Friday, December 01, 2006

Advent Calendar....

every day til christmas a new picture is revealed....
but my holidays begin on the 16th - hence only 15 doors ;~)

1st - candles
2nd - oranges
3rd - chocolates
4th - glass star
5th - father christmas
6th - peperkake
7th - red concentric rings
8th - tinsle
9th - glass snowman
10th - friendly ghost
11th - angel
12th - yummie chocies and bikkies
13th - radiant red flower
14th - pair of candles
15th - white glass star

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Ancient, Artistic & Culinary Rogaland

a fabulous weekend of food and site seeing began with a quick wonder round the city centre (still under considerable preparation for european city of culture 2008) while it was dry, before heading for dinner at craigs or craigs which set us up well for an early start saturday morning. The first stop was at the little known fluberget, a magnificent set of 170 figures carved and painted on the cliff on the edge of Harfrsfjord just outside the city centre - "found" in 1879 but dating from the bronze age it consists of a mixture impressions of boats and people and a pair of musical instruments were even found here - "lures", as it turns out theres heaps of these sites all over rogland, the best finds of which can be seen at the stavanger archeological museum including the lures and wonderfully discussed in the "from runes to rigs" book (ISBN: 8299365236). We quickly stopped off at the very tall 3 swords on the eastern edge of Hafrsfjord where norway was united from chiefdoms to a kingdom all those years ago...across to sandnes for coffee via the stavanger glass blowers where several snowmen were purchaised

although the weather was still rather wet in full gortex we worked up our apetite for afternoon lefse with a walk round njåskogen (a very good place for mushrooms apparently!) before heading down to Hå gamle prestegård - the old vicarige on the coast, some rather special ceramic exhibits with strong inspiration drawn from the old viking burial spots aswell photographic and painting exhibitions.

by this time it was definitely time for a snooze before a party dinner at bolgen and moi in the prestigeous oil museum, mosre stunning food as well as a very designer table layout!

sunday morning we jumped onto the ferry across to tau to påay a visit to the beautiful glass cellar where a few angels joined the car full on the way to solbakk - a further bronze age rock carving site, which also offers some good bird spotting opportunity - the ubiquitous coffee was had at the lysefjordsenter where unfortunately the exhibition is no longer open

quite a cultural and culinary experience dispite a jolly good helping of wet's a couple more links to whet the appetite for more
stavanger museums main page
the intriguing broken column of antony gormley with a comprehensive set of photos

Saturday, November 11, 2006

salmon, hail, water and reball

reportedly one of the finest salmon fishing rivers around, but today we chose river paddling, in the hail and rain, on Bjerkreimselva, I spent most of the time upside down - it only being my 2nd time in a play boat, so was extremely glad to have a wet suit, hillarious, but relieved to dig into sarnies and T while a stray boat had to be recovered from further down stream, dragging a boat across a field is very much like pulking!! the day was topped off with some "reball", paintball without the exploding balls, so as you can imagine it was bruises all round!
and heres where you can find out how high the rivers are running with historical comparisons for "our" river also available

Sunday, November 05, 2006

high waves

planned as a club day out the official trip was cancelled due to "uvær" or storm, for some reason we decided to carry on out - definitely the biggest waves I've paddled, had the boys concentrating hard for at times all you could see was the sky or the bottom of the next wave....and so only pics whilst it was relatively calm - slightly curtailed trip therefore but we managed round hundevåg from bjerksted & ut i naturen - Rune found us a great spot on langøy for lunch, a wooden teepee fully equiped with bbq kit, tables and benches

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Usken runde

a quick padle round the island Usken, fabulous autumn colours, but much need for gortex although the water was really quite warm and flat - luckily there was a superb refuge spot for taking lunch - the "water bus stop", much tea and sandwiches and pastries before setting off once more seeing seals and plenty eider ducks and cormorants, around kalvøy, hellesøy and lindøy too (where it is rumoured they leave you if you've misbehaved), perhaps about 20k today

