Sunday, 27 April 2014

Lofoten 2014 - part 1

By cod its good...!

Last year I spent an amazing 2 weeks in the Lofoten Islands in Arctic Norway. Round 2 was swiftly arranged (for even longer!), but then doubts set in. In 2013 Lofoten had experienced the snowiest March in 25 years, 2014 was shaping up to be the least snowy winter in 25 years - had I made the mistake of going back to a place we had skied in exceptional conditions?

Of course not:

Photo ©Nick Mason/Summit Photographs

Despite some areas having almost no snow, we managed to ski from and to the car every day for the first 9 days - not bad considering the lack of snow this winter. For comparison purposes check out the photos looking up Presten couloir this year and skiing to the waters edge in the same spot last year...:

So with this in mind I am now even more impressed with Lofoten - a poor (really poor) snow year and we still managed to have amazing skiing!

A selection of photos:

Day 1 - Half of the team were held up by a cancelled flight out of Heathrow, so Ian, Jim and I had a short morning leg stretcher, finding some heavy powder to lay down some tracks in:

In the afternoon, with the team now complete and settled into our accommodation we all headed into Trolldalen for a cheeky little couloir:

Day 2 and with a good forecast we made tracks over to Geitgaljern. A wind-loaded bowl stopped us heading right to the top, but we had a good run down the West face, followed by an incredible powder run in the South gully!

Joining the team today was Kristin Folsland Olsen, a local journalist/photographer/explorer who we had helped rescue almost exactly a year ago to the day only a few kilometres from Geitgaljern when we came across her lying with a broken pelvis on a stormy day... (for more details see here...) It was great to see Kristin back up and ripping again!:

Day 3, and the forecast was decidedly Lofoten-esque so we stayed on one of the local bad weather spots, with a couple of laps for the keen team:

Variable visibility, but nice soft powder in the gullies, and great views over Svolvaer in the clear spells.

The evening saw Nick once again celebrating his birthday in style above the Arctic circle with a fine cake courtesy of Matteo at the Climbing Café:

More to follow...

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