Chased By The Sun

It seems like Norway and the island of Svalbard are the hot new spots for destination wilderness ski mountaineering right now. As a land with 24-hours of sun, located above the arctic circle, with glaciers, fjords, beaches and steep lines and peaks that few have ever seen…who could ask for more?! I tried to make a trip to the nordic capital of the world happen this spring, but it’s just so darn expensive and plans just didn’t come together. I know the now late Kip Garre was headed there soon, so I’m posting this video to remember what motivates us to go play in these big, wild, beautiful and dangerous mountains.

This video was made by Kristoffer Erickson, one of America’s best ski mountaineers and someone I respect greatly.  Kris is currently trying to climb and ski the Lhotse Couloir on the fourth highest mountain in the world.  It sounds like conditions are  little grim right now, but hopefully they will improve for the team.  Follow along with his attempt here.

FWIW, I also hear their is another team on Lhotse’s taller neighbor right now. When I originally heard of these guys going to Everest, I was told that they weren’t bringing their skis and I thought is was rather odd. From recent reports, it sounds like in the end they actually did bring skis and have made some turns on the lower sections of the mountain. It will be interesting to see how high they go. Read about it here.  I wish both teams the best of luck and a safe return back to the states.


6 Responses to “Chased By The Sun”

  1. 1 Bill B Apr 29th, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I was able to go to Norway this last March.
    Fortunately my wife had family and friends there that made the trip
    possible. I saw enormous ski potential.
    One place we spent some time at was on a farm on the west side
    near the end of the sung fiord. ( probably spelled wrong).
    A lot to choose from for touring.
    A very stable snow pack. Probably from cattle and sheep grazing during he summers
    to keep the grass down and work the slopes.
    I cannot wait to go back.
    Very expensive place though as so much is imported with heavy import fees and sales taxes of one sort or another.
    On our way out we spent one nigth in a motel that was
    nothing but a couple of bunks for $125.00

  2. 2 Christian Apr 29th, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    For touring in Norway, and keeping the costs down, camping huts or tents is the way to go. Basically you can tent anywhere as long as it further than 150 meters from a house on non-farmed land. You also have quite a developed network of touring huts you can access with a key from DNT.
    Getting in contact with people on e.g. (mountain forum) or (free flow) could also give you cheap places to sleep, as most(?) Norwegians have access to familly own mountain huts. I guess this option is mostly valid for weekends…

    Svalbard is more expensive…(long extra flight, guide…etc)

  3. 3 randosteve Apr 29th, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    thanks for the norway beta!!! maybe i can make it there next year.

  4. 4 Christian Apr 30th, 2011 at 11:11 am

    A few links for Bill B – from Sognefjorden. The links are to a TV seriers Norwegian Broadcasting (i.e. governament channel) had featuring Sognefjorden:
    Mindblowing. Th talk is mostly about that they do now want to risk dying.


    First descent ned Bleia:

  5. 5 The Dolph May 2nd, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Every time I think I might be getting close to having knocked off enough skiing here in the far north to sit back and feel good about it, the next trip always reveals another project or two. Norway is a endless playground for sure.

  6. 6 DanG Jun 3rd, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    just got back from the Atomfjella up in svalbard and i would highly recomend this area for incredibly ideal ski/snowboard mountaineering. flat glacier valleys merting teep couliours and 24 hours of light!

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