Things always have to end, as this trip is about to. After spending 5 days touring from the boat we moved into this incredible place, Villa Norangdal , Before coming here I checked it out on the website and loved what it promised. I was even more blown away by the reality of it. A hotel that was popular a hundred years ago and visited by famous people, Coco Chanel for example. It was sold from the family and fell into ruin and then 10 years ago, Iris, managed to buy it back into her family. Since then she has re-done the whole place and in a unique style. Each room is filled with antiques from the a decade in the 1900-2000’s. Somehow Iris has collected furniture and appliances that match that decade and styled up each room. Chris and I are in the 1960’s room and Marylin Monroe is on the wall and great plastic furniture to sit on.
Anyhow this incredible place sits at the foot of some great ski touring, so for the first two days here we skinned up from the hotel, skied some great things and then slid back down and into the hot tub followed by some great food.
For our last day we decided to tour to the local summit of Slogen. This summit is pretty jagged and wild looking, I had spotted it on our first day here and pointed to it and wondered if we could ski it. It is also the name of one of the beers that we have enjoyed while in Norway. It seemed apt to finish our trip on this summit.
On the maps it looked like a 10km tour to the summit, which we felt might be far. But once we started touring and realized how awesome the vistas were the distance flew by.
From this angle Slogen looked impossible, but as we toured around it finally unveiled itself.
It was pretty clear by this point why it was such a classic run for the area. There was signs of lots of tracks, many of them Nordic skiers.. Seriously though can you imagine crosscountry skiing up and down this thing?
Skinning up the ridge and looking down the 2000ft east facing run was exciting. The final 600ft was a great boot pack up a nice snowy ridge, and the views off the summit and into the fjord were breathtaking. Especially while enjoying a Slogen Ale on its namesake.
This was such a perfect place to finish our trip. Our whole crew made it to the summit and we all celebrated our great trip. Anthony Bonello, Jeff Thomas, Chris Rubens, Andreas Fransson our guide Oscar Almgren and his girlfriend Hedda Breien.
Thankfully for the beers we stayed on the summit for awhile and finally started shredding down. Some pretty decent turns were had, some of the best of the trip.Chris Shredding. Andreas shredding… And me shredding (Chris took this one)
What a finale! thanks Salomon free ski for this awesome trip.
I currently use the Suunto Ambit to track my adventures. Its their GPS watch, and I have to say its pretty amazing to esily transfer the info onto google earth and then have lines from all my adventures. For this trip I will be able to see all the places we went and great runs we experienced.. here is todays move http://www.movescount.com/moves/move12078911 check it out
I am still completely blown away by the accessibility and gnarliness of these mountains. Everywhere I look I can see great lines, and roads that access them. If the roads can’t access them the boats can. It’s unparalleled in terms of access, at least from what I have seen in my travels.
Fjord Norway hooked us up with a wicked trip on a boat with Actin.no. This boat, Maud, is a 53 ft 100 year old fishing boat and is manned by a great captain. It’s not a boat that you can sleep on, simply a boat for access. I also think it is rare that it sails, it mostly motors around. We left Aleslund and boated for three hours till we found our first objective.
Like everything around here it looks huge but somehow at 1073m/3502 ft is not really that big a hike. So even though it was 2 pm when we started hiking it didn’t take us too long to get up the south face and stand on top of our second Norwegian summit of the trip.
A sketchy little sideslip off the first peak led to a boot pack up and over a peak and onto the summit.. It’s so amazing to stand on a summit and look way down to our boat waiting in the fjord.
We slid down to our line and waited for the others. Chris is pretty psyched on where we are, and also that there is some nice west facing powder below.
We shredded our lines being filmed from the boat and the ridge. Midway down we had to work around a waterfall or two and then some serious bushwacking led down to the rocks. A small wait at the fjord and then our trusty captain picked us up.
