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SKARFJELL-TROLLA TRAVERSE – A TRY

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.

 

 


GREAT START FOR SKI TOURING SEASON IN ROMSDALEN – NORWAY

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.

 


GUIDING FRENDO SPUR AND OTHER THINGS IN CHAMONIX

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.

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NORTIND CLIMBING AND GLACIER COURSE

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!

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CLIMBING COURSE AND GUIDING IN HURRUNGANE

 

A few pictures from the last two weeks of work. Two weeks with climbing course with the Norwegian military academy in Hemsedal and guiding in Hurrungane in the weekends.

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GUIDING MATTERHORN

The day after summiting Matterhorn with Karine I started a new 5-day Matterhorn program with Ståle. The first day we climbing on the south face of Riffelhorn before we walked over to Hotel Flualp at 2620m. The next morning we hoped to climb Rimpfischhorn (4199m). We started in rain at night and the weather did not look to promising, but it was not to bad either. We summited in some wind, but on the descent it started snowing and the wind increased. It continued to snow/rain for the rest of the day and night. On day 3 we planed to do the full Breithorn traverse, but after all the snowfall the previous day we ended up doing only the half-traverse. On day 4 we walked up to the Hörnli hut, the weather was good and the hut was full. The next day it was a really busy day on Matterhorn. Conditions was good, but we had to wear crampons from approximately 3850m. We summited quite early and did not meet the worst queue before we were on the fixed ropes on the descent. Below are some pictures from the whole week.

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GUIDING IN CHAMONIX AND MATTERHORN

The last weeks I’ve been in the Alps guiding. From July 21.-26. I was guiding Karine on a Matterhorn program. First we had 4 beautiful days i Chamonix doing Aiguille du Moine, the Midi-Plan Traverse and the Cosmique Ridge. Then we traveled to Switzerland and Zermatt. There we walked up to the Hörnli Hut and on July 26. we climbed Matterhorn. It was a good day on Matterhorn, weather was perfect, conditions were quite good and it was not to much people. Below are some pictures from the whole week.

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MOUNTAIN GUIDING IN ROMSDALEN AND HURRUNGANE

The last weeks I’ve been busy guiding. I mostly been home in Romsdalen, but I also had a few days in Hurrungane. Weather has not been the best, low temperatures and a lot of clouds, but most of the time it’s been ok for guiding. Below is some pictures, most of them from Romsdalshorn where I’ve been a lot the last weeks.

 

 


NORTIND CLIMBING COURSE

Last week I was one of the instructor on a climbing course for NORTIND – the Norwegian IFMGA guide scheme.  We had a varied week with some rescue training a lot of theory around personality and leadership, but mostly we were climbing. We did routes on Bispen, Vengetind, Romsdalshorn and Klaua and we also did some sport climbing and bouldering.

Below is some pictures.

 


GUIDING – ROMSDALSHORN, DRØMMEDIEDERET, KVANNDALSTIND AND MORE

Summer season has started and last week I was guiding in Romsdalen. After a cold spring and june there is still a lot of snow in the mountains. Above 1100meters the snow has not consolidated yet. After a cold night there is typically a layer of break-trough crust above loose, wet snow, this makes trail breaking really hard. Hopefully there will be warmer weather soon.

Monday and Tuesday I guided Chris from UK on Romsdalshorn and Bispen. Friday – Sunday I guided Richart and Erik on Drømmediederet on Vengetind, Kvanndalstind and Bispen. Weather was varying all week, we did not have much rain, but all the clouds made a few special moments that I tried to capture. Se pictures below:

 


NORTIND GLACIER COURSE

On May 3rd til 10th I was in Jostedalen in Sogn working with the guide-training for NORTIND (Norske Tindevegledere). NORTIND is the Norwegian mountain guide association and we educate guides to become IFMGA/UIAGM/IVBV certified guide. This was a glacier course for the group who started in 2011. Andreas Haslestad, Jostein AAsen and I was the instructors.
Learn more about NORTIND here.

Below is pictures from a week on the glacier. After all, glacier is not so bad when the weather is good.

Highcamp Turtagrø, guiding the Norwegian Crown Prince and powder in Romsdalen

First week of May is normally the busiest week of the year for me, and this year was no exception. Together with the rest of Breogfjell, I organize all the guided tours and courses on Friflyt’s Highcamp at Turtagrø. That means 21 guides and around 150 clients in the mountains for three days.
I traveled to Turtagrø on monday 30. to find out about snow and glacier conditions on most of the mountains we planed to use during the camp. I did a lot of nice tours on my own the first days, going with light gear and visiting many peaks every day. The weather was much better than the skiing…
The camp was as usual super busy, more than 500 people in total. This year the Norwegian Crown Prince visited the camp. He has always been a dedicated telemarker, but this was his first time skiing in Hurrungane. I had the privilege to guide him for two days, witch was a fun experience. Saturday we had really nice weather in the morning and the snow was good. Saturday the weather was not so good, but we found some good snow.

