backcountry skiing

I strapped my skis on… finally!

I finally came to my senses and joined CU’s Hiking Club. Two days later I went on my first trip: A snowshoe/ ski trip.

So it wasn’t Norway– there weren’t crazy cakes, banana dances, and copious amounts of bread– but there was some avalanche talk. Although he wasn’t quite as snow-obsessed as Janie Therese, Joe, the trip leader, was very knowledgable about avalanche safety. I met some cool people, and hopefully I will go on more trips with the club. After all, I have lots of survival tips and stories that are worth sharing! (Like this story of suffering and survival… AK1 WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER.)

A long and tiring (but great) week- Part One

Let’s begin on Tuesday:

Our normal classes were cancelled on Tuesday due to the fantastic weather forecast. We were given new options for the day, one of which was a summit trip up to the highest mountain in this area: Snønipa. This mountain juts out of the Myklebust glacier, one of the largest glaciers in Norway. At 1827 meters high, the summit trip to Snønipa required an early start. We started at around 300 meters above sea level, which means we had about 1,500 meters in elevation to conquer.

We couldn’t have asked for better weather. The sky was blue, the sun was shining, so everyone was smiling. 

7 hours (and many blisters) later we reached the top. It was definitely worth celebrating.

After we refueled with some food and water, we started the trek down. Skiing down was fantastic– by far the best snow I’ve skied on so far. Once we reached the glacier, we had to be more careful, skiing 1 by 1 along the tracks we had created on the way up. Three hours later I found myself at the edge of the field, 100 meters away from the parked cars. Those 100 meters felt like a lifetime, especially for my newly formed blisters. I was truly rejoicing as the tips of my skis reached the pavement.

Now for Wednesday:

Wednesday was special because I got to try yet another new sport: kiting.  It was great fun, however my blisters from the day before put a damper on the day. It might have been a bad idea to leave them untaped.

To be continued in A long and tiring (but great) week- Part Two

The Adventure Never Lulls

After returning to Norway from my trip to London, I packed my ski bag and headed to Hol, Norway. We skied for three days– with ski instruction until lunch and free ski afterwards (until closing.) This time I managed to get some pictures of myself! (Thanks to Andreas.)

I am now back at Nordfjord, with sore legs that don’t want to move. Too bad for my legs, I begin my journey to Dubai tomorrow morning. I fly from Sandane, Norway to Oslo, Norwa– then through Istanbul to finally arrive in Dubai where I will meet up with my sister and my dad. The adventure never lulls!

Skiing in Hemsedal: only ONE near-death experience.

I spent this past week learning how to ski at one of Norway’s best ski centers in Hemsedal Norway.

Now I have to make it down

After three days of instruction from Lars Anders, I am nearly an expert. (That’s definitely a joke, I still have a lot to learn.) Regardless, I made a lot of progress. After managing to stay right-side-up the first day I made a vow to take more risks (a.k.a. fall) the next day. I ended up only falling once, and it wasn’t even a noteworthy fall.

Lars Anders.. best instructor eva

On Thursday Lars Anders took us off-track for some real mountain skiing. That was a blast. I originally thought it was going to be difficult to avoid the many trees, but I managed just fine. The snow was all powder which was amazing, but it also had its faults. Listen to this story:

When I moved off the slopes and into the woods I suddenly became a speed demon. (I do not know why, it just happened.) Because I liked to build up speed I didn’t always follow the same route as the person in front of me. I ended up about 4 or 5 meters higher than everyone else and knew I had to get down before reaching a cliff or something. I turned to my right down the steep drop in order to level with Lars Anders and the group. In the process I managed to get myself in an almost-horrible situation.

The girls had returned to the slopes and Lars Anders and the guys were farther down so I was out of sight. No one could see me straddling a huge seemingly never-ending hole. When I tried to move away from the hole the powdery snow I was standing on fell in, making the hole bigger and bigger. I knew that if I fell into the hole I wouldn’t be able to get out– but I refused to go down in such an anticlimactic way: slowly falling into a hole. I (carefully) managed to flip myself on my stomach so that I could wiggle away without having more snow cave into the hole. Once I was a safe meter away from the hole, I stood up, brushed myself off, took a deep breath, and continued down. Despite my hold up, I still made it out of the woods and back on the slope before some of the boys. What did I say… speed demon.

I never told Lars Anders about my almost-horrible situation, because he probably would have freaked out. And everyone who is reading this now, freaking out, (my family,) don’t worry, I survived.

*Sorry for the lack of pictures on this post, my hands rarely wanted to leave the comfort and warmth of my mittens. (All photographs taken with Olympus Tough TG-2)*