At most we had 18 guides working. Super busy week, but also fun. Conditions were not the best, warm weather and some rain, but we also had some good skiing.
Below is a short movie by Friflyt showing mountain guide Ken Pettersen guiding Store Smørstabtind.
The previous week was my last week of ski guiding in the Alps this winter/spring. I had one regular client, we had one week and the only plan we had was to go where the weather was good and try to climb some nice summits and ski good snow.
When we met in Chamonix monday morning we decided to go to Italy and Gran Paradiso. We went to Vittorio Emanuelle II hut the same day and climbed Gran Paradiso on Tuesday – the only 4000m peak that lies wholly within Italy. The weather was fantastic and the snow was as good as it gets on the upper 500 meters. The same afternoon, after a nice Italian lunch in Aosta, we drove to Lauk in Switzerland, jumped on the train and ended up un Grindelwald on the north side of Berner Oberland in the evening. The weather forecast promised at least two more days of warm, nice weather. Berner Oberland is busy in April and we still hadn’t managed to get any hut-reservations when we took the Jungfraubahn to Jungfraujoch on Wednesday morning. But calling the huts from the glacier after starting the skiing we finally got reservations on the huts we wanted. The same day we climbed Grosses and Hinter Fiescherhorn, both 4000m summits. An amazing day where we were above the clouds all day until we skied down, in no-visability, to the Finstraarhorn Hut. Next morning we climbed Finstraarhorn 4274m, skied back to the hut and then skinned up to Grünhornlücke and skied down to the Konkordiahut. Well, we had to climb 645 steps (Petter counted) to get to the hut. For friday the forecast was not ideal, but we decided to try Grosses Grünhorn, another of the Berner Oberland 4000meters. The weather tuned out to be quite good after all, but for various reasons we decided to turn around some hundred meters below the summit. We still had a long way to go over to Lötschenlück and down to Blatten, more than 16 km. Finally down it started raining and we started the journey back to Chamonix by bus, train and car. And when I counted, I realised I had summited 12 different 4000m peaks the last 12 days.
Saturday the weather was terrible so we decided not to go skiing, instead I ended up doing 1350 vertical meters of intervals on skimo race-gear with my Norwegians friends Ola and Ola who was visiting Chamonix. So no rest day. Sunday, Petter and me skied good snow in sunny weather in Grandes Montets – a nice way to finish of the season.
This week I’ve had two more days training on skimo race gear and a bit of bouldering. A hectic period is finally over. Except for one day when I was lying in bed with fever, I’ve been skiing every day for the last 49 days.
Now it’s time to pack and leave Chamonix for this time.
Last week I was guiding in the mountains around Zermatt and Saas Fee. At the end of the week we wanted to ascent Signalkuppe. We had three great days of acclimatization on Breithorn, Alphubel and Stralhorn, but with bad weather and a lot of fresh snow we ended up powder skiing in Zermatt instead of doing Signalkuppe.
I’ve been in Zermatt for some days now, guiding a bit and when not guiding I try to cover as much terrain anjd meters as I can. This weekend I had a group on the Monte Rosa hut. Good snow at the start and good weather at the end. We stayed two nights at the hut and did some skitouring from there.
When I finished sunday afternoon I quickly repacked my backpack, changed skies and took the lift to Kleine Matterhorn. From there I skied to Rifugio Guide Val d’Ayas on the Italian side where I spent the night. The next day I planed to do a complete traverse of Liskamm starting from Castor and ending at Signalkuppe. But I only had light skitouring gear, no climbing axes or proper crampons so I was not sure if the traverse of Liskamm would go. Liskamm is a big mountain and the ridge between the west and main summit is proper.
Conditions on Castor was super with nice tracks, but I soon realised that no one been on Liskamm for a long time. The trail breaking was hard work and I realised that the traverse would be a bit to much alone and with the gear I had. I turned around at the west summit at 4479m. It was still early so after climbing Castor again on the way back I decided to make a bit of training out of it. I then climbed both the twins and the the main summit of Breithorn. Five 4000meter summits and 2600vertical meters was not bad after all, specially since my main plan failed.
March 31. till April 5. I had a group for the Classic Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt. After some problems at the start with closed lifts, one meter of fresh snow and considerable avalanche danger we finally started our traverse of the western Alps on April 1. The day before was spent with avalanche rescue training and touring in Les Grands Montets.
When we finally started we did Col du Passon, Col du Superioeur du Tour and had amazing snow in Val d’Arpette down to Champex where we stayed one night. The next day we started from Bourg-Saint-Pierre and skinned up to Cabane de Valsoray in sunny weather. From Valsoray we had very good conditions on the climb up to Plateau du Couloir and good snow on north-facing aspects down the Durant glacier, we spent the night at Cabane du Chanrion. For the next to days the weather forecast was not the best. When starting from Chanrion it was clear sky, but windy. We planed to do the Serpentine glacier and over Pigne d’Arolla to Cabane des Vignettes instead of doing the boring and never-ending Otemma glacier. Soon it was cloudy and by the time we got to Passage de la Serpentine it was windy, snowing and no visibility. We did not summit Pigne and the skiing down to Vignettes was interesting in whiteout – like being inside a bottle of milk. Last day to Zermatt was another day in clouds and bad visibility, but not much wind. Some times we did see something, but we had more or less whiteout on all descents. We never saw Matterhorn and by the time we arrived in Zermatt it was raining.
