Gangnam style dance together with the product developers and designers at the
yearly Haglöfs sales meeting. Great people, well awaited Swedish food and a
little toe suffering from getting a hit by a dancer’s ski boot.
Haglöfs Sales meet 2012
Rehearsal before the show
scratching rock, moisture and screaming forearms dry tooling down the valley.
Cold fingers and a crushed toe complaining anticipating every hit ice climbing
on the steep but short walls on Mer de Glace – All of this, foreseeing the
demands of meeting winter on ice falls in the north of Sweden.
Fernando dry tooling in Le Fayet
Ice clogging at Mer de Glaces, Chamonix
Mer de Glace
waiting time and long days at the Salomon headquarter in Annecy. Mild waves of
frustration sometimes comes in waves from my Swedish mind on these kind of
meetings – but then I remind myself, I’m working with artists, and the art of
trying to come up with, and develop new inventions is not something that can be
stressed in a industrial manner. Things have to take their time, and then once
in a while, from all the chaos of brainstorms and test, something ingenious
comes out, rises up and gets transformed to something that can be used to
realize dreams in the mountains.
A work of an artist
sensing and trying to understand plastic and metal put together in different
manners to create direction change on snow. I have the chance to share the
experience with some of the best backcountry skiers on the planet. Chris Rubens,
Mike Douglas, Tony Lamiche and Greg Hill together with Salomon’s sharpest
developers are skiing hard pistes to great powder and walking up hills in the
search for what we believe is ski perfection.
Mike Douglas enjoying some Tignes november pow
from my childhood’s ice hockey years is taking hold of me in the lift. I’m in
the Chillfactor indoor ski dome in Manchester, England. It’s cold and the
building has the same smell (and probably the same cooling system) as an ice
hockey hall. Mike Douglas and myself are skiing with the representatives from
the Salomon store in the same building. After two runs I get a warning because
I skied the tiny, flat, but oh so fun bump course without a helmet (there was
no (clear?) signs). Mike was taking a photo of me and then skied the course. As
he was with me I guess the “ski patrol” thought he should have known. Mike got
asked to leave on his third run. They had just kicked out one of the greatest
skiers that had ever sat his foot in this 50 meter (or something like that)
slope. Everybody there laughed at the absurdity of it all. I went and got a
rental helmet and took a few more runs. This was the definitely the most unreal
ski experience this autumn.
Indoor skiing kicks ass
Some of the
most passionate skiers in the world must come from the U.K and about 300 of
them came to see the presentation of ‘Tempting Fear’ that I did together with
Mike Douglas and Bjarne Salén at the Kendal Mountain Festival. We got a great
welcoming and it was really nice to see a big part of the British outdoor scene
together with some good films. With tears in my eyes, The Freedom Chair with
fellow Salomon team member Josh Dueck (and also produced by Mike Douglas),
definitely left the biggest impact on me.
Bjarne Salén, Mike Douglas, Heather Swift and Josh Dueck enjoying great English (Indian) food.
Mike and Josh presenting 'The Freedom Chair'
mornings, cold, ice, early nights, pumped forearms, lack of light, magic light,
friends and walkabouts in the darkness could sum up my eight days in the north
doing my fourth SBO mountain guide course. The main topics were ice climbing
and navigation and we climbed some amazing ice, did plenty of night navigation
(in the afternoon) and in the end had yet another successful course on the
relatively long road of becoming a mountain guide.
Morgan Salén warming up on The Big Blue
Magnus Eriksson at Lillpakte
SBO 2012 course in the dark
Mighty Kaisepakte, great ice already in November
Sami Modenius belaying Pierre Rizzardo and Oscar Wahlund
The magic light of the north! The sun does not rise at this time of the year
Rappelling down in the dark (at 2.30 pm)
French guide and instructor Pierre Rizzardo following on the nicest lead i got to do this week.
Magnus Eriksson taking over the lead
Rescue training at Kurvan
Lying down in
my childhood living room, tired, watching the evening news with a cup of tea in
my hand together with my mum – that made me travel back half my life to my high
school years, when I was aspiring to live a life I’m now living.
Reindeers on the road between Kiruna and Luleå in the North of Sweden
wilderness defined. Two days in the Russian capital left a deep imprint in me.
Beautiful architecture, roughness meeting beauty in the people, wonderful new
friends, tons of snow on the streets and way of honesty and simplicity among
the people I met, that I have only seen before in Finland. The food felt like
what I ate with my family when I was a kid, and the Russian mountains have now
discovered through my new friends have made me dream about future adventures. I
were for the second time this month presenting ‘Tempting Fear’ as well as doing
a short slideshow on a photo exhibition arranged by Russia’s leading mountain
The Red Square in Moscow
Artem at Vertical Mir outside the Photo Exhibition
my homeland capital I felt like I was on the countryside – the contrast was
huge from the Russian ditto. I met up with friend and American alpinist Steve House
for a bouldering session, and then went to his lecture at GIH. Our story has
many similarities, and it was really touching hearing him put his words on the
feelings and experiences of life we have both lived. He did a great job
spellbinding the audience for two and a half hours.
Next day it
was time for the Swedish mountain guide’s meeting; discussing the rules of our
games in the mountains.
Steve House getting presented at GIH, Stockholm.
What do you have left?
SBO yearly guides meeting
After a month
of travelling and my first sleep-in for a very long time, I really appreciate
the calm of our apartment at the end of the road somewhere in the Chamonix
valley. Only the vibrations of the coffee warming up on the stove can be heard
and outside the window the snowflakes are slowly falling with the grey clouds
in the backdrop. Even nature is now whispering what social media been screaming
for months: winter is here!
A snowy and calm Chamonix