Friday 14 June 2019

New blog & a taste of Greenland!

With the launch of my brand new website this June the time has come to integrate the blog into the main website, so from now on new posts will appear on the blog page of the website rather than here...

This archive will remain, as there are 12 year's worth of useful information, trip reports and many, many fond memories here!

And to keep you going before you head over to the new blog here are a few pictures from Greenland this May - more to follow on the new blog!

Catching dinner off the edge of the ice floes:

Couloir of Destiny - descent:

Tusk descent:

Monday 15 April 2019

Lofoten 2019 week 2

Well that is a wrap on spring number 7 up in the fantastic Lofoten islands, and what a fortnight it has been - 14 days out of 14 skied - a new record for me in terms of the weather!

Having waved goodbye to team 1 on Sunday morning team 2 arrived early afternoon and with blue skies in full effect were fully psyched to get straight out touring, so we headed out for a quick lap on Varden, while waiting for our 6th team member to arrive:

With the forecast contiuing to hold good and the team now complete we headed to one of the many 'Breitind's for a great circuit taking in 3 different bowls and valleys, with a final exciting gully then combat ski back down to the road:

The next day we set our sights on Langstrandstind - a mighty peak that sits opposite Geitgaljern. With ice bulges in the middle of the access slopes this needs a good fill of snow and stable conditions to be viable, and had eluded us so far in previous years. With a positive report from my friend Kristin who had been up there a few days previously we set off with high hopes, and were rewarded with great snow up high and spectacular views to the mighty Rulten and neighbouring peaks and fjords:

On the Wednesday I took the gamble of heading West to a slope I have looked at for 7 years and never felt that conditions were right. Today was THE day, with good cold snow up high, quickly turning into perfect spring snow lower down. A fine exposed 'line in the sky'!
To top it all off on the way up we were treated to the sight of a sea eagle swooping at a fox (must have been near its nest?), and on the walk out a snow-white weasel was playing in the tussocks of grass next to us for a good 5 minutes:

The following day, with another team heading for my primary objective we decided on a magical mystery tour out to the far West. With a couple of initial objectives not working out we moved on to plan C and an alternative start to a peak we had skied a few years back - this time we not only made the summit but also had great views (unlike our previous visit!):

The weather was finally due to break, so it was time to look for good objectives for bad visibility. Again my plan A option (as per the previous day) was thwarted, this time by the TGR crew who are currently on Lofoten filming with Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Ian McIntosh and Christina Lusti. Again we moved on to a plan B, and once again plan B revealed itself to be a fine option, with a great couloir line tucked away in a hidden valley:

For our last day we headed to one of Lofoten's most eye-catching couloir lines - again this one has been in my 'little black book' for quite a few years and it was nice to stand on top of the peak and then ski the couloir in great cold snow - with the bowl below giving some of the best creamy cold snow of the trip so far! What a way to end the trip.

And that was that - 14 days skied out of 14 - a new record for me given Lofoten's usually variable weather. Huge thanks to Ian, Mark, Leanne, Mike, Costin and Cedric for a top notch week, and thanks also to Lofoten Ski Lodge and all the Northern Alpine Guides crew!