Sunday, October 15, 2006

paddling round the monastry

turned out to be another most incredible tour with the local kajak club round Mosterøy, past the Fjøløy Fyr (Lighthouse) (although you'll get a much better resolution from "norge i bilder" - water was so unbelievably flat, the eider pairs were back in the area with their young, aswell as many skarv/cormorants, rather an extended lunch break including a snooze in the sun and some extremely well planned "packed" lunches - the things you can pack into a sea kajak!! we saw a flock of 15 hegrer/herons fishing around the monastry, utstein kloster where we pulled in for afternoon tea, here's what the monastry may have looked like in its hay day during the time of the augustine monks around 12-1300ad, a bit more paddling and base camp was set up - a couple of 100m high local tops taken in just to top off the full body training and to watch the sun melt into the sea - a very warming bonefire was constructed from drift wood and more cooking before we caught a glimse of several shooting stars in the crystal clear sky and would you believe it the northern lights aswell - a fleeting dark distant shimmering to the north over the sea but unmistakable before colapsing into the tent - the following morning dawned equally calm and flat, quite unbelievable so an easy drift home via the memorable "oystercliff formation" and the harbour porpoise that played between the boats for a few minutes before continuing down the fjord - all that within 1/2hr of the flat and for a 300kr annual membership - bargin

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

yet more nordland

a chance to have another outdoor session so late in the season - had to be a slightly early dash out the office but a few routes in the fading light was a thoroughly rewarding evening - topped by a warm glow from the sunset, amazing the warmth of the rock

Sunday, September 03, 2006

lysefjord paddling

Packing a kayak with all those luxuries that you just don’t take when hill walking, now there’s a fun challenge, where to put the espresso machine and the pancake mix, the wine and the essential “winter warmer” – that’s where we found ourselves just before 6pm Friday night 1st September on the shores of the sheltered bay at Lauvik all rather excited about the prospect of paddling the length of one of the most spectacular fjords in southern Norway – Lysefjord.
Eventually pushing off after much faff we drifted under the bridge and out into the choppy fjord where Trude gave us clear instructions how to avoid the ferries, a few breakers over the front of the boats we settled into each of our paddling strides but soon realized some of the boats were “mis-behaving” a little requiring a toe and some adjustment of the rudder lines. We sat for a moment or two to watch the ferry dock, load and set off again with a full compliment and sprinted across behind it experiencing its full wave! By this time a break was certainly in order for a leg stretch and at least a munch bar at 7pm while the necessary adjustments were made. As dusk approached we experienced the mouth of the fjord at a most beautiful time, paddling under the bridge to Farsand from Oanes the sky went pink and the water was like glass – this is why we are here – past a few islands, lots of pleasant conversation along the way, spotting some wildlife and generally being in awe of the surroundings, knowing it could only get steeper and even more breath taking – we were going to be in for a treat.
We only became aware of where we had pitched camp with the dawning of saturday morning, with the rain having set in as we pulled up on friday night; a fabulous secluded grassy camp spot amongst the trees, and with fresh water, picnic tables and a real loo – bonus. So, of course, burners fired up porridge and coffee was order of the day (along with miggie swatting as there was no wind atall, great for paddling and mountainous reflections tho!) A relatively leisurely start, having to remember how to get all the kit back into the boats, we were paddling towards the great Prekestolen overhang, not before pulling in at a rather spectacular gorge on the northern side of the fjord and some picture posing of course! It was just then that the rain started, and spectacular it became – lashing down in stair rods would be a good way of describing it – even the goats were sheltering under the rocks (as we were educated why they cant swim!!) Taking their lead we also resorted to hugging the rocks to get some respite from the onslaught. Although only being able to get a fleeting glimpse of Prekestolen the atmospheric setting looking down the fjord was quite breath taking and yet more pictures were captured as some of us became even more delayed!
A period of more concentrated paddling saw us to lunch on the dry rocks mid way down the fjord, a very suitable spot for surveying the mornings progress and also taking in the way ahead, and what a view that was – the fjord narrowing and disappearing down towards Kjerag and Lysebotn, time though to try and make a dent in the enormous food bag that was my excuse for lagging behind, nevermind the avid photo taking! At this point I have to mention the array of stoves and burners that were brought along and the quality of the food just miraculously prepared on the shores of a 40km seawater fjord, from WWI looking equipment to ultra modern, fresh pancakes and marinated sweet peppers to go nuts and chocolate bars not to mention more espresso, rocket fuel for havpadling!
A beautiful afternoon tour in quite waters, waterfalls thundering down either side, berry laiden trees giving red colour to the dense green and to top it all off there were even a couple of seals popping their heads up above the surface every now and then, an excellent round off to about 20km of paddling as we drifted into a grassy bay with an abandoned house, a throw back to past farming days when small holdings were a little more profitable and sustainable way of life, a sweet spot for spending the night all the same – and even a rocky promontory for a fire place and tucking into a few “glasses” of fine red. The tents spread about the patch and suitably satisfied after a range of delightful tastes, we settled into much conversation and discussion about the relative merits of the latest paddling technology, advantages of so much luggage space whilst paddling compared to walking adventures, but perhaps more importantly whether the impending storm that appeared to be brewing at the mouth of the fjord would migrate all the way to our humble spot. Luckily the thunder and lightning were just a floor show and slowly migrated north leaving us in peace to enjoy the final embers of the fire before turning in with a warm glow and to varying degrees weary arms!
The relative scarcity of pull in spots was emphasized on Sunday, paddling underneath Kjerag, 1000m straight up, some base jump but no such entertainment for us today, keen eyes just being able to pick out the bolt. The water a little more choppy than Saturday kept us to pottering down towards the hydropower station and tunnels at Lysebotn, only a short paddle before lunch, although we had to ensure we were there before the ferry which was to be our ride back up the fjord – less than 2 hours at full speed for something that had taken us 2 days, but what a way to get to know the fjord – having paddled the length of the fjord we deserved (another) big lunch whilst dreaming where the next tour would take us!
Friday - 11km; Saturday - 24km; Sunday - 8km