Thursday we headed up and did not feel as excited as we should have been. We played in a few zones and had some fun but overall the features were not exciting. Rubens buttered a shweet turn and we headed down. While we were there we unlocked the secret and figured out that the snow was great on east slopes and west slopes.
Friday we skinned up behind the house we were staying in and had a wicked day. Since we aren’t getting up super early we realized that the west faces are were we would nail the shots. We found some couloirs and small faces to ski. A bunch of laps got us some great footage, by evening we were boot packing up a majestic line. Slowly changing to alpen glow with the fjord below us we couldn’t have been in a more fantastic spot.
As we climbed our way up the face, we realized that the slope had previously slid on a rain crust. We had found this layer everywhere but it was mostly buried, even on this slope it was buried for almost all of it but the middle was like a skating rink. This crust almost turned us around but we persevered past it and made it near the top of the feature. The first turns were incredible, the best snow of the trip but I had to be wary as the rain crusts was waiting. Carving fast pow turns I pulled the brakes and found myself sliding a bit on the crust. It was tough to gauge were the crust was, so to be super safe I boot packed down 100m and finished the run. Andreas being the bad ass that he is, took out his ice axe and side slipped this same section. Here is Chris enjoying some evening turns.
Andreas also took a shot of me cruising down into the fjord.Saturday we had a great day filming with the fjord below us. I spent most of the day with Anthony nailing some backlit shots and the others played in their zone. Anthony and I bagged another summit and once again were awed with the huge cliffs, spires, lines and everything around us. By evening we were heading down and the boys slashed with some back light.I was taught a new photoshop trick so Chris looks a little super imposed but I had to try it out my new skills. Probably need to work on them to make it look more realistic.
Today we went fishing and caught some fish right off the bat. I have not caught a fish in years and it took me two minutes to catch one. It was pretty exciting. Captain Arne boiled the ling cod, that Jeff caught, in salted water and we ate it immediately. Typically I am not a fish eater but this was so buttery and good. Tracey is going to be super surprised to hear how much fish I have eaten on this trip!
Our stay on the boat is almost but we leave with lines like this one as memories of things we didn’t do but can always come back for.
One of the best things about being a Salomon athlete is being invited on Salomon Free ski tv shoots. I wasn’t sure where I would be going and when I got the call in Feb that I would be joining them on a Norway trip I was psyched. I have skied here one day in 2011 but never really experienced what Norway has to offer. This time though it is a trip of a life time.
We are here for two weeks and the first two days have been off the hook. Yesterday we toured way above a fjord and had a look around, more of a ski tour. A trip to check out the snow and take a look around. It is an endless sea of mountains, with beautiful lines cascading off all the peaks. It had snowed here a few days ago but lots of wind had followed it so we were sussing out where the powder was hidden. We didn’t “suss” too well because all we found was windslab and sustruggi. Nonetheless we skied a fun line and got some decent footage.
The peeps on this trip are Chris Rubens, Andreas Franson and myself as athletes and Anthony Bonello, Jeff Thomas and Mattias frediksson as filmers/photgraphers. A pretty wicked group of boys to hang around with especially as the sun sets, photo by switchback entertainment.
What has blown me away so far has been the incredible access to so many summits and lines. Everywhere we drive there are lines coming right down to the road. Wild, alpine lines, couloirs, faces you name it. All are accessed via roads. Since the peaks are all around 1500m-1800m, 5000-6000ft, it is possible to do them all in a day. Incredible.
Today we figured we should check out this couloir that looked wild. Possibly never skied before and walled in by huge overhanging cliffs. This was a pretty “Cool”oir so we booted right up it. The snow was pretty firm but the ambience awesome. The whole couloir was probably 400m/1400 to the cliffs. Up and up we booted, filming along the way.
With Jeff on the other side of the valley Andreas shredded it top to bottom. Leg burner…
While Chris and I took our time getting filmed on the way down.
Two days and so far Norway has blown my mind, I can only imagine where the sailboat will take us tomorrow…