Now I’m finally back in Romsdalen after a long winter with a lot of traveling. I don’t have much plans for May except to ski and climb as much as possible. The start has been good, skiing powder in the morning and climbing in the afternoon. Thursday 10. was a perfect day, cold in the morning and sunny. It was the fourth day with nice weather and still no tracks on the north-ridge of Vengetind. I did not expect to find good snow, but wanted to ski Vengetind anyway. The snow on the upper ridge was much better than expected and on the top I was super psyched about the descent. But I soon realized that one of the bindings was broken. FU$#!!! I had borrowed a pair of demoski (brand is unknown…) and had not bother to check if it was working as it should. So I had to walk most of the way down again, not fun!

Espen Kristiansen from Friflyt/Field Productions made a small video from one of the days I skied with Crown Prince Haakon. Here it is:

Here’s a article and some pictures from Friflyt.no

And belowe is some pictures from Highcamp and skiing in Romsdalen last week


Aiguille du Midi skiing – Cunningham (Passerelle) Couloir

Since Easter I’we been working two weekends, both off-pist skiing and ski touring. I had hoped to do some alpine climbing on my days off, but weather has not been the best for climbing. It’s been cold and snowing almost every day so the skiing been really good. At least when the lifts been open. I’ve had a few good days in Les Grands Montets, but the best one’s been on Aiguille du Midi, either skiing something on the Enveres side or on the west side.

A few months ago I bought a helmet camera, but I have not used until now. On monday I finally tried it when skiing the Cunningham Couloir (Passerelle) on Midi with Jonno. It’s the couloir that’s under the bridge on Midi. I’ve wanted to ski it for a long time and it was fun to finally do it, and to do it in good conditions. Often you can start skiing from higher than we did, but now it’s not that much snow high in the couloir and we saw no point in trying to ski on ice and rock. The Cunningham appears to be very steep when seen from the bridge, but its not that bad. And for Chamonix standards, its quite mellow. But never the less, fun skiing and abseiling off the bridge always feels a bit scary. The snow in the couloir was really good, but the Rond had been skied a lot the day before so the snow in the exit couloir was not the best. Because of the cold weather we could enjoy powder skiing all the way down to the old mid-station.
I’ve tried my best to make a small video from the experience….

Now I’ve had enough of lift queues and closed lifts in Chamonix and look forward to getting home to Norway again for spring ski-touring and rock climbing there. I go directly to Turtagrø in Jotunheimen to organize all the guided tours on High Camp so I guess it’s still a week and a half until I can ski without to much people around.

Á bientôt!

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GUIDING IN CHAMONIX AND 4000METER WEEK IN ZERMATT/SAAS FEE

On the weekend March 30. to April 1., I guided ski touring around Chamonix with Ellen, Morten and Christopher. We had amazing weather, the snow was not the best, but we found some nice slush every day. The first day we skied from Aiguille du Midi and over to the Italian border and down the Glacier de Toule to Helbronner mid station for lunch there. In the afternoon we skied back down Glacier du Geant and down to Montenvers. Day 2 we went to the Argentier basin and skied to Col d’ Argentier. On sunday we went to the Aiguille Rouges and Col du Belvedere.

The same afternoon I finished work in Chamonix I drove to Zermatt for 6 days of 4000 meter peak bagging between Zermatt and Saas Fee with Ola and Petter. They had already been acclimatizing for a few days so the first day we could climb Breithorn (4164m) and Pollux (4092m) before we skied down the Swarztor gletscher. Day two we took an early train to Saas Fee and climbed Allalinhorn (4027m) before we skied to the Britannia hut. In that afternoon the weather changed, after 2 weeks with perfect blu sky it finally started snowing. Day 3 the weather was not the best i and we were the only one leaving the hut after a early breakfast. But after a few hours we were above the clouds and on top of Stralhorn (4190m). We continued down Adlerpass to Findelgletscher, and in bad weather, we skinned up to Stockhornpass and traversed to my favorite hut, the New Monte Rosa Hut. Day 4 it had been snowing all night and it was still snowing in the morning. We had planed some kind of rest day and after a late start we skinned a few hundred meters up the Monte Rosa Gletscher towards Dufourspitze as the weather cleared. The skiing back down to the hut was amazing, 50cm of perfect snow. To bad my skies was only 80mm under foot. Day 5 the plan was to climb Dufourspitze (4634m) and Nordend (4609m), the two highest mountains in Switzerland. The weather was perfect and I had one of my most beautiful mornings in the mountains. But we had to turn around at 4250m, with all the fresh snow on top of hard crust, we could not justify to continue. So we enjoyed the same snow on the way down to the hut and continued down to Zermatt for lunch. The last day the weather forecast was not so good, but in the morning it was ok and we hoped to climb Castor(4223m) before it started snowing. Timing was perfect, we summited and it started snowing when we were  down on the lower Gornergletscher after skiing the Swarztor once again.