Saturday, August 12, 2006


The view from the tent first thing in the morning, camping under the Hardangerjøkule just beyond the wonderful and very historic Finse 1222 "hotel"

Friday, August 11, 2006


Ustaoset - Haugastøl - Finse - Myrdal - Flåm - Myrdal - Uppsete - Voss
link to a description of the route itself and handy map showing route and to top it off check out whats is actually like just now with this
webcam here's somewhere you can rent bikes from /stay if you're not camping finse 1222. These are the folk who make the wonderfully helpful guides to cycling in norway - bike-norway

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Gladmat - happy food!

so much beautiful food in such fabulous weather - gladmat really was a celebration of happy food - a full menu to follow shortly

Friday, July 28, 2006


a trip well worth taking from Lysebotn back to Stavanger - or perhaps even better do it in the other direction, we took the M/S Fjordlys Hurtigbåt which took a stunning 1.30mins and only 6 cars but during the summer months you can also take the larger and more relaxed Lysefjord sightseeing boat that takes about 4hours and 100cars, you see cherry trees in Lysebotn along with the energy station, hydro-wheel sculpture and workers commemoration statue, Kjerag and the Prekestolen from below and many more mouth watering views

Thursday, July 27, 2006


the world famous bolt stuck between 2 cliff sides - very "airy" stance!! a very enjoyable 4-6 hour walk overlooking the dramatic Lysefjord - all marked by the very handy red "T" system

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

a miniture world

in the mossy bogs above the sirdal ski resort of fidjeland sundews have been spotted - much excitment and macro photography followed!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


jernaldergarden - a glimse of life some 1500 years ago at this beautifully preserved iron age farm right in the middle of stavanger - stunning history and fabulous views over the rest of Jæren lets the mind dream about what it must have been like all that time ago, just can't believe it took such a long time for me to get round to visit!!

Monday, July 24, 2006

blue dusk

stavanger by night - such warm summer evenings - sitting on the balcony admiring the views watching the sun go down - twilight at this time lasts such a long time and the little lights twinkle in the blue dusk as the occassional car zips by on the road below

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

liquid gold

A beautiful evenings paddling, with dinner on store marøy, before paddling round the nature reserve on lite marøy (herrons and seals and oyster catchers everywhere!!) and the most wonderful sunset whilst returning from the pebbly beach at Uskjo, like liquid gold on the lapping water, quite something, the new kystatlas proved its worth, finding us a couple of nice docking spots

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Lysefjord runde

the stunning summer weather continues, a fabulous mountain hike from prestolen to bratteli on lysefjord over high rugged mountain, through the smell of hot pine forests, past babbling streams and warm lakes, finished off by a brisk cruise along the lysefjord under pulpit rock - looks very precarious from underneath...!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Hafrsfjord wind surfing

a stunning saturday spent with the sola windsurf club heading up and down and round a couple of island on hafrsfjord, plus a little too much sun bathing after in the brilliant heat, but strawberries and moreller were well worth it, topped off by a BBQ with a rather spectacular view

Sunday, July 02, 2006

lushious fruit season

Norske korona jordbær in full swing - stunning in pancakes with chocolate chip icecream for breakfast!! yum yum ;~)

Saturday, July 01, 2006


this years world cup beach volley in stavanger saw the town centre swell enormously with hundreds of folk enjoying it in the raging heat, even the QEII paid us a visit!!