The two last weeks I’ve been in Chamonix ski touring. Mostly with clients, but I’ve also had a few days on my own. The weather has been amazing, but it’s close to three weeks since the last snowfall so its hard to find good snow. Put thanks to the cold weather, its still to find good snow on northern aspects, also down low. Below is pictures from various tours in the Grand Sant Bernard, Les Contamines and on classic tours in Chamonix: Mont Buet, Col du Passon, Bréche Puiseux and more.
Tomorrow I start a 5 day ski touring program and it looks like the high pressure will continue for a few days more.
From february 9th until 16th it was the world championship in skialpinisme in Pelvoux-Vallouise in Les Ecrins, France. This was my first championship and my second and third competition in skialpinsme ever. Because of that, and the fact that I was sick and did not get much training in, my ambitions wasn’t very high. I started in the teams-race together with Lars Erik Skjervheim and the individual race. In the teams race we finished 19th. I’m a rookie compered with Lars Erik and he could easily made a much better time if he didn’t have to drag me around the whole course.On the individual, I finished 46., that means I was in the second half. Had some problems with my skins, but can’t blame other than myself.
This weekend I participated in the national championship in ski alpinism in Norway. I’ve came third and got the bronze medal! The race vas 3 laps of almost 500vertical meters, a total of 1460 meters. I finished at 1h22min, almost 4 minutes behind the gold medalist, Ola Hovdenak. Lars Erik Skjærvheim came second.
Now I will be a part of the national team that will participate in the world championship in Pelvoux, France in February.
December and Christmas was:
- Really cold in Norway.
- It was a lot of snow and good skiing in Chamonix.
- A lot of vertical meters on light ski-mountaineering gear.
- Miles and miles on cross-country skies.
Last weekend there was a training camp in Romsdalen for the fast-and-furious ski alpinists in Norway. Since I’m a big fan of moving light and fast I joined. Ex-world champion, Alexandre Pellicier from France was there as a mentor the whole weekend witch was really good. It was fun and I learned a lot. And I got tiered! Really tiered.
It’s hasn’t been much alpine climbing this fall, partly because of conditions and bad timing, but also because I’ve had so much other things that’s been motivating me. Training in general, cross-contry skiing, running, ski touring and other things. But the weather forecast was good and conditions seemed to be good on the west-coast. I decided it was time to get out again. I teamed up with Steinar Grynning and we planed to do the full Skarfjell-Trolla traverse in Innerdalen. This is a super long alpine traverse that starts with the 10 pitch Sør-Øst hjørnet on Skarfjellet.
Conditions was amazing on Sør-Øst hjørnet, but as soon as we got higher the snow just got worse and worse. At one point it just stopped being fun and we bailed.
Short story – but below you can see some pictures.
In late October we had one BIG snow dump on the west-coast followed by nice weather. Below is some pictures from 3 amazing days of October skiing. After that it’s been variable temperatures and weather so the skiing was not great for long, but we had som nice days in between.
Since start of September I’ve been in Chamonix, mostly working. The weather has been good except of the days when I’ve not been working.
I had two regular clients, Erik and Richart, for 8 days in start of September. We did various things, but the most memorable was guiding Frendo Spur in the north face of Aiguille du Midi with Erik. Frendo is a bit bigger objective than what I usually guide, but with a regular client that I knew well, it did not fell that big. We had good conditions and used 8h30 from Refuge Plan du Aiguille to the top, 7h on the route. The other days was varied with rock climbing in the sun in Aiguilles Rouges, a day on Aiguille du Moine and two days on the Tacul Triangle.
Except of the guiding I’ve not done much in the mountains, theres been some rock climbing (and ice cream eating) in Italy and trail running in Chamonix. Now I’ll have a week in Norway before I go down to France again to spend most of October there.
The last week I’ve been in Hurrungane working as one of the instructors on a course for NORTIND (the norwegian guide association). This was a snow/ice/alpine climbing course and is the last of the summer-courses before they become aspirant guides. We stayed at the hut of the Norwegian alpine club (NTK) in Skagadalen the whole week. Skagadalen and Hurrungane is a great location for a course like this. Normally the weather is not the best on this time of the year and as usual we got a bit of fresh snow during the week which made conditions really good(?!). We had a few days on glaciers where we trained on various technics for guiding and on different rescue scenarios. We also did some climbing – Slingsbybreen to Store Skagastølstind, Procter-Ullen on Dyrhaugstind, The north-east flank on Midtre Dyrhaugstind and a few different routes on the north side of Styggedalstind. All of them routes that involves snow, ice and this week, snow-covered rock. Perfect!