Preseason: Mountain Style

Those of you who have had the joy of enduring Coach Snead’s preseason know that by the end of the week you are feeling all sorts of things. You are most likely struggling to walk. You’re a little bit bitter, both at yourself for slacking off all summer and at the humid Virginia air. Yesterday I returned to school from what can be considered a “preseason” trip. The three-day hike acted as a season opener; a warm up for many adventures to come. And now, much like the end of the first week of hockey, I am feeling incredibly tired. Although my butt doesn’t hurt quite as much as it would from hockey, pretty much everything else does. Sleeping in the cold with rocks under my back can be compared to the morning after the first lift with Adam: extremely uncomfortable. There are differences between preseason and this hike though: the view while scaling the side of a waterfall is a lot cooler than the view of the parking lot during a set of 15’s. And instead of trying to cool off while Coach Snead made us run in circles, we often opted to run in circles with hopes of warming up. Taking off those repulsive shin guards on Friday is a sign that you conquered your first week of hockey. It’s accompanied with a feeling of great accomplishment. That feeling is 100% intensified while on the top of a mountain. It’s hard to justifiably describe the amazing feeling of looking down at the ground you’ve just covered and the heights you’ve just climbed.

On the first day of the trip my teacher, Janie Therese, led my Aktivitet 1 class to a place called Styggvantna. The trek was almost as complex as the name itself. After a few hours of hiking we stopped to eat the first (of four) lunches we had packed for ourselves. The first day proved to be the ultimate trust-building experience. What better way to learn to trust someone than allowing them your hand as you leap across rushing white water?

Day two began by packing up camp. We then made the hike to Haugen, the meeting place for all classes. This hike wasn’t as steep or narrow but still not a stroll. We hiked over a mountain in Vidstøylsegga which is where we ran into snow. Once over that mountain we hiked through marshy land in order to reach Haugen. The rest of the school gradually arrived and began setting up their tents. This time Øyvind, Harold, Anne Katrine, Frida and I set up our tent in a spot without any rocks. Learning from our mistakes. After eating we sang songs around the fire. Ylva (my roomate) and I loved that…(pure sarcasm.) We then played Tissetrengt in the dark which Anne Katrine and I won. Try typing that one into google translate. Oh translating snafus… have to love them.

Day three started off on a good note. I woke up from a very nice night sleep. My sleeping bag is proving to be up for the challenge of keeping me warm. After packing up our tent we split into groups depending on which course we preferred to take home. Ylva and I chose the tour that took us to an area called Langedals and then our final destination, Tungelia. From Tungelia we collapsed into a van that drove us around the fjord, through Sundane, and back to school.

When we returned to the school we ate dinner. Ylva and I then proceeded to sit in our beds for 4 hours trying to recover from our first trip. It helped that we had buckets of candy.


  1. Great stuff, Alex. I am loving the photos. Life above timberline is pretty cool, so long as you are prepared for it. You are a good writer, too. Keep it up!

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