Monday, June 26, 2006

dark side of the moon

with pyrotechnics and lots of noise roger waters enthrawled us with his "dark side of the moon" concert at the packed viking football stadium under fabulous blue skies, there was of course lots of singing to all the favorites: «In the flesh» «Mother» «The Wall» «Set the controls for the heart of the sun» «Shine on you crazy diamond» «Have a cigar» «Wish you were here» «Southampton dock» «Fletcher memorial» «Perfect sense» «Leaving Beirut» «Sheep» «Speak to me/Breathe» «On the run» «Time» «Money» «Us and them» «Any colour» «Brain damage/Eclipse» «Happiest days/Another brick in the wall» «Vera/Bring the boys back home» and to end it all the brilliant «Comfortably numb»

Sunday, June 25, 2006

warm water

the ski rack had to come off today to make way for the kayak rack and it was off to Ims for a tour along the fjord coast, in amongst the kelp and winkles, lovely water temperature and even moments for sunbathing on quiet inlets with coffee and sandwiches! more opportunity for the underater housing

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Ølberg kyst tur

a great way to spend the day, beach combing along the Jæren coast, even saw a red squirrel, amazing how much smaller they are than the greys

Friday, June 23, 2006

St Hans

traditional midsummers bonfire, to try and keep the sun up high in the sky for even longer, fires burnt all over norway, but something tells me that the days might start to get shorter from here on in (having just had the longest day on record!) we did get treated to some excellent marsh mallows ;-)

Monday, June 12, 2006

stunning rhodies with the new camera

and the new camera and lens had their first outing this evening in the raging summer heat - 21 degrees - totally awesome how sharp it is, no better place to test it than in the arboretum just down the road

Saturday, June 10, 2006


saturday afteroon in the seafog but great waves for some suited up beginers and the first outing of the underwater housing

Friday, June 09, 2006

light evenings

a quick tour round the lake and then off to the next lake before arriving at the beach for an icecream and a bit of sunbathing - and the first pic with the new mobile would you believe

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

spring colours

everything has become so green and lushous since being in greenland - amazing contrast - really nice spring smells and colours - all the flowers in bloom and the buds sprouting as quick as possible, but the little flies get in your eyes when going round the lake!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Greenland Photos

Hope that if you click the link you'll be able to see nearly all my greenland photos on my canon website - post match report to follow

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Ittoqqortoormiit / Scoresbysund time & weather!

quote: "you wont need any head torches as you'll be able to read in your tent at midnight" ;~))

Kindly enough the Danish Meteorological Institute provide a weather forecast for Ittoqq

alternatively the wunderground site (although a little busy for my liking) has a long term forecast and some cool stuff on sunset/ sunrise times (usefully there will be a full moon 13th May!!)

and this lovely little site gives a really nice insight with a wonderful navigatable map of the area and interactive descriptions

Click for Illoqqortoormiut, Greenland Forecast

Greenland - Roscoe Berge

if you can copy and paste the link below into your address bar you'll be able to zoom in etc without any additional software - at least using windows xp with internet explorer!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Not quite the london marathon but 500 set out in the sun shine saturday afternoon and after my 4.5k warm up the start was very quick which set the scene for the rest of the race round Stokkavatn - free bananas and juice to finish the 8.2k tour and then a quick jog home again - next year tactics will be much better worked out ;~)
chose the pic as I just didnt have enough "air intakes!"

Monday, April 17, 2006

Jotunheimen Blog 9:Day 10:

And so to the last and final day-to make it all the way back to Stavanger & London via Fondsbu,the Beltebil,the bus,the train & the plane! a specially large niste pack to last us-packs on,we said goodbye to the lovely Gjendebu hut & fiddled with violet special & blue extra in an effort to get some grip....hhhhhmmm....a beautiful valley to be in looking back down onto the Gjende lake-but when the driving snow came it was hoods up & heads down again only just being able to see the track & the tips of the skis-they did totally disappear quite regularly!For the final push down Bygdin we gratefully followed a local who we'd cut tracks for previously and got back to Fondsbu for more T and specially made Chelsea buns and waffles-we took them both before piling into the Beltebil and eventually sitting on the hill waiting for the Valdresexpressen