So, finally, after 20 days of ski touring boots I could have some days of.
The last two days I haven’t done much except resting and trying to catch up on my computer work. This morning I went up in the Aiguille Rouges and skied the Glacier du Mort. Since it’s north facing I had hoped to find good snow, but I was wrong, there had been to much wind.

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HAUTE ROUTE AND ZERMATT GUIDING

Since last blog update I’ve been busy. On March 17. I started in what has become the worlds biggest cross-country ski race – Birkebeineren. It was 11 years since my last ski race so I did not have to high goals, except to beat most of my old training buddies from Gran. The race is 54km, my skies was not the best for the first half, but they got better for the last half. I finished as 141 of around 16.000, not to bad for a mountain guide. But most important, I was faster than my friends from Gran :)
On the 18. I traveled to Chamonix to start guiding in the Alps the day after. Of course, one of my bags was delayed. All my ski gear was missing and I had a stressful day and night to get ready for Haute Route. Never book your flights through Copenhagen with less than one and a half hour for transit. It seams like thats the minimum it takes for the Copenhagen airport to move bags from one plane to another. I’ve had my bags delayed there once before and have had many clients who did not get they’re bags either.

Haute Route was fun, great clients and both weather and skiing was good. The first day we had heavy snowfall, but after that, mostly blue sky, no wind and warm for being March. We did the Verbier route, conditions in general is better than at the same time last year. But if this warm temperatures continues, the snow in south and west facing aspects will not last much longer.
After Haute Route I had one rest day in Zermatt before I started guiding again. The weather was still good and I wanted to get to know the area between Saas Fee and Zermatt better. I’m having a 6-days program there in easter. So, early in the morning I got on the first train to Saas Fee. First I climbed Allalinhorn, a 4000meter peak that is easy accessible from the ski lift. After that I climbed the ridge over to Feechopf and down to Alphubeljoch. Then I skied down to the Mellich-gletscher and up to Allalinpass, down to Allalin-gletscher and up to Adlerpass and down to Zermatt. A perfect day, but not exactly a rest day.

The next day I started a 3-days guiding around Zermatt. We had various planes, but because of some sickness we ended up doing something completely different from everything we had planed.
The first day we skied to the Monte Rosa hut, this was my first time at the new hut and it was almost better than I’ve been told. Day two, we climbed towards Dufourspitze, but had no plans about summiting. We turned around just above 4000meters and skied down to the hut. On north facing aspects we could still find good snow. The last day we skied down to Furi and took the lift to Kl Matterhorn. From there we climbed Breithorn and skied down the Swartztor gletscher – Zermatt’s Valle Blanch – before traveled back to Chamonix.

Today is a big organizing day before I start guiding again the next 9 days. I needed to get an look at conditions here so in the morning I went for a quick ski in the Aiguilles Rouges.

Below is a few pictures from the last 11 days.
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Alpine ski touring course in Romsdalen

Last week I had a 5 days alpine ski touring course in Romsdalen. The weather as not the best even though we had a few days of sun-shine, but rain and a lot of wind most days. Obviously, the snow was not the best either, everything from super hard crust to slush. Well, not everything between, we did not have any powder.
But it was 5 fun days in the mountains with Hilde, Pernille, Mikkel and Petter.

Below is a few pictures

 


Winter course with Norwegian Army

February 22. – March 2. I did my annual winter work for the Norwegian Army in Setesdalsheiene close to Hovden. This is a course for the Military Academy and it has non-military approach, I’ve never been in the army my self so that’s good. The main focus is avalanche hazard management and how to deal with Norwegian winter in general. The weather and conditions was changing and we had everything from “full-on conditions” to t-skirt weather.

