It took me almost a week to remember this name but this tour was the ultimate goal of the trip. The most alpine of all tours and plenty of skiing options on either West or South sides. But it’s very prone to bad weather, and the West side gets smashed by the wind coming directly from the Ocean. Some Sun was forecasted for mid-day so it was our chance. We started off Liland at around 9am and quickly realized it’s gonna be a tricky one. Not so much snow in steep icy terrain. The main route up was cut by ice slabs and we had to take a sketchy alternative. A group behind us turned back right away. After struggling to make it though the first steep section, we finally headed up on a more mellow terrain but still on ice, ski crampons being compulsory here. After reaching the last steep section before the final col, some of us didn’t feel confident continuing in those conditions and asked to turn back. Group decisions are not easy, can cause conflict even between friends but its’ always essential to consider the decisions of the weakest. The skiing was actually not too bad on very steep slopes. When we finally reached the car, we saw the summit shining in the sun and I promised myself to come back !!
This is our last night in the Lofoten, so we wanted to enjoy a last traditional Norwegian Meal in a typical restaurant on the Harbour called “Kjokkenet” (meaning Kitchen in Norwegian) where we ate all sort of fish specialties, Whale Carpaccio, Stockfish, Boknafish and Halibut.
Here are a few pictures of Geitgaljentind which are NOT from me unfortunately but to give an idea of how beautiful is this mountain. I’ll be back !
Another day in the clouds but this time we don’t want to waste anytime and always think about “the possible sun ray at the top” !
We head to Varden, a popular ski tour above Kabelvåg, but from its east side. The snow looks pretty good, some wind blown powder. It goes pretty much straight up to the summit, so the 750m of ascent are quickly done. As i mentioned before, even by bad weather…the view…!
We even enjoyed some good powder turns on the way down. The cool things with ski touring here is that most of the tours are pretty short so you can take it easy, or do 2 tours the same day.
Back at the car at 12h30, we decided to head 30mn West to do another smaller afternoon tour to Glomtinden which offers amazing views (again !) over Kabelvåg and Hennigsvaer.
The weather is still bad and weather forecast not very reliable. Something I learnt on a winter mountaineering trip to Scotland, you always have to give it a go otherwise you won’t do anything, it could clear up instantly…or not. After waiting until almost 15H, we didn’t want to stay another whole day inside so we decided to go to a short tour next to Pilan, even taking our Head lamps in case. Despite strong winds a low visibility we made our way to a cool summit with a narrow ridge. Even with bad weather, views are still splendid over the ocean. We reached the top at around 17H, and had enough light to enjoy some wind blown powder back to the car.
We cooked another nice meal with lots of Fish, eating in Norway is not cheap, but eating local products is a good way to eat fresh and cheap here. Salmon filets were amazing for half the price we pay in Austria.
I got the Flu. Damn it. Weather looks really bad, snow and strong winds so I decide to take a rest day to be back on my feet when the weather gets better. The rest of the crew decide to head to Varden, a cool little peak just above Kabelvåg, but from its West side. They didn’t get so lucky, getting trapped in a whiteout with strong winds and had to turn back halfway through. Sometimes it’s just better to stay at home.
We spent the rest of the day chilling in Svolvaer, looking at grannies going shopping on their cool sled, kids coming back from school on their X-country skis and eat cakes in a cool super Kitch café.
We go West ! The west side of the Lofoten is known to be wild,less explored for skiing but the views should be fantastic and that’s why we are here for. After 1h30mn drive west of Kabelvåg, we found ourselves at the bottom of Stornappstind, a cool little peak surrounded by ocean on both sides. The ascend is quite fast south and west directly to the summit. At the top, many options are possible, the same way down is super fun and fairly steep in an open slope and the south face as many options, couloir style. I took my Hexo+ drone and give it a go on the main slope to try to get a nice point of view of the surroundings from above. An awesome tour all in all. As we are already far west, we decided to push all the way to Å, the last town of the Lofoten, with undoubtedly the shortest town name on earth and visit Reine at the same time, a cool secluded fishermen’s town, where tons of Stockfish is drying on wood beams and deliver a delicate fumet ! We also stopped in the cool village of Hennigsvaer to celebrate this cool day around an expensive but well deserved beer. We had a nice welcome back home with those stunning northern lights again… pretty cool here hey.
Here is a little video and some pictures of the day :
On this second day, we decide to go for a longer tour and head to Rundjellet which is famous for its breathtaking views and fun skiing on its south face. After crossing a long frozen lake, meeting locals bringing food home in their Pulka and others fishing through ice holes, we made our way up to the top on the east side of the mountain to reach the final ridge when the sun cleared up. This was probably one of the most beautiful place i’ve ever seen, light were incredible and the views breathtaking…again. We made our way down on the south side, in the afternoon sun in a still pretty light powder snow. The walkout is pretty long afterwards but so worth it.
As winter has been grumpy and shy lately in Tirol, we decided to head way up north and check out those infamous Lofoten Islands, in the north of Norway, about 3H west of Narvik. After 2 flights to reach Evenes, … Continue reading →
Winter is late and lazy. It doesn’t delivery very much and as often in early season, avalanche conditions are treacherous in altitude. On this nice Saturday of February, we decide to give Wetterstein a little exploration. Wankspitze is an absolute classic ski tour for all level, with a mere 1000m of vertical ascent it offers plenty of fun options on the way down, from the same way down for the less confident to the steepest couloirs for the adventurers. We decide to go for the main backside face which starts fairly steep and ends up in a wide mellow powder gully. It was also a good occasion to test my friend Sylvain’s new Drone project : Hexo+. Its a fully autonomous Drone that follows your phone, so once stashed in your pocket you just have to focus on your riding. Here is a little test video of Wankspitze…from above.
January 16th 2016 – the first real snow of the winter has arrived but unfortunately with high winds and its treacherous avalanche conditions. Here is a run top to bottom in the forest of Seefeld to check out the current conditions.
Seems like late winters are sadly becoming a standard. Late November, we couldn’t wait to start skiing but we had the driest Autumn ever and no snow in sight. We decided to head to Wildspitze for a glacier tour, to … Continue reading →