Day 3=26k;Day 4=24k;Day 5=10k;Day 6=27k;Day 7=25k;Day 8=12k;Day 9=18k;Day 10=15k;Total=157k

Ultimate Kit List:
sheet sleeping back : eye shades & ears plugs : hut slippers : hut clothes change
wash kit : sun cream : knife / multi-tool : small 1st aid
gortex T&B : fleece T&B : thermals T&B : gloves, hat, mits, spare gloves
several pairs of socks etc(!)
ax, crampons, skis, boots, poles, skins, spade, small sit mat 1sqft, wax
bothy bag
googles & sunnies
maps, map case, compass
waterbottle : platypus : thermos flask
a few nice snacks to keep us sane!
reading book (cards and games in huts?)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Jotunheimen Blog 8:Day 9:

looking at the forecast once more showed large snow falls for midday - we packed up all our stuff and slinged our rucksacks heading out for Gjendebu, James with contingency skis on his back, and followed the mass exodus, although everyone else was going the other which left us with a clear road - totally clear of tracks - ours to cut....Leirvasbu had certainly treated us well but it was time for a change - a leasurely start lead to 11s at about 11!!where there was a real treat in store - James had very thoughtfully brought along some cream eggs - mmmmhhhhh - v nice - made you think of home & easter - it turned out to be another heads down day and were glad of the significant downhill about 4k from Gjendebu where we met the first folk coming the other way - very kind of them to cut tracks for us - being at only about 1100m here the landscape changed to one covered in small bushes and some combat skiing amoungst the vegetation became quite the sport!the fire in the cabin was an immediate magnet so we supped Earl Grey and played backgammon trying feet and discussed the finer points of telebindings - any better than the old days of wooden poles and steel bindings!quite a change at dinner as there were a total of 5 of us!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Jotunheimen Blog 7:Day 8:

so why dont we have a crack at Høgvagltindane (2066m) was the conclusion of the after dinner card games-looks good,& as M&P had been there before we'd have insider expertise-it was skins on early for me on the alpine skis but the other 3 managed to hold off til about 1680m on the Tele skis-by this time we'd come to expect copious quantities of snow & accordingly weren't disappointed-in & out of cloud came mysterious views of Vestre but the summit remainded illusive,quickly getting onto the glacier & more cloud we switched to GPS nav with P calling left a bit,right a bit til lunch was called at the coll,the mini Lindt easter eggs & go-nuts were offered round washed down with more Earl Grey!leading the next leg was quite confusing as there was no contrast between anything,steady 18% grey all round-were we actually moving atall?there was a ridge somewhere that we should find to go up, total "in-visibility" a high point was called 100m from the top & a rapid decent made,however,the highlight was watching a mountain "vole" in its winter coat forage around its snowy burrow just below the glacial snout-fabulous-and home in time for the saturday night party and prize giving

Friday, April 14, 2006

Jotunheimen Blog 6:Day 7:

More skis than the average alpine ski resort outside the hut this morning & a breakie qu to match but still no one out ahead of us-we teamed up with M&P for a fabulous top tour as the weather was relatively clear-Kyrke was standing resolutely at the end of the lake-would have to wait for another day as we skied past it on the Spiterstulen route-a short climb & then a beautiful sweep down saw us cutting more tracks up our chosen valley-the locals staying suitably back enjoying the fresh tracks but not volunteering any!!We picked a safe route up over the moraine & between the crevasses onto the main body of Bukkeholsbreen only to find the cloud rapidly closing in-so much for our views-we were tantalised by fleeting ridges & tops but much appreciated the GPS navigation aid from P. 100 steps of cutting out front then 300 rest repeated several times-our top came & went but when we got closer we could tell it wouldn't disappoint-very wind blown & gusty the view from the summit (Bukkeholstindan 2135m) was quickly admired before being forced down onto the coll for a bivvy 2nd lunch in a small snow scrape dug specially-the spades 1st outing on this tour!our 2nd summit had to be aborted 20m from the top as conditions worsened unacceptably-wind & vis-& we headed home,rapturous about being able to ski wonderful offpiste cream before 3rd lunch & the final schlep back to base!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Jotunheimen Blog 5:Day 6:

