Monday, October 22nd, 2012
It’s Finally Here – The Third And Last Lyngen Episode!
It’s finally here – The last and final third episode from our magical trip to the Lyngen Alps in Norway last April. After lots of hard work we finally got to charge some of the most beautiful lines in our lives!
Thanks to the Salén brothers for all the hard work and remember to check out the spiritual (in an non hippie way) skiing center – The Magic Mountain Lodge if you pass by this Mecca of ski touring and need a place to stay.
Also remember to check out more of Bjarne Salén’s kick ass movies at endlessflow.posterous.com.
Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
Jiehkkevarri 1833 m – Traversing the island via the highest mountain in Lyngen and skiing a wonderful couloir – a venture that could become tomorrow’s classic
Yesterday the Sahlén brothers and myself went for another try of Jiehkkevarri, the highest mountain in Lyngen.
Exhausted from the last weeks big days and not extremely motivated for another early start and climb of Holmbuktstind we took of early morning. Weather being perfect with not a cloud on the sky we easily cruised to the top of Jiehkkevarri in 4,5 hours.
The east couloir on Jiehkkevarri
From there we skied down southeast to get have a look at our objectives: the South face or the east couloir of the mountain. We took an hour to examining the south face (also known as the Arctic Brenva Face) from up close, but we didn’t feel like the risk equaled the rewards so we walked back up again and aimed for the east couloir instead, a beautiful line that doesn’t seem to have had been skied in its entirety before.
It turned out to be a beautiful preserved gem and offered us the best skiing we had for the whole trip! It’s an about 800 vertical meter couloir with a big mountain ambiance totally hidden away from the normally busy (for Lyngen standards) summit. We found the couloir with thirty centimeters of cold powder snow and where totally amazed on how good the skiing was!
This adventure should become a future classic for the new generation of mountain skiers. You get to summit the highest mountain on in Lyngen, traverse the whole “island” and ski a fairly easy but grand couloir in big mountain ambiance with seracs looming high above your head (not too bad though, its only for the lower part), then its only about an hour of walking and pushing to get back to the shores on the east side (where you hopefully have parked a car in advance).
If the couloir doesn’t have a name already, I suggest Linus’ couloir for the passionate skier Linus Johansson who have already skied part of the line and who pointed it out for us! I know people used to climb up this as a climbing route a long time ago, but I can’t really see how this could be considered climbing by modern standards… But whatever name this line will have in the future its still an itinerary that deserve to be a classic in Lyngen.
With this one bagged we start to feel like we are done with the big days in Lyngen for this time. Now its time for some rest, some good powder turns and soon we are of to Cham!
A tired crew getting ready in the morning
The Sahlén brothers
Bjarne with the fjord in the backdrop (Photo: Morgan Sahlén)
Our goal, the summit of Jiehkkevarri in the middle
Myself on the flat summit (Photo: Morgan Sahlén)
Looking down the south face
Bjarne looking in to the east couloir (Photo: Morgan Sahlén)
Morgan and Bjarne walking back up from the entrance of the south face
Morgan belaying me so I’m able to safely check the snowpack
Looking in to the east couloir
On of the brothers in action
Myself, super happy with the skiing! (Photo: Morgan Sahlén)
About one third down the couloir
Bjarne taking of
Myself (Photo: Morgan Sahlén)
getting closer to the bergschrunds (Photo: Morgan Sahlén)
Bjarne can be seen as the small dot in the center of the picture
Its a big face
Morgan coming down on the glacier
And at the end, walking back… Sliding, pushing and walking it took a little bit more than an hour to get back to the car from the couloir. Its 9 km and we took it easy… (Photo: Morgan Sahlén)
Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
Failure on Jiehkkevarri – Or, how we climbed and skied the normal route on Holmbuktstind in a snowstorm
On Monday we went to try Jiehkkevarri, the highest mountain in Lyngen, together with Patrik Jonsson (CEO on Magic Mountain Lodge) and Fredrik Aspö.
Our intention was to traverse the whole island via the highest mountain on in Lyngen and then try to spice it up on the way down. We wanted to check out the south face and we also had a great plan B in mind.
We started out early in the morning in good and clear weather, but the clouds where on their way in. The forecast up here is really unreliable so one just have to wake up and hope for the best in the mornings. We where hoping that the clouds would disappear while we where walking so we started up the normal route via Holmbuktstind.
To make a short story even shorter; the weather did not improve – it got much worse and when we where on the big glacier between Holmbuktstind and Jiehkkevarri we could not se much else than each other. We knew that if we would manage to find the summit (that is hard to find in good weather, because its so flat) we would still not be able to do any kind of interesting skiing. So we retraced our tracks and skied down the same way we had come. We got some good turns and got back to the lodge in good time for Mintu hot chocolate.
It was just another good day in the mountains with around 1700-1800 vertical meters of skinning. I felt a bit disappointed though, as this one would have been a great ending to our episodes and we did not have many days left.
All photos below are taken by Morgan Sahlén:
Bjarne walking in the snow storm
We finally found our way back to where we could see something
Myself skiing some powder
And asking Bjarne where to go
Patrik Jonsson taking a break
Both Bjarne and me visited other realms after skiing