Below is a few pictures.
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ICE CLIMBING COURSE

Back in Norway for a few weeks. Last week I was one of the teachers for the candidates on the Norwegian IFMGA guide training program. It was a ice climbing course held in my home area – Romsdalen. I’m very happy to be a part of the guide training and as always, this courses are very inspiring and fun work. And I think it’s a great that I can give something back to the Norwegian guide association – NORTIND. The only thing that’s a bit boring aboute this courses is that I don’t do any leading, just seconding.
But this was not the best days for a climbing course, during the course we had more than one meter of fresh snow. Because of all the snow and high avalanche risk we could not do any of the longer routes we had planed. And to be honest, we could barely get on anything at all.
The last day of the course we used a lift block to pull various V-anchors and ice screws in a lot of different ice. To pull ice gear is always very interesting and and you learn a lot, or maybe you don’t? At least its very difficult to generalize from it. Normally anchors in good ice is very strong and the rest is….sometimes strong, and sometimes not. But it’s fun to place a ice screw, feel how the ice is when drilling it into the ice and then make a guess aboute how strong it is.

Below is a few pictures and a short video from pulling an ice screw.

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CLIMBING COURSE AND SKI GUIDING IN CHAMONIX

The last two weeks I’ve mostly been working. While it was snowing a lot, I had a climbing course over 4 days with polish Pawel. Weather and conditions was not the best for climbing, but the last two days we had ok weather and did some climbs close to Petit Verte.
After that I’ve been guiding skiing in Les Grands Montets and on Vallee Blanche. It’s been as cold as -20C in town, so it’s been really cold in the mountains.
I’ve also had some good days skiing owith friends. It’s more than a week since last snowfall and it’s been windy up high, but it’s still possible to find some good snow.

Below is some pictures.
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GUIDING SKI IN CHAMONIX

Recently I bought a small apartment  in Chamonix. I still plan to have Romsdalen and Norway as my home, but the apartment makes it a lot easier for me to work and spend time in the alpine capital. So I hope to spend more time her both in summer and winter.

So the last weeks I’ve been in Chamonix, mostly guiding ski. I had planed to do some climbing on my days off, but both weather and conditions has been best for skiing. It’s actually been really good for skiing.
I’ve not taken many pictures, but below you can se a few. Most are from working with the Norwegian students at Active Education.

 


MORE SKIING

Here’s a few pictures from skiing in Romsdalen and Sogndal before and after Christmas. Most of December was spent in Romsdalen, some alpine skitouring and some cross country skiing. Then I was in Sogndal the first week after new year. I’s been snowing a lot on the west coast and the skiing has been amazing the last week. Unfortunately I haven’t taken many pictures, but here’s a few.

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FINALLY SNOW AND SKI IN ROMSDALEN

After a very warm and dry November be finally had a big snowfall on the west coast of Norway. In Romsdalen we got almost one meter of snow in the mountains last weekend. Unfortunately it came with a lot of wind, but it’s still possible to find very good snow in south and east facing bowls. Here’s a few pictures from skiing on Skarven in Skorgedalen.

 

 

 

 


PLAN CHANGED!

For various reasons I haven’t updated this blog for a long time. I wish I could say it’s because I’ve been busy climbing, because that was the plan. But the truth is that I haven’t done any climbing at all the last two months. Things does’t always go as planed even if everything is perfectly planed. And there was a perfect plan. At least what I consider a perfect plan. I was almost finished working for the summer and was looking forward to three and a half months of climbing and later some skiing. Norway, England, Alps, Patagonia and then Norway again. But the plan changed!
In early September I started to feel pain in my left knee. To make a long story short, I’ve got a runners knee. Nothing serious, but as long as I can’t run or walk long downhill descents it very serious for me. And then, being in Chamonix some weeks later, planing to climb some cool alpine routes, we changed the plan and went to Arco for rock climbing instead. And there, on the first route the very first day it said SNAP in my left middle finger. It hurt a lot and the finger got swollen immediately. Fu$&!! And the worst thing, it was on a really easy route, I had been warming up on much harder routes home in Norway the weeks before. But that didn’t help, I still got a pulley rupture.
Back in Norway some days later the knee was still hurting and I decided not to go to Patagonia. Feeling really bad, mostly because I left Trym without a partner, but also because I really had been looking forward to climb with Trym again and to do it in the coolest mountains on this planet.
So what have I been doing? Not much. Going to a physiotherapist every week. Easy training for my knee and surrounding muscles. And stretching. A lot of stretching. And I’ve worked really hard to be something that I’m not – patient. And it helps – slowly I’m getting better.

Below is a few pictures from Lofoten and in Peak District in September. I was in Lofoten for 10 days, being one of the instructors for the rock-climbing course in the Norwegian guide training program (NORTIND). Working on this courses is really fun and interesting work. After Lofoten I traveled directly to Peak District in England for a few days to visit my sponsor RAB and to climb on Gritstone.

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MATTERHORN VIDEO

Here’s a short movie from me guiding the Hörnli ridge on Matterhorn Aug. 24. with Erik Stordal.