Today was meant to be a rest day,as always the forecast dictating decisions,so staying low following tracks,no tops or anything exposed-well we successfuly achieved the last 2 & planned a simple tour (on the map at least!)sharp start after breakie saw us heading down on the Gjendebu trail-a fair amount of snow had fallen overnight & there was plenty in the air-goggles on!we chatted with a couple of guys at the Olavsbu junction (11.00) about the conditions & spotted a group ahead nicely cutting tracks for us-not for long tho as we turned off the marked route (12.00) heading up a secluded valley-fresh powder & lots of it-boot high-so going was slowed consideraly & after having to take a much needed lunch in our admittedly v cosy & snug bothie we realised the last 3k had taken 2hrs-but we knew where we were & what was to be done-4k along a flat lake & up to the 1700m coll at its end-a bit of a slog & 2hrs later we'd successfully navigated up it & took 2nd lunch (16.00) all of this was in 100m visibilty & lots of map & compass work-we were v pleased to find the twigs marking the trail back home from Olavsbu to Leirvasbu only 9k home-alot of head down & motivational thoughts-totally & utterly exhausted home to a cup of Earl Grey (19.30) so glad to see the dinner table & bed!

Jotunheimen Blog 4:Day 6:Food highlights:

mmmh-thinking of all the lovely food we've had so far-the other side of this little adventure-its not all about horrendous mountains & knarly weather!They do feed us well in the cabins-porridge with cinnamon & sugar topping & occasional appel mouse aswell!Smoked salmon & scrambled eggs & many cheese slices washed down with much T&OJ.Breaky is also all about making your 'niste' or lunch pack-open sarnies are definitely a revelation-requiring the special packing technique!Don't forget the thermos-more Earl Grey!I also carry a selection of nibbles-'go nuts' & chocie bars & some energy drinks in case of emergency!But dinners are something else-quite amazing-3 courses washed down if you fancy with your choice of whatever!We've had everything from monkfish,steak,chicken,silverside,lots of excellent soups & very extravagant deserts-brandy snaps,cherry cream marangue upsidedown cake & chocolate brownies!Certainly not going hungry-mmmh

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Jotunheimen Blog 3:Day 5:

Much excitement & anticipation about the route the guide had helped us pick out for today-a fabulous if not slightly steep ridge just behind the cabin leading to a multitude of new peaks,only a short way down the main drag before bearing right (north) & cutting our own way through virgin powder-this is whats it's all about!Despite our very much lightened & streamlined packs going was hard & skins came out as the inclination steepened.Calamity though as within a matter of minutes of this James once again fell victim to a broken ski binding,this time the other one despite having had both checked over night.Tough decisions weighing up the options saw James head back to Leirvasbu to rectify the sorry ski situation (he managed to borrow a guides skis for a couple of hours & had a relaxing few hours practicing Tele turns-considerable words to the hire company were planned!)Dougal pushed on up the ridge reaching 1800m (11.30) before having to put skis on back & walk the remaining 300m, occasionally in waste deep powder but mostly only shin deep-heavy going.5 vertical m below the summit of Tverrbottindan 2106m (13.00) visibility & snow conditions were so bad the only decision was to turn back & head for home,trying to retrace the already partially covered uphill steps!Home by 14.30,so much quicker down than up-amazing!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Jotunheimen Blog 2:Day 4:

We knew today would not be one for tops with thick & low cloud forecast so we saddled up all our kit & set course for the next cabin-we weren't sure how far we'd get but hoped for Leirvasbu.After a quick application of blue extra & violet special we pulled out at 9.40,but were already stopping for skins by 10 as we disappeared into 'no vis country'.Heads down & a couple of food stops saw us at olavsbu by 2 (12.5k) where the carefully prepared cheese (&ham) sarnies were rapidly consumed!We thought the rest of the afternoon would go without remark as we enjoyed some nice downhill sweeps-James practicing his Tele turns & Dougal the odd badly executed tight parallel,however at the base of the final uphill pull James' ski binding gave up the ghost & he was forced to walk the remaining 2k to Leirvasbu-no fun at all.We got to the cabin at 5.30 (11.5k) & booked a late dinner.Repairs were duely sought & the rental company duely cursed!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Jotunheimen Blog 1:Day 3:

Weathers going to be fantastic tomorrow so make the most of it was our greeting on arrival to Fondsbu sunday night-this was music to our ears as i'd spent saturday on the train and sunday on the bus and rather exciting beltebil. As promised monday dawned clear and after porridge we were off,light packs saw us eating up ground quickly,perhaps too much so,and we eventually made the glacier.Our planned top came and went in and out of cloud but we felt it was on and after 1st lunch,we'd already had 2nd breakfast,we headed up the coll where the cloud promptly rolled in obliterating the promised views,but being so close we skied a little further before removing skis and walked up the final summit ridge-no views we shook hands and quickly turned back-urdanostinden 2157!Back at the coll we also decided to take in slingsbytinden 2026 as the weather had cleared slightly,good whe back over our larger peak-the rest was a quick downhill to dinner-about 26km roundtrip to a fab dinner!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sesilåmi - wowww

where to begin - what an event - the snow fell for most of the evening of saturday aswell as during the event itself on sunday - the road and trees had a beautiful sugar white covering making for an interesting dirve to the start.

we left our cabin about 2.45am after a quick harvegrøt (porrige, important additional carbobase layer!) caught the bus from tonstad at 3.45 on which we managed to rest a little and got to the start at 7 where there were about 2200 other competitors waiting for their start time - it was about 1-2 degrees so much chat about which wax to use!!

plenty nerves led us to our start at 9.15 after applying several thins layers of green, blue, blue extra, violet special, red and even a bit of borrowed special yellow VR75 - (borderline klister!!) we had already spent a while on the saturday afternoon preparing the glide sections of the skis...

the start was an amusing anticlimax as we waited for all those infront to gradually get going and cross the start line once the gun had gone off, we quickly got down to 6 abreast and eventually 4 once at the bridge - then the uphill started! 10am saw me at the 1st food stop (wooden tresel tables with paper cups and hundreds of sweaty skiers!) where it was a half banana, lemon juice and the 1st gel immediately feeling its effect i sprinted off along the tracks again - seeing people stretched all the way to the top of the next pass, climbing most of the way to the next matstation at 11.10, more bananas and another gel - not quite the same dramatic effect this time...

however, this was about as high as we were to get (~1000m) so the significant climbing had been done, making me feel much happier, all down hill i thought and then saw the 30km to go sign...i could sense the fatigue creeping up fast - i had counted on being able to get to the top and then freeride down, but then realised the difficulty in cruising down on gelly legs - faceplant time so by the time the 3rd food stop came along at 12.20 it was time for a more substantial rest (4mins downtime!) - time enough to take the skis off and reapply the red wax in hope that some of the stick would return on the warm sugary surface...

pretty much running on fumes by this time - 24k to go - but only 13k to the 4th drinks and then i was familiar with the rest (quality tip : break it down into managable chunks, a real help!)’ll notice not much commentry on the landscape, primarily as most of the time i only saw the heels of the person infront ;~)) number 1771 was there again - i thought i’d passed him earlier...

the rest became a bit of struggle and a blur, passing the last food station at 13.50 in a trance popping the last gel and banana handout washed down with more lemon juice, gratefuly there were more “free” downhill sections of glide followed by the occasional faceplant - now i realised why there were manned red cross stations at the bottom of each ;~)

the distance markers became more frequent and folks had started to line the tracks (have to mention that as a result of the staggered start a significant number of folk had already finished and the tracks had certainly suffered from heavy traffic making finding a decent ski rutt a little tricky) flags were being waved and encouraging calls came from the sidelines - very motivational, almost there, to the bottom of the last hill, around the last corner - and then a 2k marker - not that far - surely! only one possible ski action now, too exhausted to try anything else - too much emotion and exhaustion...

a final call of “løype” as someone with a little more in the tank wanted the racing line - this must be the last corner - but where’s the “mål” (goal)?? turn the corner and theres still some 200m to the banner - seems a monumental struggle to get there, the continual pushing against an overwhelming urge to give up and colapse, the body screeming for an end, i feel uterly drained of everything, nothing left to give, not another inch as momentum slows me to a stoop as the barcode is read from number i’m wearing - 5hrs 34mins finishing at 14.49 - an experience that will not be forgotten, amazing to be part of, such a pleasure, such a feeling, not of satisfaction or acheivement but pure spirit, thoroughly recommend your own sesilåmi

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Madrugada - "lift(ed) me"!

friday evening saw Madrugada play the local tennis club ;~) great gig, top music - loads of folk, good atmosphere - tremendous encore including "lift me" - so lots of singing and dancing - had to miss the afterparty tho due to the impending skiing!!